June 10, 2014
Hooray for mission conferences. Elder Clark of the 70 came and spoke to half the mission yesterday (the northern half gets him today), and holy heavens it was exactly what me and Hermana Fin had been praying for. I think she said it best: “it’s the first time walking out of a conference feeling like I got more than just a pat on the back…he actually told us we’re not doing enough!” And he did. He straight up called us to repentance a couple times–in a loving, funny, but very serious way–and it was oh so refreshing. We walked out with the determination to “fear no man” to “not waste a single second of the lords time” to plan better than we ever have before and to be diligent until the end. Sometimes I’m tempted to tell people to be missionaries just cause of when the general authorities come. Now obviously that’s not why someone should go on a mission. But it is a perk. A very large perk.
We’ve done better this week. We were dead set on working with the members and now all these part member families are falling into our laps. Carmen (our best member missionary friend and recent convert of 10 months) had her son move in with his kids. Her granddaughter Kailee just got baptized in Fort Lauderdale (and she knows Elder Taylor! I think he went to her baptism?), and she is the best little missionary. We are now teaching Gavin, her little brother, and Ernie, her dad. Carmen’s son. This is the biggest miracle ever for her that they moved in. We taught the first lesson to Gavin on Sunday night and it was the most hilarious thing ever. He is ridiculously intelligent and witty for an 11-year-old. I wish everyone could have heard that lesson. “What is she doing here?” “Well kailee will get mad if I say what I wanted to so she’s praying.” “Yes she is…what were you going to say?” “I was gonna say she’s sleeping.” “Um. Do you sleep looking like that?” “NO. but who am I to judge?” That wasn’t even the funniest part, but I can’t remember what else he said right now. He was so reluctant at the beginning, but by the end of the lesson he said, “this is the most fun I’ve had NOT being outside.” I love Gavin.
We watched the restoration video with all the kids and Ernie actually came in and joined us! (Another miracle, he usually stays in his room) We asked his other son, Tristan, what he thought of the video when it was over and he said, “I like that God forgives everyone even if we do something wrong.” The look on Ernie’s face was so proud. And Kailee is on fire with her testimony. She kept telling her dad, “I love this video it’s my favorite….ooh watch this it’s the best part!….now how did you feel when you watched it?” 13-year-old missionary boss. Carmen was in absolute Heaven. She’s been praying for this for so long. Direct blessings for the sacrifices she makes and the service she gives. It’s amazing.
We met Cristina this week too. On Wednesday we were trying to “find”…my least favorite missionary activity…in a park. As we pulled up, everyone headed out because it started to rain lightly. But we saw a mom get out of her car and set up lunch under the pavilion with her two boys. Right at that moment, Sonia texted us back confirming our appt with her. We were about to leave when I felt strongly that we needed to go talk to this mother. I rushed out with the intention to just give her a pass along card and maybe get her info, but as I got closer, I realized she was on the phone. “Just do it” I thought. So I slid her the card and timidly mentioned that she should check out the site. She put the phone on hold and responded back with a smile,”yeah of course!” So I kept going….”and as missionaries we come visit people and teach them about Christ….maybe we could visit you one day?” “Yeah I would love that! It will just have to be somewhere else, cause I don’t have a house right now.”
Whoa. We got her info and met with her that Saturday in that same park. Basically, she is wanting to go back to church. She’s had a rough life but she is such an amazing mom of a 9 year old and a 4 year old boy.
On Sunday, she was at church. Naples ward. ..and it was incredible. And she wants to keep coming back.
So many other miracles this week too. Too many to count.
Time is flying. Wish it would stop. But I’m enjoying every sec.
I love you all!!!