HEY!! Well, I barely have time because I wrote a loooong e-mail to my mama, but she’s worth it!! So, I’m just gonna copy and past a little bit here….
We had a pretty good week! It went by faster and it was a little different from the regular schedule! We Had Zone Conference basically all day on Tuesday and then we went to Hamilton for all of Wednesday and part of Thursday to go on splits with our sister training leaders; Sister Holden and Sister Howard. I was with Sister Holden…she’s super chill and great. Sister Howard served in New Hartford before, so she knows all our peeps! Her and Sister Thao are the ones that tracted into Alieanna! Anyway, it was a good exchange…I felt so much love for each person we met and talked to! I need to pray to have that love more everyday! It kind of felt like being back in the North Country, the landscape and little towns…which is cool, but we missed our New Hartford!!! So we were happy to get back and see our peeps 🙂 We had some great lessons….the kind where I truly felt like I was on the Lord’s errand. Best feeling ever. One of our new investigators, Judy, (who just committed to be baptized on my birthday!), lives at a nursing home…Sister Gamboa told us that her kids put her in there because they really don’t want to take care of her, whcih is weird because we’re pretty sure she’s in her sixities and she seems totally normal…anyway, we felt prompted o see her last Tuesday and when we came in, she said that she was thinking of us and was so glad we came…we had a sweet lesson with her. Kevin is doing AWESOME. He just loves the BOM and has real sincerity to do the Lord’s will. He doesn’t quite want to commit to a date, but he’s on the way…He finally came to church yesterday!!! He looked so sharp! It was awesome…he only stayed the first hour because he planned to go golfing with his friends at noon, but still…that was a huge step. It must feel pretty nerve-wrecking for a person who has never come to our church and doesn’t know what to expect, because it is new and different. Definitely takes a step of faith, and I am so proud of him!! He’s awesome…and he knew a few people there since we’ve brought a few members to his lessons, so they came up and shook his hand! Big things are coming for that man….he’s awesome! Just a humble, sweet guy that wears 80s Patagonia jackets…(but not to church ahha). We saw Mark (not at the park, but his house!) and he is doing good! He isn’t really looking to join..we’re not sure what his whole intention or expectation of our visits is…he’s just curious. He really enjoyed Alma 32 and lat Thursday asked if we could give more BOM references similar to it…of course the first on that came to mind was Jacob 5! So, we’ll see if he reads it! Hopefully, we’re doing all we can at this point of his progression…we were planning to see the Aguirre’s after him, but we got this unexpected call from Tim saying he really needed to talk to us and that something was troubling him. So we went to the Aguirre’s, told them we had to cancel, and went to see Tim. At the beginning, when I asked if we could say an opening prayer, he said, “You can say it, but don’t expect me to say the closing.” In my head I was thinking, oh no, he’s going to abandon God!!! But that’s not like him, and I felt peaceful about the discussion we were going to have. He opened up about a whole bunch of things…how he treats everyone so justly and fairly and goes the extra mile, and then he seems to be trampled under their feet. I couldn’t help but think of how Heavenly Father feels that way when we receive all these blessings and then we forget them when hard times come and trample them under out feet. The amazing thing is that He is so SO loving…anyway Tim was saying how he can’t help but look up and say,”Can’t you give me a break?” I can’t even type or write down all the things that happened and were said…but it was amazing. We have such love for this man…he is such a sincere person. Sister Baylon gave such a sweet testimony of God’s awareness for him and that she knew it because her prayers were answered while talking with Tim. Sorry, I just can’t describe it….it was so amazing. Tim committed himself to come to church and knows he needs to go…unfortunately, he picked up an old job he had and ended up not coming…so hard to see that when you feel the fire and spirit so strong in a lesson….but it was a great lesson. He humbled himself and offered to say the closing prayer, without us asking. He said that in all his 7 years of living in Utica, his most uplifting conversations have been the past year of meeting with the Sisters…that he feels a difference when we come in and leave…and that the one thing that has been consistent in coming back into his life is the us and the LDS faith. He said that he’s gonna try to talk to his work to get Sundays off….ah, Tim is the man!!! I can’t wait to see where he goes!! It’s been up and down with him, but he’ll get there. Prince is doing good, his new date is April 16th…he hasn’t been coming to church…he’s had birthday parties, trouble getting up on time…all this stuff that 13 years old go through with no structurehaha…But! He’ll get there. He’s pretty awesome. Oh! It was the sweetest thing! Sister Baylon and I walked into Daisy’s room and lo and behold, she was opening a bright pink card from my mom! She had me read it…she loved it and said a beautiful prayer and included our family. Her prayers are the best. She is such a sweetie. Her birthday is tomorrow!! She’ll be turning 88 years old! Anyway, that was a sweet moment seeing her with the letter. We had an….interesting lesson Saturday. At one point, the son asked if he could pray for me and held out his hands, really wanting to bless me….and I said,”We can do it after the lesson…” Haha, it was bold of me, but hey! It worked! At the end he said, “Ok, now can I?” I said, “I’m just going to fold my arms…” Which he was fine with…he held up one hand as if blessing us all and gave a pretty solid prayer, until the end when he said some jibberish stuff. He was a wee bit strange, but gotta know he’s a child of God. Anyway, the focus is his mom, she seemed more with it! He said he was baptized in his faith and would stay that way…but she’s more open to know more..they both committed to read the BOM…we’ll see what happens! Oh man, we had an AMAZING lesson with Alieanna last night!! Sister Gamboa came with us…she is seriously so in tune with the Spirit and can read Alieanna like a book. Alieanna opened up a lot about the struggles she’s been facing everything…how she feels the Spirit withdraw when she thinks negative thoughts towards other and when she yelled at her sister a week ago. She feels so guilty and weighed down by those little things…things that aren’t huge sins, but where she can feel a difference inside her when she does them. So crazy! She is so in tune!! She said she felt such a relief when she partook of the sacrament and how she felt a weight lift off…it was the first time she took the sacrament since she last received the Holy Ghost because of a college trip, work, and they forgot to pick her up one Sunday. She’s left some friends behind because they seem to mock her spirit and don’t respect her her decision of being a part of the Gospel….she’s been through so many things and her maturity for it all has been so astounding for being only 17 years old. She truly is converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I can’t even explain, again, how amazing that lesson was with Sister Gamboa there….after, she sent us the sweetest text message saying how she probably wouldn’t have progressed this far without our help and that she looked up to us as role models….she is so amazing….I feel so blessed to be here!!!! This will most likely be Sister Baylon and I’s (<<is that proper English? haha) last week together…transfers is next Wednesday and she’ll be done being trained….crazy how time flies. I love her so much….we’re going to go all at it this week!
Anyway, that was a piece of what i sent to my mom…but trust me when I say I love you all!! Thank you for being a part of my journey by reading my e-mails! If you have nay questions, just send me a letter/e-mail 🙂
This mission has been the best thing of my life. Remember, every soul is precious and of great worth in the sight of God! That’s why we go on missions, to help them His children know it and receive all the blessings He has in store for all who follow Him.
Lovage!!! Sister Pange