MLC Mission August 2015–Picture sent by President Richardson
Received September 14, 2015
Well, the biggest news of the week is that Michael Jackson came to church! The members are really having a hayday with his name. Every time we tell members about him, they all say, “Wait, I thought MJ was dead!”. Nanci and Isidro gave him a ride to church and were all excited because they got to be “Michael Jackson’s chauffers” and said that they had to get a picture with him! In all seriousness though, he is progressing so well. It was quite a miracle that he came. He was feeling sick all weekend, but we sent more testifying-text-messages than I ever have in my life and he came! He is still pretty afraid of committing to a date to be baptized, but he is reading and praying diligently. We know that the Plan of Salvation is going to change everything for him and positively can’t wait to share it!
We also had Maria and Diana, two of Lucia’s daughters, come for the first time. Lucia was going to bring her whole family, but one of her girls woke up sick so she stayed home with two of them. They loved it and we are helping Maria prepare to be baptized hopefully this month! They are such cute girls (ages 10, 7, 4, and 2), but, oh my word, are they CRAZY when we come over! They are in some serious need of attention and love! The youngest one, Sara, just walked over put her head in my lap while I was sitting at the kitchen table and promptly fell asleep. I melted a little bit – she is so cute!
I ate at Popeye’s this week for what I think was the first time in my life! I left feeling so fat but so joyful – who would have thought that their food could be so delicious!
While in Fort Myers last week, we had planned to see some potentials, but neither of them were home. We decided to hunt down some nearby less-active members, but were pretty nervous because we were in the Latin ghetto and it was already 8:30 and pretty dark outside. We parked as close as we could to the house, but it was still a ways down the street. We internalized the “walk quickly and with purpose” council in the White Handbook and quickly knocked on the door only to find that it was completely dark and empty. Now, a rumor had been going around in the mission that the Assistants jog in between doors when knocking to save time and to be more effective, so some crazy elders started doing “the AP jog” too. Turns out that the Assistants never actually did that, but as we were walking back to the car, we sighted yet another borracho walking around and Sis. Ferrari turned to me and suggested, “AP jog?”. My response was, “No, AP SPRINT!”, and we ran all the way back to the car and locked the doors right when we got inside. 🙂 Don’t worry, mom, we’re being safe!
We had a pretty miraculous find of the Rodriguez family last weekend! The wife was baptized when she was about fourteen and is now married to a nonmember and has four kids, two of which can be baptized! We had a great first contact with them and they even invited us over for dinner later this week to eat some weird Guatemalan fried palm fronds – we’re so excited! I love crazy Latin food.
I have learned so much about the Spirit this week and how essential it is in our work. We had MLC on Friday and the entire meeting was devoted to learning about how we can have the Spirit with us more powerfully and on choosing our words wisely when teaching and testifying so that the Spirit can be felt more easily. It has been so beneficial to focus more fully on following the promptings I receive daily and have seen so many tiny miracles because of it. Finding people, deciding with whom we should exchange, changing my prayers, all of these things have allowed us to be answers to the prayers of others! And having someone tell you that is truly a remarkable thing.
One quote from Preach My Gospel that we discussed that really struck me was, “If you lower your expectations, your effectiveness will decrease, your desire will weaken, and you will have greater difficulty following the Spirit” (10). Pertaining to missionary work, the application of this sentence is pretty obvious, but it really does connect to all, no matter in which circumstances we are. If we expect to fail, we will fail, but if we expect to succeed then we have a shot, and a good one at that. In this life we must expect to succeed, to soar, and to become everything that God wants us to be and knows that we can be! Expect to change lives because you will! I am confident that the opposite of this quote is true: if you raise your expectations of yourself, your effectiveness will increase, your desire will strengthen, and you will be able to follow the Spirit more easily! So expect daily miracles in your life! After all, He never stopped being a God of miracles.
I love you!
Pday at the Shell Factory with the Zone Leaders!