Monday, April 22, 2013

15 April 2013

 Dear Family and Friends,
15 April 2013

Last week was a pretty tough week but it was nothing compared to this week. And just like last week it started off with a lot of potential. We called a fellowship to reach out to the investigator to ask them to set up a lesson for Thursday. Over the phone the fellowship told us that the investigator (temple tile worker one) wanted to get baptized in the next few days and that he was very excited about the church. Wooo! We were stoked! We finally had a potential!
That very same day we got a referral for a family of two that requested Spanish missionaries to teach the husband and wife, both in their sixties. Their daughter had just been sealed in the temple and joined the church the year before. Wooo! We were stoked! We finally had a potential!
The day we got the referral we went over and talked to them. We taught in English because the daughter didn't speak a ton of Spanish and that's how they greeted us. The family of 2 (we'll call them the Mrtnz') were interested but Mr. Mtnz didn't seem to grasp it too well. We found out that Mrs. Mrtnz had watched conference that past weekend and believed that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet. Awesome start! We taught them the first lesson and tried to commit them to baptism but they said they wanted to go slowly. Ok. We can work with that. We stopped by and talked with them for 4 minutes the next day and asked how her reading went. She said that all day she had felt really good and felt that God told her the Book of Mormon was true. Sweet! So we set up a lesson for Thursday planning on extending a hard baptismal date for 3 weeks ahead.
On Thursday we had lesson with temple tile worker investigator and the Spanish family. We excitedly prepared and planned and were ready for the best day in Queen Creek yet. The whole day seemed to be awesome. First up was the lesson with the 'Mtnz' family. We were planning on only speaking spanish with them to prepare them to go to church in Spanish. We walked in the door and the first thing she told us is that she wanted to get baptized. We hadn't even prayed yet! We said absolutely and began the lesson. As soon as we started, Mrs Mtnz asked us to speak in English instead of spanish so that she could understand. I thought, "nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.' So we did... The whole lesson we were thinking that they would ask to go to church in English instead of Spanish now. But we ignored that thought and kept teaching. Mrs Mtnz had a gained a strong testimony of everything we had taught and so we extended the baptismal date for the 20th of April, 12 days after we had first begun teaching her. She accepted. We then told her what time the Spanish ward started and she asked if she could go to it in English instead.
(We taught her all the commandments and she said she would leave behind coffee forever because she knew that the Word of Wisdom was from God)
Aaaahhhhhhhh. Obviously we said yes but told her that would mean different missionaries would teach her and go to church with her etc. She said she wanted us to finish teaching her but she needed to go to church in English. So. We referred them back to the English elders but are going to finish teaching her and the English elders will baptize her.
I was devastated but you know, she is still getting baptized which is the important thing and we are still doing all the work.
We invited her to view a baptism that weekend which she accepted. She told us that she would be busy on the 20th so we moved her baptism up to the 19th. We had her get interviewed for baptism right after the one she saw and she passed that.
She is the most prepared person I have ever taught. Her first missionary contact will be 11 days before her baptism and she is getting baptized on the 11th day of learning about the gospel. Just an amazing story.
So, rewinding back to that Thursday day. We had just put someone on date but had to pass them off to the English missionaries. We were excited for her but sad that we just lost an incredibly solid investigator.
But it was ok because we still had a lesson that night with the other solid investigator we had! They were 40 minutes late to the lesson but only because they were lost. We had invited a member from the ward and an investigator who was getting baptized the very next day to testify to him and relate to him. We were going to meet at the church near the baptismal font. The set up could not have been better. Anyway, as soon as we started teaching we could tell something was wrong. Long story short he had been given tons of anti-mormon material. The lesson shifted away from the gospel to resolving weird concerns about how much the plates weighed. The lesson was spiraling out of control. By the end of the lesson he had decided he didn't want to get baptized and didn't believe what we were sharing with him was true.
So on Thursday we lost everything we had. We lost every. single. investigator and had no one else to teach. It was the most depressing day of my mission, hence the picture at the top. We came in that night and just lay on the ground from 9:15-10:15. Discouraged doesn't really do it justice.
The next day only helped to put things into perspective (weekly planning session where we make plans for who we are going to teach that week and what etc etc). We had nothing or no one to plan for.
As depressing as all of that is, Mrs Mtnz is still going to get baptized on Saturday and we are very excited about that.
We also got a referral for someone who has read the entire Book of Mormon before. She read it as a book and not prayerfully the first time. I texted her yesterday because she won't let us come by because her parents don't like the church. In the text I asked if she had prayed in it and she said she is rereading it and has prayed and feels like God told her it is true. She is the only person in our area that we have found and her parents won't let us teach her. Our only communication is via text message. We're praying for their hearts to be softened so that she can come to church and the activities.
Inline image 2
We drove past the Gilbert temple (for those on google maps if you want to see how big our area is, go from the 
Gilbert temple to Florence and then east and west some). It's pretty nice.
Moving away from depressing and somewhat exciting news haha...
Arizona uses dust control trucks. We had a dust storm last Monday and they had trucks driving around dumping water on and off the roads to limit the dust being picked up.
Last Monday we went to play ping pong(!) and basketball at the church for P-day. I went up for a lay up at one point but tripped over someones foot and landed square on my knee. I don't think I've ever hurt myself so bad. I got up and hobbled off to the side and sat there for a few minutes thinking it would get better quickly. I thought I had broken my kneecap or something. It got bad enough that I could barely walk. Just touching it softly was excruciating. That night I prayed that it would heal and I would wake up feeling better the next day so we could go out and work. When I woke up it was almost entirely better and I could walk normally. It was still bruised but the bone felt fine. Pretty cool.
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa J, Susie, Annie, Mom, Eric, Will, and Aunt Andra for the letters
 Anyway thank you all for your continued support!
Con amor,

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