Monday, May 11, 2015

Tender Mercies (May 4 Email)

I'm a firm believer in tender mercies & if we are observant, we can notice tender mercies every day of our lives. The Lord is waiting to bless us & He does.

Yes, tomorrow indeed marks 6 months since I went into the MTC. I counted out where transfers fall & if my calculations are correct, on May 16th I'll have 1 year left. May 16, 2016 is probably the day I come home, which is just 1 week after Mother's Day. So I think I'll skip next Mother's day calling home so I don't run out of things to say when I get home. Okay? Okay. ;)  But anywho, I'm getting way ahead of myself. I still got TONS of time out here in California spreading this wonderful gospel! :)

This week was pretty special. Every week is special, but this was just a great week.
(heads up: I left my brain (my planner) at home today, because it is the start of a new transfer so I forgot to bring last transfers brain, so I'm borrowing Sister 'O's brain)

Monday we had dinner with the B family. J B is our investigator; her husband is a member and they live with his parents. After dinner we watched "Finding Faith in Christ". We're trying to help her find greater faith so that she will be baptized! She lives like a member but isn't baptized. We call these kinds of people "dry mormons". We haven't quite figured out what's holding her back yet, besides the fear of telling her family. We need to be more bold with her & that's what we're planning on doing this week.

Tuesday we had our last district meeting of the transfer. Afterwards we did our weekly routine of heading to Walmart on the way back home. After lunch we visited a less active, L. She's very talkative. And I mean VERY. The message we were planning on sharing was Alma 18:24-35 talking about our testimonies, but she was talking so much that it was almost dinner time & I was thinking "I really don't want to share this long message with her..." So I turned to Ether 12:27, to share that, but couldn't relay that to Sister 'O. Luckily L went to the other room to grab something & quickly Sis. 'O & I were able to discuss the changes in our message & we shared Ether 12:27 with her...tender mercy #1. 
We had dinner with the cute S family. They're the family we had dinner with my first night in Phelan. Super cute kids, esp 4yr old Q. If you know me, you know I have a thing for blond haired, blue eyed little boys...NOT CREEPY. Then we had a lesson with S and we watched the mormon message, "bear up our burdens with hope" or something similar to that. then we had a lesson with Sister H.

Wednesday we drove to our stake center in Victorville where R picked us up for my dentist appointment in Hesperia. Turns out I'm probably going to need a root canal. The Lord is blessing me & my family because they're not charging us for a thing. HUGE tender mercy #2. 
Afterwards we did our studies, then went to visit Sister M. We had a nice conversation with her. She was holding her baby, T, & got a phone call so she put him on my lap. Not totally legal, but I couldn't do a thing about it. A baby was placed in my lap! So I took advantage of this opportunity & took pictures. because CUTEST BABY EVER. When we were leaving Sis. M said "hey I just went to Costco & got too much. I have stuff for you." After all was said & done we were walking out of their house with bags of groceries like we just went shopping...frozen pizza, pork chops, frozen chicken, fresh green beans, cheez its, cereal, butter, & much more! tender mercy #3.  
We had dinner with the Os and then a lesson with E and G W. We watched a film called "Together Forever", a really cheesy old film about eternal families. It really is a funny one haha. Then we went to visit our investigator A (10). Her mom was sick so we just talked with her. We shared "the hope of God's light". 

Thursday we had a lesson with B & M. Talked about obedience! A few old ladies from Sister 'O's first ward came to Phelan & took us out to lunch at KFC. It was nice. Then we tried to visit our referral, C. She wasn't home. So we did until our dinner with the Hs. After dinner we were heading to see A again, but we passed by V & D's house & they were outside! tender mercy #4. We had a really nice time with them looking at old photo albums & sharing about prayer. We're gonna go back this week & do service for them. V, who is 88 with dementia absolutely loves us. She kissed me about 20 times, no joke. 

Friday morning we pulled weeds at Kim E's. Then she made us lunch. Afterwards we went home to do some weekly planning until our dinner appointment with the N family. They're a young family with 3 kids. They invited a nonmember family over for dinner too. This family isn't interested in the gospel yet, but they're super nice & fun. We had a really nice conversation with them & got to share a bit about our missions. tender mercy #5. Then we had our ward coordilation. In the afternoon, K took A, our investigator, shopping to get church clothes. She got her like 3 outfits & shoes. SUCH A BLESSING. 

Saturday our zone had a zone service project at El Mirage. You can probably look up what it is, because I'm not entirely sure. I know people ride quads on a dry lake bed though. So we were supposed to be there at 6am-1pm they would feed us breakfast & lunch & we'd get a free tshirt. Our zone was planning on meeting at 5:40 on the corner of a road so we could drive there together. But Sister O & I woke up at 6am....whoops. We woke up to numerous calls/texts from the elders asking us where we were & telling us to wake up hahaha. We hurried & got ready. We got there around 6:40 & made it in plenty of time for breakfast. It was pretty nice for us, but not so much for the other missionaries who woke up at 4:30am hahaha. tender mercy #6. They definitely did not let us forget that small fact the rest of the day. 
After breakfast we headed out to the dry lake bed & picked up trash for 4.5 hrs. It was actually pretty fun, we just hung out with the other missionaries while picking up trash. Then we ate lunch around 12:30 & got our tshirts. Took a couple zone pictures last time as a zone & went home to do studies. After studies we tried a couple people, then went home for dinner. 
After dinner we stopped by C's. Hopefully you remember what happened last week with her. If not, go back & read last weeks email...Anyway, in our lesson with her last week, everything she was telling us reminded me of President Uchtdorf's talk from October 2013 GC, "Come, Join With Us". We printed out that talk & brought it to read with C. From the get go when we walked in the door, she was in a much better mood than the last time we talked to her. She had time to think about what happened last week & to cool off. We started reading the talk with her & she kept saying "really guys?! did you write this?" The talk was literally perfect for her. I didn't even realize HOW perfect it was until we read it with her. Every point he makes in it, she brought up last week. Such a miracle. She viewed it as "divine intervention" tender mercy #7. 
Then we went to visit A, but she was sick. The stomach flu was going around their house. We went in & talked to her grandma & her mom, V. V really wants to come to church & hopefully F will let her. Pray that his heart may be softened! But neither A or V were able to come this week because A was siiiiick.

Sunday..C came to church! tender mercy #8. She cried. tender mercy #9. hahaha, but she must've felt the spirit during testimony meeting. She wasn't able to stay for the rest of the meetings, but at least she came to sacrament meeting! After church & studies we had dinner with the Ds! Steak, baked potatoes, & broccoli. yummmm. & of course the famous D cookies! After that we were able to have 3 lessons with less actives. tender mercy #10 because we were able to meet our goal for less active lessons for the week! And sister H gave us eggs from their chickens :) tender mercy #11.

Today before we came to email is the last tender mercy I can think of for this week's email...I got to take a nap. tender mercy #12. 

It sure was a great week & I'm excited to be starting this new transfer still in Phelan with Sister 'O! It's gonna be way different in our zone though because no companionship stayed the same except for us! Ahhh. There's just not as many missionaries anymore, so they're closing some areas that have had 2 sets of missionaries & just putting one. We were hoping to cover Phelan & Wrightwood so we can be super busy, but I guess not ;) hahaha. That's okay. We've got enough work to do here & more to find!
YOU HAD AN EARTHQUAKE??? I"m so jealous. I've never felt one & I'm in CALIFORNIA for goodness' sake. Anyway, I think that's about it. I think this letter is one of the best I've written so you're welcome :)
love you so much & I'll talk to you on Sunday!!!
Sister Viraldo

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