Thursday, August 6, 2015

Oh, we're halfway there... (Aug 3 email)

This week was the start of a new transfer in Phelan. I'm happy to be here with Sister Wagner doing this great work with these wonderful people. This week was quite a bit better than last week, although it seemed slower than most weeks.

After emailing last Monday we went to the local farmer's market here in town. Everything was quite expensive! We were walking around & came to a booth with fruit. I was eying the strawberries. I asked the guy how much they were.. they looked sooo delicious.  but I didn't know if I wanted to spend that much money on them, so we moved on. We tried samples on beef jerkey, salsa, & hummus, a guy even offered if we wanted to sample his coffee! How sweet ;) Sister Wagner ended up buying some hummus, so I decided I was going to go back & get me some strawberries! There was a kid there now, & I asked if I could have one basket (there were 3 little baskets in 1 box). He grabbed the box & started putting them in the bag. "Actually I just want one." "No it's fine!"  Confused, I said "Well, how much is that?" "Oh it's fine, you can have them. My brother told me that you're from the church & that if you came by to give some to you to help you out." Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?!? We both wanted to cry. We got like $7 or $8 worth of strawberries for freeeee! I asked the kid if he goes to our church & he said "sometimes.. but my brother goes every week".
Strawberries taste even better when they're free!
Monday night we had dinner with the Garcias and then had a lesson with Mandy.

Tuesday we had a mini zone meeting, aka both districts in our zone were combined because a couple companionships weren't there because they were down the hill getting their new missionaries. Later that day we visited a less active, Pam, who is confined to a bed most of her days...
After visiting her we went to visit Sis. H, but her gate was locked. I looked at our planner to see what we had planned next & we had a few names down & we also had a street that we chose the night before that we wanted to tract. It made more sense to visit the names we had down, but I felt prompted to go to this street. It was a miracle because a lady & her daughter were out in their yard! We went & talked to them & she said she might be interested in learning more. :) We had dinner with the Chaffees & the Rountrees. I LOVE the Chaffees! They're such a cute little family who are very missionary minded.

Wednesday was awesome because it STORMED! It's actually been raining quite a bit. They say if it continues to rain how it has been (every couple of weeks), then in 1 year they'll be out of a drought. Which seems like a heck of a lot of rain to me, but hopefully! Only downside of the rain is the humidity it brings along with it, but I'll count my blessings because I'm not in the awful humidity back home :)
Our dinner with the Ericksons got cancelled, so we took the Dyerlys up on their offer of feeding us whenever we don't have dinner. & I'm so glad we did, they fed us carne asada tacos! yummm.
After dinner we visited the Myers then the Scotts (less actives).

Thursday was even more awesome because it STORMED harder! We tracted a little bit & met a really sweet lady named Angel who wanted us to come back Friday...we went back Friday & she wasn't there :(  We went to visit Ericka, who is a former investigator from Wrightwood, & turns out she's moving back up to Wrightwood! So we helped her pack a little until dinner with the Andersons. After dinner we visited the Northrups & finally got to meet their daughter & son-in-law, Lacey & Luke. They're all less active. 

Friday we weekly planned, went over to help Ericka more, did service for the Huttons, and then ate dinner with them. As we were leaving, Sister Wagner saw a snake! She got closer & said "it might be a rattlesnake".  I told her to get in the truck & then we took a picture of it to see if we could see a rattle & sure enough! It was a rattle snake!! I'd never seen one in it's natural habitat before. We figured we should go tell the Huttons it just came in their yard. We ran & told Bro Hutton, who got a hula hoe & a flashlight & went on a snake hunt.

Saturday we did service for the Hergenraders. You'll never believe what we did! We helped them butcher chickens!! Then they fed us lunch.
Later that day we tracted a street. In total we walked about 1.3 miles & talked with a couple people. One miracle was that we found a lost member! We knocked on the door & a lady opened. We introduced ourselves & she said "Larry, they're your people" I had no idea what that first I thought "oh man, they're probably from Calvary Chapel & Larry likes talking to us to bash" so I asked "we're your people?! what do you mean by that?" He said "I'm LDS!" Him & his wife are super nice & want us to come back to visit!! Way cool! 
Saturday night we visited with the Castros & they found the video you posted of me singing "Dark Paradise" & played it over their bluetooth speakers.....yikes. It was weird, & made me realize how much I miss my guitar, but no worries...there's nothing I'd rather be doing than missionary work right now :)

Sunday rolls along & we have yet to meet with ANY of our investigators. We passed Michelle to the Wrightwood elders, haven't been able to contact Christina, Diane keeps cancelling & telling us she's way busy, Candita says it's going to "take some time" for her to understand, Candy was out of town, & Austin has been ignoring us (Richard & Sergio come along with him). We were sitting in RS when Sister Mills pulled us out & said "there's an investigator over here. Bro Shook is talking to him. He was at the 99cent store & said a girl invited him here." His name is Antonio. Sure enough, he was at the 99cent store & started talking with "an angel" about the church & she made him feel really special, so he decided to come to church. He showed up at 9, but didn't see her, got scared & left. luckily he came back! We later found out his "angel" was Sammie! She invited him to church & he came! We sat & talked with him. He feels like a bad person because he started drinking a couple days ago. He knows he shouldn't..he actually showed up to church drunk. But we told him of the love Heavenly Father has for him & the joy that can be found in this gospel. We set up an appointment to meet with him at the church this tuesday! MIRACLE.
After studies & dinner, we went to visit Candita. She thankfully allowed us in & we wanted to read a chapter from the BoM with her, but instead she wrote it down & said she'll read it. When we left, we noticed we had a missed call from Austin! He asked if we were coming over tonight. We originally planned to visit with Sammie that night, but she texted to cancel saying she had too many things going on. So we asked Austin if we could visit with him & he said yes! 
When we got there, Austin & Richard were both there! We sat outside & had our lesson. Austin admitted to us he'd been avoiding us because he'd been partying, but he's tired of it. Him & Richard both are tired of drinking & doing these different things & need a change. Austin decided that day that he was going to quit smoking & drinking. They see the bad choices they've been making & want to make them right. We read Alma 32 with them & talked about how to develop faith. It was way cool because Austin was trying to apply every single verse to himself. Hopefully this is the point in their lives where they are sufficiently humble & ready to receive the gospel. Please pray that they will have the strength to resist temptation!
Although the week started out really slow..Sunday was just what we needed! 

It's no surprise that this week I'll hit my 9 month mark. Lately I've been reflecting on my mission thus far & honestly I feel all sorts of different emotions realizing I'm half way done. I never imagined myself being this far out on my mission. The time has just flown on by, & the second half, I'm sure will be even faster, which scares me. Being a missionary is the best thing I could be doing with my life. I've never felt closer to my Savior & seen so many miracles. 
The Church IS TRUE my friends! If you don't know that, ask Heavenly Father. The Book of Mormon is the greatest book there is. Everything our church is founded on weighs on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. It contains the FULLNESS of the everlasting gospel! What a joy! It's so important to read from its pages each & every day.

Thanks for your continued love, support, & prayers!
Have a wonderful week & I'll talk to you next week. :)
xoxo Sister Viraldo

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