Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

Dear Family,

We had a crazy good week! Prayers were answered, and most of the time in ways not expected. One involved an insurance card (look in the letter to president for details). Some of the highlights happened the latter end of the week. Wednesday on. We were so lucky to have another temple trip, this time with all the sisters, for our last sisters activity. This is probably the smallest you'll see the sisters ever again! We filled up a session, and it was really wonderful to just be with all these sisters that I love and admire. 

Okay, now for the investigators--those that make all this worth it.
Juanita- she really wanted to come to church, and we had an awesome lesson with her, but sadly, Sunday came, and no Juanita. If only these people would come! That's how their questions can be answered.

Pat and Valerie--We had a member from our congregation come with us to Pat's lesson, and it was amazing what we learned from each other. Pat and Bro. Anderson mostly talked, and we just listened as Pat recounted things from his past, and his feelings of loneliness. Right now Pat is just going to church and reading and praying for Val. I hope one day Pat will realize there are no normal people in the church and that all that he is hearing at church and from us is for him too. Valerie loves Young Women's and has some great friends. She may have to wait a while for baptism, but as her mom sees her commitment to the church, I think hearts will soften. We plan on giving Val a personal progress book and For the Strength of Youth so she can share what she is learning with her mom. The ward members are really supportive with helping Val progress and in building that relationship with her mom.

Desiree-a new investigator! Yay! We tracted into her a few weeks ago when we met Misty and Braden, and finally had a first lesson with her. She actually was going to the LDS church with her Grandma in Ontario and had a baptism date, but after moving back to San B, communication was lost. We had a really good chat about the restoration and she is all for getting baptized! We set a baptism date for the 22nd of February, and she is excited. Really wants to learn, and is keeping those commitments. She's 18 and really sweet.

Braden and Misty-We had a wonderful first lesson with them, and Misty really likes the idea of the youth program in the church and the Boy Scouts. We may have to wait a while for his dad's permission, but the seed was planted and I think that Braden is going to be coming to Mutual soon.

Marcus-his baby boy's funeral was Friday, and we haven't had a chance to see him or his family since last Sunday, but the ward is really fellowshipping them. Our Relief Society president and some others made spaghetti dinner to feed the entire family! It went really well, we heard, and they really appreciated it. Patrick, the one who referred us to Marcus, and Marcus's good friend, knows that Marcus is ready to hear more about the gospel. We hope to see him this week, and maybe as he starts keeping those commitments, his family will too. They are so fun and respectful. A lot of his kids are in commercials, and are all really friendly. We haven't gottten to know them too well, but we do know that Marcus and our High Priest's group leader love the Redskins, so they are going to be best buds. Oh, football.
We got a chance today to climb Mormon Rocks (a beautiful hike on the way to Victorville), and take some great pictures. 

Attached to the other email is a picture of some of our zone. I didn't go down the hill really fast, but I got to know another elder better (zone unity), and it was a wonderful way to start a P-Day! It's so sad, Sister Bowen's last P-Day is today :( This transfer has flown by! I pray we get a really good sister, because Sister Bowen is amazing!
Sister Allison Mills
Here is my letter to President:
Dear President,

Some amazing miracles happened this week that I want to tell you about first. On Friday, I lost my insurance card, and had no idea where it was. After a few hours of looking to no avail, we decided it was time to get out and work. That night was actually full of miracles. First, we felt impressed to try a potential investigator, Glen. I suggested 3 doors down, and we came across Troy. His ex-wife is a Mormon and his kids are too. He lives with his brother and sister-in-law who are both less active. We talked to him a little about the restoration and he said we could come back. I'm excited to see what happens this week when we try him. It was getting around dinnertime, and sadly Glen didn't answer. But we both felt we needed to see an investigator, and it was so crazy, Juanita let us in! We had a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon, its background and history, and praying to know if the book is true. She asked an insightful question about what it is going to be like when Christ comes again, and Sister Bowen told her that was the topic for Sunday School this week. So, we explained church services and she committed to come with her family. It was such a wonderful lesson, and dinner was well worth the wait.

Another miracle involved a new investigator this week, Desiree. She was taught by missionaries before and even had a baptism date! Well, she moved to San Bernardino, and missionaries lost contact. We got to really know her and explained more about the restoration. She knew a lot of the points already and asked some great questions. We committed her to be baptized on February 22nd and she agreed. At first she was like, "That's really soon," but after a little thought she agreed wholeheartedly. And she's reading too! Our task is to contact her often, keep teaching her, and to find those friends she needs at church. I'll admit, it's so daunting. I'm praying more now then ever before for help with the things I have to do and what I need to say. Prayers do work--just on the Lord's time.

The insurance card is a good analogy of discovering our investigators' concerns. By Sunday I had made a plan of how I was going to work everything out with that, because everywhere I thought it could be, it wasn't there. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something buried in a place I hadn't looked, and lo and behold, the insurance card was there! Heavenly Father has an interesting sense of humor. Just like with our investigators, sometimes we can't figure out their concerns, but Heavenly Father knows them and how we can help them. We just have to pray, listen, and then look for clues. The answers are always there. Just when we want to give up, the concerns come out and we have a better idea of how to help them. Now, the card analogy doesn't work for agency, but you get the point :)

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