I can email friends now!!! I can also email all family members. So if someone doesn't want to write, they can email :) And thanks for being mindful of us and my friends. We get to go to the temple next week, Wednesday, so I'll put her name in as well. I'm so excited to go to the temple again!! Expect a letter from me Wednesday then, not Monday.
Okay, here we go for the miracles and daily update:
Monday, March 4, 2013: We found an amazing trail around our home in Devore, and explored big time. It was so fun to hike and go on a walk--a refreshing alternative to basketball. Then we were able to have a fun dinner with the Ewell's, whose son is leaving on his mission this week to Boliva. He gave an amazing, spirit-filled talk on Sunday. It was one of the best meetings I have attended.
(*pic of us going down a creepy water pipe thing on our hike last Monday)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013: We taught Paula and Narisse today! And Sister Ewell and her daughter, Emma, who is Narisse's age, were able to come and participate, as well. Paula is so prepared! As we taught the Plan of Salvation and talked about what it means for our families, you could tell both of them got it. They believed and accepted what we taught. And Narisse loved my scriptures. At the end of the lesson she asked her mom if she could have a set just like mine, so cute! Later that night, we had dinner with Christy Andrews and we were able to watch "The Restoration" (the long version). It built my testimony even more of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He went through so much for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and never let go. If this church wasn't true, he never would have endured such torment. We all felt the Spirit that night.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013: Though it wasn't planned until later because we thought Narisse would be going to mutual, we went to the stake center to meet her there. Though Narisse didn't show up, we met the young women's president from the 1st ward, and she told us she wanted us to help out with a mission prep lesson for her young women's group later this month. There are two investigators who go regularly to that young women's group, and one of them is in our ward boundaries. Maybe we can gain her trust and get a new investigator :) It was no coincidence we went to the stake center that night and met Sister Cabral.
Thursday, March 7, 2013: We had another lesson with Paula and Narisse, and this time we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Again, they were super receptive. We felt prompted to invite them to baptism during this lesson, and we did so. Both committed to pray about being baptized. Narisse even wrote down their homework (we will check to see if they did it at our lesson in 30 minutes). Paula told us that she was sure that she would get the answer of yes. And she testified that, since meeting us on Sunday, she can tell she is changing, and in a positive way. Her patience is increasing, she feels more love, and she is happier. What a wonderful testimony! We just love teaching them both, and we got to know each other better afterwards too. Sister Laalaai has some funny stories about getting lost her first transfer (she and her trainer almost made it to Disneyland one time). But if I had to cover the whole valley, I would probably get lost too. Later that night, we had a lesson with Christy Andrews, and our 2nd counselor taught again. The plan was to teach her about the restoration, but the Lord knew she needed answers to her questions from reading. She has been pretty faithful about texting us her reading. We haven't heard from her in a couple days, so that worries us, but we'll keep texting and praying for her. We talked about testimony, and the importance of bearing it. She is thinking about it...Also we taught true principles of the Godhead. It was so cool to see PMG in action--we do teach people, NOT lessons.
Friday, March 8, 2013: Not a lot happened today, but our miracle was we got to see a less active, Jamie Grant, and her husband actually came out and talked with us for like 3 minutes. He isn't a member, and not super interested. Seems he likes Elders more. What the heck?? Just kidding.
Saturday, March 9, 2013: Sister Mills didn't die...we tracted for six hours total, 2 in the morning, and 4 straight from 3 to 7 pm. Yeah, like a boss we made 38 contacts. And two families are potentially interested!!!
Sunday, March 10, 2013: Great Sacrament Meeting, learned about courage and being a missionary. Also, we finally saw Randall Russell again. Since he is moving and not very stable right now living-wise, he doesn't want to be taught yet, but he promised to call us. We know that he is sincere and wants to learn. All in the Lord's time I guess. And we finally got planning done for the week :) Oh, and regarding another less active woman we teach and want to fellowship more--we talked with another woman in the ward who is around her age and has a daughter with autism as well. Little did I know Stephanie Ortiz was this woman's visiting teacher! She is so excited to go with us to visit her this week. And since Mariah, (the less active) likes to crochet, we are all going to bring our crochet needles and make stuff. I still have to practice, but I plan on making a beannie for one of the Elders, and flowers for me :)
And today, we had an amazing P-DAY! Got to run!!!!!!!!!!! It was around a dirt track-just like old Riverside times, ha ha. Oh it felt good. And we played ultimate frisbee with the zone. Our team, the Kitty, won :) always and forever!
Sister Allison Mills
Letter to President:
Hello there. Hope you have had a great week. We had a wonderful week, and met and taught some amazing individuals. The most wonderful happening of this week was getting to teach two lessons with a mother and daughter, who are both very interested in the gospel. Paula showed interest in the church because of the emphasis on families, and her earnest desire is to improve her relationship with her daughter. Narisse is really nice, and as we taught them they showed interest and understanding. Both committed to pray about being baptized. Paula told us that she will and that she is pretty sure the answer will be yes. Those are some of the most glorious words a missionary can hear. It was so cute too when Narisse was thumbing through my quad and told her mom that she wanted one for herself. I hope they ordered one.
We know that these are the elect we are teaching. Sadly, some of those who were elect when we started teaching them, lost their confidence. I read "Cast Not Therefore Away Your Confidence" by Elder Holland today for personal study and I was struck by how any of us, once we have an enlightening experience, will have to face the very powers of hell to show our true conversion. Those who are only semi converted, or their seed is planted in weak soil, or among thorns, will never be able to see the rewards of enduring to the end. I feel that is what happened to Marcus and Jalen, two boys we were teaching. The first lesson we had they had just had an incredible experience at church and desired to recieve the priesthood, and were very excited to be baptized. We warned them trials would come and Satan would do all he could to dissuade them, and he did. Sadly, at least for now, he won. Neither of them have phone numbers, and since they live with their mom every weekend, the only way we could contact them was through a member friend or on weekdays. Their mom attends the Rock church, and I feel her influence hardened their hearts. We have had to drop them because we can't make contact, and the mom doesn't seem interested or supportive. It's sad to see two souls not make those covenants, but I know that with the Mormon friends they have, and as they think about the seeds and spirit that have been planted, one day they will come back.
I'm doing really well emotionally and socially, and I really love the San Bernardino zone. I'm learning to bite my tongue more, and I am still finding I make the mistake of not keeping my mouth shut. Heavenly Father is keeping me humble and helping me to recognize my weaknesses. This time I look at it as "yay, I can improve." I hope that the two baptismal dates we set with Paula and Narisse go through, because it has been very discouraging to see 4-5 baptismal dates fall through, and each investigator become a former. I want so badly to help with the 350 baptisms, and I just wonder why the Lord is allowing it to be so hard for all of us. All I can do is keep going and not to let my confidence go. I know 350 is the Lord's will, and as Nephi declared, "the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save He shall prepare a way for them, that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them."
Let's never cast away our confidence!