Monday, October 28, 2013

I Love Santa Maria!

Mom and Dad,

I love Santa Maria! It is very different from my last area but the people here so far have been very receptive to us and seem to have been waiting for us. We just kept meeting people this week that were 100% prepared for us to meet them. I have been surprisingly shy this week as I am trying to get to know the area and the people here but hopefully this week I will be feeling much more comfortable and feel a little bit back to normal. This area has such great potential and so I am so excited to see what the weeks ahead have in store!

In the Lord's Vineyard
Santa Maria is basically a farm town. There are broccoli, cauliflower, and strawberry fields everywhere! As sister Higgins says, "We are literally in the Lord's vineyard out here!" It reminds me a lot of a "farmy" Mesa.  I really really love it here! We are living in a basement of a member's house and it is great! I love living with members!
I transferred from Agoura Hills (red pin in center of map)
to Santa Maria, 125 miles up the coast

 I absolutely love working with Sister Higgins too! She is so motivated and bold it is incredible. People are sincerely drawn to her and her personality and she is just a great example of a wonderful missionary. She is also so easy to get along with, has a great sense of humor and it just all around solid. She is from Chandler. It has been great to be with another Arizona sister!  Her family is probably only 20 minutes away from you! (They love El Charro so you guys should go on a double date or something!)
Sister Higgins and I found this great new investigator

This week has been a wonderful week in Santa Maria! We have met some of the most prepared people! One of the most exciting things was when we met a woman I'll call "C'. We were near her apartment complex talking to another woman and she walked by and told us that she wants our card and phone number because she wants to get baptized. It turns out that her sister is a convert and that her sister and brother-in-law have been working with her and telling her to join the church. I was in shock because I have heard of something like this happening before but I had never met someone like her!

We were able to meet with her just two days later and teach her The Restoration and Word of Wisdom. It was so great because while we were teaching her The Restoration she just kept saying that she agreed with everything we were telling her. She said that she just really has been wanting fellowship, to feel the spirit more in her life and, and to live a clean life. She also said that she had been reading parts of The Book of Mormon before we ran into her! We told her that she could get baptized in 3 weeks (November 16th) but that means that she would have to stop drinking coffee and smoking by the next day and to come to church every Sunday before her baptism. She agreed and decided right then she would stop smoking. She was also given a priesthood blessing the next day to help her overcome her smoking addiction. She has been going strong and came to church yesterday! She is very excited about her baptism. The crazy thing is that I never expected to see her!
Elder Collard, Elder Welker, me and Sister Higgins! We were all together in the MTC.
This week we had a little reunion at a combined ward mutual activity.

We were also able to meet with a less-active woman and her 3 children and 1 step-child who are about 16, 15, 13, and 9. We taught them The Restoration because the son "M" wanted to learn more about the church. The children have never been baptized and have only gone to church a few times in the past. It was a wonderful lesson and the kids had great insights and experiences to share (especially "M" who is 15). They started to ask us how they would know that the church was true and we told them how simple it is to know! We explained that by reading their scriptures, going to church, and praying, they can know that it is true! At the end, we committed them to read a chapter in The Book of Mormon and we gave the youngest daughter a children's Book of Mormon. She was so excited to read it. I really cannot wait to see them again because they are so young, but they are sincerely looking for the truth!

Another miracle happened when we went looking to find where this man lived that Sister Snow and Sister Higgins had met in the park. We were around where he said he lived and knocked on a few doors. A man we met said that he and his family had been looking for a church. We told him about the primary program this Sunday and he was interested to know if there were programs for his two young daughters. We told him about primary and the different classes on Sunday and he was really excited. He started to ask us if there was like a 101 class to learn about the church and if there was a website that he could go to to learn more. We told him that he was one step ahead of us! We told him that we would love to come back and teach his family about the history of our church and our beliefs. Plus we told him about where he could learn more before we meet with them. We will see how that goes!

This week was also the Primary Program! It was basically the cutest thing ever and the spirit was so strong! All last week we were handing out flyers inviting everyone we could think of to come to the Primary Program.

Transfers were just great, and it was wonderful to see everyone! Sister Randall is now a Sister Training Leader and Hermana Linford is a Spanish Sister Training Leader! We have the best mission ever and by far the greatest leaders!

Sister Randall                                         Hermana Linford

I wish I had about 5 more hours to write so I could just tell you about all the miracles and great things that happened this week!

Sister Mason

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