Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm getting transferred! Plus, one of the best weeks ever!

I am transferring tomorrow! I am going to Santa Maria and my new companion will be Sister Higgins! Sister Higgins was in the MTC with me and she is straight up hilarious! I loved the time I spend with her in the MTC and so I am so excited that we will be together!

She is from Scottsdale or Chandler, so it will be a companionship of Arizona sisters. Crazy thing too, she already graduated from ASU before she came. I can’t believe that 2 Sun Devils would end up together. She is a couple of years older than me, but besides that we are almost twinners. I can't wait for all the adventures and miracles we will have in Santa Maria! I will send you pictures of me and Sis. Higgins soon. I know that I took a few pictures of her at the MTC, so she will be a familiar face.

Our MTC Sisters, including my new companion Sister Higgins
and my replacement, and MTC companion, Sister Snow
(click to enlarge)

Sister Mapa is staying in Agoura and Sister Snow (my MTC companion) will be her new companion! Sister Snow and I are just switching spots this transfer because she is now companions with my last companion (Sister Mapa) and I am going to be companions with her last companion (Sister Higgins). Crazy huh?

The switch-a-roo companions. Sister Snow, me, Sister Higgins, and Sister Mapa

Mom, thank you for the Halloween package!!! I absolutely loved it, and my roomies just kept telling me that I have the cutest mom ever! It is so true! Thanks for all the cute missionary Halloween quotes on the adorable treats!
Mom, you are the best! We loved the Halloween package!
Even sister missionaries need a little Halloween candy

This week was a week of miracles! Last week I told you that Sister Mapa and Sister Bennett, on exchanges, found two new investigators! I’ll call them B and K, and they are the son and daughter or a former investigator T. We went back to teach B and K and their mom T was there too!

First of all, one of the biggest miracles happened when we were trying to pick the perfect member to come to the lesson with us. We looked through the ward directory to find someone about the same age as the son. We decided on this young man Ammon from the ward, who is a senior in high school and is preparing for a mission. He met us near their house, and when we told him who we were seeing he said that he is really good friends with B and that B even came to church with him before!

The investigators were so excited to see Ammon, and even though this was Ammon's first time coming to a lesson with the missionaries, he did a wonderful job! How perfect was that? It looks like they have automatic fellowshipping from the ward!

We ended up teaching them a brief overview of The Restoration and then taught them the Plan of Salvation. They were all so fascinated with the things that we were teaching them and B (the 17 year old son) was even taking notes! The mom was last taught about 5 years ago and now she says that she is very open to listening to what we had to say. She was basically the perfect investigator and told us that she really wanted to find out if everything we taught her was true! They committed to read the Book of Mormon as a family, and they were excited for us to come back to teach them next week. They have amazing potential!

The Agoura Sisters in our p-day attire

 Another miracle happened when we went to go visit a former investigator P. My companions and I have been trying to catch him home ever since I've been here (starting 4 1/2 months ago). I have never been able to see him and I have been to his house over a dozen times. We've called him many times and have left  him messages. We have had no response but we tried again Saturday morning to see him. Miraculously he was home! Even better than that, he was still interested in investigating the church and we set up an appointment with him to come back later this week! What a miracle! I had been thinking this whole time that he was avoiding us, but it turns out that he just works a lot and has been out of town. I am so excited to see what comes of that!

Our last district picture together!

One other miracle is that one of the less-active members we've been teaching came to church on Sunday! Her name is J and she had told us before that she really wanted to try coming back to church, but it had been years since she has been to the ward. She kept her word this week and came to church! The great thing is that Sister Ray, the member we took with us to visit her last week, called her the night before to tell her where she and her husband would be sitting in Sacrament Meeting, so she could sit by them. Sister Ray also stuck right beside her throughout the meetings so she would never feel alone. J absolutely loved church yesterday and I was so happy that she came!

One last picture with my great companion Sister Mapa

Sunday's meetings were absolutely amazing! In sacrament meeting Sister Mapa and I both gave talks on one of the past General Conference talks about missionary work. Sadly none of our investigators came to hear us speak.  A high councilor spoke too. There was also a fabulous piano, cello, violin, and viola musical number of "Consider The Lillies." It was just wonderful.

Dad, thank you so much for sending me the printed versions of the General Conference talks along with the CD’s that I asked for. The printed versions helped me so much when I was preparing for my talk yesterday! And you didn’t even know that I was speaking.  You are the best missionary dada ever!

During Relief Society we had a Visiting Teaching Conference! We had a brunch and heard great talks on visiting teaching that were so inspirational. The room we had it in looked like a wedding reception. It was totally decked out with beautiful tablecloths, all kinds of cake platters for the food, and many beautiful floral centerpieces. Mom, you would've been in heaven! It was so beautiful and so much fun! It was especially great for J because it was a more interactive class so she was able to meet a lot of sisters from the ward

Planner covers I made for all the sisters in our apartment. They are the best.
You slide your planner in a flap inside and you can also hold cards in it.
Props to Sister DiLiberto for showing me how to make these :)

Besides all that, it was a Plan of Salvation week. We taught that lesson so many times that Sister Mapa and I could probably teach it in our sleep! This week we also started going to members homes to teach little Restoration lessons, and teach them how to share the gospel and introduce the missionaries to their friends. We have focused on families that have high school age kids and it has been great! It has helped them practice to invite their friends to different activities and helped them think of referrals they could give us.

Seriously though, miracles upon miracles are happening in Agoura. I can't even express how different it is now from when this transfer started. At the beginning, we had only one investigator and another investigator that was completely avoiding us. All we really did was walk and tract all day. We were able to find a few more wonderful people to teach, and within the past week or so people are just coming out of the woodwork. We even found a few former investigators that are interested in meeting with us again! It has honestly been one big miracle.

I am so happy for the time I have spent in Agoura. Agoura really became my second home. This transfer was tons of walking and hard work, but I have seen great changes because of our hard work. Splitting Agoura 1st and Agoura 2nd Wards into 2 areas was truly inspired because with all our time dedicated to the 2nd ward, we were able to find new people and see miracles every day.

Happy early Halloween! This week I found one of the biggest pumpkins I have ever seen

I have learned so much this transfer as well. I definitely learned how to work hard and how to have patience. It was hard at the beginning to be all sweaty and exhausted from walking around all day, but sometimes when you have nothing else to do, you just have to knock doors and testify. I know that I have been a stronger person because of this, and I am so happy for the things I have learned here!

I also have basically learned all my flaws this transfer thanks to Sister Mapa. It has been good though because she helped me realized weird things that I don't even realize that I do. It seems like I am starting to get the hang of this whole missionary work thing!

Agoura will be missed, but I am so excited to join Sister Higgins in Santa Maria!

Sister Mason

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