Monday, November 11, 2013

Teenagers and Temples

Mom and Dad,
This week has just been crazy and great at the same time. Yesterday we were literally running to our car after every appointment to make it to our next appointment in time. It was so crazy yesterday, but it was a good type of crazy! I was laying in bed last night thinking that my body is more exhausted than it's ever been, but I am the most happy I have even been! It is just crazy how that works. When you are doing the Lord's work you just have the most joy! 

Great things are happening all over Santa Maria. We were able to find many new investigators this week, we had some powerful meetings with our investigators, and some of our “Focus on 15” families are making great progress!

Here's a little taste of the "Farmville"
we live in here in Santa Maria

This week we met a wonderful teenage girl I’ll call “G”. We met her while tracting one day and she was very open to learning about the gospel. We went back and taught her and her younger siblings. This family was so cute and G was just so sincere in looking for the truth.

One of her younger sisters, “J”, is 9 years old, and was so excited when we gave her a children's Book of Mormon. She ran across the street to show her friends the book, and all of her friends wanted one too! Because of that, the mom of one of J's friends was interested in hearing about the church, and we were also able to refer the other neighbor across the street to the Spanish speaking sisters (aka “Hermanas”). And the best news is that G and J accepted the challenge to be baptized on December 14th! 

We also found that their neighborhood is THE BEST! It is basically a completely Latino neighborhood where all the people are humble and searching. We have met many wonderful people there and have also been able to give many referrals to the Hermanas in our district! It is basically my favorite place to be because the people are so open. Santa Maria has been such a blessing because the people here are so friendly to the missionaries and actually want to listen!

You know there are lots of Latinos here when there
is the Telemundo broadcasting station in town

We also were able to see our investigator “K” again this week! Previously, we had gone to a house looking for someone else, but she answered and we talked to her for a little bit. She was sick at the time but she was so happy that we stopped by to talk to her. We went back again this Saturday and she let us in to talk to her. She is one of my new favorite investigators! 

She was raised Catholic and went to Christian schools, so she knows the Bible very well. She actually lives with a less-active member and she has gotten a Book of Mormon before, but she has been too intimidated by it to start reading it yet. 

She had so many questions about how someone becomes a prophet and we told her that we had something to show her to explain it! Of course, we went right into The Restoration and explained that that is how we have a living prophet today. 

We also talked to her about The Book of Mormon and she loved it! She is part Native American so when we were telling her that it is a record of the ancient American people she just kept saying "Really?!" She is just so full of energy and loves our message and loves it when we come over. She is honestly such a great person with amazing potential.

The District
Elder Bernards, Sister Higgins, Hermana Brown, Elder Longoria,
Elder Jenkins, Me, Hermana Eastman, and Elder Banks
(Thought you would enjoy the awkward sitting District picture)

We had another lesson with a part member family that I told you about a couple of weeks ago, We taught them The Plan of Salvation and they had great questions. None of the 5 children have been baptized and they are really interested in learning about the gospel. They just had really great questions throughout the lesson and they loved it because it helped answer some questions that they've always had.

Two of the daughters came to church yesterday! One is 11 years old and she absolutely loved church! She told me that she wanted to come every single week and that she loved sacrament meeting the best out of all 3 hours. She also told me that when she grows up she wants to get baptized. I told her that she is already old enough to be baptized and she just said, "okay then I want to get baptized today!" Haha, we told her that it wasn't possible, but she could soon!

These two sisters had such a great experience at church and the ward was so welcoming to them. They committed to come again next Sunday and hopefully the rest of their siblings will be able to come too. I love this family because they all are deep thinkers for being so young and they are starting to realize that this gospel answers all the questions that they've been wondering about.

Church building in Santa Maria

So living with members is THE BEST! We have our own entrance to our little downstairs apartment.  It’s nice because we have everything we need (stove, fridge, washer, dryer, etc) downstairs and have our own privacy, but we can always walk upstairs if we need help! 

Honestly, I can't tell you how many times we have had to borrow little things like bug spray, a little bit of cinnamon, or duct tape. It is so convenient because we just walk up the little stairs for help. Like if something is wrong or we don't know how to cook something, we just walk up and ask. It is so great! 

Also, the husband of the family we live with is our ward mission leader. It is so convenient because all we have to do is walk up a few steps every Saturday night to have our correlation meeting. We see them every couple days for something or another and it just so happens that the parents are basically the best ward missionaries ever. They come out with us often to appointments and are just so generous! I love them so much already. 

I still absolutely love it here and love working with Sister Higgins. I almost die laughing every night before we go to sleep. We have started coming up with at least one really cheesy missionary rhyme right before we go to sleep and every night I just die laughing! Sister Higgins is seriously the best and she is a great missionary.

The BIRTHDAY GIRL and me at the beautiful LA temple!

The trip we were able to make to the temple this week was also incredible. Lately I have been thinking a lot about the endowment and I just think about how much I am blessed to have the knowledge I now have after being endowed. Honestly, the temple just makes everything make more sense, and the spirit there is like nothing else! 

Our temple trip took about 11 hours. It was an all day affair. We drove in the morning, had a quick lunch in the cafeteria, did a session, and then drove all the way back home. It makes me think of how we take the Mesa temple for granted! It only takes about 15 minutes from home to get to the Mesa temple, but here it is such a huge sacrifice because it takes all day plus all the gas money to get to LA. 

I am so blessed for the opportunity to go to the LA temple again.  (I lucked out to have another companion who could go to the temple for her birthday.) This was Sister Higgins' first time at the LA temple and I was just so happy for her to experience it!

It has just been a fantastic week!


Sister Mason

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