Monday, December 2, 2013

Training Again!


So the news you have all been waiting for... I am staying in Santa Maria and training another brand new missionary!!! I can say that I have completely fallen in love with this area! The people here are just really open to the gospel and the ward is incredible. I am so happy that I will be staying here for another transfer and I am excited to train another new missionary.I really felt like I still had work to do here in Santa Maria so I am really excited to stay.This has been an incredible week in Santa Maria!

This week was basically a week of miracles. Many of our investigators were out of town or unavailable, which was a little bit of a downer, but we found many wonderful people! One day we just decided to park the car and walk to the different houses in this small neighborhood. The people that we were trying to visit didn't end up being home but we talked to some of the greatest people along the way!
We met this one man on the street that was telling us that he really just wanted a church that was as close to the church Christ set up when he was alive. We talked to him for a little bit and told him that we have Christ's original church back on the earth! He was very interested to hear that so we talked to him about the restoration and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He is the perfect example of how important it is to talk to EVERYONE.
We also met this young less-active woman when we were randomly knocking on a few doors. She told us that she was baptized a few years ago in Las Vegas and that she just barely moved here with her son. She also said that she had been wanting to find the church here so she could raise her son up in the church. I know that this was not a coincidence at all it just was prefect timing for her. This week has really been a week of perfect timing!

Our apartment! Behind me are the steps up to the main house.

The biggest miracle of all was this 26 year old named A that we met last week! We were looking for a former investigator last Friday, but then when A answered the door we just started talking to him about his religious views. He told us that he really wants to know why Heavenly Father's tests for him are so hard and he wonders all the time what is going to happen after we die. We ended up sharing with him a short version of the Plan of Salvation and it was honestly one of the best doorstep discussions I have ever been a part of. We asked him when we could come back to teach him and he said that he was available the next day (Saturday)!

It turns out that the person we went looking for doesn't even live there anymore but A and his roommates live there now. We had left him with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to read before we met with him again and when we came back he had basically memorized the whole pamphlet. We had a pretty in-depth discussion of the Plan of Salvation and it was such a wonderful lesson. He just had really deep questions about life and he told us that he really wants a good relationship with Heavenly Father and to know that He is there.

We had planned on inviting him to church on Sunday but then he ended up asking us in the middle of the lesson when our church services were. We invited him to come the next day (Sunday) to church and he said that he had plans but he realized that his relationship with God is much more important than the plans he had with his friends that day. The great thing is that he works at Vanderburg Air force Base with a few solid members of our ward.

He ended up coming to church yesterday and absolutely loving it! He stayed for all 3 hours. The testimonies in sacrament meeting were all incredible and included elements of the Plan of Salvation that we had talked about, and parts from The Restoration. Our Sunday School lesson was about baptism so it was just perfect for him, and he absolutely loved Priesthood.

He works for a member of our ward, Brother T, at the base and so Brother T stayed right by his side during all the meetings and was showing him around to everyone. The ward was incredible at welcoming him! He was a little overwhelmed at first because it seemed like everyone in the ward came up to talk to him, but it helped him feel a lot more comfortable. He was soaking up everything he learned in the classes and was asking us great questions.

After church was over we talked to him for a little bit and he was disappointed to hear that our next services weren't until the next Sunday. We told him about Institute and that is something he would love! He is just an absolute miracle that came out of nowhere just 3 days ago. He has this upcoming week off work so we are excited to meet with him a few more times this week! HE IS AMAZING!

The big Terrazas Family
This week was also Thanksgiving! We had such a wonderful dinner with the family we live with, the Terrazas, and their family! Five of their eight kids were there and it was such a blast. Oh my goodness, the food was absolutely delicious! We didn't have a million dinner appointments on Thanksgiving like some missionaries did, but we did go somewhere else for more dessert. We have been eating pie like nobody's business the past few days! I think I have eaten a whole pie all by myself.
Happy Thanksgiving! Nothing better than a big turkey leg!

We also had a funny experience this week. A missionary from our ward came home on Thanksgiving  and so we were able to talk to him a little bit. He told us that he had a referral for us and that it was the grandparents of a missionary he served with in Guatemala. We met him at the house a few days later and it turns out that it was an investigator J that we dropped about a month ago! Yes, she was the one that told us that won't become a Mormon and that she is hoping her daughter (who is a member) will do her work for her so she can get "roped into the Celestial Kingdom" while she waits in the spirit world. Hahah, but we decided we would go with him to talk to her anyways! It was a great time but it was hilarious the coincidence that it ended up being her.

[Dad here: At a Mason family party we took pictures and had
people record a short message for Melia. We made a CD of
the messages and sent it to her, along with the pictures.]

Dad, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CD YOU SENT ME! I absolutely loved hearing from you, Mom, my brothers, and other family members! That was one of the sweetest things ever! It was so great to hear your voices. I think my favorite part of it was when little Libby yelled "come home right nowww!" Hahah, I was dying laughing. It was all just too precious!

One of the last pictures with Sister Higgins.
We had a matchy matchy day.

This transfer I have learned so much. Some things I learned from Sister Higgins are to have patience and relax. I tend to stress out about things and get uptight about certain things, but she has definitely taught me how to work hard but still relax a little bit. I have also learned much patience. I have learned how to have patience with myself as I tried to get used to this new area and how to have patience with the people we are teaching. I have honestly learned to love the people we are teaching as I learned to be patient with them. Sister Higgins has been an absolute blessing to me this transfer so I am incredibly thankful for the time I was able to spend with her

Much, Much Love,
Sister Mason

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