Monday, January 20, 2014

Service and a Few Excursions!

Mom and Dad,

This week hasn't been too eventful but it has been a great week! We were able to do service for an inactive member of our ward. She is a very sweet lady but very closed off to the gospel. She has invited missionaries in the past to come over and do service for her. We were able to go a few times this week and help her pull weeds in her front yard. It was great to be around her. She would open up to us a little bit more and we were able to share a few things with her. We invited her to a relief society activity this week and she declined. We just hope that through the ward reaching out to her, and her letting us come by, her heart will soften. She is really going thought a lot right now and she just desperately needs the gospel!

A little gardening

We also were able to meet for the first time with one of our new investigators B. He is really a great story of how much a great example of church members can impact people's lives. He knew a member from work that he has been really good friends with over the years. This man had also previously been a bishop and was always sharing the gospel with him, but more importantly he has been a really good example to B just by the way he lives his life.
This man gave B a copy of the Book of Mormon a few years ago and he has actually picked it up and read it a few times. He told us that sometimes when he read the Book of Mormon it just really hit home for him, and then other times he just found himself confused. When we met him he said that he wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon.
The best part of our lesson was that he told us that because of his friend's example of great family values, and how he lives his life, he wants to be a part of this church. He has actually been wanting to visit a sacrament meeting to find out what it is all about. He was just a really nice man and sincerely searching for the gospel! I am just so thankful for his friend, for being a great representative of the church, even when he probably didn't think anyone was watching him. I am really excited to see how things go with B because he has a sincere desire to read the Book of Mormon and he is excited to come to church when he is in town for the weekend. 

Good old Sisquoc. It is basically a little town out in the middle of nowhere and has
chickens and a few scary dogs roaming around on the streets. Couldn't get any better!

We had a lesson with M again this week and she was able to get a priesthood blessing! I didn't know what to think because right after her blessing all she said was "well, that was strange." It was neat because she was told in her blessing that she has had many opportunities to accept the gospel and now is her time to humble herself. She got a little chastised in her blessing, but it was wonderful. She also said that she has been thinking and praying a lot about baptism, so we will see! We had a Relief Society activity where a member who is a psychologist taught us about emotional self-reliance, and we made cards. M came and absolutely loved it! She stayed and socialized with the sisters from the ward afterwards too.

This Saturday we had a wonderful experience going around with a young woman from our ward. She is 18 and planning to serve a mission at the end of next year, so she has really been looking for missionary opportunities. She went with us to go to an appointment with one of our investigators, then contact a few other people and also try to find other people home that we hadn't seen in a while. Well, the appointment we had fell through so she just went around with us doing the typical things, like declaring to people on the streets and trying to talk to people we haven't been able to catch home. It ended up not exactly going as planned but she was able to have a real missionary experience and practice talking to people. She absolutely loved it and we are excited to try to arrange something like that again. I am really so impressed with young women that are already preparing to serve missions!

The Rices! They are a family in our ward that are the best! It is always an
adventure going to dinner at their house because they live basically out in outer
darkness in the mountains and have tons of goats, chickens, and a few horses.

This week we were also able to contact many less-active members that were actually really receptive. Many less-actives we meet with aren't very happy when we show up to their door, but we were able to meet with some wonderful people that we are very hopeful about! Also, we had a great opportunity to meet with a less-active man that has been very sickly. He has been basically confined to his home because of his health issues. We were able to teach him the Restoration, and he was tearing up by the end of the lesson. It was just wonderful to feel like we even made a little difference in his life that day. He was just such a sweet man to meet. Besides that though, it has really just been a typical week of trying to find new people to teach and having many many appointments fall through.

An antique restaurant in Los Alamos

We also took a trip out to Los Alamos, a little city we cover that I have never been to. It is honestly THE CUTEST. They have the most adorable little houses. It kind of reminds me of Main Street at Disneyland the way that the little houses and shops look.

An adorable bed and breakfast out in Los Alamos!
This is just a tiny glimpse of how adorable the houses are!

I love it here with Sister Blanchard in Santa Maria! It is such a relief this transfer that I already know her so well, and that we already are used to teaching together. It was great because we are just able to continue working hard together without any type of awkward period of trying to get used to each other. It really has been great so far, and there are always great people here just waiting!
I have really learned a lot here. One thing I've learned would be patience. I have really had to learn how to be patient in many ways, especially with myself, my companion, and our investigators. I am thankful every day to be here and to be trusted to do this great work!

Much Much Love,
Sister Mason

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