Monday, February 3, 2014

Interviews, Chili Rellenos, and More Miracles!


This has been another wonderful week here in Santa Maria. One great thing is that we worked on getting a lot of service opportunities lined up for this week. We are hoping to start volunteering at a senior center, helping them on their craft day! That will be so much fun! The best part about that is we have a less-active woman who has health problems and lives in that facility, so we will be able to have more one on one time with her while we volunteer! We are going to volunteer too at our local food bank sorting food this week, so we are excited for that too!
Also, we tried a new finding technique. During weekly planning this week we went through our records and texted anyone who had a phone number. We texted many potential investigators, former investigators and less-active members that we have never even met. We had some people contact us back and say that we could come over, and even some former investigators set up appointments for us to come over this week. That was very exciting for us and we got a few great responses because of that! We will have to let you know what else comes of that!

All the great donut shops around here just seem to be out of our area,
so this week members have been smuggling us delicious donuts!
One member even drove to San Luis Obispo to get us these amazing ones!

This week we were able to teach M a few times. She is still trying to quit smoking and she is having a really hard time with that. We were able to teach her about how being obedient to God's commandments will give her the strength to quit smoking, and we also were able to teach her about prophets, the 10 commandments, and keeping the Sabbath Day holy. When we asked her if she would start keeping those commandments she jokingly said "Well that's a lot to ask of me." She has difficulty with any type of change but we are helping with that and helping her really want to quit smoking.
She had us over for dinner and a lesson and she taught us how to make some real Mexican food. Can I just say that I just love it here? We made Chili Rellenos and it was so good! It was the best though because we were able to talk to her more about her smoking addiction and how we can help her. M is still doing great but smoking is really holding her back. It is a little frustrating but she told us that she only smoked 2 cigarettes yesterday! That is a huge reduction from what she usually smokes so we are so proud of her!

Thought I would send you a picture every single time we track down the
sketchy ice cream man. This one was in Tanglewood. The writing on the side of
the van was written in Spanish with a black sharpie. Doesn't get any better than that!

We also were able to meet with our investigator K this week. We had been thinking that he was avoiding us for a while because we had stopped by for an appointment and he wasn't there, and then we had been calling him many times and he wouldn't answer. It turns out that he wasn't avoiding us at all, but he is still doing well and wants to meet with us. That is a relief! Our lesson went very different than we had planned and we ended up just talking to him about all the problems that are going on in his life.
We basically just testified to him that our Heavenly Father really cares about every little thing going on in our lives and He really wants to be able to help us. Many things He blesses us with are conditional on us asking for them and we explained how much easier his life would be if he started involving Heavenly Father more in his plans and decisions.
It is just overall so sad to see because he has lots of things going on in his family and with work and he just tells us every time that he misses his parents every day since they have passed away. It is so sad to see how his life is sometimes but I just know that this gospel can change everything and bring that joy back into his life!

A lady in out ward was sweet enough to buy us a new pair of shoes!
I adore this ward. Mine are the Navy blue ones!

We got to see A for the first time in about 2 months! You don't even know how excited we were to see him because it was the first time we had been able to talk with him! He has been through so much lately and he learned a lot about himself in the process. He has such a great attitude and a greater appreciation for life! It is incredible to see. He also had been reading the Book of Mormon while he has been gone, and he even left his copy with some of his friends so they could have the opportunity to read it. He was being a little missionary without even knowing it! We are going to resume meeting with him this week and we are more than excited about that! He just has incredible potential so I am really excited to see how much he progresses in this beautiful gospel.

We had President interviews again this week! I just love it! In our mission all the sisters close by meet together and have a training meeting from some of the Sister Training Leaders while the sisters are having their interview with President Castro. The training was all about accountability and it was wonderful! I also can't tell you how excited I was to see President Castro! He is just an incredible and loving man. It is amazing because it just felt like I was talking to an old best friend when I had my interview. He is more than amazing. Overall, it was just a great but long day. I was also great to spend time with the Sisters from San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles and have a little extra time to talk to them while we were waiting for President to wrap up some of the interviews.

Look at this absolute beaut I got to see this week! I got to spend some time with
my former companion Sister Casper when we all got together for our interviews!
She is serving in San Luis Obispo, which is only about 30 minutes away from here.

Super Bowl Sunday wasn't the most exciting day for tracting as you could have guessed. Many people would say "I can't talk, we're watching the ball game." Boo. It was a great day though because we have been praying and fasting so hard in this stake for much needed rain in this area, and it finally rained! 

Also, K, M, and M's little sister R came to church and absolutely loved it! The best part was that this week we started having a little Book of Mormon class with them right after church. This week we read some of 2 Nephi 31 and talked a lot about baptism! They both should be coming to a baptism of an 8 year old girl in our ward this weekend and hopefully they can feel the spirit there and know that it's what they should do! Megan, a young woman in the ward, helped us with that class, and it was just really great to be able to explain the scriptures to them in a way they understand and help answer any questions they had! 

I still love it here and I can't believe that I have almost been in this area for 4 months! Crazy how time flies!

Much Much Love,
Sister Mason

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