Monday, February 17, 2014

Miracles Upon Miracles

My Lovely Family,
This week was just full of miracles! One of the best days this week was when we had exchanges with Sister Stoker and Sister Bartschi. I was with Sister Bartschi for the day. I really learned so much with her and we kept meeting incredible people! She is such a great example of taking every opportunity to bear her testimony to whoever we meet, and she has really taught me how important it is to use the Lord's time wisely. We talked a lot about always teaching whenever we talk to anyone, and it is true that it really makes a difference and allows them to automatically feel the spirit.

On exchange with Sister Bartschi

We were able to find a few great investigators while on exchange. One was K. On our way to our car we saw this man M outside and started to talk to him about the Restoration. In the mean time, his cousin K walks out of the house and stands outside listening to us from a distance. We taught M a quick Restoration, left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon, and set up another time to meet with him. Then K says, "Hey, can I have one of those books too?" We ended up talking to him too and setting up another time to meet with him.

Between the 2 exchanges, Sister Blanchard and I we were able to find 6 new investigators that day! That was just a miraculous day for both of us! On my exchange I wanted to work on really having the faith to find and talk to everyone. It was a little crazy because Sister Blanchard and I both saw immediate blessings from the goals we were separately working on.  The greatest thing about all these people we found was that we found all of them just on our way walking somewhere, or by just knocking on the door next to where we were trying to see someone. All these people were unplanned miracles!
Happy Valentines Day!!

 We were able to meet with M again this week. We had a really great lesson on prophets and the Law of Chastity with her. She is really good at asking whatever is on her mind so it is always great teaching her. We ended up having a lesson about what the role is for Christ, Heavenly Father, the Holy Ghost, and prophets. She also has many questions about how the Plan of Salvation all comes together and why we have to go through such hard times here.
One of the greatest things she said when we helped answer her questions and explained things was how great the gospel is and how it doesn't leave any loose ends. That is so true and I am just so happy to see the light in her these days, and how much she loves going to church, and how much she loves this gospel!
We also were able to meet with her after church with her young women's leader who is wonderful. We went over the title page and introduction of the Book of Mormon and she absolutely loved it. She told us that her mind was blown that this was a story of the ancient Native Americans. She also explained to us how much she loves the way she feels when she is at church. She is an incredible young woman and usually goes to church all by herself. I have never met someone that young who is so sincere about learning and knowing the truth!
Oh you know, just a whale painted on a pink fence in Casmalia :)

We also were able to meet with one of our investigators C again with a member that lives just a few houses down from her! It was a great lesson and she thinks really deeply about things. We had asked her to read the introduction of the Book of Mormon and the testimonies of Joseph Smith and the other witnesses. She had some really deep questions from reading the introduction. We ended up talking a lot about what it means to pray with a sincere heart, and what things Heavenly Father asks us to do while we are here on earth. The lesson went very differently than we had expected, but it was great!

The Silveiras! They are a Focus 15 family that we see almost every week!
They are another wonderful family here.

We had some really powerful lessons with Focus 15 families. One we had was honestly incredible because one of the daughters is usually doing homework at the table when we go over, or is drawing and not really listening to our lesson. For some reason though, she was completely in tune with the whole lesson and we were able to keep her attention. That in itself was a miracle and we are just hoping that this family will start coming back to church very soon!

We also had a great lesson with a brother from the ward. We had it over at our elders quorum president's home. It was about missionary work and enduring to the end. We ended up mostly talking about enduring through trials and the elders quorum president and his wife just had amazing insights and things to share. This man ended up telling us half way through the lesson that he is going through some really hard times right now. The Spirit was so strong in that meeting and we were really glad that the Spirit guided us all to say exactly what he needed to hear.
This church always has the most random quotes

Also, on Valentine's Day we were able to meet with a less-active woman who is going through a lot of marital problems, and she is devastated. We had a great meeting with her, but the best part was that she came to sacrament meeting yesterday! We were more than ecstatic to see her! We really have such a great and welcoming ward here. It is great to stand back and see how the ward really reaches out to people!

We were invited to a single sisters Valentine's dinner with the ward!
We got to spend time with all the wonderful single ladies in this ward!
It was such a nice night and it was so sweet for Bishop and his wife to invite us!!

So this man K (that I talked about earlier) is so great! We have been trying to see him again and so Saturday we went over to visit him and he "just so happened" to have gotten home about a minute earlier. We taught him the Restoration lesson and he had some of the greatest responses. When we told him that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ he said, "Yeh, I believe him." Then we invited him to come to church and when we told him that church was 3 hours long every Sunday he said, "That's awesome!" No one ever is that excited about going to church for 3 hours, or ever accepts Joseph Smith as a prophet that easily.
The story gets even better though! He came to church yesterday and stayed all 3 hours! Also, we had a great lesson in our Gospel Principles class and he would comment in class the whole time! He absolutely came out of nowhere and we are so excited to be able to teach him. He has had a really tough past but he is now trying to get his life back together and start going to church again.
Look what we have in my area! Remember those weird Boba ball drinks?
We went by this morning but it was closed because it is a holiday :(
I am definitely going to try next week to get a Boba smoothie! Mmm

This week one family from the ward also made my day! I have really been craving Lolo's Chicken and Waffles. This family invited us over to dinner and asked if we had any requests. Of course I went out on a limb and requested fried chicken, waffles, and Kool-Aid! Mmmm, it honestly was so tasty and exactly what I was craving! I made sure to thank them a million times and tell them that they made my day! (Make sure to eat at Costa Vida and  Lolo's Chicken and Waffles for me!)
OK, so I like ice cream

Another highlight of this week was that we were able to go to a little party to celebrate this woman's 1 year of being sober from alcohol and drugs! She has been through all the ups and downs, but she has totally changed her life around. I was really trying so hard not to cry like a baby when she was explaining how everyone there has helped her through the toughest times of her life, and how thankful she is every day to be sober. She has made incredible changes in her life, and it is even more exciting to see the joy in her life that has come from her returning to the gospel! She is now a primary teacher in our ward and is a total inspiration! Also, a recent convert family is getting sealed this weekend in LA! I am more than excited for them and the great things they are doing!
A little glimpse of how adorable Old Town Orcutt is

It has just been another great week here. I still love Santa Maria and there are always great things to look forward to! Sister Blanchard and I are still working really well together. In fact, she and I have become so unified that now we just start to read each others' mind! Haha
Much Much Love,
Sister Mason

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