Monday, March 17, 2014

Tons of Tracting

Mom and Dad,

It has been another great week here in Ventura! We ended up doing lots and lots of tracting this week, which is always interesting. The best part is the look on people's faces when they open the door and see who we are. Sometimes we get the most disgusted faces from people and I just want to say, "Hey, now what's that face for?!"
One gem was when we knocked on this door and a lady started running down her stairs and said "Girl Scouts?!" We said "No" and before we could talk she made a very disappointed face and shut the door. Hahah, she was so disappointed that it was just us. It's okay, that's just a typical day out here! We were able to meet some great people through tracting though, so we are very excited about that!
Happy St. Patty's Day everyone!

 One absolute miracle happened this week as we went to visit a former investigator. We had planned on seeing her that day, but earlier in the day we were really close to her neighborhood so we decided to stop by her house before we went back home for lunch. When we knocked on her door she talked to us through her open window and told us to come in because she needed us to pray for her. It turns out that she had knee surgery just about a week ago and she has been really worrying that she might get an infection in her knee. She has been praying really hard all day for God to help her and she was so thankful when we showed up a little later at her door.
She told us that it was also strange because she and her husband had been talking just the night before that they haven't seen the missionaries in a long time. She also told us that she knew we were an answer to her urgent prayer. It was just one of those moments where we knew that we were at the right place at exactly the right time, and it was just a blessing to be a part of that. Heavenly Father truly has impeccable timing, and the blessings from following the spirit, even when we aren't sure why, are incredible!

This dog started following us the other day. When we got out of our
car he just decided to jump in. We had to coax him out, but then
he followed us for a while as we were walking around.

Another miracle was this man that we met on the street. We were walking in a neighborhood on the way to visit someone and we saw him walking towards us, so we stopped him and talked to him for a while. It turns out that he met with missionaries about 2 years ago in Arizona. He was very close to his baptism, but then he ended up having to move to California and never got in contact with the missionaries again. He also told us that he still has a copy of the Book of Mormon and he reads it very often!
We talked with him and invited him to church. He came to sacrament meeting yesterday and he loved it! This was his very first time coming to church. He told us that he was so excited all day Saturday to be able to come to church on Sunday. We were able to meet with him again yesterday and we set him with a baptismal date in April. He has really been though so much in his life and he realizes that he needs to start going back to church. On Sunday so many members came up and talked to him at church, and he felt really comfortable. We are excited to see how things turn out with him!
Our District
Elder McKinley, Elder Anderson, Sister Bartschi, Me,
Elder Leavitt, Elder Potter, Sister Hegstrom, and Sister James

We met with D again this week too. She is really the best! She told us that she really wanted to learn more about the Word of Wisdom, so we met with her again and went over the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. She just wanted to make sure that she was living them completely, so she is just great. She is still on track for her baptism! She is truly a treat to teach because she is so willing to follow whatever her Heavenly Father wants her to do, and she also wants to make sure that she fully understands everything that we've taught her.
We also were able to talk to another former investigator, and he is seriously awesome! He told us that he loved meeting with the missionaries before because whenever they read something out of the Book of Mormon it always touches him and he believes exactly what it teaches. He is a Latino and such a sweet man! I am excited to be able to meet with him again soon!

This weekend we didn't have anyone sign up for dinner so we decided to make a
movie night out of it during dinner by using a Subway gift card a member
gave us, making popcorn, and watching the old classic The Testaments!

This week we also had some great lessons with some recent converts and less-actives. We had dinner with a recent convert family and they are so sweet! We talked to them more about going to do baptisms for the dead, and preparing to be sealed in the temple later this year. They are just so sincere, open, and absolutely in love with each other. They are just adorable. It was wonderful that we were able to spend more time with them.
We also met with this sweet less-active man. We have really been persistent with trying to get him ready to go to the temple. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and really focused on how getting the Melchizedek priesthood and going to the temple will help him and his ancestors in this plan. He is really another great man and we are trying to do everything we can to keep the temple as his goal and help him prepare for that.
We were also able to meet with another less-active family too. The best part was that the
mother claims that she does not believe in God or in the church anymore, but her husband told us that she prayed the other day for comfort. It was a complete breakthrough because she has not prayed in years! We hope she will start to be more accepting of the gospel little by little, and she is definitely on the right track!

Living the beach life out here!

I still absolutely love Ventura! I have to admit that it is a little strange having the Castros in our ward and to have President and Sister Castro in our Gospel Principles class on Sundays. It is great to be so close to them though! We have zone conference coming up this week so it's going to be another great one!

Tons and Tons of Love,
Sister Mason

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