Monday, February 24, 2014

Training Ventura!

Mom and Dad,
So the verdict is that I will be transferred to Ventura and train a brand new missionary! It is going to be intense because we will be whitewashing the area (aka my companion and I will both be completely new to the area, replacing 2 sisters). Let's just hope I don't go insane this transfer! I really love training, and the 12 week training program, so I am excited to be companions with another brand new missionary! I just am really praying that she will come motivated and ready to work her buns off because that will be what makes it the best transfer ever.
Fun Fact: The ward I am going to be in is the ward that President and Sister Castro attend, and we will be sharing the ward with one of the sets of Sister Training Leaders, Sister Bartschi and Sister Hegrstom! I am really so excited about that! Last time I talked to President Castro he told me how sad he was that I was so far away and that we don't get to see each other much, and so I guess he took matters into his own hands and transferred me into his ward! Hahaha.
Thank you Dada!! Sister Blanchard and I definitely got some
delicious treats from Cold Stone with the gift card you sent me!

This has been another wonderful week here in Santa Maria! We had a few wonderful lessons this week and were able to find quite a few new investigators. We were able to meet this woman who started investigating the Church in Pismo Beach, but since has moved to Santa Maria. The elders from Pismo gave us her teaching record and we went over to meet her this week. We were a little worried because we had called her 2 times and left a voice mail each time so we could meet with her.
We decided we would show up to her house anyway and see if she was home. We were able to meet with her for just a few minutes but she is truly incredible! We were only over for about 20 minutes, but in that short amount of time with her I knew I already loved her! She is such a strong woman and has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon! She was a little miracle yesterday.
We also were able to get many media referrals from church headquarters this week and one of them was such a sweet lady! We just showed up at her house that night and introduced ourselves, and she told us that we could come back! The sisters here will be meeting with her later this week and I am just so excited to hear how it goes! 

The Hitching Post. It is a famous restaurant out here in Casmalia! We were
secretly hoping that one day a member would just really want to take us here

We had a lesson with a couple who are new investigators. It was a rough lesson because they told us that they don't believe that the priesthood just belongs to some men and that they don't believe at all in authority. They also brought out all the typical things about the church (blacks and the priesthood, polygamy, problems with Joseph Smith, and also they said that our prophets in the past have had false prophecies) and barely gave us any room to teach.
It was very interesting and so we just smiled and told them what we really do believe. That was tough and a little frustrating because the meeting was a borderline "bible bash". Those kinds of things keep us on our toes though and help us think later about what we really DO believe on these topics. 

We were so glad that we got invited to eat at The Hitching Post! IT WAS SO GOOD!
That's Sister Blanchard, Me, and Sienna, a member's granddaughter

We also were able to meet with K again this week! We taught him the beginning of the Plan of Salvation and he told us that he always believed that we had lived with God before. He shared with us his life story and how he got to the place he is now. He also told us how much he absolutely loved when he went to church last Sunday! He told us that he knew there was something different about us from the first time he overheard us talking about the gospel. He is such a faithful man and so I am so excited to see how he progresses!

Mmmm! We loved The Hitching Post!

This week R came to church! We were so excited to see her because we had scheduled an appointment with her and her sister M on Saturday, but they never showed up. That was very disappointing because Sister Blanchard and I had been really praying about when they could be ready to be baptized, and so we had figured out a date and were so excited to set a baptismal date for both of them.
We met with R after church and she brought up again how bad she wanted to be baptized, so we talked about her preparing herself to be baptized in 3 weeks. She was so excited and then we went over to their house after church to talk to her sister M about it, and if she would be prepared for that day. She told us that she didn't know enough about baptism and that she hasn't been praying about it like she said she would. It was just so sad because they both are just SO READY to be baptized but they just don't see it yet!

Our District
Me, Sister Blanchard, Hermana Brown, Hermana Eastman,
Elder Archibald, Elder Clough, Elder Passey and Elder Santos

We also were able to have a great lesson with M about how she can feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost. We hadn't seen her or heard from her in a few days and we just thought that she wasn't really interested in taking the lessons again. We went over to her house and found out that she has still been listening to the Book of Mormon on her phone and has been praying about it!
She has just been confused because she feels like she isn't getting answers to her prayers, and that she also has been so busy in her life that she really hasn't had much time to think about it. She is so ready to be baptized and I know that this is really what she needs in her life! The hardest part is just getting her to see it!
Honestly, Sister Blanchard and I have been talking a lot about how nice it would be if we could take away our investigators' agency sometimes and MAKE them do what we know would be absolutely the best thing for them. That would make missionary work SO much easier, but I know that it would just be like following Satan's plan. So that probably wouldn't be the best idea.
My quote wall is growing

One of the best things this week is that we did service for a major HOARDER from our ward. Her house is packed with stuff and it is mostly brand new things that are still in the box. We decided to tackle a little corner in her kitchen and that was absolutely a treat! We worked for about 2 and a half hours going through her boxes and boxes of food that expired about 5 years ago. Most of the things were still in grocery bags, so it seems like she just keeps buying and buying things but she doesn't eat much of it. It was definitely a treat! I wish I had a picture to show.

I made sure to get a Boba drink last Monday before I left Santa Maria! Mmmm.
Sister Blanchard thought our Boba smoothies were disgusting though.
Haha you would think that I tortured her into drinking them

 I have honestly learned so much about myself here! It has definitely been hard and disappointing at times, but it has been the biggest growing experience by far. Sister Blanchard has definitely taught me patience and how to treat others. Some days we have been frustrated by each other, but I have learned so much because of it! I am so excited about the opportunity to whitewash and train another new missionary. I'm excited for what this transfer has in store for me and my new companion! 

Love Love Love You,
Sister Mason

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