Monday, March 10, 2014

Ventura! Ventura! Ventura!

Mom and Dad,

One of the most powerful things that happened this week is that we were able to meet with a member "A" who was endowed and sealed in the temple this weekend. It was such a great experience because her mother was with her when we came over, and they told us about their stories. "A" was raised LDS but soon fell away. She has been through everything you could ever think of but has recently come back to church. It was all because of a wonderful visiting teacher and a few persistent missionaries a while back.
It is incredible to see the change in her life and how bad she wants to be with her family forever. It is a very special occasion because she was able to be sealed to her parents and then also be sealed to her husband and daughter. It was just incredible to see how far she has come to be able to go to the temple and be sealed to her family forever!
It was such a great way to start off our day because we were reminded why we are doing missionary work. It was an inspiration to hear her success story and to remember that the temple and eternal families are really the goal of all this. It just makes all the effort we put in so much more worth it when it is put in this perspective!

It's great when complete strangers happen to work for Hershey's
and also happen to be very generous!

Our investigator D is absolutely doing wonderful! She is just the sweetest! A family from the ward was so sweet and invited us, D, and D's grandmother over to their house on Saturday for lunch and a lesson. We overviewed the Restoration and watched "The Restoration" video. It was just so wonderful because we were able to explain that all the things we have talked about (baptism, temples, the priesthood, etc) are all made possible because of the restoration of the gospel.
Another wonderful part of that meeting was that D's grandmother, a less-active member in our ward, even bore her testimony about how having a prophet on the earth today really gives her peace. It was just such a great time that we were able to spend together and the spirit was so strong! I am so thankful for this family for setting everything up for us, and for all the great work they are doing in this ward! D is on track to be baptized on May 3rd. We are more than excited for her and the wonderful decisions she is making!
Just another adorable house here in Ventura!

We had a couple of great meetings with one of our investigators. We were able to go on a tour of the church with him earlier in the week and he absolutely loved it! We showed him all around and explained what happens during all of our meetings.
The absolute best part was that we stopped by the family history center to show him around and one of the workers there actually sat him down and was able to find a census with information about his father, his aunts and uncles, and his grandparents! The look on his face was just priceless because he was so happy! That trip to the family history center sparked his interest and he loved it. He was really shocked that we do so much genealogy and he is interested in going back to find more!
We were able to meet with him again and he just really wanted to know what would be expected from him after he is baptized. We told him that we would definitely be going over that with him, then we talked to him briefly about the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, and the 10 commandments. He was so sad to hear that we do not drink coffee and tea. He was really excited though when he found out that he could still watch tv and drink root beer ! Hahah, he was really nervous that he would have to give up everything!

Hermana Linford! I have a nice collection of random
pictures with this wonderful Hermana!

He also explained to us that he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he really likes the things he is learning. He told us that another reason why he wants to join the church is because the LDS people he came in contact with over the past few years have been some of the greatest and nicest people. I am always so happy to hear when members play such a huge role in other people's conversion without even knowing it!
The sweetest part was at the end of our lesson, when we taught him how to pray, and he said the most sincere prayer. He even prayed that he would be willing to give up coffee! He is such a great man and I feel really honored to be able to teach him.

Sister James and me!

Everything is going well here in Ventura! I absolutely love it here and I love being able to work with Sister James. She is such a hardworking and strong missionary. Her grandfather passed away this week. I am really proud of her attitude towards her grandfather's death. She told me many times that she would much rather deal with his death while she is out here than to deal with it back home. She is doing really well and learning quickly! She is too much fun to work with!

Just a little taste of paradise!

We were able to have dinner at a family's house near the beach! I absolutely love it here! We have been able to meet and work with some absolutely wonderful people this week. There are incredible things happening here every day!
Tons and tons of LOVE,
Sister Mason

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