Monday, May 26, 2014

Another Transfer in Simi


So my new companion is Sister De Vries (pronounced Davreez). She is 19 and is from Far West, Utah (which is north of Ogden). She is obsessed with anything Disney and she was in the marching band in high school. We get along really well and so far she is doing really well!

Gianna's baptism!

One of the very best part of the week was that Gianna was baptized, and it was such a great baptism! There are always little things that go wrong right before baptisms, but everything ended up working out well and the baptism was beautiful! It was great because Gianna's dad, who is not a member, was there and he was watching and listening really intently during the whole baptism. The family really hopes that one day he will want to learn more about the gospel, so maybe one day he will. Gianna's grandmother was also there for the baptism on Friday and the confirmation on Sunday, and it seemed like she really enjoyed it. She is also not a member, so it looks like Gianna is being such a great example to many of her family members who do not have the gospel in their lives!

Mom I hope you had such a great birthday! Do you know what is so special? My birthday present to you is that sweet little Gianna was confirmed a member of the church for your birthday! Look at that, you got a new convert for your birthday

Sister De Vries and me with adorable Gianna!

 We also had a lesson with one of our investigators, D. She met with missionaries many years ago and went to church for about a year. We just started teaching her again and she is such a wonderful woman. She is having a really hard time as she is recovering from surgery, but she is such a sweet woman. We started off teaching her the Restoration and then it turned into a whole lesson on the priesthood. 

She has so many questions from all that she has been taught over the years, and we love it because she is really interesting and usually makes us think. We talked to her for a while about what the priesthood is and how it functions, and she was so fascinated. We are really excited to be able to start teaching her and help put together all the things that she has learned about the church.

I was so excited to see Sister Higgins at transfer meeting!
I'm glad Sister Proctor sneaked in to make a really attractive face! Haha

We had a couple of great service opportunities this week! We were able to spend some time with S in her garden. It is always great to spend time doing service with her because she is such a sweet woman and it gives us the excuse to talk to her a little more about her family and the gospel!

We also have been helping this woman in our ward lately as she is doing some major work on her house. This week we were able to help her clean out her craft room. It was a lot of fun, and the best part is that her husband is not a member. He is not the friendliest man, but it has been great to spend a little more time around him. She also had us over for dinner that night and we shared a quick Restoration lesson as our dinner message. The best part was that he was pretending not to pay attention while he was at his computer, but we could tell that he listened to every but of it, and he did not get up to leave until we were completely finished. 

This week we were also able to meet with another part-member family. We have decided to take the opportunity at these dinners to teach them  a basic version of the missionary lessons as a part of our dinner message. There are so many wonderful part-member families in this ward and we are just hoping that we will be able to do just a little to soften their hearts while we are here! 

We prepared some materials for an investigator. We marked some passages
in the Book of Mormon and left some pamphlets to read and videos to watch.

We also have really sad news about one of our investigators, M. He was a little standoffish when we went over for our appointment with him, and we thought that was a little strange. The next day, our ward mission leader went over to his house to pick him up for Gianna's baptism and M ended up yelling at him and telling him to go away. We went over there and M claims that someone stole his wallet last week at church. He told us that we were to blame for it, and that we basically conned him into coming to church so members could steal things from him. 

He was really mad at us! He swore at us and told us to leave. It was so sad that he somehow blamed losing his wallet on us, and also he has a unreasonable grudge against the church for it. It was really frustrating and now he doesn't want to meet with us anymore. It is really sad because he was such a great investigator and his baptism is coming up in two weeks. We will see if we can figure out what is going on, but as for now we are a little sad about the situation.

Dad, we used the Cold Stone gift card you sent us. Mmmm :)

This was a bit of a rough week, but it was still a great! Almost every single planned lesson we had ended up cancelling on us, so we spending a lot of time trying to find new investigators. We had some great meetings with some less-active members we dropped by to see. 

One woman was really sweet. She hasn't been to church in a while, but she was so grateful that we came over. She said that she had been having a hard week and that it was exactly what she needed. I absolutely love moments like that because it shows that our Heavenly Father is truly aware of everything we need and that He is guiding us in this work! 

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

We also were able to go out with a 19-year-old sister from the ward who just submitted her mission papers! She basically just went tracting with us all Saturday morning, but it was so much fun! She was able to practice talking to some people in their homes and on the streets, so she is going to be so ready for her mission! There is also another girl in our ward who just got her mission call to Frankfurt, Germany, so we are really excited to be able to spend a little more time working with both of them! 

One of the funniest parts of this week was that we taught the high priest's lesson on Sunday. You should have seen the look on all the men's faces when they saw us just siting there in opening exercises for priesthood meeting. It was awesome! We, of course, taught about missionary work, and it was based off the talk "Following Up" by M. Russell Ballard from last General Conference. You would not believe how shy those high priests were during the lesson, but it ended up going really well! 

The community had a "Salute to Arms" program and lunch at our stake
center for Memorial Day. We got to help set up all the drinks
and put together little goodie bags for the veterans.

I love that the members in this ward have been trying really hard to involve us! We go home teaching with the elders and high priests in the ward almost every week. We love it because it gives us the opportunity to meet some ward members that we would have never come in contact with, and it allows them to get to know us and trust us more! If you don't have a program yet to take the missionaries from the ward out with the elders or the high priests regularly, you should get moving on that. It really makes such a difference!  

Everything is still going really well here in Simi Valley! Sister De Vries is really doing well! She has made it through her first week! She is still a little shy, but she loves this work! She is willing to step out of her comfort zone because she knows that she has planned her whole life to come on a mission. She is already doing great. I am really excited to see how much she grows over the next few weeks! She has been a part of a few hard days this week, but I think it has been really great for her to see the reality of being out in the field. Not everyday is about baptisms and people wanting to talk to us.

Much Much Love,
Sister Mason

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