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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013 - Gilroy

Hi family! We had an EXTREMELY busy week last week and it hasn't slowed down yet. Normally we email at 1 but we are just getting to the library and its 730pm. But we've been busy with lessons so it's good! We had 28 lessons last week and 23 of them were with non-members. The two weeks before that were pretty slow so we were happy that the work picked up again.
Amber texted us one morning saying that it was official and her boyfriend had finally proposed and agreed to be married in August just in time (one day before) her baptism. We were SO happy and so was Amber. She couldn't stop smiling or crying...she assured us that the tears were tears of joy. Buuuuuuut a few days later her boyfriend said he wants to wait until next June to get married. He said he'd get married this summer if they just go to the courthouse but for a big party thing (which is what Amber wants) he wants to wait until next year. Apparently he's really shy...we've only ever said 5 words to him. But I don't understand why next year would be any different for a party. Anyway, we're not giving up on August. On Monday, all three of us (amber and my comp) fasted to know what we should do. The fast was actually Amber's idea! Her testimony is so strong now and it amazes me every single day that we see her. She's a completely different person from when we met her. She's very ready for baptism and we pray that she doesn't choose to wait until next year. Her son keeps begging his mom to move his date sooner so if she does decide to wait then he'll be baptized this summer by himself.
I don't know if I've mentioned much about Will but he's turned into a completely different person almost overnight as well. We hadn't visited him in awhile and one night we had a really strong impression to go see him. He lives in a gated apartment complex and usually we can't get in but somehow we did that night. He said that he only had five minutes to talk to us because he was feeling really sick (we later learned he was having withdrawals from drugs). We asked him if he would like a blessing from the Elders. He said no. But we had another strong impression that we should get the elders over there. So we called the elders and they said they'd be right over. We told Will that the elders were coming over and we couldn't tell what his feelings were about it but he sat outside with us to wait for them. Long story short he couldn't stop thanking us the next couple days for the blessing. He definitely felt something and was SO impressed with the elders being so young. (Sorry if I already told this story)
But TODAY we went over to see Will and he thanked us again for sending the elders that night. He then told us how he was really struggling with his addiction and really wanted to go get drugs that night and would have if we hadn't gone over. He said that he had been praying for a week before he got his paycheck because he knew as soon as he had money that he would want to go buy drugs. After the elders left he grabbed his phone to call the guy that he always buys drugs from but his number was gone. He said he's had this guy's number for 22 years but it had disappeared. He also said that he used to have it memorized but couldn't remember it. He said that he knows it was a miracle. When we saw him today he looked so happy and he told us that he feels like a burden that he'a carried for 22 years has finally been lifted.
Last story....We've been teaching the 14yr old Anthony a lot still and sometimes his friend Andrew will sit in on our lessons. He's usually been really immature and annoying to be honest but we always try to include him. One day we saw him outside by himself so we tried to talk to him but he told us to go away and that he wasn't interested in "god and stuff". It made us sad especially because he's so young. But Andrew came to our next lesson with Anthony and at the end of the lesson Anthony asked Andrew if he would say the closing prayer. He said he didn't know how so Anthony taught him. (I remember teaching Anthony how to pray and know he's teaching his friends...beautiful!) Andrew prayed and changed into a different kid. When he said amen he just starred at the ground. We asked him if that was his first time ever praying and he said yes.
A few days later we saw him outside by himself again and this time he ran over to us and asked us if we could teach him. We started teaching him from the beginning.....God is our Loving Heavenly Father. We told him how much God loves him and wants him to return and live with Him and then he said, "wait, so I still have a chance to live with God again?" He said it with so much hope! I couldn't beleive that a little 12 year old thought it was too late for him to live with God again. I've never been so happy to share the good news :) We've seen him a few other times since then and he's doing great!
I just heard from my last comp, Sister Wallace, that Graciela Soto is getting baptized this Saturday in Livermore! She's the one that canceled her baptism the night before because she didn't know if the church would accept her gay sister. The webiste is really inspired and helped her a lot!
Is Liana in Japan yet? How's everyone else doing? Mom, thank you for another journal entry. You have no idea how much I LOVE reading them. Plus it's pretty cool that you're about my same age in all of them. Well I hope everyone is doing great. I love all of you and pray for all of you! Have a good week!
Love, Hermana Billings

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