This week I received the BEST news of my entire mission. Amber (from Gilroy) called me last night to invite me to her baptism this Saturday at 6!! It's all I've been able to think about since she told me. I still can't believe that it's even happening. If the rest of my mission is horrible, her getting baptized will all make up for it. She decided that she doesn't want to marry her boyfriend afterall and decided to move out to an apartment in San Jose. She'll be getting baptized in the Gilroy ward right before she moves. And I just PRAY that her new ward in San Jose will take her under their wings. So this Saturday I will be going back to Gilroy!!!! I still feel like Gilroy is my home so it will be really good to see everyone. Amber asked me to speak at her baptism and I feel very honored. She really is the greatest inspiration to me that righteousness really is more powerful than wickedness. I would have bet that she wouldn't have been baptized until after I returned home from my mission but I was wrong. And I'm glad that I was wrong!
Anyway, besides that fantastic news we had a really good week. Normally we set companionship goals for lessons taught etc. but this week our district leader decided to hold us accountable as a district. On Sunday, we were 16 lessons behind for the month as a district (3 companionships). He told us that we all needed to get at least 6 lessons that day to meet our monthly lesson goal. On a typical day we usually teach 3-4 lessons so we knew that getting 6 would be a stretch. And Sister Bair and I had already met our companionship goal for lessons and we didn't have a single lesson appointment but we pushed ourselves to find more people to teach to help out the district. We ended up teaching 5 lessons and sure enough, our district met our goal and we ended up getting 17 lessons as a district that day! It was interesting taking a team approach though because I know it pushed us to do more than we would have done without that perspective. But missionary work really should be a combined effort and it taught me a really important lesson about working together to bring to pass miralces. I would never have thought getting 17 lessons between 3 companionships (on a Sunday nonethelss) would ever be possible. But the Lord always provides a way :)
I had a meeting with the other STL's this week and we had the opportunity to talk to President Watkins daughter who just got back from her mission on Tuesday. She was serving in Arizona and her mission used ipads. She told us of all the amazing things the missionaries were able to do with ipads including scheduling appointments, using it as an area book, google maps with investigators and members pin-pointed, showing mormong messages and communicating with all of the missionaries in the area. It sounds like a dream!! By January there are supposed to be 30 missions in the U.S that use ipads and hers was #8....so I'd be lying if I said I'm not praying that the San Jose mission gets picked to use ipads soon!
We had a really neat experience this week. We had just spent about an hour contacting. In other words, we had just spent an hour being rejected by people on the street. We were heading back to our apartment, walking down a hill, and I was thinking how sad it is that so many people just casually reject such a good thing. Then we saw an old lady in a wheelchair with bags of groceries on her lap, pushing herself up the hill with her legs. Clearly she was struggling so I ran down to her and asked if I could help. She said no because she didn't want us to waste our time. I assured her that it wasn't at all a waste of our time and started pushing her up the hill. We took her about a block or so to her destination and had a nice conversation along the way. She was very grateful and let us share a pass along card with her. We said goodbye and started towards our apartment again. As we were walking down the hill, a construction worker on the overpass above us yelled something down to us. We got closer and asked him to repeat what he said. He thanked us for helping the lady up the hill. His simple thank-you made me realize that there are still good people out there. It really touched me that he would thank us. I thought about that experience later that night and just imagined that construction worker watching the old lady in the wheelchair struggle, but not being able to help her. I'm so glad that we were able to help her and that there was someone else watching out for her. The sad part is, several people walked right by her without even hesitating to stop. But there are still good kindhearted people out there! Sometimes you just have to look closely :)
By the way, I got hit by a car on my bike this week. But don't worry I'm fine. I was kind of shaken up from it for a few hours afterwards though. It was a rainy day, but the sun was still out and I was about to go through an intersection when a car decided to turn right at the last second. Luckily they had been at a stop so they weren't going very fast. I didn't even see the car until the last second and I slammed on my brakes but the ground was wet so my tires slipped on the ground. I wouldn't have even looked up to see the car at all but a car behind me saw that I was about to get hit and started honking. Thank you car behind me! By the time I got back on my bike, the light had turned red and my companion was already on the other side. She kept going and going for a few blocks before she even realized that I wasn't behind her. She said she was pretty shocked when she turned around and didn't see me. But we reunited just fine! The zone leaders found out and of course were really dramatic about it and gave us someone else's car from the zone. So now we're in full car :( At least for now. And seriously....I'm okay. I didn't even get a scratch or a bruise on me.
But anyway, I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving! We've been invited over to a members house for thanksgiving with the spanish speaking elders. I'm not sure if we'll be having an american style thanksgiving or mexican....but either way I'm sure it'll be good. I love you all and have a good week!
Love, Sister Billings