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Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014 - Redwood City

Hola! Another great week and it's only partly due to the amazing summer weather! I heard the most awesome quote ;this week that has completely changed my way of thinking: "Focus on scoring but not on the score". If we're focusing on doing the little things then the miracles will follow. I also realized that I'm not a missionary for 18 months. I'm a missionary and I"m here until I've accomplished the thing which the Lord has commanded me" (1 nefi 3:15). I just better accomplish all that he has for me to do within in the next 5 weeks is all!

This week, just like all the others, was really incredible. We got to go to the baptism of an 8yr old that we've been teaching. Although she doesn't count as a convert baptism it was a spiritual experience as always to see someone enter into the waters of baptism. Her parents asked us to teach her in hopes of getting her friends interested in the church. And it worked! We met two non-members at the baptism and they both agreed to meet with missionaries. 

Even though I said this week was incredible, I think I was more tired than I've ever been on my entire mission. And daylight savings on Sunday definitely didn't help. We came out of a lesson and the member that was there with us asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was REALLY tired. He looked at me and said that the greatest blessings on the mission come when you're tired but you decide to keep working. So that's what I decided to do. To keep working. But I'm still really tired haha.

It's worth it though because we did see a lot of progress with Jesus. He came to our lesson and handed me his pack of cigarettes and asked me to throw them away for him. Which I gladly did. Then he asked if we'd be willing to fast with him so that he doesn't smoke or drink coffee anymore. I didn't even know he knew what fasting was! So the 3 of us fasted yesterday and he came to all 3 hours of church. He has AA meetings every night until 10 and that's where the temptation to smoke is the strongest so he asked us to fast until 10 with him. After his meeting he called us and he was SO happy that he didn't have a single cigarette. We said a prayer on the phone together to end our fast and told him to keep up the good work. So keep him in your prayers!
Oh we also talked to him about baptism a lot this week. He told us that a lot of other churches have asked him to be baptized. I asked him why he though that was. He said that he always felt like they wanted to count him as another member of their church. I asked him why he thought we want him to be baptized in our church. He said that with us it has felt completely different. He said that he feels like we're actually trying to help him  become a better person. He accepted the invitation to be baptized. For "someday" in the future. Hopefully that day will be sooner rather than later.
A few days ago I met a girl on the street named Yahira. I walked up to her and asked her if she believed in Jesus Christ. She said she did. I asked her what she was doing to follow his example. She said that she goes to church every week. I then asked her is she would furthur follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. She completely shocked me by saying, "You know, I've actually been thinking that it's about time I get baptized" Who says that??? People who have been completely prepared by the hand of the lord, who are looking for the truth but don't know where to find it and are just waiting to be invited to be baptized. We asked her if we could send some missionaries to her home to help her prepare for baptism and the elders are now teaching her and I have no doubt that she'll be baptized very soon!
Yesterday I realized that my biggest fear is to come home from my mission and forget my testimony. We met an RM yesterday who has completely apostasized from the church. He wasn't contentious at all but just told us the reasons why he's decided to go on his own path. All of the reasons were the typical things you'd read in anti-mormon literature.  He pretended to be "happier" on the path that he's taking but all I could see in his eyes was pure sadness. I even told him that. Based on how I feel right now about the gospel, NOTHING can shake me from it. It's surprising to me how much stronger my testimony of the BOM gets every time I bear testimony of it. I was bearing testimony of the BOM to a less active last Monday and I felt like I had talked myself into furthur recognizing the truthfulness of the book. I even paused during my testimony and said, "Wow. It really is true." Even though I've always known that it's true, sometimes the realization of the truthfulness just hits me out of nowhere.
Well I know I only gave an update of one investigator but nothing big or exciting has changed with the others this week. Lourdes told us, again, that she wants to be baptized next week but she didn't come to church. I just don't want her to be less active right after her baptism so we're going to wait until she's more in the habit of coming to church. Enrique is still slowly progressing but didn't come to church. OH!! Velia set a baptismal date for March 29 but she didn't seem super set on it. And she didn't come to church. But the fact that she agreed to a baptismal date was definintely progress.
So I think that's all for this week! We just spent a few hours at Stanford with some of the missionaries in the zone so I'll try and send some pictures. Love you all!
-Hermana Billings

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