Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Guess What! It is in the 60s here! :)
This has been one of the most interesting weeks of my life for sure. Between being insanely sick, New Years celebrations, and my lanyard of shame, I am surprised I am not dead yet!
Now that I am not sick, I will inform you, Mother, that I was very sick for two weeks. It started just after Sister Pendleton left. I blame her :) No, but really, I'm not sick anymore. I finally got in with the doctor, who gave me ten days worth of antibiotics for free. Also, I don't know why, but I am weird about asking for blessings. So I am very convinced that I only got better because I humbled myself enough to ask the elders for a sick blessing. Because it was just going going going until then. But hey, I'm better now! :)
New Years celebrations killed the work this week. I am not kidding when I say we had a third of the normal amount of lessons. We had about six lessons over a span of four days, until Friday when I finally turned to Sister Stucki and said, "Sister Stucki, enough is enough. This is ridiculous. It isn't about the numbers, but today it is. We are getting a ton of lessons today and I don't care what we need to do in order to achieve that goal." So that day we doubled our lessons for the week. I feel a bit better about that :) Now I know for next year, though, that New Years celebrations are not the best week for proselyting, so I will come up with other awesome things to do.
Soooo.... It did NOT help my week at all that Alabama lost. And my District Leader, Elder Peck, is an Oregon fan. So in accordance with part of our bet about who wins to who, I am now wearing an Oregon lanyard until the championship game. My lanyard of shame. *facepalm* BUT he is wearing an Alabama wristband until we know whether or not Oregon wins the championship, so that is comforting. I'll have a lot of repenting to do when I finally take this lanyard off :)
Also, another funny story, we were driving around Santa Ana, when I see this STRANGE thing happening on the sidewalk next to us. I screamed to Sister Stucki to look and what do we see? A man is sitting on a skateboard, holding two leashes, which are attached to two huskies who are running at full speed. That man wins at life. I will send pics of that.
So miracles of the week:
The South Sisters (my companionship and those who were in this area before me) have been teaching Cliff for a very long time. Talk about an eternal investigator. He is living all the laws and commandments. He reads the Book of Mormon and helps teach his wife about it. He practically teaches Sunday School. He prays. He goes to church. He married his wife so she could follow the Law of Chastity so she could get baptized. He follows the Word of Wisdom now. Really the only thing he was missing was baptism. But for the life of everyone ever, he wouldn't accept!! So finally, Sister Stucki and I decided we needed to really decide about what to do. We prayed and received an answer that we should pass him to the elders. And you know what? After all these years and all these lessons, the elders had one lesson with Cliff and he accepted baptism. Why didn't we pass him before? Good question. But he is getting baptized!!!!!!!!!!
Another miracle. My homegirl Ashley Figueroa. We are always working with her family to get them active again. I think I'm practically part of that family now, because of how often I am over there. Ashley, Adriana, and Alisa are your typical teenage punks. But goodness, how I love them. They are warming up more and more to me, and I am flabbergasted. Ashley is the oldest, 18, and she just wants to be done with school. Sister Stucki and I went over to her house and, after chatting with a family friend for a while, went over to the couch and sat with her. That was one of the most adult-like conversations I have ever had with her. She was very honest and sincere. I almost didn't think she could have a conversation like that! But it was amazing to see how much she wants to go have an amazing life, even if she never shows her desire on a normal basis. At the end of the chat, we asked if we could say a prayer with her and that she could pick who said it. Now, on a normal basis, she would be like, "Nooooo I don't want prayers, ewww." Or if she would actually accept a prayer, she would make us do it. But instead of all this, she says, "I will say it!" WHAT. I thought I had died. This doesn't happen on Earth. But it did. She said the prayer. Here's how it went down. A friend walks in the room, and normally when she is there she turns everyone into a major punk. Ashley starts her prayer with that expected attitude, "DEAR heavenly FATHER...... THANK you FOR.... BRAT... and CURLY FRY." (note: I am Brat, and Sister Stucki is Curly Fry. Apparently, when she calls people brat it really is a term of endearment. I'll take it.) But then she sobers. She continues her prayer in genuine thanks for the sisters coming and helping her with achieving her dreams of having a better life, and so on. I don't think any missionaries ever have seen her pray so sincerely. After the prayer she starts joking with her friend again, but then she shocks me again by saying, "I am straight up with these girls. I am exactly honest with them. I show them my real self." I almost cried. To think she trusted me that much. I am honored to know I am among the smallest circle of people ever to have her trust so much as to show her real self. No, this wasn't a baptism. No, this wasn't something that would make a General Conference talk. But for me, and for the Lord, this was a miracle of miracles. And I am so grateful for that tender mercy the Lord gave me in this.
I love you all! Hope you have a great week! May the Lord's spirit be with you!
Sister Smyly Crawford \|,,|