Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013, Plainfield

So many things to tell . . . 

Man this last week of the transfer was, as usual, totally nuts. We called and set up too many appointments this weekend so we were constantly busy, going on splits, teaching investigators, teaching English class, memorizing scriptures and participating heavily in transfer gossip (I blame primarily myself for that last one). Elder Leon got a call to follow-up train Elder Whitton, who is still waiting on his visa to go to Peru and will probably stay one more transfer. Elder Leon is the man, and he'll do a wonderful job follow-up training Elder Whitton. I mean, he's been his companion for the past 6 weeks so they already know how to work together.

Also I GOT A CALL. President Jeppson talked to me right after he spoke with Elder Leon (which is weird because leadership position calls, other than trainer, usually come Sunday evening) and briefly asked me if I would serve as Zone Leader. I said I would be delighted. So I am getting transferred and moved to a new area. I've narrowed it down to Pasaic, West New York, or an unknown new ZL area. Should be fun.

This week, we taught Bryan and Jasmine again. We have continually tried to set up appointments with their dad but he keeps bailing on us. Ugh frustrating. We're just going to keep praying and hoping that this man's heart is softened by the Spirit. COOL MIRACLE: we found out that our recently returning less active member Jhonny is good friends with Bryan's dad and Jhonny's girlfriend, Adriana is his Bryan's dad's cousin. So we will work with that. I know the Elders that stay here will work wonders with the resources that they have. Carmen, our 67-year-old Cuban is progressing NOW. More on her later. This week, we spent a lot of time visiting members, teaching them about the doctrine of Christ, strengthening their faith, and asking for referrals. They're been pretty cool to us lately. I got money yesterday from some members because they found out I was leaving. Angry. 

We have barely had time to see the Manzano Family, but we're stopping by tonight to say goodbye to all of them. I am going to miss them so much. I love every single one of them and everything about their bright, divine characteristics. Christopher, Anthony, Saliza, Oswaldo, Guillermina: they are my family and it's been absolutely incredible to see them come closer and closer to Christ in the short time that I have been here. ALSO, Louis (investigator: baptist, husband of a less active Guatemalan woman) accepted a baptismal invite yesterday (but not a date) due to Elder Whitton's strong sense of Louis' needs. I literally just sat back and let Elders Leon and Whitton teach the lesson. It was powerful and to me, a manifestation of God's eternal love and ability to prepare people when they are ready. After we extended the baptismal invite Louis shyly looked over at Beverly (wife) and softly asked, poised deep in thought, "I don't know... what do you think?" She smiled and smiled and smiled and nodded her head but then said "I don't know/ They asked YOU the question.." He laughed and accepted because he KNOWS it will strengthen his marriage and his family. Being a missionary is like LIVING under God's magnifying glass: you see things every day that grab your attention so much more than if you would have been living above it. That was cheeeseball. But true... moving on.

We had a stressful, hungry Sunday yesterday. We fasted without thinking about it (oh the perks of being in a walking area and not being able to go home after church for lunch because you live TOO FAR AWAY), spent all of companion study preparing for our Branch Family Home evening, argued a little about how to execute the ideas we had (Restoration puzzles, egg and fire demonstrations), and finally ended the night meeting a new investigator who would ask the gnarliest questions and change the topic of the conversation literally every other sentence. Finally we just testified, gave him a pamphlet and set up an appointment for the sisters that will be arriving in Plainfield tomorrow 9we had to split the area last week). But the Family Home evening turned out to be a huge success. Carmen came and was beaming the entire time. All the members love her so much. After the program, we were all sitting around eating arroz con leche (basically Peruvian rice pudding with cinnamon), and Carmen called me over. I jogged over to her seat, knelt down next to her and said "What's up?" She peered at me over her glasses and wisely smiling through her crooked teeth said, "I'm gonna get baptized." I was so so so so so happy. She said she knew it was right, she had had a dream, and she was always so happy with the members and coming to church.

I love you all. The Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior. I testify of the truthfulness of this gospel and the ability it has to touch and bless the lives of all humans; sons and daughters of our Father in Heaven. I know it's true. It brings out families closer together. It softens the hearts of the wicked and brings the sad to a higher level of joy through comprehension of Jesus Christ, our eternal Redeemer. 
Love you all.


ps - I hate packing.

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