This week had a lot of down moments :/ So many of our people are on downhill slides, and it is like trying to pull the sword out of the stone to drag them out of their slumps. On the bright side its 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix, I have a fantastic companion, and tomorrow starts our girls camp adventures!!! We are able to stay super positive, but man Satan's working hard on our teaching pool!
Let me tell you what happened to our "Progressing Investigators" this week.
Robert was living with a member and her 9 year old recent convert son, Jeremy. He put on a good face for our lessons, but we found out last night that he had to move out and that poor little Jeremy is afraid to go to primary and read the Book of Mormon because "someone" told him all these bad things would happen to him. I guess something switched for Robert and he turned anti-Mormon all of a sudden. Now as far as we are concerned he is MIA and we don't have a phone number for him :( We had so much hope for him! He sounded like he really wanted to change his life, but he's not quite ready I guess.
Kxxxxx finally responded to a text this week, but basically told us she's too busy for us. We decided to leave her alone besides sending her encouraging texts. A member talked to us on Sunday and said that he works with her and had an interesting conversation. She told him we worship the Book of Mormon too much and she doesn't believe in the 3 "heavens." He tried to explain it to her, but she was being really stubborn. We texted her to ask if she was coming to church that day. She responded and told us "I went to my church, now I'm going to work." The member that talked to us served his mission in the bible belt and told us that her attitude was a sign that someone had given her anti information, or "anti'd" her. That woman was golden! She's the one that had her own scripture quad from the LDS bookstore! We will show her an increase of love and hope that she comes around to talking about her concerns with us. She loved the Plan of Salvation and the Book of Mormon two weeks ago :( But her church, which is called "The Church" is famous for anti-mormon teachings. So sad :(
Tiffany cancelled our appointment this week.....actually we showed up and she wasn't here. Hopefully Tiffany will meet with us again. I can't take another lost investigator!!
Tyler is our biggest source of hope right now. That kid is incredible! He has been meeting with us for 2 weeks, has read up til 1 Nephi 10, and told us yesterday that he's starting to gain a testimony that God is really there. His member fellow-shipper took him out of town with him though this last weekend so he missed church thanks to a member....how ironic! When he got back yesterday though we had a lesson on faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He got it all down good and not because of us! Four of his friends from the ward were there to help us teach and its obvious how much their influence is strengthening his testimony. Two of them, Alexis and Annika, are converts as well so their experiences are a lot of help! His 3 guy friends all have their mission calls so its neat for them to have this experience before they leave.
Tyler's story to me has been a huge testimony to me of the power of member missionary work. Sister Erekson and I seem to be the technicalities. Yes, we are the missionaries so we teach the doctrine, but his friends are answering his questions, supporting him in lessons, and prodding him to keep moving. Tyler would probably go no where without them.
Our Spanish investigator Sandra told us to come over for her 9-year-old's birthday party on Saturday. We thought a couple neighbors might be there, but we were probably the 11th car parked at that tiny trailer!! Sister Erekson looked a little nervous, but I was excited! I wish you could see the faces of 10 Latina women watching 2 white girls walk into a Hispanic party and then the shock when they start jabbering away in Spanish! haha!! It's my favorite :) They got a kick out of watching us eat the spicy salsas though. Sandra was so excited we were there and she introduced us to her friends and family as, "my missionaries." The cutest was when one of the ladies started talking to Sister Erekson and my poor companion didn't understand. The lady says "Eh, she doesn't speak Spanish!" Sandra stood firm and says "No, she talks a lot!! She just doesn't understand a lot." It was cute to see her stick up for her missionary :) And its true...she does speak a ton! But when you speak 90 mph its hard for anyone to catch what you're saying!
There was one other Hispanic less-active that let us in to teach this week, but no one else was ever home. And not one Hispanic member came to church.
We had an awesome lesson with the Butler kids this week. When we went over, he hung up with his friend, pulled up a chair, and grabbed his Book of Mormon. We taught the 3 of them about why we need to go to church every Sunday and the importance of the Sacrament. Dennis offered to say the closing prayer and then their mom came home so we talked to her for a minute. Come Sunday, Dennis got himself to church :) Alexis came as well, but Skylar stayed home to build a goat shelter with her mom. We were so proud of Dennis! We are hoping his sister will have some spiritual experiences at camp, and make new friends so that she can start progressing as well.
Kazzie was a super spiritual lesson this week! We were going over the Plan of Salvation for the 3rd time in a row...she takes a while to understand things. After about an hour of this, she admitted that she knows there is a God, but she doesn't know if she believes in Jesus Christ. We told her that that is exactly why we are there! To help her build her faith in Christ. However we were out of time, so we promised to prepare a lesson specifically about Christ. Then I had the prompting to sing "I Know that My Redeemer Lives." Sister Erekson and I sang all 4 verses and then bore strong testimonies of the Savior. Kazzie was in tears. With the Spirit strong we ended with a prayer. After the lesson I felt so much peace as I once again realized my purpose as a missionary. To help others know the peace of the Savior. And that song meant 1 million times more to me after singing it to someone who was unsure if there even was a Christ. I am so grateful that I do know that my Redeemer lives.
Here in this part of the mountain you have Show Low and Pinetop/Lakeside. If you confuse the two you get a reprimand and the person will remind you which is which and to not make the mistake again. I've been a victim of a couple of these reprimands! ha ha! Both of these neighboring towns have high schools and they have the biggest rivalry I've ever seen between high schools. When they play football games against each other, the towns fly their mascots into the games on a helicopter. Crazy! Skylar goes to Show Low and the rest
of the ward goes to Blue Ridge and she thinks they hate her because she goes to the rivalry school. We are hoping girls camp will help everyone mesh together and forget their differences. That's basically been our assigned task....to separate the cliques and help get fellowship for new, returning, and non members. Wish us luck! Oh girls....
We only took selfies this week......once after studying outside because our apartment is baking, and one in the car while we waited for members to come with our dinner! We get a kick out of ourselves :). Everyday someone new tells us we look like sisters, then they tell me I'm not Short. I know!!!
I love you family! I hope you have a great week at the cabin!!! I miss those Quakies :)
I love you, I Love You, I LOVE YOU