Last week Dad asked me how the weather's been this summer. I talked about how mild it's been, hardly even feeling like summer. Well, that changed this week! It is hot and muggy, but I'm glad it at least feels like summer :) And I've been woken up the past couple of nights from all the thunder and lightning! I love summer storms at night :)
This week has definitely had its ups and downs, and it wasn't as outwardly as successful of a week as last week, but it was still good overall :) Also, I was super blessed to get a lot of really great emails today, so thanks!!
: We found a new investigator, who's from Ethiopia, and the next day set a date with him! He is super sweet - he said that after reading the Restoration pamphlet and praying about it, he had a dream and feels like he is close to the truth! The only downside is we thought that since he's a 17-year-old boy, he might be better with the elders, so we told the elders we'll let them teach him...but now I'm regretting it because we've lost so many of our investigators...but I feel like it's too late because we already told the elders. It will probably be for the best, I'm just selfish :) We also finally met with Bishop Dyer and his sweet wife in their home, which was awesome because now we feel like we're more on the page as him and have a good relationship with him! Because he's super intimidating at first haha but he's so awesome.
: We had a sweet member-present lesson with a lady and set a baptismal date with her! When we met with her again yesterday, she said that she prayed about Joseph Smith and the Church and got a clear answer that it's true :) She's excited to be baptized!! We're excited too of course :) we just need to work with her on commitment. She's doing great testimony-wise, but she grew up in a very unstable home and so doesn't really know how to keep commitments. She also has a lot of health problems and gets sick a lot, so she didn't come to church yesterday, which was kind of frustrating. The mission is definitely teaching me to have more patience with other people though...hopefully one of these days I'll actually learn that lesson! :) But she's sweet.
In the evening, we had the sweet opportunity to take President and Sister Jensen's granddaughter out teaching with us! She is 18 and is starting at BYU this week, but she and her dad were here visiting for the weekend and she wanted a chance to go out with the missionaries to help her decide whether or not a mission is for her. It was fun to take her to a lesson, to a dinner appointment, to Oakridge (the apartment complex with all the Africans), and to a less-active girl whose family lives on top of the African This-and-That Shop. She was super sweet :) And of course, when we took her back to the mission home, we got to have root beer floats with President and Sister Jensen and their family members! I love it because I always felt like root beer floats are kind of a tradition in our family, and President Jensen is in love with root beer floats and always has them on hand :) One of the Jensen's other granddaughters was there too, and she just finished the accounting junior core at BYU and is starting the Tax MAcc this semester, so it was fun to talk to her too!
: We had a couple of fun lessons, helped a super sweet older lady in our ward who was baptized a couple years ago with scraping paint, then in the evening...drove to Montrose, IA, right across the river from Nauvoo! Sister Pratt helped to reactivate a lady who was going to the temple for the first time for her endowments, so we got permission to go! I am seriously so spoiled. It was a wonderful trip. We stayed night at the Keokuk sisters' apartment (you can see the temple from their living room!), which meant that I got to see and talk to sweet Sister Browne again! I loved it.
: Went to the temple :) It was so needed! Every time I go to the temple, I feel so grateful. It is such a beautiful place, and I feel so much peace and love. It was also fun to go with the lady Sister Pratt helped to reactivate for her first time. It brought back good memories of my first time :)
We got back at around , and then at about 7, a sweet sister missionary was dropped off at our apartment. She has been really sick for a while and was finally going home to hopefully find out what's wrong and get better. Since we're here in Des Moines, she stayed for the night and was picked up by an office couple at about the next morning (we were so tired the next day haha). She didn't sleep all night, poor girl :( But, we took her to a member lesson with us, which was perfect because it was on the Atonement, and the sister bore such a sweet testimony of the strength that comes from the Atonement, and the Spirit was so strong. I was glad we were able to be there with her for her last night.
: It was a good day...we did service for a part-member family, had district meeting, and taught two ladies English. We invited one of them to church...and she came!! So awesome! The other lady and her cute family bustled around after our lesson and excitedly gave us...some food. No idea what it was haha because they had no idea what it was called, but it was some sort of squash fried in something bready and bad for you, dipped in some sort of peanut/soy/whatever other stuff sauce. It was delicious! We had dinner that night with a sweet couple, and then the wife came with us to a lesson at Oakridge, which was fun because she's a middle school science teacher, and a lot of kids running around Oakridge were excited to see her and came and talked to us. Then afterwards, we went by the house of the college student we had been teaching and said good bye, and she left for college the next day :( gah, I love her so much and am so sad she is gone! But hopefully I'll still be here when she comes back for Thanksgiving :) A family who has been AWESOME at fellowshipping her, went to say good bye too! It was great.
: um, kind of just a normal missionary day haha. We had a couple good lessons and a couple that fell through so did some contacting and such, but overall it was good. We met with a girl who was SUPER grumpy and angsty when we first got there haha...she's 17 and it'd been a hard couple of days...but it was cool because as we talked with her and read the For the Strength of Youth book together, she started to feel better and by the end, she said that she was feeling happier and that we had helped :) I was grateful for that, and grateful for the Spirit!
: Oh, what a day haha! Lots of things went wrong...no one came to church, an investigator got offended, another investigator apparently was ready to go but no one picked her up (communication is so rough when they hardly speak English!), AND we got stuck behind a train haha...but then, a lot of miracles happened - one lady did come to church, as well as an inactive Burmese lady and the less-active husband of a lady in the ward, and a sweet part-member family who seem really excited to meet with us moved in and came to Sacrament Meeting! It definitely a lesson to me...I was feeling pretty discouraged, but these people kept walking into the chapel - not the people we had initially hoped would come, but people who needed to be there, and it was like one tender mercy after another. Heavenly Father really is in control, and He is so wonderful and so patient and merciful :) We had dinner with a family, and they let us bring one of our investigators as well, which was good! We taught her in their home, which is always awesome. Then we went to another lady's house and she fed us a whole Burmese dinner! (good thing I didn't eat too much at the the first family's house...) It was so sweet! I loved it. The picture basically says it all :) Then after we got home and had just gotten changed out of our proselyting clothes for the night, the zone leaders called us and said they had something for us. They gave us some cupcakes that Elder Davila had gotten from his sister, and asked if we could take a picture together with the cupcakes...I thought that was weird...but then realized why all the fuss. The picture included was taken right before they smashed the cupcakes in our faces. little punks. hahaha it was hilarious though, and Sister Pratt was super quick and totally got Elder Davila back!
Well, hope you don't mind my day-by-day replay. As for what I learned from Preach My Gospel this week...well, it was from Preach My Gospel and what I've been reading in the Book of Mormon. Basically just the Christlike attribute of Faith in Jesus Christ. It is so central to everything we do! It takes faith to have charity, it takes faith to have hope, it takes faith to stay strong as members and as missionaries. But as we have that faith, we receive strength beyond our own. I've been needing that lately, and am super grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and for my Savior Jesus Christ!
I love you all so much!!!!
ps i'll email on tues next week...labor day :)