|One of the many graffiti walls in Des Moines|
Well, this week has been...quite the week! I feel like at the end of each week all I can say is..."oh, what a week!" Honestly it's been pretty discouraging at times, but then there are so many miracles. Also, let's just start with the crazy news...transfer doctrine calls! President Jensen called us at this morning and told me that I'm staying in Des Moines and continuing to serve as a sister training leader, which we were expecting...and Sister Pratt is getting transferred and released as a STL so she can whitewash and train a new sister! So crazy. She has had the craziest mission - this will be her SEVENTH area and her second or third time only being in an area for one transfer. I am a little worried about bringing yet another sister into Des Moines, especially with zero progressing investigators here...but it will be good, miracles will happen :)
Speaking of miracles...let me tell you about yesterday! We were sitting in church singing the opening hymn, and I could barely sing because I was frustrated and discouraged and just wanted to cry. We worked so, so hard this week, doing everything we know to find investigators and help them to progress - yet not a single person whom we invited or who said they'd come to church showed up. And all these investigators of the elders kept walking in, and it was killing me! haha. But, then right after the Sacrament, a member couple walked in and walked past us, and the Sister looked at us and pointed at the lady walking in behind her and made a face like, TALK TO HER. haha so after Sacrament Meeting, we talked to her and found out that she moved to Des Moines this week from Colorado, and had met with the sisters a little there and basically wants to get baptized as soon as possible! Her name is T, she's probably like in her 40's, and she's so sweet! The members were awesome at making her feel really loved and welcomed, and she is basically super pumped about the Church. Yet another testimony builder that Heavenly Father will help us as we do all we can, and that this really is His work, and He's the one who makes the miracles - not me :)
Oh also, fasting totally works! At the beginning of my mission, in my second transfer, President Jensen set a goal for each area to have one baptism per transfer. That seemed crazy at the time, but ever since Daniel got baptized, I've been super blessed and have been able to reach that goal! But, here with every single person dropping off the map, Sister Pratt and I have been pretty worried that we won't be able to get a baptism this next transfer, especially since it's only a 5-week transfer instead of the usual 6. We really want to reach this goal, especially with it being a sister training leader area that's supposed to be a model for others to look towards. So , we fasted to find someone who will be ready to be baptized before the end of next transfer. Then T showed up at church. We haven't actually taught her yet, but we think she might be the answer to our fast and prayers! :)
Other than that, things have kind of just been moving along fairly normally. Or, as normal as missions get haha. Remember that awesome miracle man who waved us down at the sculpture park last week? Yeah, about that...we had a sweet lesson with him in a member's home and set a baptismal date with him for . He was pretty excited and asked if we could meet every day, and he was super committed to our next day's appointment. When we got there the next day, he was no where to be found. He doesn't have a phone, and he didn't give us his address, so all we knew was where he works - Platinum Cuts (or "Kutz," as they like to spell it) on University. We had a member look up the address for us, then we went to go find him. We walk inside this barbershop, and it's like full of these black guys shaving crazy designs into people's hair and rocking out to crazy loud rap music...and we're these two little white girls in skirts haha! They all turned around and looked at us and were like..."can we help you??" We were so intimidated, haha! We told them who we were looking for, and they said they'd never heard of a him and he definitely doesn't work there. They told us there was another Platinum Kutz, so we tried to find it but couldn't...so we decided to GO BACK to this crazy barbershop to get the actual address. When we walked in yet again, they were like...do you want a hair cut?! haha they were actually suuuper funny and nice. They thought we were Amish at first haha but asked if they could have some of our business cards (and asked if we could pass out some of theirs.) When we were talking to the owner, he yelled at the man across the room and was like, "THIS IS SISTER WHIPPIE, AND THIS IS SISTER PRATT!" then turns to us and is like, "That's Brother Mikey, you gotta pray for him." I wish you could have been there. They were awesome. It was great. But, no miracle man from the park. No idea who this kid is or why he said he works there, but no one knows anything about him. Sad day!
and were terrible haha...especially . Three member-present lessons in a row set up, three member-present lessons fall through. We had to laugh, it was just ridiculous :) But actually, morning we had a fun experience - we got permission to go to Indianola to help out the elders there with an inter-faith fair at Simpson College! They were invited to have a booth there, and the elders asked if we could come so that there were both elders and sisters. I was super impressed with the elders, they did a great job! Not a lot of students came, which was a bummer, but we did get to talk to some cool people and found a couple potentials for the elders there. It was a fun experience :)
|The Mormon Booth :)|
We also taught a whole lot of less-active and recent-convert/new-member lessons this week. It's hard to find a good balance because there's TONS of less-active work to do here, and it's super important, but of course we still need to keep finding and working with investigators. It was good though :) We also taught a lady the Restoration after our English class, and this time we had another person there who could translate for us, so it went a lot better :)
We met with the Relief Society president, during the week, and she went through every single woman in the ward whom we didn't know anything about, and told us what she knows so that we have a better grasp on the ward and whom to focus on! It was super helpful and we feel like we have some more direction now. She's awesome.
As for my Preach My Gospel studies, I read a little bit about preparing people for baptism and confirmation and how to make sure they're prepared. I think what stood out to me was how crucial the ordinance of baptism is, and how even though the standards are fairly high - Word of Wisdom, law of chastity, etc. - it's more simple than we sometimes think. I think we sometimes think that someone has to be a picture-perfect Mormon to be ready to be baptized, and that's not it at all! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to be baptized - it's the first thing Jesus Christ teaches about when He visits the Americas! I'm so grateful to have been baptized and have the gift of the Holy Ghost in my life, and I want to be even more committed to extend that blessing to all others.
That's about it! Wish me luck this week with transfers! It feels so weird getting yet another companion after having two comps in a row whom I've only served with for one transfer each...I must be scaring them off...haha but it should be good. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us soooo much and that He wants to bless us! I also know that we go through hard times for a reason - "whom the Lord loves, He corrects" (something like that, in Proverbs 3 or sometimes like that :) ). I love being a missionary! And I love you all!!!