Monday, June 30, 2014

Sister Smiles

This week was a good one!! :) To be honest the people here in Goleta are just one of a kind..... in fact my whole area is tiny because we had to split the area and my area is Isle Vista which is UCSB campus and then a little bit of Goleta! So my whole area is just apartments!!! We have college apartments, which we are taking a break from because things have been crazy ever since the shooting there. We only visit our solid investigators! And then we have retirement housing! Their homes are the size of my bedroom.... it's crazy how small the homes are here because in Santa Barbara county, they just want as many people as possible!!! Then we have only one neighborhood haha. BUT! We have had so many miracles this week!!! It has been such a blessing! Sister H is my new companion. She is so great! GUESS WHAT! She knows Nick S! They went to Utah State University together, so we reminisce about how funny Nick is :) She is so great though, we spend most of the day laughing.... :) And teaching of course! :0)

We met with the W family! THEY are SO PREPARED! We showed up and they had bought us smoothies. We taught the restoration using the VERY advanced method of red solo cups! They even took a picture of it! It was so fun to see Sister H invite them to be baptized after the lesson and see what a powerful teacher she is becoming in just 4 days!!! :) 

THEN! We are teaching a few elderly people and they live in this apt complex called Friendship Manor. Well, we saw our investigator out talking with a lady, so we walked over and talked to them both and shared a message with Rita (her friend) who then was like, "Hey! I want you to start visiting me!" And then our investigator Susan... was like, "OH NOO!! She better not be taking away any of MY time with you!!!"  hahahah! We assured them we could teach them both separately, haha, but it was just so funny to hear them talk! RITA is turning 93 today!!! And she said "I guess it's never too late!" How cool is that! Someone the age of my GREAT- grandparents, sees a need for the gospel in her life!! :) 

THEN! We were walking down the street and after many rejections and weird conversations about cats and pickles, we saw a guy in this little alley-way, about to head into his garage, and I quickly shouted "HELLO!" and he came out! It was awesome! I was VERY persistent with him! He came out and said " I'll just be honest with you ladies, I'll probably not be interested" and then he started walking away... so then I shouted back... and walked up to him! " Well that's the perfect answer! You said probably! So that means you'll listen to what we have to say before you make up your mind, right?" hahaha And THAT was the beginning of a powerful lesson about the restoration. Matt was then determined to buy a copy! I always love when they say "WHERE CAN I BUY THIS!?" And we are able to give it to them for free :) Needless to say that all my years of not taking NO for an answer is FINALLY paying off!! haha Except I regret being stubborn when I was younger... But now I have just learned to be stubborn in the RIGHT things :D

SUNDAY! THIS was a miracle!!! We were were sitting in church when a Chinese couple just walked in! Apparently the husband had been a member for 10 years and has had the feeling that he needed to come back! And he is now married and wants his wife to take the lessons! IT was incredible,  and at the end of church, the wife said "I went to a different church last week, but this one feels so good! I want to figure out why!!" :)YAY! I love the power that church has on our investigators! :) It was just another testimony to me that GOD can do HIS own work. He really doesn't need me! But he is allowing me to be a part of their conversion so that I can be more deeply rooted in this gospel, and for that I am SOOOO thankful!! :) 

We have a street  on which we had the best miracle ever... so here we were, 6pm at night, and not a single soul had talked to us that WHOLE day! And 3 people had canceled their lessons! So I took this as a teaching opportunity for my new companion. I said "Rough day, huh.... Well, THIS is where we are going to see the miracles happen!! We have 3 more hours, and I know that if we work hard, and "ENDURE" this day, that we will see so many miracles! So let's do this!" Well family, the CHURCH is TRUE!! because... in two hours we got 3 new investigators, and taught 5 lessons!!! It was incredible! I know Satan wanted us to be discouraged, but hey! We are WINNING this battle no matter what :) 

ANOTHER miracle I saw this week was I finished the Book of Mormon, and I took Moroni's challenge! And it was my first day here in Goleta, so we really didn't know what to expect. Well, we had thee MOST amazing thing happen! We had a lesson with a less active and we had a member of the ward show him  a  slide show he made that was proof that the Book of Mormon was an authentic book. He showed the logistics of all of it! About how they did word printing, and that each writer in the book of Mormon is actually speaking and writing, and how the different names were actually Hebrew names, and how Mosiah, the meaning is actually a title of someone who wins battles out of strategy! and that Alma 36 is the biggest ciasm in the WORLD!!! WOW my prayer was answered! THE BOOK of Mormon is true! I know it :)

California is so great! We have seen so many people here at UCSB, and ANIMALS! We have seen HUGE creepy raccoons that chase us... skunks... that  ALMOST spray us! And frogs that I caught once :D And cute little bunnies! We have met SO MANY Russians!! And Italians!! And well, my area is VERY diverse now, I LOVE it!!! 

Everyone here thinks I'm a nun.... Which I am pretty offended about.. hahaha! And nearly everyone refers to me as Sister Smiles..... which is nice... haha BUT! I'm just like, "Really people, can you get any more creative? I've been called that since I came out of the womb...." haha :) My investigator challenged my comp to see if I smile in my sleep... so I'll report on that next week! :)

MY area is beautiful! And I am loving my mission! The work is hastening, and my testimony is getting deeper and deeper :) I LOVE being here! And I am so thankful for the opportunity I get to train :)


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