As for the last letter I forgot to write like a couple things so I´m gonna do that really quick. My Fourth of July here was a bust. To be honest. We didn't do anything...I´m hoping to have more success the next year haha. But how cool that you guys did the parade again this year. I always loved being a part of that. (and mom. Lovin your hashtag usage hehe)
You talked about how great SERVICE lessons are! And guess what? I almost got a little MAD because we are not allowed to have service lessons here. At first we could but in my second change here we had a change ...or a clarification and lessons have to begin with a prayer and a hymn as well as end with a prayer....AND we have to be sitting down the whole time. It´s a little complicated and a little frustrating as well because we can´t DO service lessons and I KNOW that they would help us a TON.
Now. This week...well let´s just say it was awesome. And we were able to see a LOT of success. To start off we visited the Bishop. He gave us four references. As we passed through the week we had one that still hadn´t been contacted, but the second time we went to the house an older lady peeked through the window, saw us, and then never answered the door. For some reason I felt we should give it another shot. We went back to the house the next day, and the lady from before wasn´t there. Instead there was someone who was working. She was cleaning the house and she´d never before talked to missionaries. She was very receptive and I know that we´ll be able to teach her. It was amazing to see how we were able to find someone out of a reference that was unexpected in our eyes...but not in His.
During our planning session this week we decided to focus a bit more in past investigators. We wrote down like a BAJILLION names and addresses that we could contact. As we started the day we worked closer to the house than usual, but still in our sector. In one street we knocked on a door, knowing they were less actives and didn´t have very much success. Another address we decided to visit and the whole family had been baptized and we planned a FHE with them (we later found out that the mother is usually very unreceptive to the missionaries...the bishop was suprised that we were able to have an FHE with her). As we started on our way for a lesson I looked at my planner at an address I´d written down just a little bit ago. I mentioned that with the little bit of time we had we looked for the house and at least visited them. The direction that we´d found didn´t have a name or much information, but I felt like we should visit it. We ended up finding a family that had been sealed in the temple. The day before Hermana Ceccon was really sick and I´d left with a member to work while she stayed with another member. What was really interesting to discover was that we had seen this same woman the day before, and that Hermana Ceccon was even with her children all day the day before. This family, before was completely unreceptive to recieve the missionaries again, but the Lord had placed her in our lives. I was amazed at this miracle. And I also realized just how important it is to ALWAYS represent ourselves as missionary. Hermana Ceccon was sick, but still managed to fulfill her purpose. The Lord understands our weaknesses, and if we literally do everything that we possibly can, he will bless us with amazing miracles.
Well we met again with the bishop, and that day I was pretty discouraged cause we weren't having success POINT wise...but after talking to the bishop about all the families we were visiting, and the success he was seeing in the ward I felt GREAT. It doesn't matter what the points say as long as I know, in accountability to the lord, that I´m doing all that I can do. I realized that the points don´t matter because we´re having success in a different way. We had 13 lessons with less actives and a A LOTTTTT of people that always said NO NEVER AGAIN...well they all went to church. And if we can´t help the people that we already HAVE in the church, how are we going to be able to be blessed with more. We have to help the people that we have first.
The *** family. I feel like I talk about them a lot, but with good reason. They are an extraordinary family! But as with every family, they too have problems. Before the missionaries ALWAYS passed by their house...they love the missionaries. But they never really wanted to progress. Recently Hermana Ceccon and sat down and made a plan of what each person really NEEDED and how we could help them specifically with that. One of the things that they specifically struggle with is going to church!! So Hermana Ceccon and I gave them some homework. Along with their reading (which they weren´t doing but now they ARE!) They each needed to write down what the like about church, what they don´t like about church, and what they´d like to see. It helped them more then us because they had to REALLY think. The day before the homework was due, we passed by the house. The mother, who is not home very often, frantically opened the door and told us that she had been calling us with her thoughts! She´d gotten home just 2 minutes before we´d arrived and had been trying to get ahold of us all day. She suddenly had a desire to have her children be more active in the church. ..And maybe it was the constant knocking on the door that caused a constant desire in her, but she told us some of the things that she´d realized and wanted for her boys. They´re always home, but always using the computer. So we told her that we would help. There was a dance that very night for the young men and young woman. We quickly ironed his clothes and went and got him from the barber shop. We got him all excited for a "Surprise" and at first he was really embarrassed, but then he was stoked. He went to the dance with some members and had a blast. The constant visits, the hope, the prayers, the work with the MEMBERS, the firmness coupled with love, a little bit of homework, and a little bit of love... It was very effective, and yesterday...for the first time in a LONG time, they whole family came to church. And choir! *** is counted as a progresando...but more than anything the whole FAMILY is progressing in my eyes ....after choir *** talked to us and told us "there´s always missionaries that come to our house but the truth is I never have desires to REALLY change. Thank you because I WANT to change, be better, and go to church again. I feel good there and I really do have friends! You are the best missionaries that have every come to our house cause you actually made me DO something and I loved it." Let´s just say I´m super happy.
F*****! Our OTHER progressing investigator that is going to be baptized on the 28th of this month!!! She arrived at the church late, because the gate was locked and didn´t have keys to leave. When she arrived she was freaking out because she was worried that it wouldn´t count as an attendance and she wouldn´t be able to be baptized. She´s super excited to be baptized and has a lot of questions. The ward is helping a LOT by inviting her to all the activities...she already is going to activities like choir and it´s great. Her brother is coming to all the activities too and he LOVES the church.
Basically yesterday was an absolutely great day. We had lots of less actives in the church and we have 2 progressing investigators! It´s really great to see the fruits of our labors. ..the only downfall about yesterday ...wellnight, was that I was puking all night long. As I got ready for church I did my makeup, but then had to use the lu and I just cried a bunch so my make up smeared all over the place and I had to do it again. It was really sucky. I made it though. And I played the hymns for the ward and managed to survive the day just fine. In another sense I was really grateful to get sick...weird but because I was feeling so bad, I kneeled down an prayed. I explained that I really needed to work and that we REALLY needed to have Fransisca and the Lopez family in the church ..and that I could have the faith necessary to do what was asked of me. And it was an amazing experience.
This week was FULL of miracles and I am one HAPPY missionary!!!
I love you guys and pray for you always :)
Hermana Alex Johnson
PS. 2 Nephi 27:23....this scripture describes my week.