Well I have almost officially survived my first transfer on the mission! How exciting, right? This time next year my time will be almost up. Ok, that's still a loooong time away haha.
This was such a great week! Lots to update... Lots of funny stories... Lots of miracles.
Last week we had Zone Conference and I totally forgot to write about it! It was absolutely amazing. We started a challenge as a whole mission to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the year. I am loving it. I made a goal in the MTC to read the BOM every day all ready so it is nice that it's kind of required.... On mornings where we work at the VC we don't have personal study, so when the VC is slow we can read and study so it works out great. I love the Book of Mormon so much. The stories keep unfolding and becoming more and more applicable to me and to the people we are teaching. So great.
There was a pretty big change that happened at Zone Conference. There was recently a change in Mission Presidents from Pres Blackburn to Pres Baker. With Blackburns reign, there was a separate binder filled with extra rules for the mission besides the ones layed out in what everyone calls the "White Bible" because its a little white rule book for worldwide missionaries. Pres. Baker decided to take that extra rule book out so we don't have any extra rules. Before we could only listen to Hymns and the MoTab, now we can listen to anything that invites the spirit. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked when I realized I could listen to "Lamb of God" and all of Rob's other amazing stuff. Everyone is jealous of my music. The rules also changed in e-mail rules. Basically, I can e-mail family and friends and receive from whoever, just as long as I don't go over my hour. SO if you want to e-mail me, please do! I will print them and then I will write back on paper because my e-mail time is spent for my Mom and family....
Sydney came to church yesterday! We went and saw him on Saurday after a week of not being able to get in touch at his work. He is a bell ringer for the Salvation Army at Vons. When we walked up to see him my eyes were literally swelling with tears with the sight of this big, humble black man ringing a bell. He was SO happy to see us. Almost like he'd never been visited at any work before. We invited him to Sacrament and he said he would come. What if we wouldn't have stopped by? I will never forget the feeling when I saw him hop out of Bro Webb (our ward mission leader)'s car. It was a pretty huge feeling. He was greeted by our amazing ward with such welcome and warmth. Made me so happy. He enjoyed it, and asked some good questions in Gospel Doctrine. I really can't even describe what a cool feeling it is to have someone come to church for the first time and to be hoping and praying with all of your heart that they will feel the spirit, even though you know they will. It's getting them to recognize that spirit that's the hard part... Anyways, it was amazing. We also had another special visitor. He was a homeless guy looking for a copy of the Book of Mormon. We invited him to come to Sacrament meeting and he did and all throughout the meeting he was whispering to an imaginary person next to him. Sad. Apparently this isn't a rare occasion for Santa Monica.
Funny stories: The other day we were street contacting and were talking to these 2 people and then all of a sudden, a Uhaul truck drives up and runs right into a tree. Totally ruined the spirit! Ha. It was pretty funny though. The person inside just drove away. I think they were embarrassed... I would have been too.
So the other day we were walking and then got in the car, and then after a bit I was like "Gross. It smells like poop". We didn't think anything of it because Santa Monica just smells in some parts, and then we were praying in the car before we were going to find a less active member and Sister Browning just starts cracking up because she got a big wiff. Then we say Amen and I look down and there is poop ALL over where my feet are. In the BRAND new car that we got last week. Awesome, right? we had nothing to clean it with and Sis Browning was just cracking up... Ugh. I was so mad. A member that we had been at her house cleaning that day had given us a bag of nuts, and accidentally (and with the grace of God) put a pair of socks in our bag. So that was our napkin... Gross I know.
We have a new investigator name Perla. She is a former investigator that we felt we should go see and see if she wanted to have the lessons again and when we went to see her, she invited us in and just started asking a ton of questions. Her husband was shot 2 years ago and died and she just had so many questions about where he is and what he is doing. It is so amazing to be able to tell people "I know you will see him again..." and the look on these peoples faces when they hear that. We will teach her this week and hopefully she will committ to be baptized.
Not much progress with Jay... she kind of seems to be hesitant now. She did come to an Enrichment Activity this week and we were SO happy she did. The women were so good to her. Pray for Jay!
Well I think I will close until next week! Transfers are on Wednesday but I am pretty confident that Sis Browning and I are staying together and that we will be in Santa Monica still too... At least that's what I hope happens.
I know the church is sooooo true! A woman came in to the VC the first week I was here, telling me how badly she wanted to go to the Temple after having recently become active again. I got a note from her at the VC saying "I got my endowments today :)" I got the chills. The Lord is so mindful of every single one of us and wants us to be happy and return to him. I love this Gospel with all of my heart.