Monday, April 11, 2011

Bel Air is On FIRE!

This week was truly a week of miracles. I don't even know where to begin!  I am so grateful to be a missionary. Best experiences of my life.

I really just stared at the screen for a precious 30 seconds of could-be-typing time because I really have no idea where to start.


I'll start with Paulette. Paulette was a self-referral from the VC, meaning she came into the VC and after a tour, decided to have the missionaries come over. SO we are the lucky ones who get to teach her! We had a first (and only thus far) lesson with her on Wednesday. She lives in a really cool apartment close to UCLA campus and is a super talented painter. (yes, I am jealous). She has pictures of her mom all over because she was an actress who won an academy award for something, I can't remember what. Her Dad won an emmy too for some old TV show. Crazy. Anyways, we had a lesson with Paulette and she agreed with everything like right of the bat. Great, right? It's funny though because as a missionary, you expect their to be conflict, so when we talk about the Joseph Smith story and ask if they believe that could be true and she says "yes" (thats all. Just a "yes") you're almost tempted to question them and be like " What?` How do YOU know that?!" Haha. It's interesting. But we invited Paulette to prepare herself for baptism on April 30th, and, of course, she said yes. Woa. Unfortunately, she couldn't get to church yesterday so we will have to postpone her baptism a week or so because they need to attend 3 times. But such a miracle. Paulette is a very unique and interesting soul... But I absolutely love her and am very excited for her.

Megan Mahlstedt. Oh my goodness Megan Mahlstedt. Megan is a Bel Air "Legend" because she was a "golden" investigator for some elders about a year ago. She was progressing beautifully and then just fell off the face of the earth. Then 3 sets of missionaries tried and tried to meet with her consistently with no success. And then, when I got here, I learned more about her and things and just had a really good feeling about her even though she hadn't been in touch with the missionaries for a long time. And then on Thursday night we were doing our planning for the next day and I said "lets go see Megan Mahlstedt tomorrow... just see if we can get in touch with her" and then not even 5 minutes later we had a text message from Megan Mahlstedt saying "Hey sisters, I don't know if you even have my phone number anymore but this is Megan Mahlstedt and I was wondering if I could come to church on Sunday?" WHAT?! Yeah, I about peed. I tried to play it cool when I texted her back even though I wanted to call her and say "YES YOU CAN COME! DO YOU WANT TO BE BAPTIZED YET?!" but we set an appointment for Saturday. We met at the VC and just talked. She is adorable by the way. A total babe. And my friend. Anyways. We had a great talk about what she really wants and by the end, she had committed to a baptismal date for May 14th. And she is so excited about it and, of course, I am SO excited for her and so grateful that the Lord is so aware of all of us. Ahhh. The miracles. She came to  church yesterday to the UCLA ward and it was the Primary Program so it was hilarious. Made me miss my little ones at home :( She liked it, and everyone was super friendly. Wooo hoo!!!

Melinda Ho's baptism on Saturday was lovely. She is the smartest 10 year old I have ever met. Her baptism was very sweet and she was so excited. She is such a doll and I am so happy I got to be a part of her baptism! I am so excited for her and her family. What a sweetie pants.

A few days ago a group of 80+ Hindi people came to the VC for a tour. And I got put in charge of it along with the Directors Elder and Sis Macdonald. It was an amazing amazing amazing experience. One I will remember forever. I could not believe how these wonderful people showed their faith in everything that they do, wear, say.... Everything! We were able to have some very special experiences in talking about service, the family, and Jesus Christ. Even though they don't believe he is the same being we believe him to be, we were able to really find common ground and share in the feelings of the Spirit. I admire those beautiful women wearing their beautiful, colorful, hand sewn clothing. Ah it was amazing. A lot of them were curious about the Book of Mormon, so it was introduced and then anyone who wanted one could request it in Hindu or English. A lot of them requested it. My view or perception about other religions has really changed over the past 7 months. I know that God is so aware of so many people who are doing the absolute best with what they know, and are doing their best to worship God and try to help others. These people were a wonderful example of that and I am so grateful I was able to be with them for a couple of hours. Tears were shed and lots of smiles shared.

The Lord REALLY does lead us to where we need to be if he wants us to be there. The other day we decided to go see a potential investigator Darina. We went to the apartment complex, miraculously got inside (it's ALWAYS miraculous if you can get in... ) and then realized we didn't have her apartment number. But I had written 313 down in my Planner for another address so for some reason I said lets go knock that door. It was Darina's apartment! So weird. But Darina wasn't home, but her roommate, Holly from China, answered and let us in. We basically taught a 1st lesson about the Restoration and she was really amazed and was listening very intently. The Spirit was VERY strong and I know she felt it. She didn't want to set a return appointment because she wanted to think about it but she will call eventually when she is ready. But my testimony was really strengthened that night that the Lord will always place us in places that we need to be to help someone else. Always. I am realizing how much I need to depend on the Lord for EVERYTHING. Often times we will be stuck, not knowing where we should go or what we should do and then we will pray and I will know what we need to do next. And then a miracle happens.

Ok this is a tad long. I am just so happy to be a missionary! It's really funny to walk around UCLA campus and talk to people because they just think we are so weird haha. But then they talk to us and realize we aren't (hopefully). But it is so neat to be able to have this tag on, to know that nothing else really matters but what we are inviting people to do, and that it really doesn't matter if people think we are crazy because we AREN'T! this is TRUE! Ah it really really really is.

Sista Brink

 Pictures: Melinda Ho's baptism, the Beach Pday, Saying goodbye to Sis Cass, Browning, Elders Tuttle and Hoehne
Sister Franks, (New companion), and Melinda

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