Hold on to y'all's sombreros and burritos -- this week was crazy busy!! But before I start, I hope everybody had a great week. Last Monday after I finished emailing, all the missionaries in our zone were invited to a special BBQ party. It was held at a members’ home in Vale, Oregon. They had a huge ranch home and it was even more beautiful inside! We ate hamburgers, chips and drank grape soda. It was pretty awesome. Socializing with all the other sisters and elders is always fun!
On Tuesday morning we put on our boxing gloves and enlisted Brother Mills to help one of our recent converts fight her eviction notice. I won’t bother y'all with the full story, but to make it short and sweet, basically she is getting evicted because one of her kids was hit by another tenant's kid and another one of her sons defended the younger brother. Silly, right? We didn't actually fight the eviction that day; we only went into the main office and helped her schedule the hearing. I was really disappointed because we wanted to do so much more and that morning I even woke up ready for anything. I even gave myself a pep talk in the mirror and sang Eye of the Tiger!! Ha-ha, kidding :). Later on in the evening we helped an investigator, Maria Navarette, by going to Home Depot to help her pick out a color of paint to paint her trailer. We went back to her house and painted about 75% of it. I also did weeding for her. Oh man it was bad, but I can guarantee that those weeds weren't ready for what was coming to them, ha-ha! We especially had fun in Home Depot and took pictures sitting on the lawn mowers.
This week we had an appointment with an investigator family named the Valenzuela's. It was the dad's birthday, so the Hermanas and I went to Wal-Mart to buy food and a special tres leches birthday cake. We got there around 6 in the evening so we could learn how to cook tinga, which is shredded chicken with spicy tomato sauce. After the chicken is prepared, you put it on a tostada and add lettuce and sour cream and, of course, hot sauce! My taste buds have definitely changed since I left home and now I can’t eat much without Valentina hot sauce and Tajin on fruit! (Side note: whenever we have any dinner appointments, the families always make so much food! This is their exact thought process: “Oh look, the missionaries are coming over for dinner! They haven't eaten in DAYS and we must fill their tummies!” Of course we always have to finish whatever is put on our plate to avoid being rude.) When we finally finished making all the food at the Valenzuela’s, I was so hungry that I ate 3 tinga tostadas, and later I ate a small slice of tres leches. So good!! It was a regular fiesta and the Valenzuela family is fun to be around, especially the dad -- he's a comedian (when I can understand what he says)!
This week we finally went tracting. Honestly, we don't need to tract a lot because we have so many people to visit and teach already, but since I'm the greenie, I have to learn how to do it from my trainer. We knocked on one or two doors and nobody answered. At the next house, there were some people outside and I walked right up to them and started talking to them. It was nerve racking and I didn't want to do it, but then I remembered mom's advice about having 10 seconds of courage. It was a dad named Francisco and his daughter who spoke English named Angelica. We spoke together for about 10 minutes and Sis Guti was able to find common ground about helping them with their papers. Guti and her family are immigrants and her experience really helps us with investigators and members in our tiny branch. I think we have plans to visit them later on today and hopefully talk about some gospel topics!
On Thursday, we served at the food pantry again from 11:45 to 3:00 p.m. Wendi, the manager invited all the missionaries who have ever volunteered to come that day because she wanted to experiment with a missionary-run food pantry. It was a success and I got to sit up front and work the computer. About halfway through, our Zone Leaders came back from their weekly meeting with President Cannon and gave me a package from the Morton's! Sister Morton hooked me up with a new CD player, a brand new i-home speaker and 7 CD's! Cool things happen when we serve -- this I know to be true! If somebody could give Sister Morton a big hug for me, that would be great! :) Thanks Bro & Sister Morton. Love you!
Yesterday was fast and testimony Sunday and it was so great! Testimony meeting was my favorite part of the day. Lots of our newest members went up and bore testimony. Seeing and hearing what they had to say was sweet, because all they had to say was how much they loved the Savior and how the gospel has blessed their lives in the small amount of time that they have been members. They don't even know how much the Lord has in store and it’s hard to watch Satan brewing darkness and doubt in their hearts. But their strength is simply beautiful and I am so grateful to be a part of their conversion. All of our investigators and members are doing well, but struggle as we all do. I really believe the only way for them to get through this rough period is to pray even harder and work harder, so please pray for them and us.
I’m reading the Libro de Mormon (LDM) and have been studying the condescension of God as described in 1 Ne:11. Throughout this chapter, the angel tells Nephi to look and see the condescension of God; but what he really means is 'look and see how God himself comes from His throne above in his mercy and endless love and sacrifices His son for us. Also, the significance of the tree of life is very interesting. It was said at least 3 different times that the fruit of the tree symbolizes the love of God, which is the most desirable, most precious, and brings our souls joy. It doesn't say that one can have the fruit by kinda following the path; it doesn't say that we can taste the fruit by following the yellow brick road on a detour and eventually merging onto the straight and narrow road. Tasting and experiencing the love of God can ONLY be attained by FOLLOWING along on the straight and narrow path. It’s plain and simple, just as Nephi writes.
Hope everyone has a great week and remembers to pray for strength everyday!!
Hermana Moss :)