They always talk out here in the mission about when the missionaries start to die off. think of home and just not really care to do anything.. I refuse to be one of these missionaries. Hermana Bowers and I looked back on our week this morning and it was great! We are most definitely staying alive til the end!
But, seriously.. Holy freak! This week was such a great one. I think it may have just topped them all. Okay, I say that about every week. But really this one was one for the books.
First thing.. someone should send me pictures of the engagement! Freak! I wanna know everything! I am so stoked for Dano and Madi.. honestly congratulations! Tell Madi that I can't wait to meet her and well welcome to the craziness that is our family!
Well, I wanna get talking about my week. Sorry, I got lots to tell. Our companionship is doing awesome. Sometimes it can be difficult to be in a trio but in this case. It is a party. We have really pulled it all together and Hermana Moreno is just so sweet and has got a lot of love for the work. It's awesome. Since we are opening an area that the last sister leaders just left (because they ended their missions and went home) We went around visiting all of their investigators this week to see what we had to work with.
One of the first to visit was Ana. She is 17 years old. Just a sweetie.. it's the best way to put it. She's an only child and BOTH of her parents died this year. Her dad was only 39 and her mom was about 50. They both died of illnesses.. it was all just a super heartbreaking story. She now lives with just her Uncle Luis. Who is a sweet man as well. But you can tell since he's not married, nor has kids that he too is kind of in a lost spot with these new responsibilities.
We asked Ana what she has thought about the messages the sisters before taught her, She told us that they only visited her a few times but that she had prayed about the Restoration. She told us "I'm convinced it's true. I'm just waiting for someone to tell me the day I can be baptized." The spirit was so strong in the lesson. She had attended church because her friend is a member. So we told her if she wanted she could be baptized Saturday. She accepted. So we then taught her everyday this week preparing her by teaching her all of the lessons because she only had been taught The Restoration and Plan of Salvation. SO we taught her all of the commandments.
Such a testimony builder that God prepares his people and not us. She was so prepared. The fact that she was already living the commandments. It was all too good to be true. But it all worked out! She was baptized on Saturday! Her aunts and uncles and cousins all came to support her. A few of them even came to church yesterday too. It was beautiful. Ana invited us over to her house after the baptism. She cooked us up some fish and just a really delicious meal and we ate together. She really enjoyed it because I think she feels a little lonely in the house sometimes. SHe said she had never really cooked before but has been learning. But it was all so good. She is just a sweetie.
This is only the beginning of the miracles we saw her in our area this week. Only one of my converts here in Loma Linda is really active here in the ward... Hermana Blanca. But I got to see Diego and Miguel and his family this week. Miguelito saw me in the street and started to shout "Tia Gillette! Tia Gillette!" Which is "Aunt Gillette" hahah made my week. The ward members say that they come and go to church so at least they haven't steered too far off!
When we went to visit Diego. It was great because his neighbors were over visiting. We ended up having a lessons with the two families. Miriam and Manuel their neighbors expressed to us their desires to change and come unto Christ. They accepted to prepare for baptism, they started reading The Book of Mormon and came to church with us! In one of our lessons with them this week the mom prayed and just told God that she was going to do her part to be ready for Baptism in May and that she was happy that she felt He had prepared her to receive our messages.
Everyone was just so prepared by God this week. We found so many new families. The cool thing is my companions and I share a great vision of how we want to help the people here in Loma Linda.
I also went on splits with a young woman in the ward named Julisa. She was one of my first friends I made out here in the ward. She is hilarious! But all of yesterday Hermana Moreno and Hermana Bowers worked together and I went out working with Julisa. It is crazy that I remember the area. I even surprised myself. But we were walking down the street and I walked past a house that I had totally seen in a dream about two days before!! It was unreal. SO we had to knock. The mom came out and she was like "Hey! How are you?" We began to talk almost like we had known each other for years she let us in without us even having to ask.
We walked in and met one of her daughters-in-law and the lesson just flew off our tongues. It was awesome. We got to the end of the lesson and they committed to praying. The mom Dora Luz then received a phone call... She just began to cry and cry and cry.. the Spirit was seriously increasing every second. She got of the phone and expressed to us that she just received news that her father-in-law died. They had to go to the hospital and find well.. her husband. But with the few seconds we had she asked if we could pray. We knelt down and Dora offered the pray.
God was working so hard in our area this week. I am seriously so thrown a back by all of it. I was so stressed and nervous about how all of this was going to go.. new companions, new area, new assignment. But I realized this week that it isn't all me.. it is hardly me.. The Lord's hand is in his work.
I sent you all my travel plans. Looks like I get home at 4 in the afternoon on July 1. So unreal. Hilz said she was confused by my emails last week. But it is true. I will see you all then!
I love you all!