Monday, March 9, 2015

45 - Springing forward

Man, so much to write, so little time. I'm not going to be able to cover anything, I already know that. But I can sure try!
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? (Isaiah 43:19).
Daylight savings has now taken effect once again. We missionaries aren't usually the first ones to know, as we have to rely on just word of mouth to know that the time is switching. 

A couple came with us to teach Henry and Elizabeth and reminded them that they would have to wake up even earlier in the morning for church because we are Springing forward. It was unfortunate to lose an hour of sleep, but we just went to bed an hour early, so that pretty much solved the problem.

Speaking of spring, it's been pretty magical. It's almost like somebody took a magical calendar and flipped it from the snowy wintery page, to the sunny warm with a breeze page. The weather was SO COLD, like single maaaaybe double digits plus decent windchill on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... but then Friday it got above freezing... and then Saturday it was in the 50's! And Sunday too! And today it is in the 60's! It is absolutely beautiful!
It was nice to serve in the butterfly house while it was cold though because it is always warm in there. It is pretty much the best get-a-way out of the cold as you could possibly have. And every time there are new things that you see! 


An Atlas moth was in the case of newly emerged specimens drying out their wings before taking off.

You see how big this thing is?? 

It's as big as my face!
You have to understand, these things take eighteen months or longer to emerge from their cacoons. That is an entire Sister missionary time of service! And when they do emerge they only live for a week to ten days. They don't even have a stomach. Their whole purpose is to breed and die.
And their feet are like crazy suction cups!

I pretty much couldn't stop looking at this thing.
But, this was sad, we looked behind the glass of the emergence place and a butterfly that just emerged, fell, and its wings were folding and flopping and wrapping all over themselves and it was so sad.

We notified one of the workers, and the butterfly did eventually start crawling on its feet, and the worker then got it back on safe place, but... it might not make it. Poor thing...

I have officially spent too much time talking about butterflies. But. That's what I have pictures of. haha.

This week was very busy. You know it is busy when you do your weekly planning on Sunday instead of the usual Wednesday or Thursday because there has been no good time to fit it in!

We taught just seven lessons this week, but each of those lessons has been with a member and has been a solid, productive lessons. And two of the people we taught weren't counted as lessons because the first is not a recent convert anymore and the second has been reactivated. But they were still super good and needed lessons! We are though going to be weening off of having lessons with them and instead trying to take them out teaching with us.

We have also been making it a point to take out as many members teaching with us as we can. We want ALL of the sisters to have gone out with us. How cool would that be!? Sixty different sisters having gone out with us. Though, in our push to call everyone individually and get them involved, we have encountered some sisters who do not want to go out teaching with us. This makes us very sad. Sister Stephens is especially suffering from it. But, we just treat it as we do anyone we come in contact with. We give them an in person invitation and explanation of the importance of missionary work (that it is a commandment) to give them the best chance to repent. But that is all we can really do. That, and pray for them. The rest is up to how they use their agency.

It's also been kind of sad. That new investigator last week that I mention that fed us dinner and has gone to an LDS church many times before we started teaching her? Well, we had a super solid lesson with her, and she had read the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon on her own and had watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" before we came because it was there on Netflix (yay convenient gospel things) and we invited her to be baptized with a specific date. But then she sent us a text a day later saying she wasn't ready to be baptized in another church and that she would continue to study and pray about it on her own... So she dropped us. I will for sure keep you updated on her though.

We had our second lesson with the family that we found the night we were out with Bishop last week. We committed them to be baptized and they gave their nod of approval. The dad, the one who all his ribs are broken on one side, he said, "it'll give me something to read," referring to the Book of Mormon of course. We will see how they progress.

And then there is a family that Sister Stephens and I have been teaching since the beginning of last transfer, the family who their oldest is thirteen and is the most interested. Well, we hadn't invited them to be baptized yet and we got an email last week from president, his mass email to all the missionaries, that told us that the longer you put off the invitation of baptism, the weaker the invitation is. We were like... oh man! We need to repent! Our problem was we just kept waiting for a lesson for them all to be there. We've only taught them one time when they were all there. But we resolved that the next time we were over there that were going to invite whoever was there to be baptized no matter what. And guess what. They were all there! The invitation was strong and they are all still needing to think about it. And we took a member who it was her first time going out with the missionaries and she had a great experience! 

Blessings! We pray for their hearts to feel an urgency about their eternal salvation to motivate them to progress in the gospel.

We have been super bold this week! It's been awesome. This is how it should always be.
We had a really intense lesson with Henry. Elizabeth was sleeping when we showed up, so it was a good thing that we had a member with us so we could teach him. The lesson ended up being basically Henry venting to us about how this time is really hard for him. The anniversary of his grandmother's death his on April 4th. This time of year is always hard. He expressed how everything in him wanted us out of the house, but he knew in his heart that that was just in his mind. He expressed that trying to progress in the gospel now is like wading through mud. But he wants so much to move forward and not move backward. We told him that it would be the hardest thing, but also the best thing, for him to pray. He was so nervous about praying because he doesn't want praying to backfire on him. Because once he opens the gate, everything is going to rush out and he can't afford to leave himself vulnerable like that he told us.

Man... I just felt so strongly for him, wanting to help him and understanding the struggle!
He texted us later, basically apologizing for the intensity of the lesson and with some of the thoughts that he expressed that may have made us uneasy, like the fact that he 'didn't want us in the house.'
Why is he so Christ-like!?
And then, holy cow! Later, like the next night! We got a text that we could not believe.

We called him about it and he said that Elizabeth and the baby were asleep and he was just really having a hard time and he psyched himself up, and he got on his knees, and he prayed for strength. HOW COOL!? WOW!! We are so so proud of him!

But. As cool as that is. They need to get their acts together and come to church! They didn't come to church! They texted us in the middle of sacrament saying that they left their phones downstairs. ...It was preventable, and they didn't even come late, which is. just. yeah. Come ON! So, we will be having that be an extra emphasis this week. I don't think they will be baptized while I'm here.

Well. I am out of time, darn.

Looking forward to writing next week!
P.S. I will know the new mission boundaries that I will be in by April 28th.
P.P.S. My mom is awesome and she got me awesome socks for an Arizona girl!

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