Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 23: "Oh, we don't support latter-day saints."

How do you respond to that?

(We were trying to call a less-active member, but the number was wrong. When we introduced ourselves, the man on the phone told us that. I was just like "uhhhhh...... well I think we have the wrong number, bye!")

I apologize that this letter will be short. I keep getting worse and worse each week, plus today we have Zone P-day, so I'm not sure how much time I'll have anyways. But heeeeeere we go!

A few items of business:
-Is Jackson in the He is the Gift video? I don't think it's him, but I just want to make sure. You know what I'm talking about.
-We have been cold enough here in the church where we've literally turned the oven on and opened it up to get warm. Sorry, mom, it was just too cold. And we have no idea where the heater is, so we resort to the classics.

So here in good ole Mass it's really beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It snowed on Thursday and started to stick, but it has melted since then... sad. We're really hoping for a white Christmas, and we think it could still happen. Also, Sister Lima and I really enjoy rocking out to some good ole Christmas hymns as we drive around 50 miles a day. I'm trying to upload a video we took of us and our favorite song onto dropbox, so be excited for that.

Okay, I'll try to do a quick day-by-day update.

We had FHE with a less active Portuguese member, Patricia, and her son, and she promised she'll always do FHE because of it! That was cool. I think she's coming back into activity :)

In our Book of Mormon WebEx with President, we read Jacob 4. Who knew that was a really important chapter about the Atonement? Not me. Go read it! I really really like it now.
We had a lovely chat with this 82 year old man who is a potential. He's really funny and didn't appreciate that we had to keep his door open since we didn't have a woman with us. But oh, that was a funny conversation.
We also visited an active Po family and a less active one. How do you help a man and his family that know exactly what they should be doing (i.e. going to church), but who don't? I really don't know what to do. They just need to come to church! All the time! I think we need to focus on the scriptures with them. Thoughts? I really love this family (they did buy us a pizza, so that was really cool of them), but they just don't ACT! Everyone does have their agency, though.

We do service at a food pantry where we make bags of food to be handed out. It's kind of like a game--see how many cans you can hold at one time, then how you can fit them all into 2 bags. It's weirdly right up my alley.
We had dinner with the Kostetskys, the family with the autistic twin boys. Actually, it was just the mom really and two of her friends (who just so happen to be a member and less active member! Not coincidence.), and it was really fun. Have I told you how much I like Brazilian food? A lot. It's delicious. Plus we have had SO MANY member dinners, and I think we pretty much have one every day for the rest of the month. I do like eating other people's food, then sharing the gospel with them :)
Sis. Kostetsky still needs more help to come to church. She's not super thrilled about the idea still.

Snow and weekly planning! It was a really good and really long weekly planning session. Then we had dinner at an old Brazilian couples' house. The thing about Brazilians is they make really delicious food, then expect you to eat literally all of it. I may eat all the time, but I don't eat a whole pan-full of food! They're a really funny couple though. They're pretty much Sister Lima's grandparents, so they're pretty fun.

We had a really fun Zone meeting and made some goals and stuff.
We taught Gabbi, our baptismal date, about the scriptures, tithing, and fasting! She's really awesome and so ready. Also, the YW who came with us, Talitha, is amazing too. I love her a lot, and she told me she added me on facebook, so that's weird. haha. But she's awesome.
We also had a dinner with Nilva, another Po member who we helped with some family history. Then we taught the Greips, a couple--he's less active, she's not a member--who really aren't all that interested in learning from the missionaries. But we had a lovely talk about Disneyland that I was able to transition smoothly into showing them the He is the Gift video. I'm pretty sure it was all the Spirit, but I'm still pretty proud of it.

I really love Correlation here. Bro MacLean, our ward mission leader, is the best.
We decided we need to visit all of the members in the ward, so we're slowly working our way through! We saw the Ackernechts, a family who just had their second kid, and the Blakes, who have their youngest kid on a mission. They're all my new favorite people.
We also listened to a Christmas piano recital, and we have a new potential family because of it! He could possibly be the Portuguese group leader! We're so excited to teach them.

We got to go to Laura's baptism in Brockton! Here's what I wrote to President about it:
Yesterday we had the opportunity to go back to Brockton for a baptism of Laura, a woman that I taught for about 3 months in Brockton. Watching her get baptized was easily one of the very most joyful experiences of my whole life. She is so faithful and wanted to be baptized so badly, and she's been ready for a while. The timing just needed to be right. And yesterday, she was baptized! All of that, as well as seeing the Brockton members made me realize that I have learned a few things about Christlike love while being on my mission. I may not love people quite like Christ does yet (I have a long ways to go still), but I certainly love a lot of people a lot. I want the best for them, and I'm grateful that I can share the gospel with them, since that DEFINITELY is the best thing for them! Love only expands for people the more people you know.
It was just about the best day ever. I love the people and missionaries there so much, and it was great to go visit. I love them soooo much. And I'm so happy for Laura! She's been waiting so long, and now she's finally baptized :)

We visited the Silvas' son who is less active and his non-member wife and their MOST ADORABLE 2-YEAR OLD GIRL EVER. That was fun.
Lastly, we had dinner at the Merediths' house. She's the RS president, and the dinner was much like home. The two littlest girls, 8 and 4, share a birthday on the 14th, so our dinner was pizza rolls and smiley fries. It was pretty great. The Merediths are basically my favorite (just like everyone else, but seriously. I love them.). And S. Meredith's mom totally could have been the nurse that took care of me when I was born--she was the lactation specialist at Payson Hospital in 95. Go figure.

And today!

Wow, that ended up being really long. Sorry. But I know that this Church is true. I know that being a missionary is the best thing ever. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I'm so glad I have the opportunity to share it with everyone here! 

Merry Christmas! Keep sharing please, it's wonderful. And always be inviting others to come unto Christ.

I love you all so much!

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