TODAY IS MY LAST DAY IN THE MTC. AHHHHHH! Things have flown by way too fast. I can’t believe that I am actually heading out to Houston in less than 24 hours. I don’t know if I will be able to do this!?? Kidding, sorta. The butterflies in my tummy are fluttering at a million miles an hour.
My b-day was a big deal here. I wasn’t expecting anything but man, did our zone let everyone know. That morning at breakfast, the Zone leaders started singing and the WHOLE cafeteria sang to me. I was tomato red. They snuck in a little cupcake with a licorice “candle”. It was super kind of them. We dominated in volleyball, at gym time. I got a bunch of mail that day as well as your package and that really brightened my spirits. It was great to hear from everyone! Then I got sung to continuously throughout the day as people told everyone that it was my b-day. We met the new missionaries on Wednesday and the Zone leaders made them sing to me too. Let’s just say that I was spoiled and my face was red like the whole entire day. On Thursday we did an infield orientation. It was to let us practice our skills in meeting people for a few minutes and trying to connect the gospel into their lives. One of the instructors was giving a demonstration and asked the person with the most recent b-day to come up. That was me. I walked up there and he had me hold two balloons. I was super tired and honestly was zoning out the whole time while he was talking. Then suddenly he reached over to me really fast and BAM! popped the balloon. I freaked and must have made a super funny face because everyone was laughing at me and telling me how great my reaction was. The instructor continued and tried popping the other balloon but I was too sneaky and the audience was telling me to hide it behind my back and put it out of his reach. He let me keep the second one. Random people also came up to me and wished me a happy bday. I was surprised anyone cared or even remembered.
I did meet H*** who is also heading to Houston. She is going to be my plane buddy. She’s obviously speaking Spanish.
So A*** has done so great preparing for baptism! She has learned so much and guess what!? She is getting baptized in like 3 days! (it’s obviously not real but we like to pretend). She really struggled through committing to live with the Sabbath day holy. She got a nice job offer and wanted to take it but after we taught her the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy, she decided to decline it and move forward in faith, trusting in the Lord that her and her daughter will be okay. We also taught her about tithing and it was hard for her to understand. Once we explained it well enough and taught her of the blessings and why it is so important, she agreed to live that too, even though it will be a big challenge. She is a single mother with a little 3 yr old. She barely makes enough for the two of them. We told her that we are being ‘transferred’ and she said that she is going to miss us so much. I’m going to miss A***. She has been so receptive and so wonderful.
J***- the one that I said has been the biggest challenge- had a HUGE transformation. She was asking all these hard questions and our first lesson had blown up into our faces. We had planned so much in personal study and companionship study but we did not know what to do. Then in Classroom instruction we learned to just focus on the needs of the investigators, not their specific questions if they don’t seem that important. We decided to focus on faith and the basics of our purpose. We wanted her to know that we aren’t there to answer all her questions and tell us the facts of our religion, we are representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to help others (her) to come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel. We taught with the spirit. I followed my goal of clearing my mind and not thinking of exactly what to say. I made sure to just listen to J*** and discern her needs. As I did, the Spirit guided us in what to say. It was so powerful. I don’t really remember what was said but her heart was truly softened. She was quiet for most of the time and we left her saying we would like to visit again. We invited her to continue reading from the book of Mormon and praying, acting in faith. We went back for the third visit. We prepared the Plan of Salvation and as we taught the doctrine, the Spirit testified to her the truthfulness. That’s what we learned about in class, that their faith will grow and the spirit will touch their hearts as you teach the doctrine. You want to show them the big picture, simply and boldly, giving them the WHY. We asked her how she was feeling, after our third visit. She said that the plan of salvation is great but that she realizes that in order for her to come unto Christ, she needed to begin with faith. WOW! she taught herself! The spirit touched her heart and she learned for herself that it all begins with faith! It was powerful. We invited her to prepare for baptism, she said yes. We visited her once more after that for 10 minutes and taught the doctrine of Christ really quick and said our goodbyes. That was our last visit with J***. I’m going to miss her. And that experience gives me hope that even the hardest hearts can be softened by the spirit.
Sister P left this morning for TN. It’s weird that she is gone. I’m in a normal companionship for a day. Crazy.
The temple is wonderful. Sunday we went on a temple walk around the grounds. It’s weird going into the real world. We also ventured to the BYU health center for Sister P yesterday and we just waved at everyone as we walked down the sidewalk. It was weird. We stand out with skirts and name tags. Sister P has a strep infection in her wrist. She rubbed it all over my arm and claims she gave me leprosy. Only 2 out of the 14 days I drank something other than chocolate milk. I’m going to miss having chocolate milk. I was sweating yesterday and it was only 73 degrees. I’m going to die in Houston.
We had a great talk from S*** D. This Sunday for devo. She talked about the atonement and the Saviors grace. I encourage you to study up on grace and let me know what you learn. Also study the difference between the enabling power of the atonement vs. the redeeming power of the atonement. let me know what you learned, because I’m learning so much!