Dear Family and Friends,
I am so tired. I don't know how I function some days. Before I talk about this last week, I want to share an experience. Today has been a rough day. I am feeling socially awkward and just down. Which is dumb, because then you just think of yourself and become more selfish. I have been praying that I would be the answer to someones prayers for the past couple of days. Just now we went to Sally's to get some hair dye for Hna. Coughlen. I was just standing there looking at things and this lady named Hannah Smith came up to me. She asked "are you a missionary?" I love it every time when i get to say "yes, yes I am." She told me that she was an ex-communicated member and that she never sees missionaries. She has been looking for them a lot lately and also a church building. She can't invite missionaries over to her house because of her boyfriend....luckily there are lots of parks :) She said yesterday she was talking about this to her grandma and how much she misses the church, that she has been praying for it. I got her information and told her we would give her a call. She said we had made her day. I gave her a hug and was so happy that I could do that for something. Just being in the right place at the right time. Heavenly Father does answer prayers.
This last week was an interesting week. We are realizing more and more how to tell if people are really ready to accept the gospel. When they are not, it is so much harder to invite the Spirit. This last week we dropped one of our investigator families. It was so sad to see her with all of her knowledge reject these things. She wants to sleep in. It broke my heart a little for her children. They will not be able to have these blessings right now in their life. We are also going to have to stop going by with several more of our investigators. Sadly, this needs to happen. I talked to Pres. Maynes about this and he told me that God prepares people and so when they are ready, we can help them. I am really sad because we are going to have to drop Maricela Gonzalez. I love this lady. She is always wearing heels even if she is going to stay in the apartment. She has 3 of the cutest boys. She is a really good person, but hasn't opened her heart. We keep trying to think of what we could do to help her, but the answer isn't that sadly. I am really sad to go by this week and tell her that we can no longer come by.
Hilda is progressing a lot. I hope that I will be able to see her baptized. She has a lot of issues. She needs to be divorced ($600), get married, quit smoking and open a new case with immigration ($1500). She has already started seeing blessing. Last night we taught to keep the Sabbath Day holy. It was a great lesson for the kids and also the recent converts we had with us. The recent converts now really understand what they should and shouldn't do on the Sabbath. I love it when members also get taught along with investigators.
Saturday night we got a call from the North mission elders. One of our old investigators that moved over there was going to be getting baptized on Sunday. Well they asked us to speak....
So that was interesting. Sundays are always so crazy. We leave the house before 7:45 and then run around like a crazy person....yep only one crazy person....not two. So I gave a talk in Spanish with 5 minutes of preparation. It went pretty good. It was an extremely weird baptism. The bishop was late, it was in a different mission (we go to church outside of the mission), one of the elders from our ward baptized him and we spoke. But it was a great day! We then had a meeting with the ward council and talked about less active work. It was fantastic because Hermana Rivera bore her testimony about how better is her life now shes active. We are really excited to see the results of this work in the ward. Then the elders in our ward had a baptism. I directed the music! It was great. I was glad we were able to help.
This last week I have studied Repentance, Baptism, the Atonement and the Way.....basically the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The scriptures have truly been teaching me this week. Christ is the only way. There are a couple of things we need to do to...have faith in him, repent, be baptized, etc. When we do this we are following His commandments and are repenting or constantly changing. When we do this we receive His mercy. If we keep doing this we can live with Him again. There is obviously more that I have learned. My heart has been touched to understand just a little bit more about this great opportunity I have in this life. I love being a missionary! I really hope that we can find the prepared.
Josh (someone get this to him) - I love you so much and am so proud of you....you should write me all about it!
Here is another story from Hna. Coughlen:
So ready for another episode of the "la vida loca de la hermana coughlen"? I woke up a little under the weather, but I usually blame that on the high grease diet and obscene amount of meat we eat (with questionable origin... for some reason the use of refrigerators is not well taught in the Hispanic culture...) but it just didn't seem to quit that day... I did not want to stay at home because there is so much to do, so many people to see, and who just wants to sit at home all day when you got nothing there but two desks and one CD... so we went to work. Hna. Spencer kept trying to get me to tell her how I felt because she knows when it comes to that I can be a dirty liar because I want to work. We were down by one of our favorite people's houses, Hilda Hernandez and since it is hard to get down to that part of town we just HAD to go. As we were sitting in the car preparing a little the urge to throw up got a little stronger, but it had been bugging me all day so I figured I would be fine. As we reached the door I looked at Hermana Spencer and said, "we gotta go home after this." "and we gotta make this visit FAST." She agreed and immediately Hilda opened the door. As we were at her table in the basement where she lives I started out good. But soon the only things I could do to comfort myself was a slight rocking motion and fidgeting of the knees. I tried to hide it the best I could but at the end of the lesson when Hna. Spencer asked Hilda is she had any questions she said, "about this (referring to what we had just taught) no, but what's wrong with her?!" (looking at me). I tried to explain and being a good Hispanic she tried to play Dr. and prescribe me something.... As she was explaining the pills she was going to give me hermana Spencer says my eyes turned black and without saying goodbye I started to book it up the stairs and out the doors (which was conveniently locked...) Right when I got out and stepped onto the grass.... HUUUUGH!!! there it went! I looked like a sick dog. After decorating her lawn 6 times with my vomit I looked up at her with sad eyes and said "lo siento". She said it wasn't a big deal and that she would just spray it down with the hose when we left... how embarrassing... at least she already wants to get baptized!! HAHA! I feel almost 100% better now. The hardest part of the day was staying inside that day because we had to follow our rule "If you are throwing up or if you have diarrhea... we don't work!"
Just so you this is a rule of the mission....Hna. Thomas and I decided this a LONG time ago... but as of yet it has only applied to Hna. Coughlen.
Love you all,