May 26, 2015
Hello one and all!
This was a really hard week for me specifically, but we are constantly seeing the hand of the Lord in our every day work :)
Let's start it off with a miracle! I'm going to take advantage of emailing on Tuesday and share a miracle that we saw last night! We had had the hardest week last week- it seemed like every single one of our investigators was dropping us and we just couldn't have any success finding new ones. Well, last night when we finished dinner, we were going to go and try to contact an investigator we hadn't seen in a while when I made a wrong turn. We just ended up following the road we were on and found a hidden apartment complex!! It was amazing and, of course, we thought the Lord had to have taken us there for a reason so we decided to tract it. We knocked on the first few doors and no one was answering. Then, finally a lady named Teresa answered and we were able to go inside and do the survey. We taught her the 1st lesson and invited her to be baptized. She accepted the baptismal invitation, but not the date. However, we had a great lesson with her and set up a return appointment for Wednesday! It was amazing and she seems like she is completely searching for the truth, but just does not know where to find it. THEN, we had a return appointment with a man we met earlier last week. He was one of the 2 new investigators we found last week and we had set up an appointment for Monday at 7:30 with him and his family. We had only taught him the 1st half of lesson 1 so we were excited to go back and teach more. We ended up having an AMAZING lesson with them! Although he had some REALLY tough questions, I KNOW the spirit was guiding us to be able to answer them. It was one of the first lessons Sister Tycksen and I were able to really teach in unison (since it was in English) and it was so powerful! I am so grateful to have such wonderful companions and truly understand why the Lord has commanded us to teach "two by two." His wife became a new investigator and we now have 2 more families to teach. Just when we were starting to get discouraged that we have no investigators that want to progress, the Lord gives us yet another tender mercy.
As far as progressing investigators go, this week Annie and Ivan fell off of the radar. After church last Sunday, we went over to have our lesson with Annie and Ivan, but Ivan's foot was really hurting so he didn't join us for the lesson. We taught Annie anyways. Tuesday afternoon we went over to try and visit with both of them together, but Ivan wasn't there. We taught Annie again and she was completely prepared for her baptismal interview. When we had finished the lesson, Ivan walked in and he was super disrespectful to us. He wouldn't even greet us or really speak to us. He told us that he was late for his doctor's appointment and that he would text us later when he got home so we could come over and talk. Unfortunately, he never texted us that night. We texted him anyways and let him know that we loved him and Annie and hoped they had a good rest of their day. Well, the following day, Annie was leaving on a trip for her school class for 3 days and Ivan refused to allow us to come and teach him. It was hard, but we continued to make daily contact so he could know that we loved them. We fasted through our lunch 4 times this week for him to soften his heart and to at least allow Annie to be baptized. When Annie returned on Friday, we went over to see them Saturday morning and asked if they were coming to church and Annie said she didn't think so. Ivan wouldn't come out of his room and we didn't get to see him before they left to go to the movies. We told Annie she had to come to church tomorrow in order to be baptized on Saturday. She told us she really wanted to still, but that it was up to her dad. Well, on Sunday morning, we were planning to take pancakes to them before church, but we felt the spirit tell us to just text them instead. We told Ivan that we hoped they would join us at church at 9 and that we would be at the doors waiting to greet them, like always. He texted us back a little bit before sacrament meeting started and told us that they were attending a different church that day and to not wait for them. It was super heartbreaking because they had to come to church on Sunday in order to be baptized in May. I was pretty upset, but I am working on completely submitting my will to the Lord's. I know that He is proud of us because we have literally done everything we possibly could for them since we first met them 2 weeks ago. So much has happened and it has all gone so fast, but we know that the Lord will deliver their hearts out of bondage on HIS time. My whole mission I have struggled with TRULY accepting the Lord's timing, BUT I KNOW that He will never forsake us. Even after that incredibly hard week where we felt like nothing we were doing was going anywhere, He still provides us with miracles every day. It was a faith building week, but I am so excited to move past this rough point and continue to help GWS blossom! :)
One more story from this week happened on Thursday evening. It was raining (like always recently) so we started tracting some indoor apartments. Needless to say, we were having no luck, no one was home or answering. There was this one door and it smelled like drugs and there was some rap music playing and ping pong going on and it seemed like a pretty sketchy party. We knocked on the door next to it and no one answered. So, we started to leave because we weren't going to knock on the partying door... then I felt the Spirit tell me that we NEEDED to knock. Those teenage boys need the gospel just like everyone else! So we put our fear aside and knocked on the door. (Sister Tycksen thought I was a psycho hahaha). Some older teenage/early twenties guys answered, kinda creepy, but we asked them if we could do a survey with them and one of the guys said, "Our friend Nico would love to!!" and they shoved him out. So, he was standing in the hallway outside of the door with us and the party continued inside. We did the survey and he was responding so well and asking great questions. We felt inspired to move onto the first lesson (restoration) and he was asking questions the whole time. Sister Tycksen recited the first vision the spirit was so strong, even while rap music was playing in the background. We were out there with him for awhile. His friends kept yelling some inappropriate comments to him, which was super uncomfortable, and we could tell he was embarrassed but was definitely different from his friends. We finished the lesson as his friends started coming out. He was planning to leave with them so we were too rushed to get his number or set up an appointment but we gave him the pamphlet, committed him to pray about it and then text us about the answer he received. Unfortunately, we didn't get to set up a return address or get his address, but it was one of Sister Tycken and I's favorite experiences of the week because we followed the prompting of the spirit and now one more person knows that the Priesthood authority of God is here on the earth again!
Thank you all so much for your great support and faith in me! Although it is often difficult, I KNOW that I am here for a purpose. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't thank the Lord for this wonderful eternal truth that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Make it a great week!
PIC: This week we also had interviews with President Murdock and I got to run into this awesome Elder, Elder Cabas! We were in the same MTC district and he saved my life back when I couldn't understand anything in Spanish! It was so great catching up with him again! :)