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Friday, April 29, 2016

It's All About the People

Hey Family, this week's email is going to be all about the people we've met and talked to this week. This has been our best week this transfer and the best week I've had in waaaaay too long. I think it was jump-started with General Conference. Being inspired and motivated to work again I'm sure helped a ton. There is something about the words of the living prophets that inspire and uplift and make us want to be better. We had a crazy week. So to start out, on Monday night we visited a less-active lady in our ward and were talking to her about her life. She is from El Salvador and was telling us about her country. When she was young all of the schools in her area shut down because of the civil wars that were happening. They would literally watch mortars falling out of the sky and heard and saw sad scary things. She was telling us that her son tried to take her to a shooting range just for fun and she was ok for a few minutes but then once she started hearing gunshots she just started crying. She said that sound just brings up memories of being in El Salvador. We had a really good lesson with her about charity and the love Heavenly Father and Christ have for us. She said that charity is what the world really needs more of. 
Luciooooo!!! He's the guy that came to conference, we had a lesson with him this week. Omygoodness. I cant even tell you how much we needed this lesson. It was the picture perfect first lesson. We taught him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. In the beginning he was telling us about his recent divorce and how hard that has been on him. We were able to testify of the peace and help that the gospel brings. After we told him about the First Vision, and showed him the pamphlet, he said "Do you have anything else I can read?" I kind of laughed and said, "haha actually yeah, we have an entire book for you." Haha so we gave him the Book of Mormon and he was really excited to read. He has never really been to church in his life, he has never read the Bible, but he came to Gen Conf by himself and was excited to read the BoM. But wait, there's more! When we taught him about prayer and the Holy Ghost, he said that he has never really prayed before, so we invited him to pray at the end of the lesson. and he did! I know that doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but it really really is. He also excepted the invitation to be baptized. He couldn't come to church this Sunday, but that's ok, we have another appointment set with him this week. We are so excited about him. 
We met some new people this week that were referred to us by the English sisters. Erik and Karen are a young couple (23 and 21). Erik moved here 5 or 6 months ago, and Karen has been here most of her life. We met them and showed them the Easter video, and they are really interested in going to church. They are both religious but haven't been attending a church. They really want to know more about God and how they can follow Christ more in their lives. We also have an appointment with them in the coming week. They are really cute and I'm excited to get to know them better. 
Remember the lady I told you about that we met at the place we do service? She is the one that has had tons of surgeries and asked us to come visit her in the hospital. Her name is Jacqueline. The hospital she was in is out of our area, so we sent Hna Warmbier and Hna Bryson up there to visit her. When we talked with her we also asked if she would be interested in a priesthood blessing. So we sent the Elders too. Hna Warmbier called to tell us how it went, and she said it was incredible. They sang a song for her, and the Elders gave her a blessing, and they left a Book of Mormon. Apparently she was really touched and really wanting to learn more. So she'll be taught by the English missionaries wherever she lives, but I thought that was really cool. 
There's a member in one of the English wards that does a paper route in one of the trailer parks we work in a lot. He has a crazy story too. He grew up in Ogden with a less-active mom and an alcoholic dad. He was mostly inactive growing up, and was never going to serve a mission. But when he was seventeen, he was riding a bull and got hung up. He got stepped on four times, three times on the head, and once on the back. He was in a coma for a week and the doctors told his mom he wouldn't last the night. But obviously he lived, and that turned out to be a turning point for him. He was on a mission less than two years after that. He is pumped about missionary work all the time. So this week we and the other sisters went to his place and made "Heath treats" to pass out to some of the people he has met on his paper route. On Saturday we had the SDA family fall through:( but we ran into him and the other sisters delivering these treats, and they invited us to go into this one house with them. So we met Bruce and Joann. Joann has had 13 heart attacks in her life. She has lost 92% of her heart tissue and basically runs on an external battery. Because of the tube that runs from her battery to her heart, she has no appetite and so she only weighs 60 lbs. She is probably in her late 60s. Talking to this couple was so incredible. They have insane amounts of faith in Gods plan and absolutely believe in miracles. Bruce works during the days, and so Joann is usually by herself most of the day. People have the craziest stories. 
Continuing, on Saturday we had the Stake Women's Conference which it sounds like you've already heard about. We didn't have anyone to translate for which was sad, but it was fun seeing Hna Rowland and Hna Scholl. We left early because we had a lesson with one of our recent converts who wants to start preparing for the temple. Also Saturday we had an awesome lesson with this lady we've been teaching. Her name is Esther. We havent been too impressed with her progress and we were kind of at a standstill with her. She just seemed indifferent to everything we were teaching. Last time we taught her, her son Chris, who told us he is atheist and not interested in anything we have to say, kind of came in and out of the lesson, but didn't really say anything. They also have this super obnoxious pug named Chato (which means Squished) who barks at us literally the entire time we are in their house. So Saturday we go over, and Chris comes out of the back room and sits in the living room with us. When we asked if Esther had read the Book of Mormon, she says no, but Chris says, "I actually read a whole chapter." I choked. That is literally more than any of our actual investigators have read. We testified of the Book of Mormon and felt impressed to read 3 Nephi 11 when Christ comes to the Nephites. So we did, and she started asking really good questions about what happens after we die, and how all that happens, about heaven and hell, and things like that. Her mom died when she was born, so she was really interested. She was all the sudden very interested in hearing more and reading the Book of Mormon. MIRACLE.
Wow. So that was our week in a nutshell. My all time favorite thing on my mission has been talking to people. I love it. I love hearing their stories. 
Hna Scholl dies next week. I can't believe that I've been here that long already. She was only halfway through when she trained me. At the end of this next transfer we will be in June, and then I am at one year. That's crazy.
I loved getting all the pictures from Dad this week, if you get any Track and Field pics, send them this way! 
I cant wait until I can introduce you to all my new friends. We seriously have to plan a trip. I was kind of thinking next summer:) 
Love you all! 

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