Monday, February 16, 2015

Our ways are not His ways...

Hi everyone!

It has been SUCH a crazy week! I totally understand why they have Hayesville and North Salem as two separate areas because there is so much work to do! We have been running like crazy trying to balance all of our investigators in the two areas. It feels like it's been such a short week because we've been so crazy busy but, at the same time, it feels like it's been forever since we've emailed last because we've done so much.

A few cool experiences we had this week:

1. Yesterday, we were trying to contact a referral that we had received. We knocked on their door but they weren't home. As we were walking back to our car, we saw a sticker on a car that said "Jesucristo Vida Abundante" which means "Jesus Christ Abundant Life". We thought we should go talk to them so we looked at the number on the parking space and headed up to that apartment. Just as we were coming up the stairs, we heard someone yelling at their kids in perfect English all kinds of horrible things, like the kind of yelling that makes you sick to your stomach. We looked at each other and were like, "Well, doesn't really sound like now's a very good time so never mind. Plus, it sounds like she's not even Hispanic anyway." We started to walk back to the car but we just couldn't shake the feeling that we needed to talk to her. As we were getting into the car, I distinctly felt the thought come into my mind "This is your last chance." I knew we had to do it, so I told the other sisters and we got out of the car. We knocked on the door and a woman answered. After a brief conversation we found out that she actually is a member of the church who hasn't been to church since she moved here from California and that she recently became a single mom and is having a super hard time. She's totally American but get this: prefers to go to Spanish wards. Crazy, right?!  Definitely was a reminder that God is so good to us and so patient even when we don't obey the promptings He sends us the first time.

2. We were teaching a less-active family this week and, as we prepared to teach them, we felt like we needed to teach the Word of Wisdom. They didn't have any problems we knew about and we were a little bit hesitant because we didn't want them to feel like we were accusing them of anything but we felt that was what needed to be taught so we carried on with it. When we finished the lesson, we were asking the kids some questions to review what we went over and made sure they understood. As we did, one of the little kids said "Daddy used to smoke and now he doesn't!" and the mom said "No that's not true, he still does!" They went on to explain how the father has been wanting to quit but keeps failing and doesn't know how to actually do it. Suddenly, so many things made sense. Whenever we had asked them about the temple in the past, they would always make these vague comments about how they couldn't go but would never explain. We're really happy they opened up and we can now more fully know how to help them. 

3. I was on exchanges with Hermana Perez this past week up in Forest Grove. It was so cool to be back in my mission "birthplace". A lot of things fell through that day. As we were walking back to the car from the apartment of someone who we were supposed to have an appointment with but canceled, a car pulled up next to us. The woman inside said "Son misioneras de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos dias?" (asking us if we're missionaries from the church) We said yes and she proceeded to explain how she was a member as well who had just moved here and had been searching and searching for the church but never found it. She said she tried going to other churches in town but she just didn't feel the same. 

It never ceases to amaze me that our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. He puts us in the right place at the right time even when we think we're there for a totally different reason. I'm so grateful to participate in this work and for the changes I've seen it make in my life and in others. 


Hermana Meise 

Valentine's Day treats from Hermana Gifford's mom:

 In the background you can see how they sleep with their three beds pushed together in the their living room. She spoke of this in a previous email when she was in a trio before.

Nefi (in English, Nephi)...he's HILARIOUS, he's this little spitfire and literally breakdances.

 a little reminder of home

one I found online from their Zone Conference last Friday

beautiful Oregon

P-day fun at Silver Falls...
(believe it or not, she sent even more pictures!  It was hard narrowing it down to these.)

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