Tuesday we were in the "Golden" mobile home park. (Literally 13 of our investigators live in this one mobile home park) We were walking down the streets looking for the home of Sarai and Natalie, two of our investigators. Sis Housley didn't really remember where they lived and so we just kept walking down. We realized that we had gone too far and started to turn around the other way. As we turned around, I had this feeling that we should walk down this side street that we were on. There was a man sitting outside on his front porch smoking a cig and drinking, we started talking to him and he was totally interested in finding a church. We gave him a book of mormon and got a return appointment for next week! His roommate Bobby walked out while we were chatting and started acting really interested as well. He found out that we were mormon missionaries and said, "oh, i was baptized." I was like wait what? "yeah, i was baptized in Willows when I was 10. I haven't been back for a long time though." I absolutely love it when we find long lost members of the church. We were able to get his information and the ward clerk is working on tracking down his records! He will also be meeting with us this next week and expressed a great desire to start coming back to church. He told us "its time". I am just grateful that I listened to the promptings of the spirit and walked down the road...take the time to listen to the Spirit and He will direct us in the ways we should go.
We invited Sherry, Jesus, and her son Michael to come see a baptism on Saturday afternoon and when we called them on Saturday morning Sherry said that she wasn't feeling up to it and Michael didn't want to go either. I knew how good seeing a baptism would be for Michael especially and said a quick prayer to myself that Heavenly Father would help him find the desire to come. After our Missionary Correlation Meeting with Bro. Lugo (our amazing ward mission leader), it was time for the baptism. Bro Lugo, who has been an amazing fellowshipper for their family, said that he would go and try to pick Michael up and convince him to go. He called Sherry and she was convinced that Michael really wouldn't want to go. Bro Lugo decided to drive over there 5 minutes before the baptism started and try to pick up Michael. We texted Bro Lugo at 4pm asking him if he had Michael with him. He said YES! and that they were on their way over to the church, but had to pick another member up first. We were sitting there at the baptism and the talk was almost over and the Lugo's were still not there with Michael. I said another prayer to myself and asked Heavenly Father to just let them make it so Michael could see the baptism. I said "Amen", opened my eyes, looked to my left and there was the Lugo's and Michael sliding in to sit next to me. He was able to see the baptism and loved it! He feels a lot more comfortable about it now because he was originally scared that he would have to hold his breath in a long time. He wishes he had his own baptismal font in his house! hahah. It might be beneficial actually, since literally all of our investigators are in the mobile home park where they live. They could just walk on over to Sherry's house and get baptized. Easy! haha.
This experience with prayer definitely helped me realize that Heavenly Father doesn't have to wait to answer our prayers. He can answer them as soon and as late as He wants to. I was grateful to see that power prayer can have in our lives. I would invite you all to pray always to your heavenly father. He cares about the small and the large issues in life. I promise He always is listening.
My favorite definition of prayer is from the Bible Dictionary. "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings." Prayer can help us form that relationship with our Heavenly Father and will strengthen us.
Thursday from 10-2pm we were out on Chico State campus. The weather was perfect and it was super successful! My watch tan is officially coming back. Thats how warm its been here. We set up a table on the walkway towards the library/cafe and stopped so many people on their way to class. There were times that people wouldn't stop walking and we would just have to walk and talk with them. Some sorority girls were out raising money for their philanthropy event and I was able to talk with them pretty easy because of that connection I have with them. Made it easier to talk about things. We found three new investigators and a handful of new Facebook friends who are all potential investigators. I am really excited to follow up and see what will come of it. We are going to start making it a monthly thing to go out and table on campus! YSA age is such a good time when people really are looking for something to help them in life.
Our only real progressing investigator this week is Michael, Sherry's son who is 11 years old. We had an awesome lesson with him this week about baptism. We planned to try our best to pick him up as a new investigator this week and we did! He has some behavioral issues that he struggles with, but I think the church could be of real benefit to him. I think it could really help him to be in a structured environment surrounded by good people. Michael and Sherry have decided that they really want to be baptized and Sherry says that she would love it if they could get baptized on the same day. It is something special that they want to share. We just have to get them to pick a date. Sherry has a couple word of wisdom issues and then there is the whole "we don't know what her relationship status with Jesus" situation. But I know that the Lord will help us to know what we should do and how we can best help them.
On Monday night, I had dinner with the Larsens. Come to find out Brother Larsen is from Kennewick and was Mom's family's home teacher right before Grandpa Thurston passed away. Small world! It was so crazy to have that kind of close connection with someone. Wowza. He had only wonderful things to say about Grandpa and said that he really looked up to him.
We had a really awesome lesson with Emily from the Singles ward. She is from Hollister, CA and attends Chico State. All of her friends from home are LDS and attend BYU. She grew up going to church and activities with them. She started taking the discussions when she came up to college and has had a baptismal date before, but is nervous to tell her parents about her desire to be baptized. Emily is so ready. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as soon as we brought up baptism she teared up and got emotional. She really wants to get baptized, but told us that she is scared that her parents will look at her differently. This week is Spring Break and we challenged Emily to pray for help to talk to her parents about being baptized. I think she will be surprised with how supportive they are. By the way she talks about them, I think they will be very supportive. I think she's just worried about being the only one in her family who is LDS. She is definitely in our prayers this week and hopefully her talk with her parents will go well!
I finished the 85 day Book of Mormon challenge this week and it was amazing! I got so much out of it this time through. I have officially completed the Book of Mormon twice now. Woohoo! I love it.
I survived Hump Day! We celebrated my nine month mark with a trip to "Gordo Burrito" Taco Truck. The only taco truck in town that puts avocado on their tacos and burritos. I ate a whole gordo burrito (it was the most delicious thing in the world) in celebration of making it half way! Nine months down, nine months to go. They better go slow...
Ps. I forgot to mention last week that there is a bit of a height difference between Sister Housley and I. A couple 11 inches. No big deal. I'm just literally a giant. We love each other anyways.
Love you all! Wish I had more time to tell you about my whole week. We do so much every single day and it is too much to have the time to write it all out. But hey, more stories to share for when I get home. :)
Keep it real. Love the Lord. Pray Always. Read your Scriptures.