Dearest mother and father (and everyone else reading this email!)
We've been listening to that song on repeat in the car (the one from sister act 2) so I will always think of Cooper when I hear it. But it's been such a happy week! So many stories and things to share!
On Tuesday we had another MLC (mission leadership council). We were asked to come fasting in preparation for the meeting to set our mission vision. This meeting went so well, so much better than last time where there was a lot of tension discussing the differences between the two missions. Putting that aside and focusing more on what we have in common and how we want to be more united; both missions bring great things to the table so it'll be fun to bring it all together, so it was a great meeting. The spirit was strong, all good things. I'm looking forward to serving with the missionaries that are from the Fresno missionaries and to get to know them better.
On the way home from the meeting I felt prompted to text Hayle (the teenager that had said she didn't want to see us for a while) and see how she was doing. We went over and had a lesson with her that night; she recently made some bad choices and also got back with her punk of a boyfriend, Alex. She told us that she didn't feel worthy to come to church and struggling with depression doesn't help. We suggested that she talk with someone else besides the missionaries, she wants to talk with the young women's president so hopefully they get a chance to get together soon.
On Wednesday a few of the laurels didn't have an activity planned for mutual so they came out with us for an hour. While we were in the car one of them casually says, "I have a friend that comes to seminary with me..." Sister Wilson and I just look at each other, are you kidding? So we start asking questions and her friend Victor has been attending seminary for over a year now, sometimes more than the active teenagers! We asked if he's ever taken the lessons and she texted him asking if he had. As we're pulling into the church parking lot she says, "are you sisters free after church on Sunday? he's coming to church and can meet with you then" Just like that. We're pretty pumped. Only slight concern is that he's gay and very open and very comfortable with it. But when we met on Sunday he was so sweet and really wants to learn more about the gospel and how to strengthen his faith in Christ. He told us that they were studying Doctrine and Covenants in seminary so he has no problems with the restored gospel/Joseph Smith any of that which can be such a hang up for some people. Prayers are heard and answered people! We are so excited to keep teaching him! Do that member missionary work because it pays off!
On Thursday Sister Palmer (the new mission president's wife) came to have lunch with all of the sisters. It was fun to spend some more time with her. While we were in the car she asked, "so do missionaries get stressed?" we just sat there for a second, um yes. a lot. She was kind of surprised! Asking us what we get stressed about? Well, everything. Haha it was kind of a funny conversation to have with the mission president's wife. She and president Palmer are both such kind and sincere people, I'm sure being in a new mission is overwhelming for both of them but they're doing great!
Friday night after dinner we wanted to try and visit a less active family out in the country and passed a man riding his horse while driving. The family ended up not being home and we weren't sure if we should try someone else or start our weekly planning. We pulled off to the side of the road to say a prayer. As we finished the prayer and looked up there was the guy on his horse walking past our car. We didn't want to scare him or the horse, jumping out of the car, "Hello we're the missionaries we need to talk with you!!!" But by then he was kind of far so I made an agreement with the Lord, if he and his horse turn around we'll get out of the car. Literally 5 seconds later they turn around and start trotting towards us. I told sister Wilson that we needed to talk with this guy and we both got out of the car and started walking towards him. We said hello and the guy doesn't speak a lick of English so we called the Spanish sisters who talked to him and explained who we were and if he was interested in learning more. After they talked, he hands the phone back to us and we said goodbye and he goes the other way. We called the sisters back to ask what they had talked about and they ask, "did you get his address?" How are we supposed to know we need his address when he doesn't speak English? By then he's far down the road so we tell the sisters "We're gonna go see if we can catch him!" And off we go zooming in our little car in search of Valentino the man on his horse to get his address...I don't think he was very interested but definitely a funny adventure to remember chasing this man through the country.
We never found him and aren't really sure why we felt so prompted to get out of the car to talk to this man; but that was something our mission president reminded us at our meeting last week. When we receive a prompting-no matter how small it is, we need to act on it. Similar to how we felt so prompted a few weeks ago that we needed to reach out to the young women, we would have never been with those laurels who told us about their friend Victor. I know we don't always understand why we receive these promptings but I've seen this week the tender mercies and miracles that come when we act on them.
This is totally cheesy but the other day I was doing my studies and felt like I was almost bubbling over with happiness and peace. It's such a good feeling to know this is where I'm supposed to be. Boy is it hard and you feel like punching Satan in the face all the time but this really is the Lord's work. He doesn't need us at all but we have a loving Savior who gives us missionaries this opportunity to grow and learn on so many levels, it's just the best. I have no stinkin' clue what I want to do or what direction the Lord wants me to go when I go home, but until then I am here and it is oh so good.
I hope you all have a great week!