Happy fourth of July on Wednesday!! Man, I just love the 4th of July celebration in Utah. I will miss it a bit this year. Guys, America is so blessed, seriously. Even when you don't like the president or the health reform and all that, America is still 1000x better than other countries. So everyone count your blessings that you live in the best country in the world!
As for us here in Las Palmas, we had a bit of a rough week with few results. But we aren't getting discouraged, we are coming up with lots of good ideas for this week that hopefully will turn things around here. Every day my mind is blown at how different this area is from my old area, a few blocks away. But, its just like my Dad and tennis coaches always taught me, you just have to figure out how to win. There are lots of mission-sports analogies. Anyway, here are a few things that we did this week:
1. Completed ONE YEAR!!! Agh can you believe it?! On June 29th I completed one year on the mission. Wow I seriously cannot believe that. I cannot believe that we are in July right now, we are half way through the year, when did that happen?! I don't even know. Its neat to look back and see how much I've improved. I definitely still have a very long ways to go, but its neat to compare now and then. I don't think I've said it in a while, but EVERYONE should go on a mission! For real, drop whatever you re doing and go ha-ha, you won't regret it.
2. Wendy's baptism next Saturday! Yay! Our Golden investigator Wendy is totally set for Saturday. I'm interested to see what this baptism's disaster will be, because there is always a disaster. But she's great and I've learned a lot about faith from teaching her and watching her example.
3. Contacting woes..... well, this area is nuts, like I've said. The people here will not let us in! It's a little crazy. We got in with one lady who I think could progress, but other than that, shoot, there wasn't much. We did teach a family who were investigating a few years ago, and the dad went to church and really liked it. Their names are Daniel and Nereyda, and they have a little son. There are some definite obstacles, like that they aren't married and don't want to get married. But me and my comp really felt like we could work with them. We have kind of gained their confidence and I REALLY HOPE that we can help them progress and eventually get married and baptized.
To combat the crazy attitude people have here, we are coming up with some good ideas. This week we are going to do a small booth close to where we live with questions and little Candy prizes and lots of things about Jesus Christ, just because everyone is like scared of us and they need to see that we are really nice and just want to talk to them about Jesus and their family. We are also going to try contacting a few new ways. Who knows? During the week I felt discouraged, but now with some ideas, I feel good. These kinds of things stretch your brain and get you to think out of the box. I know there are people here prepared, we just gotta find em. And were going to try new strategies.
4. We had a sad experience this week with a family of recent converts. They got baptized a few months ago and were going to church and everything, but right before we got here they got offended by some leaders in the Ward and there was apparently a giant and complicated situation, and now they are never going back. They let us in only so that they could explain to us the situation (for like 2 hours), and inform us that they no longer wanted visited or anything. So we testified and told them that not going to church was not the answer, and to think about Peter, the prophet of the church after Christ, who made lots of mistakes but was still the leader. I asked what happened to their testimony of Joseph Smith, and they still believe that he was a prophet and that the church is true, but they're not going ever again. What the? I just wonder what Jesus Christ is going to say to people like them in the end, when he asks "and why didn't you go to my church?" and they respond "Well this hermana, and the bishop, and blah blah blah etc". Ha. I don't think that excuse is going to pass. Who knows? I am definitely not the judge. I do know that when we choose not to obey the commandments, there is only so much Christ can do to help us. Sometimes these people are crazy!
I just wanna finish with my testimony. I know that this is the true church of God on the earth. Every day we explain to people "Look, does it make sense that there are tons of churches who all do all different things, when Jesus Christ only taught one way?" And no matter how uneducated, they understand that that doesn't make sense. Christ didn't leave us with a buffet of choices on how to worship, how to get back to Him and to our Heavenly Father. Its not just do whatever we feel like or what we think sounds good. I know that He established His church, and that it's back. And everyone can know that. Ask God in prayer. He will tell you. I know it. I love the Gospel. I know that Christ is our Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon, along with the Bible, have the answers to our questions. This is my testimony. Thank you all for your support and prayers. Thanks for all you do. Have a great week and say a prayer thanking God for our beautiful country! I love you all!!