Monday, February 9, 2015

This Might Be the Longest Email I've Ever Sent Home

Hola familia!

Holy cow do I have so many things to share this week! This has probably been one of the top 5 most incredible weeks of my mission. Hermana Baum, is the bomb. I keep saying that. It never gets old.

Hermana Baum is from Spanish Fork Utah, been out for like 5 months, goes to BYU, and is a top-notch missionary. Super humble so she has no clue, but hands down one of the best sisters in the mission. Like the fact that we will probably only be together one transfer is beyond sad for both of us.

We not only get along well, we get along SUPER well. Haha we're a lot alike except she's kinda shy. But not when it's just the two of us! We do zumba in the morning, except Friday we went to crossfit and I'm still feeling the effects of that workout, and run, we sing and get excited easily, and we love to tell stories. It reminds me a lot of how Hermana Sutherland and I were when we were companions. Up early, running all day, and loving every second of it.

The zone being closed changes pday for us too...and our district is different. It's not a big deal, but honestly the work is the same so not that much changes in the big scheme of things.

Haven't seen Ruth yet but we will sometime this week!

Okay miracle time. You ready for this?

Let's start with our investigator Jeff. He's getting baptized on Saturday! Happy Valentine's day!! I don't think I've talked about Jeff much, probably because he is the perfect example of a golden investigator, but there have been a couple little hiccups in getting the baptism done, but we finally got it and we're so excited for him! His wife is an active member and he mostly wants to get baptized so the countdown starts for them to get sealed. They are so happy they just glow!

Now as for our investigator Seth - he's an interesting fellow. He had this attitude of "I don't have to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true because if I study God will just tell me." And as many times as I told him the scripture says "ASK and ye shall receive," he wouldn't. This past Thursday though, we brought our stellar new ward missionary, Sister Ray, with us to go see Seth. To our surprise, she threw down with one of the most incredible testimonies I've ever heard and at then end I asked if he would pray right then to know if the Book of Mormon was true and he did! One of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard. Now I have no doubts he'll be ready for his baptism by March 7th! 

The next miracle would be the Watson family. About a week ago, the Watson family moved to Saint David. Bro. Watson is a member, and some guys from the ward helped them move in. They found out he's pretty less active, but friendly so they told us we should go by. We were at our ward mission leader's house and decided that since our appointment after dinner fell through we'd go see them right away. I made some comment along the lines of, "Man we need like cookies or something to bring them. People have to like you when you bring them food!" to which our ward mission leader's wife said, "Well hey let's make something really quick!" So we did (yummy popcorn with almond bark melted all over it) and went over. We chatted with the couple and their kids for around 10 minutes or so, gave them the treat, offered help painting/cleaning/moving stuff, asked if we could come by again (to which they said yes) exchanged numbers, and left. Smooth contact, right? Well Bro. Watson shows up at church 2 days later. Turns out a few other ward members stopped by to welcome them to Saint David, and he came to church for the first time since he was 17 years old. The guy is probably around 35. Not only that, but he comes up to us after sacrament meeting and says, "Sisters I can't stay because my kids are sick and I need to go help take care of them, but my wife wants to take the discussions. Once the kids get better we'll have you over." It took all my self control to not do a happy dance right then and there.

But oh the miracles don't stop there! On Thursday we stopped by the bishop's house to see if we could meet, but the cub scouts had been there and their activity ran a little late so we couldn't. But they had lots of leftover food, so they gave us an entire Little Caesar's pizza and a ton of veggies. We wanted the veggies, but not the pizza (we're on this health kick). Our next appointment was with a family who is semi-not-really active where the mom is home with the 4 girls during the week by herself because the dad works in Phoenix. "Let's take the pizza to them!" I told Hermana Baum. She agreed, and we brought it in and said,"Surprise! We hope you're hungry because we brought you a pizza!" The girls - the oldest is 13 or 14 - were so excited. The sister goes on to tell us that the little 4 year old has been telling her all week that she wanted pizza, so this was an answer to her prayers. This sister says we were definitely listen to the Spirit, and in my head I thought, "Woah. I didn't know the Spirit spoke through the scale in our room." Turns out even desires to eat healthy can secretly be promptings!

Wait! That's not all! (Just like those annoying commercials on TV haha.) We also received what I believe may be the most referrals I've ever received in a single week on my mission, and had some new people to teach (both investigators and less actives) fall out of the sky. It was crazy. Every day Hermana Baum and I would just look at each other and say, "Can you believe this!?" Here's a funny story that came from one of the referrals.

Our ward mission leader gave us a referral for Brother Orton during church. His wife is an active member and he's not a member at all. Trying to be good little missionaries, we took off after dinner last night to go meet the Ortons, who let us right in and we began chatting. Within a few minutes it was quite clear that Brother Orton is not currently interested in taking the lessons, although he does come to church fairly regularly with his wife. But I don't really like to take no for an answer, and something was telling me we need to teach this brother. "Okay," I thought. "If You want us to teach him, You gotta tell me what I need to say to get him to say yes!" We shared a little message on charity since it's Valentine's Day this week, closed with a prayer, and asked if we could do anything for them. We got the usual "Nope, we're good!" and then it hit me. "Well we have a little favor to ask of you," I said. I could feel my companion listening intently because she had no idea what I was about to say. "Sister Baum is pretty new in the mission, and could really use some practice teaching the lessons. Can we come practice with you? We thought this would be perfect since Sister Orton is a convert and Brother Orton isn't a member. We both grew up in the Church so we don't know what it's like to be on the other side, but you do!" Sister Orton quickly agreed, and Brother Orton thought it over, and then agreed as well. We set an appointment for later that week, and left. I apologized to Hermana Baum (who really doesn't actually need to "practice" the lessons because she teaches very well) for throwing her under the bus, but she replied, "Oh no hermana you can throw me under the bus like that whenever. That was perfect!"

This week I was reminded of my favorite math equation: faith + obedience = miracles. I know there is work to be done and have faith that Heavenly Father will put it in our paths. I am doing my best to be as obedient as I physically possibly can to each and every rule, and we're seeing miracles on the daily because of it. I know that it takes 2 to make this happen, and I'm grateful to be equally yoked with my companion so that it can happen.

Happy Valentine's day! I love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

Hermanas Martin & Blackford, Elders Harris, George & Messinger

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