|Waynesboro Zone Conference Meal 1/20/15|
Hi, lots has been going on.
we had Zone Conference in Charlottesville, which is about an hour or so drive away. (My Zone is Waynesboro West and we were combined with the Waynesboro East Zone.) To get there we took the 33 through the mountains which passes through Shenandoah National Park:) It's really beautiful and I hope to see it someday in the Spring or Summer!
Lunes was absolutely crazy trying to get the apartment all fixed up for the senior couple! We bought them some groceries and home-like-things and washed all of the dishes. We ended up having to go backto finish up cleaning and putting away the dishes. They came in night and we got to meet them ! They are named Elder and Sister Edstrom and are from Rexburg. This is their second mission (first was in Nauvoo). Having them here is kind of like having grandparents on the mission :) They're taking my companion and me out for dinner next week!
I got to speak in Zone Conference about gratitude. I talked about how gratitude, like a pair of glasses, determines the way that we see the world. Heavenly Father has perfect vision because He's all knowing, so we have to rely on Him to better understand His plan. I also read some scriptures in D&C 78 and 88 about how we need to receive all things with thankfulness. If we don't receive what God has to give us, then He can't force us to take it. If we don't learn to receive all things with thankfulness in this life (including trials/ learning opportunities) then we won't be willing to receive Celestial Glory in the life to come.
President Uchtdorf said that gratitude is the catalyst to all Christlike attributes. I was studying how they relate and this is what I came up with:
-GRATITUDE without works is dead.
-Let GRATITUDE garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.
-And GRATITUDE suffereth long and is kind and envieth not.
-Pretty much you can replace the word "gratitude" with any Christlike attribute in the scriptures. Pretty cool, right?:)
Anyway, it was a really nice Conference and I learned a ton! Sister Wilson talked about how we can start preparing ourselves for iPad and social media use. I really don't think we'll get either of those things before I finish my mission. At the beginning of my mission, I was told that we'd have iPads by the end of 2014. It hasn't happened yet and I don't think it would be worth it to buy an iPad now. But, I've learned a lot about using my time wisely and using social media intentionally to share the Gospel, not just to "surf."
So I just want to share the love that I've gained for the Iraqi people. There is a HUGE Iraqi population here in Harrisonburg. Almost every time that we knock an Iraqi door, they let us in and give us something to drink. (Usually Sunny D...I don't know why.) We met one family that came to the States because the father was a reporter in Iraq and was helping US reporters obtain information. The US Government helped him come to the States to protect his life. We also knocked into a Catholic family from Iraq that moved because of persecution. The English Sisters are now teaching them:) Did you know that the Book of Mormon is available in Arabic online?? Another Iraqi family also gave us some delicious Middle Eastern bread which looks like a giant, fat tortilla. Yum:)
Also...I want to share my love for tracting. We did a 24 hour exchange with the other Hermanas and also "blitzed" their area with the Spanish Elders. Hermana Stice and I got into the very first door we knocked! Another woman also fed us pupusas, which was nice. I really got fed a lot this week! Which was nice since we don't really get regular member dinners. Then Hermana McRae and I also did power exchanges with the Broadway and YSA Sisters to knock in their areas. YSA work seems pretty tough. We knocked in a student complex and all of them said they were busy studying or doing homework. Seriously??? I've been a student and I know how it is;) I loved excuses to be distracted;) However we did meet one really neat girl who's working towards her Ed Specialist degree like Mommy. Her bff is a member and served a mission. He's studying at BYU right now. She was willing to set up an appointment and let us in for a few minutes!
And speaking of getting fed a lot, a Cuban Sister offered to feed us! And so of course Maria (the recent convert) surprise fed us that day too and we got two dinners. In Harrisonburg, when it rains it pours;) at least when it comes to food. And Hermana Cerritos (another recent convert) called and said she needed help.......eating pinon and donuts. So we went and read and ate with her:) Pinon is this delicious flour de maiz drink. It's like horchata except warm and with corn flour instead of rice flour.
Ana's still doing really well, but just won't accept a date!! She's come to church with her son Fabian four times and likes it. She's read a ton of the Book of Mormon and she's made friends with some of the members. This past week, we brought a baptismal calendar to her house. It's like a countdown calendar to help investigators prepare for baptism. We put all of the lessons we still need to teach on there as well as reminders to read, pray, and come to church. We put her baptism on. She said she still won't agree to it, but she'll start preparing for it. At first she absolutely would not commit to living the Word of Wisdom! But when we went by this past week, she said that she's been off coffee for a few days. Fabian gave it up completely! We're trying to help her see that keeping the commandments is evidence of her faith in the restauracion.
Also Fabian is the cutest kid in the whole world. I can't remember what we were talking about, but we mentioned the second coming and his face lit up. And he asked us, "Jesus is going to come again???" He got SO EXCITED! It was the cutest thing ever:)
Anyway, if you look at the pictures I sent (of the fish head ordeal) you can see the baptismal calendar in the background on her fridge. It's the blue one with a picture of John baptizing Jesus.
And then things really escalated from there. Because then she put some muffins in front of us so we ate those. And then she was making tortillas and she brought us each a plate of tortillas with queso, seco y crema. And then, the next thing you know, she's bringing us a plate of fried fish that we just watched her gut. She gave Hermana McRae the head, but I of course had to try it;) And of course, a lemon. And if that wasn't enough, she also got us each a glass of apple juice:) hahaha. I love Ana so much:) And this whole time, we're just chilling in her kitchen listening to Spanish love songs. In Honduras, and much of central america, they eat their food with their fingers. It was a lot of fun! And yes, she came to church the next day! (And we left her home stuffed.)
As for the rest of our investigators...we're looking to drop a lot more people this week. We didn't do a lot of finding in our own area because we spent a lot of time tracting in everyone else's area. So hopefully this week between MLC and Zone Mtg we'll be able to find some new people:) I would rather have a small, but progressing, pool of investigators than a pool of 20 investigators that we see once a week.
La Familia Rivera is kind of promising. Except mom and dad are both married but separated from people in other countries. That kind of makes things hard. Their son Victor seems great, and he's 14 and willing to read and learn. We're also teaching a cute family with 4 boys and the mom committed to come to church next week!
Okay well I think you've heard enough from me for today. I love you all a lot:)
Birthday shout out to Lindsay and Amelia:) Lindsay turned one year older last week (sorry I can't remember how old you are...it must be too high to count??;) and Millie will be 19 this week!! Which is just blowing my mind. I love you both so much! And happy birthday to Sally the Cowgirl for all you people who know who that is.
Con amor, Hermanita Crandall
|Zone "Oompa" Team!|