Well I love you all a whole bunch and hope you had a great week! Things have been a little slow here, partially due to the weather and partially due to all of the meetings we had.
Odalis kind of fell off the map this week. Church was canceled last week so she couldn't come and we had to push her date back. This week we weren't able to get a hold of her after. She canceled both of our appointments and , and then didn't come to church . (Church wasn't canceled, but we had a Sacrament Meeting combined with the two English wards and no classes.) We're not sure what to do, because she was SO GOLDEN, but we're hoping we can get a hold of her tonight!
We're slowing things down a bit with Ana. We talked about revelation with her in our last appointment and read from D&C 8 and 9. She seemed to understand pretty well but said that she won't get baptized until she has a desire to do it. She said she has a testimony of Jose Smith, el Libro de Mormon, todo. She said she knows she's supposed to get baptized. We explained that desire doesn't come until we act, but she just won't budge. She didn't come to church this week either, so we might have to drop her if she doesn't come next week. My heart is just so sad :(
We taught "The Blessings of God on our Labors We'll Seek." We talked about the blessings of serving a mission. At the end, we showed the last few minutes (starting at) of this episode of the District:
Basically everyone was crying. I would do anything to make my parents proud of me! And most importantly, I would do anything to make my Heavenly Parents proud of me. Sometimes I feel like I'm the prodigal daughter of this family. I have really great sisters and I feel like I wandered off the path the most. But I hope when I come home that Mom and Dad can see the change in me. (That and I hope we have a party and stuff.)
Anyway, I'm guessing Sister Wilson already put pictures on the facebook page, but the theme of our training was pirates because we talked about seeking blessings, so you might see a picture of us with eye patches:) We also did three-legged races so you might see some of that too:)
President Wilson's final remarks were really inspiring. I think I could listen to him talk all day because he always has great insights. He shared a quote that says, "If you ever feel like a little pebble on the beach, try being a little boulder." So great:) He talked about this in relation to fulfilling our dreams and the promises in our patriarchal blessings. Sometimes we have to a be a little bolder!
Also they have a "Which 'Wich" in Short Pump so that's what we got after the meeting. Yummmm:) ........jealous?;)
We found a new investigator named Ligia. She is almost as shy as Hermana Quinones;) She's really sincere about wanting to know if she should get baptized. She asked Heavenly Father to show her a sign. I didn't even feel the need to tell her not to ask for a sign because I sincerely believe God will give it to her because of how pure her heart is:)
Hermana McRae and I were also chatting about how grateful we are that we're not YSA missionaries because teaching our peers would be really weird. And then we found a new investigator named Maribel who's 24;) She doesn't speak a lot of English and is from la Republica Dominicana. She has her own cute little apartment and works at one of the chicken factories here. She's pretty lonely and is open to coming to church. It's actually really fun teaching her because we can connect with her really well! She's basically the same age as Odalis, except not married with three kids, so it feels like I'm teaching a good friend:)
We took cookies to the Jackson family. (They live a little under a mile away so we could walk there.) I haven't written about them yet, but I LOVE the Jackson family. Emma is 18, a senior, and she comes out with us at least once a week. She doesn't speak Spanish, but it's good experience for her and we translate for her. She's just really sweet and I love her a whole lot:) I hope she chooses to go on a mission! Sister Jackson makes and delivers food to us every week--usually a casserole or soup. Brother Jackson also took us to a lesson this past week when it was snowing and our cars were grounded. They are a stellar family:) We stopped by to drop off cookies and they let us in and told us stories about how they met. Really funny stuff:)
There was a super important baptism in Accokeek that I wanted to make it tonight. The Senior couple was unavailable, and I hadn't really searched for rides because the weather was so iffy . But morning we were determined to find a ride. We made lots of calls and chatted with some people at church. Hermano Larsen was willing to take us, but his wife wasn't feeling up to it and we couldn't find another woman to go with us. It was and we definitely weren't going to have time to make it to the baptism. (Stafford is about 2.5 hours.) We were in the church parking lot, about to leave, when Hermano Larsen pulled up with his wife. She had decided to come! We jumped in the car and were on our way! He basically speeded the entire way. We were 10 minutes late, but arrived just in time for the opening song.
I'm so happy to announce that Steve and Sheila were baptized!!!! I'm not sure if you remember them, but Sister Olsen and I taught Sheila basically the entire time I was in Accokeek. She used to be a member, but left the church at the insistence of her former husband. Now, as an older woman, she wanted to be rebaptized. Steve wasn't interested at first, but over time began to warm up to us and started receiving the lessons and coming to church. They were married last week on Valentine's Day and finally got baptized yesterday! It was truly one of the sweetest moments of my whole mission to see them both baptized. And to make it even better, Brother Fisher (who was baptized in September) baptized Steve!
They were all so happy to see me and Brother Houtz (the Ward Mission Leader) asked me to share my testimony at the end. I made Steve cry;) Getting there was a huge miracle! After the service, Hermano Larsen said that he knew that God wanted me at that baptism:) I just feel so blessed that I was able to be there and I'm so grateful for Hermano and Sister Larsen!!!
Attached are pictures! Me, Sheila and Steve, Brother Houtz, and Emily Houtz. I love all these people so much. There is definitely something special about the Accokeek Ward and I'm SO grateful that God called me on an English speaking mission so that I could serve there.
Well that's all for this week, mis queridos:)
Con amor, Hermanita Crandall