Gooood Morning!!!! It's a nice rainy and gray (slightly humid) morning here in beautiful Baton Rouge, Louisiana! So I have on my rain jacket - it's certainly getting some good use!
Ok, I'm going to tell you about one random experience, and one teaching experience. First is the random experience - how I came to be pushing a man in a wheelchair along the highway. ...
We were taking the on ramp onto one of the main roads when we saw a man in a wheelchair, on the shoulder of the road, shuffling, inching along. I said, "oh man, can we help this man?" Sis Carolan said, "oh, we should! Pull here." We were able to turn down and onto a frontage road and park in a parking lot. Keep in mind we were dressed in more of our missionary best because of ZLC meeting. But we then climbed the bank (including jumping a muddy ditch that ended up being wider than we thought so lots of mud in our shoes - each cream colored) up to the road where the man was. Right as I'm getting to him, someone passing lays on the horn at him (because that's what everyone does here). Golly gee people! So we got his attention and asked him if we could help him get where he was going. He was surprised and grateful, but responded he was homeless. Ok, well we proposed we help him get down to the frontage road -that highway's dangerous to drive on in a car, let alone a wheelchair! So I take the back to the wheelchair and Sis. Carolan walks along side. He asked where we were from and we responded what church. He didn't recognize it, but as soon as he heard Mormons, he put his feet down, literally - I couldn't push him. He turned around to us, and at this point I'm seriously considering that he might shove us away and say he doesn't want our help. Instead, he said, "I'm a Mormon too!" He then reached up to us, grabbed each of us and gave us a hug. Yup, right there on the side of Airline highway. It was one of those moments when I was thinking, "I will literally never be in the same place doing this same thing ever again - I LOVE being a missionary!" From then on he just talked about Salt Lake and temples as we got him down to the frontage road. He ended up being a little crazy and I'm really happy we got him off that road so he didn't back into a car, because he almost did twice. We gave him some water and a granola bar, talked to him for a minute, took off our muddy shoes, and began walking to our car. I've probably never felt so happy with muddy feet before in my life. ... As we drove by he turned in his wheelchair and just held out a peace sign. I will never forget that sight. The whole thing makes for a good story, but the good feeling we had was one of the best. To literally walk in the Saviors shoes, well to try anyway - that's an indescribable feeling. It's the reason I don't ever want to stop being a full time missionary. In another time, I would have driven by, with too many things to do. But here we followed the quote by president Monson we see by our apartment door everytime we leave, “never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved”.
So, lets see. Tanya isn't doing well, we found out she's been blowing our lessons off to go clubbing with her friend. So needless to say, her baptism wasn't on Saturday. We'll keep doing what we can. We do have a new investigator, Nancy. We've taught her 3 times total, twice this week, once with a MEMBER!!! That's how missionary work is supposed to be done, and it was so amazing! Plus all the members we have are converts, and almost all in the last five years. That means that everything Sis Garcia had to say was so perfect! Plus her Spanish is perfect :) Nancy has kept every reading commitment in the Book or Mormon, and always has good questions so we know she's really seeking with real intent. In the second lesson we invited her to be baptized when she knows it's true. She's a thoughtful one, which I think is awesome. So she sat and thought for a minute, and then responded yes, but she thinks maybe she should read some more of the Book of Mormon first. :) After teaching to whole Restoration, we asked how she was feeling. She responded good. Hna Garcia asked the good questions - why? Nancy again thought for a minute, looked up and with a little smile responded that she's happy because she feels like she's finally found someone who thinks like she does - Joseph Smith. Pretty awesome.
Yestereday during RS, Presidente Estrada (branch president) pulled us into his office and gave us a new assignment - YW counselors! He first said counselors, and then said, well, assistants. Just pretend you’re a presidency and do everything you can to help the YW president (recent convert of 4 years), bring ideas, find the girls, have meetings, have activities, teach, be a friend, do personal progress with them, whatever you have to do. So he gave us Spanish Personal Progress books, and a list of the girls. I've never seen a youth in sacrament before, so we have work to do, and we're so pumped to jump in with both feet! What's happening here is that for youth and primary, our branch is combined with the English ward (which is gigantic), and Hermana Haro (YW pres) has two English counselors. Hna. Haro is doing everything she can, but President said she's so overwhelmed, doesn't speak much English, and they really don't function, and she doesn't receive any help from her counselors. So we can help her with English, help them have presidency meetings, translate, etc. Everything really needs to get to the point where the branch is completely separate.
Well, of course this email didn't end up being short. I'd hate to break with tradition! :) I love you all!! Hope you have a fantastic week! Scripture of the day: Mosiah 2:41. That's what we instructed on. Isn't it wonderful that we have a merciful and loving God who cares about our spiritual and temporal needs? He cares that we have things that bring a smile now, as well as the things that bring eternal happiness.
Love y'all tons!!
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.