I'm just doing great this week! How is everybody there? You sound busy and like you're doing well! I didn't know you had a rooster! That makes sense I suppose. Well, now you have him... in your stomachs I guess. yikes! haha. So, who did the deed? Was it an 'off with his head!' moment? Uh! haha
Ok, so mom, as a Sister Training Leader I just... act like I know what's going on. Haha, just kidding. Really, I just work with the Zone leaders and Assistants a lot on stuff in the zone, but my main responsibility is with all the sisters in the BR area, about 6 companionships these days. We go on exchanges each week with them. I usually leave the area, and go work with one of them for two days. We observe their weekly planning. Our main purpose is really just support and training. Sometimes it's just fresh ideas for the area, companionship troubles, or more serious problems as I saw a few weeks ago. Sometimes the sister is just seeking a different perspective on something, or, in the case of last week, the sister I was working with is new and really afraid to talk to people she sees during the day. So she asked if we could focus on finding and opening our mouths to talk to everyone. Funny, because none of those things are easy for me! So we learn a lot together. I mean really, leadership assignments don't come to people because they're all knowing, or wise and know how to deal perfectly with every situation. So when I go out with sisters, my goal is really to love them. To work with them, not preach to them. Share experiences and ideas. A lot of times as a missionary you just need a fresh look at things, or some hope. Hope is key. I love these sisters, and I'm kind of figuring out things as I go. And then tomorrow we have MLC (Mission Leader Council) at the Mission Home. William's gone to lots of those; they happen at the beginning of every month. I've only been to one, months ago when it with Zone Leader Council. And then we'll have zone training on Friday where I'm sure we'll instruct.
I went on exchanges in my old Spanish area last week. That was good. There was too much confusion going on with the areas because salt and pepper is supposed to work Spanish and English, not just English. But that wasn't happening, mostly because of confusion, and the sisters didn't really want to let go of anyone. It was too easy for toes to get stepped on. So in the end, we split the area. There now isn't any overlap - we work south baton rouge. Any Spanish people that fall in those boundaries (the 2nd ward's boundaries in South) we cover them, Spanish or English. My love is growing for the 2nd ward, and I feel joy in working hard to align my will with Father's. And it's a joy when I get to go to my branch :) We're splitting time with that right now. 2nd ward one Sunday, Spanish branch the next. Some people now are in "our" boundaries. Dunia, David, Claudia, Mari, Myara and Nino. So that's nice! Nothing's going on with any of them, but we'll keep working on it! And there was a girl that Sis Carolan and I found one time. Her name is Esmeralda. Months later I was in a Spanish market when I thought I saw her again. I began talking to her, we invited her to eat with us, so she did, and we talking to her a ton. She is absolutely AMAZING!! Then I got transferred. It's hard to not teach her, but I'm happy to say that the other sisters are. She's doing wonderfully. She's at church every week, and I'll bet will be baptized soon. I don't think I ever mentioned it, but the same thing happened in New Orleans. After I left, people just started popping out of the woodwork and getting baptized! Ok, so that could be difficult, right? Kind of a "why does all the 'success' happen right when I leave areas, but we never saw any of the fruits of our hard labor? I don't want to see much! Just a little bit!" However, I'm content that it all happens in the Lord's time. I don't know why I'm not that missionary that teaches, and baptizes people. That teaches and reactivates people. But I do get to teach and love a lot of people! But I'm ok, knowing that it's not for lack of worthiness, work, or faith. I was actually in my interview with President this morning (those happen every three months). With all of these ideas in mind, he began giving me an analogy. He was talking about the first wagon trains of pioneers that crossed the plains. They were the trailblazers. It was hard and it was long. They had to scout it out, find the water, the best way, etc. But the trail was then "do-able", or easier if you will, for the rest of the companies that followed. President said, "It's simple. You're a trailblazer. And let me tell you, it's trailblazers that are hard to come by." Maybe he was trying to make me feel good, but it makes sense. I don't mean it in a prideful way. But the way my brain works, it sometimes helps if I can articulate my role. And that really helped me. But that doesn't mean I don't work every day to see success! We of course see it in small ways all the time. But I still firmly believe the Lord sends his prepared missionaries to his prepared people (although the opposite may not be true - important distinction). He never sends us to places where there aren't people ready to hear truth - that just doesn't make sense.
One of those people is Marquetta!!! And her family!!!! I hope (fingers crossed). Their lesson during the week fell through because Robert was working late, and then kids were sick so they weren't at church. However, we taught Tim once! And Marquetta came to a baptism on Saturday in the ward to see how it was. Way cool! And then they were so excited to have us over Sunday night since they missed church. We taught them with members and it was so cool!! Like one of the lessons you read about in Preach My Gospel! It does happen! Members come, they're nice, and testify and man! Just bring an extra awesome spirit! (now Robert’s going to play b-ball this week with guys from the ward!). Then they had us come back last night since Robert didn't have to work. We taught the whole family for the first time (not just he adults) and we watched the Restoration DVD. Those kids are some of the best behaved I've ever seen! Everyone down to the 2 and 3 year old sat perfectly attentive the whole time and everyone had awesome comments. Although one of the kids said they didn't know that they sun could transform into God. hahaha she got a little confused with the part that the light was "above the brightness of the noon day sun". :) Either Robert and Marquetta themselves are just so ready that they completely accept the idea, or it hasn't really hit them yet. I think that mentally, they believe it. They're beginning to understand the whole idea of the Restoration very clearly and Robert said he knows God answers prayers. He said that when he feels really down during his work day he prays for help, and his answer comes when he gets home and the kids just brighten him up. He said that Joseph prayed and that for his answer, he saw God, and it makes sense. Interesting. So many new truths - it takes time for them to sink in, but they're definitely getting it. We're teaching the Plan of Salvation this week. My favorite! We get to tell them that they can be together forever and that we know what they need to do to qualify for that :)
Have I told you any of her story? Fast version - grew up in a hard hard home. Married someone when she was 19, that didn't turn out good. He's now in prison (not exactly sure why, although he was abusive to her). They had three children together. I'm fuzzy on the details, just know it was a hard time. That was all in D (where they also attended Aretha Franklin's Dad's church. Didn't know he had one! Oh, they're black by the way). Then at sometime she re-connected with Robert. They'd been good childhood friends. She says they picked up like nothing ever happened, and he took care of her, and eventually they got together. They have 2 kids together. But Robert is amazing, a real solid guy. The way all the kids act, you'd think he was their biological dad. They really really want to be married, but the old husband is refusing to sign the divorce papers. So please pray that that works out. I know at one point after she met Robert that he lost his job, and they lost their home. She said they were basically homeless. They stayed in a motel for quite awhile, and she counts herself blessed that they were at least able to have that. She then came here with a couple of the kids, and the rest and Robert followed later. They have a small and sort of gloomy-ish apartment, but they are just lights themselves! Robert works at AT&T and it isn't really enough, but he's working so hard. As soon as their lease is up in December they're looking to move to a different place. So amazing where they've been. It's only up hill from here!!
So that's my life! I better get going! We're going on splits with people from the ward council. That actually happens?!?! Wow. I'm excited, hopefully it all works out. By the way, the first branch missionaries ever were called in the branch! None live in our area, but so awesome!!!! And the first ever youth YM in the branch is about to turn 12 and receive the priesthood. He's the Haro's son. Kinda historic stuff! I hope you all have a fantabulous week. Don't be afraid to be trailblazers! It's not a bad thing. Be good examples, smile more, and do something each day to show Heavenly Father you love Him.