Friday, July 10, 2015

letter from Alyssa - 7/6/15

Ok it is the first week of the second transfer, me and my companion are in the same wards and same area together for this next transfer to finish off my training. Next transfer is August 18th and I have no idea what'll happen yet, but if I haven't told you I did get a fortune in a fortune cookie my first night in CA (we went to a place called Pick Up Stix for dinner). It said "Remember 3 months from now - things are about to change"... or something like that. I have 6 more musical numbers to do in the next couple weeks and a few more pending.
Sister Hall is 21 years old and a quarter Navajo heritage. She attended 3 semesters at BYUI before going on her mission a year ago (July 23rd). She is the 2nd of 6 kids and her parents are divorced. Her mom is marrying a man named Ed this month who Sister Hall has never met. 
Here's updates on the work:
Brian is a less-active member and his wife was a former investigator. We had a teaching record in the area book about them, they've received the lessons several times. We went by and they were super sweet and really receptive. We took a turn on the approach though, which we planned ahead of time. We told them we had no current investigators and haven't taught the lessons in a long time. Since we don't want to memorize a presentation, and role play is difficult with only 2 people, we asked if they could help us out by letting us practice the lessons with them. They could pretend to be investigators with different kinds of backgrounds and ask questions and be difficult. They loved the idea and we meet with them every Thursday night to practice the discussions with them. We start this week. In the district we joke with the other missionaries that we succeeded in tricking someone to take the discussions.
Shaun is a less-active member on our never-ending list. We called him and left a voicemail, which happens to every single one. We went by and visited and he wasn't home (or didn't answer). We left a mormon.org card with our number on it on the door. The next day we get a phone call saying "Hi sisters, thanks for stopping by! Sorry I missed you. Maybe I can take you both to lunch sometime? I will be at church Sunday. I have family in town and they informed me that we're going. I don't have church clothes since I haven't been in 15 years, but they said I could just wear a collared shirt and jeans. I'm excited though! See you there?" We almost didn't know what to say. NO ONE uses our card with our number on it. And the less-actives here are almost impossible. And we didn't even really do anything!
Angelica (g pronounced as an h) is a mormon.org referral. She requested a Book of Mormon. She's 18 and just graduated High School, but had friends that were Mormons that she always respected, though she knows almost nothing about our beliefs/values. She's very interested and we're meeting with her this week. Sister Hall was really surprised because most of the mormon.org referrals we get are fake to play jokes on the missionaries, or nonmembers will refer us people they know to prank them. But this one's for real and we're excited.
Carazon is a Filipino lady who is less-active and works at a retirement home care place or something. She speaks english but is hard to understand because of her very thick accent. She was excited to see us though! We are taking Sister Gaines with us who speaks Tagalog, and we may take Sam if her work schedule permits (Sam is an investigator who comes to church every Sunday but avoids the missionaries. She's from the Philippines and works here to send money to her family there. She goes to mass at a Catholic church and confesses her attendance at the Mormon Church every week).
Shay is . . . wait for it (drum role please). . . . . our new investigator! Our assistant ward mission leader called us and said "Shay wants to take the discussions. Here's her number and address. You have an appointment tomorrow at 1pm." That never happens either. We met with her and taught her the Restoration after getting to know her. She ate it all up, took in every word, and is just golden. Which kind of scares me because I want it to work out and we'll do the best we possibly can. She has 3 ex-husbands and has been sober from alcohol for less than 3 years. She has 3 kids that she loves but the custody of them is complicated (we don't know details). She wants a relationship with God and expressed this to us. Couldn't have gone better, we meet with her again tomorrow.
Wendy is a potential investigator given to us by a member. We have an appointment with her Sunday to start the discussions and get to know her. That's about all we know. But these have all happened in the last week! Along with a bunch of other little things that don't come to mind at the moment. But finally in the last week of the transfer we have a bunch of potential investigators and a couple new ones (which is A LOT for this area. Like a lot a lot).

All is well in Zion.


- Sister Shumway

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