Ok. SO MUCH in just a week. Words can never do justice. But I'll give it a try!
Monday I kinda almost sprained my ankle playing ultimate Frisbee. It's fine now, but I didn't even catch the Frisbee.
Oh before I forget. 3 Nephi 19:24 "... um lds.org isn't working at the moment. Look it up.
I got to play piano for the youth in church sunday, they're doing a special program in sacrament meeting (kind of like the primary does, but for the youth. This ward has about as many youth as the Frisco 1st did when I was there). So fun, one of my favorite things.
Everything else I have to say is about the work! How cool is that!
Tuesday was the best. We had a perfectly planned day all lined up: exercise, morning routine, studies, district meeting, lunch, and several set appointments of all sorts before and after dinner. In the middle of studies though I got a call from the mission office, saying that someone from my home ward, Tina Evans, just flew in to see her mom who was in the hospital in Irvine after having a heart attack. I didn't recognize the name at first, but the missionary on the phone told me Brother Griffin (home teacher) asked for them to send me to give her a spiritual message that day. I said I would be happy to, and so after hanging up the phone I looked at my planner and there was this perfectly convenient window of time that Sister Loveridge and I didn't really know what to do with (besides go talk to a bunch of people of course). But then the story of President Monson came to mind, about when I believe he was in a stake conference and he had the impression to go to the hospital. So he waited 'til the meeting ended and went straight there right away, only to find he was moments too late. I knew once that story entered my mind seemingly from out of no where that this couldn't wait. So I interrupted Sister Loveridge's studies and explained what just happened over the phone, we gathered our things and left, calling the zone leaders on the way and letting them know we had to go to the other side of the mission for an urgent assignment and would probably be late to district meeting. We got there right as the Elders serving in that area were giving Tina's mom a blessing, so we waited in the waiting room for them. I then got to talk to Tina and found out that her daughter, Savana, was in my English class in school and I remembered very well who she was! Savana is fantastic, all I ever saw and heard of her were always right and good. Tina wants me to keep in contact so I can see her when I get back, she lives like 5 minutes from our neighborhood! This experience, though seemingly small, is one of the first that has been a confirmation of being in the right place at the right time, and that The Lord is mindful of me not only in blessing me with my needs and wants, but blessing me with opportunities to be an instrument in His hands. Highlight of the week! And that says a lot since it has been quite the week.
Jennifer came to do family history and fell in love with it. She's coming again to continue it, but she and Fernando had a really bad break up again so for the third time, we are canceling her baptism date for now.
Alexis and Gabriela (less-actives we lost contact with) contacted us out of no where, there's been a lot of disagreements between them (mom and daughter) but longgggg story short, by the end of the week and by now specific action on our part as missionaries, just invitation, they are FINALLY working towards their spiritual goals individually and together! And they both came to church for all three hours, with a non-member friend! Complete turn-around. Alexis texts us like we're her high school friends, it's almost weird to get the hang of texting like that again haha. But we're seeing them for lunch this week too and they've committed to come back into full activity.
Joy (less-active) showed up to church unannounced, and is taking us out to dinner Friday, the only night we had no dinner. That was a fun surprise.
Sheila (recent convert that keeps randomly dropping off the face of the planet for long periods of time) showed up at church (see a pattern here? And what did we do?? This is all definitely the work of The Lord. He is wonderful, and so good at what He does.) AND set up an appointment for this week. She asked us if we could meet and help her learn how to go to the temple. Whoa! So excited.
Susan (less-active) was busy when we stopped by, but asked us to come in anyway and talk and share a message. That was a little surprising. She's also having us for lunch this week (everyone wants us for dinner so we had to get creative and set lunches too).
Claudette (new investigator) came to church all 3 hours! Going back this week to teach her and her roomates the next lesson. And probably play a game of catch phrase.
Stopped by the Kuresa's (new move-ins and ward missionaries). They are the best. Sister Kuresa invited us in and we talked with her and her friend and aunt there, all members. Before we had to go she said "oh I have a question. I know someone who wants to learn more about the church and the Book of Mormon. Could we set up a time to do dinner and a lesson with her here this week?" Me on the outside: "Yeah, that'd be great! When is best for you?" on the inside: WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?! We absolutely could do that!
Robin (less-active) finally answered the door! It's been almost 3 months since that last happened. She had just gotten home from a 12-hour shift but she asked if we could set appointment for this week. I love set appointments.
Laura (less-active) has been very closed off to us for the most part. But I remembered she's a hairstylist, so we tried her one night and as soon as Sister Loveridge mentioned she was to they suddenly were speaking a different language (hair-talk I guess) and getting super excited, much more of a response than anyone's had with her! She literally said, "Aw I want to get to know you better! When's the soonest we can set an appointment?"... :)
Julie is one of my favorites this week. She got out of her comfort zone and for the first time in decades she came to church. I could not stop smiling I almost cried. Had you asked me 4 months ago that that'd happen I would've guessed that I'd be transferred between now and then since I was sure I had no idea what to do for her then.
Taryn is a returning less-active that just moved in and the first thing she did on the sunday she came and met with the bishop is that she asked when she could have dinner with the missionaries. And so we get to do that tonight! She is pregnant (6 months along) and she also has cancer in her throat, but the doctors say she should be safe to wait to treat it until the baby is born. Keep her in your prayers!
Brother and Sister Novillo (part member family) are coming to the Gladys Knight devotional with the Saints Unified Voices (SUV). Don't have time to explain that much further except this: it'll be life-changing for them and Brother Novillo may very likely finally accept a baptism date after this experience. Try looking it up to see what it is, if you can't find it tell me and I'll explain in another email (I'm sure I will at some point since it's coming up).
I'm so proud of the Eyre family in the ward. They know everyone on their street, nobody knows everyone on their street anymore (I didn't back home). We did service for a non-member family on their street, and we'll stop by and see how they're doing :D
Brittney (non-member, loves the activities but doesn't want to take the discussions) is coming to SUV too, and get this - she's bringing 2 non-member friends. Already a missionary haha!
Met Tiffany Barr, she's had a really tough divorce and so it's been hard for her to stay active in the last few months. But she wants to come back and so we're going to see her regularly to help out with that!
The Nixons (non-members, son is on a mission) are coming to SUV. They also signed up to feed us in a couple weeks, so that'll be GREAT. :)
Rusicks (part-member) also signed up to feed us, going to officially start the lessons with them soon!
Even April made it to church (less-active, health issues). She was about 4 and 1/2 hours late so she came to another ward, but she came!
This morning Sister Loveridge dyed Sister Cortes's hair blue (part-member family, she's active and he's being taught by the Elders). Had an awesome discussion and she's so awesome. So awesome. Makes the best Mexican food too.
Whew I feel like I just ran a marathon... but here's another week, let's do it again! But better!! Love each of you and think of ever last one of ya each day:)
- Sister Shumway