Some pretty cool stuff went down this week. I'll stick to the highlights.
I was on exchange in Laguna Beach for the 3rd time, don't know what that means for the future but I got to go with Sister Rolfson. She is fantastic. I know I've talked about a lot of extraordinary missionaries but she is one of my favorites. We've been friends since I came to California, and now we're serving in the same zone! We were also talking about booking the same apartment at BYUI when we both get home. So we had a fun day together, and had the view of the ocean pretty much the whole time.
Next day we accidentally ran into a Bible study happening in the Kolden's home (potentials we talked to a while ago) when we went by to drop off an invitation to an activity. She invited us in for a minute to say hi to everyone, and we ended up having the opportunity to bear our testimonies of the Savior Jesus Christ. That was pretty cool, but totally didn't see it coming.
Sister Hartwell had us for dinner Monday. She is somewhat recently returning less-active (since july) but just moved into our ward. Her husband is not a member but he's awesome and pretty interested! We're going to start her on family history in preparation for the temple and her husband on the discussions soon. Life is good.
Sheila (recent convert, have the hardest time getting a hold of her) came up to us in church last week wanting to learn more about the temple and how she can prepare to do baptisms, so we spent some time answering her questions and going over the baptismal interview, which is similar and preparatory to the temple recommend interview. It went so well and we had a member friend and the relief society president with us. She's on the right track again, starting on family history with her real soon.
Zone training meeting was this last week, which was actually really really good this time! AND I got to share a story Dad Earl told me from his mission that one of the sister training leaders asked me to share, which was AWESOME because President Ellis and President Lutz were there and they along with all the other missionaries loved it. It got us all excited to go and do the work! I also felt very proud and loved and happy to be his granddaughter:)
So we had dinner with the Kuresa family (they are so cool. Another of my favorites.) who invited their brother and his girlfriend. The brother, Jake, is a less-active that has expressed the desire to come back into full activity, and his girlfriend, Janette, wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. That night could not have gone better! She wants to meet with us multiple times a week and prepare to be baptized. Jake has an 8-year-old girl who was engaged in the lesson and answering questions, and Janette has an 8-year-old girl who was right on board as well, she also has a 7-year-old and two 4-year-olds who were great. It was an incredible blessing that fell into our lap from Heavenly Father, and an experience I've been waiting and working for my entire mission. To be able to teach a family (they're planning on getting married at some point) who are so ready that even they know they're ready. The Spirit was there and did all the work, and it was wonderful to experience.
The relief society gave us a list of 'do-not-contacts' that were on a list to receive letters in place of visiting teaching. We decided to go through and contact them (there's no such thing as cheating in missionary work). We caught Sally at the perfect time. Her mom is active and was visiting from Oceanside, so when we knocked on the door she welcomed us in! After visiting with her and Sally and getting to know them, Sally told us she never would've let us in, but now that she's gotten to know us we are welcome anytime she's home. Whoa! That was awesome. She wants us to help her garden, teach her to make homemade bread rolls, and she wants to get to know us better. The timing was perfect. She went through a divorce 20 years ago but has 2 girls ages 20 and 24 living not too far away. But she was super close with her dad who passed away last July. The Spirit is also working on her right now and things are looking good to help her progress in the gospel.
Funny story to top it off and I gotta go - last night at dinner was a blast, one of those dinners that reminds me of having family dinner back home. We were with the Elders and got on this weird conversation topic of crazy injuries. Elder Johnson told us about a time a couple years ago when he got in a car accident and his nose broke, but it was literally over on the right side of his face under his eye. Doctors didn't dare touch it, even specialists, because they feared it would collapse and he would be like Voldemort. So they told him to pray and come back in 6 months to check on it and see if they could do anything. Within less than 2 months it traveled back to its normal place and healed itself. The doctors were shocked but relieved so now he has this weird story. Sister Loveridge turned to him and said, "Wow, you have amazing faith!" but I totally thought she said something else and right after she said that I commented, "Oh my gosh, I thought you just said he had an amazing face!" We all broke out laughing 'til we were crying. It was awesome especially since they're both missionaries. Sister Loveridge is also giving a training on the Christlike Attribute: Faith tomorrow in district meeting so I hope she uses that story somehow.
Alright, have an awesome week yet again and talk to you soon! Love you all:)
- Sister Shumway