Monday, February 8, 2016

Weird Week, Part 2; Life Lessons

So this week makes last week seem normal... 

Monday we had p-day which was so fun, we got to play volleyball and my zone leader even chose me as a team captain. That never happens! Then we went to the Phil's house. They sort-of dropped us a few weeks ago, and didn't really seem too interested in having any more visits, but we just really felt a strong impression that we needed to go back there. So we got there and the mom welcomed us in as usual, but instead of seeming happy to see us like she used to, she kind of seemed like she was just letting us in out of obligation. We sat down in the living room for a few minutes and started having a pretty awkward conversation. Then a small miracle happened, her husband Bob came in. He has never sat in with us for a lesson before, but this time he did, and holy cow did he bring the spirit with him! Turns out he is a returned missionary, and that he has a super strong testimony and a lot of knowledge about the scriptures. He just doesn't come to church to keep the peace at his house because his wife doesn't want to go. It was an amazing lesson. I felt like I was learning more than I was teaching.

Tuesday we worked at the food bank for a few hours as usual. We also had a great lesson with a girl named Kate. She is not a member but some of her family are members that don’t come very often. Usually we talk to her mom more, but she wasn't there. So we talked to Kate instead, and it was a great conversation. She said she has gone to girls’ camp in the past and really enjoyed it. We are going to tell the YW leaders about that so the other girls can fellowship her and invite her to come again this year.

Tuesday we had the strangest experience with Ana (elderly man with rotting foot) we went to see how he was doing and turns out he had gone to the doctor that morning and they told him if he doesn't quit smoking, they will have to amputate his leg. They can't even start to fix anything unless he quits smoking right now, and then they can do surgery in May. When his wife told us that, we got pretty excited because we were like, maybe this will finally give Ana a wakeup call and he will stop smoking!! But you know what his response was? He said he has been smoking for 70 years, and has invested too much money into smoking now to quit.  Isn’t that just bizzarre??? Sigh... I don't understand that guy. He bore his testimony to us about the Book of Mormon and about the priesthood and everything, and he wants to be baptized... but he just won't quit smoking. He has made so much progress the last two months, I'd hate to see him hit a brick wall and stop progressing over this. The church members fasted for him yesterday, so hopefully it will help him, and we as missionaries will know how we can help. 

Wednesday we went to Marco's house (recent convert) to visit his son, Rian, one of our new investigators. We met his other son Antonio, last week, and when we got to Marco's trailer, it was actually Antonio that we ended up talking to. He had a lot of questions, and after about thirty minutes or so, he asked if we could show him our church. He had been asking about baptism, and we were explaining that we do it by immersion in water, because that's how Jesus was baptized. His next question was, "So like, do ya’ll just go to someone’s house and do it in a bathtub or somethin?" We said no, that we have a font in the church, and then he asked if he could see what it looks like.  We said we could sometime, maybe after church on Sunday we could show him around, and then he was like, "Can you show me right now?" So we said we guessed so, but we had to get a woman to come to the church and meet us there. One of our mission rules is that we can't go into a building alone with a person of the opposite sex without another woman with us. So then we got in the car and started driving there (he was following us in his car), and we started calling every woman we could think of that lives around the church. We were starting to get a little worried because nobody was answering, when suddenly Antonio zoomed in front of us and pulled over. We pulled up behind him and he got out of the car and said that he was actually running out of gas and had to go home... He was broke so he couldn't buy anymore. It was so weird. We just had to sit there for a minute in the car, thinking, what just happened? Then the rest of that day, NO ONE was home. We had like ten places we had planned to go to for appointments and back up plans, and no one was there! It was so weird! 

 With Marco, our new convert

Thursday something really cool happened. We got a random phone call at 9 am from an unknown number. Hna. Luevano answered it, and this lady started speaking the fastest Spanish I have ever heard. She was saying that she desperately needed some missionaries to come over as soon as we could. We asked her where she lived, and if 1 o clock would be okay to go over there (that was the earliest we could). And then we set the appointment. It turned out though, that the lady lived in the other sisters’ area, so they would have to go visit her. But they had a meeting and couldn't go. We were kind of worried because of how urgent she sounded on the phone, so we got special permission from our zone leaders for me and Hna. L to go to the appointment. At 1:00 we got there and started talking to her and found out she had just moved here the day before from Oxnard California! (That is where Hna. L is from!) She had been in a car accident on the way, and God saved her life, and she wanted to go back to church regularly. She was so urgently trying to find the missionaries, because she wanted to bear her testimony to us and find out where the church was so she could go on Sunday and pay her tithing. It was really cool.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! Hna L asked her who her bishop was, because she was thinking maybe this lady was in her stake or something at home. She said BISHOP LUEVANO. Hna L's dad was her bishop!!!!!! What are the chances of that?! And the fact that all these things played out so that Hna L was the missionary to be there. She just happened to call our phone, and not the other sisters, the other sisters just happened to have a meeting, etc. GOD IS SO COOL. And so aware of us! When she said that Hna. Ls dad was her bishop it was amazing. I almost started crying. Hna. L did.
The lady, Griselda is her name, said “Oh my goodness! I was just on the phone with him this morning! He helped me find your phone number.” CHILLS. Gah!... that was so cool! Truly a miracle. She came to church yesterday and bore the sweetest and most heartfelt testimony I have heard in a very long time. 

Hermana Luevano and Griselda, from Oxnard!

Friday pretty much nothing happened that I can remember about, but Saturday was Zone training meeting. We had a great “revelatory experience" as Elder David A. Bednar would say. And I learned so much. I have really been focusing the last few weeks and learning that one of the most important things we can do in our missions and in our lives is to give up our will to Heavenly Father. There was a quote said from David. O. Mckay, "The greatest battles you will ever fight will be within the silent chambers of your heart." The battle is your will versus the Lord's will. But the thing is, if He wins, you ultimately win too, but if you “win”, you both lose. See 1 Corinthians 2:9. Another favorite quote: "Only in losing yourself can you find yourself; only by enriching others, can you be enriched; only in giving can you receive; and only by surrendering can you become truly free." Mosiah 2: 22-24 is amazing for this too. I guess when it all comes down to it, everything in life is about charity and humility. Life is hard, not the Gospel. If  you are living the gospel halfway, only letting the Lord guide you in some things, and keeping others to yourself, your actually making it a lot harder on yourself.

Othello Zone Meeting, Feb. 6, 2016
Top, Left to Right: Elders Shugart, Najarian, Cordon, Buchanan, Mercardo, Gaburel, Spackman, Call Bottom, Left to Right, Sisters Rasmussen, Knight, Luevano, Hirsche, Hall, Fabiano

One way I have seen this in my own life is with the BFGs (singing group with my sisters). It was so hard to leave on my mission and leave the momentum that we were gaining behind. We finally made a pretty solid demo album, we played some shows, and people seemed genuinely interested in our music. But I decided to give my will to Heavenly Father and do what he wanted me to do first, which was to serve a mission, and now I am already seeing some blessings, particularly pertaining to the BFGs. I mentioned in ONE member dinner a few weeks ago that I like to sing with my sisters and we have a band together and that it is really fun, and then this lady was stalking me on the Internet and ended up finding the BFG videos on YouTube. She apparently spent about 3 hours watching them. Now, since it's a very small town, at every single member dinner people are like, “So, Sister Knight, you didn't tell us you were famous on YouTube!" Ha ha! I try to not get talking about it too much, because I don't want our visits to be about me, but it's still pretty amazing to see that by giving up the BFGs for 18 months and submitting my will to Heavenly Father, how many more fans I ended up with! 

Saturday afternoon after ZTM, we did a service project together as a zone. It was pretty nasty. We were picking up a bunch of poop and garbage in this trailer park by the stake center. But it was so fun too! We ended up getting to meet a few new people, and the Othello missionaries got a few appointments out of it. The best way to meet new people, and get new investigators, is by showing them you care. Doing service doesn't just help them, it helps us, because we feel so good doing it! 

 Picking up 20 bags of trash!

Yesterday was church testimony meeting, and it was amazing. like I said before, we were having a fast for Ana, and there were so many answers to my prayers in testimonies. It was cool, because there was an unofficial theme to all of the testimonies, and that was that we can get amazing revelation through scripture study and prayer. I guess I need to search the scriptures even more for how I can help Ana!

Well my friends, I think that's about it this week. It's been seriously a crazy week. I am so exhausted. Definitely taking a nap at P-day today. Ha ha! Well I love you all so much and hope to hear from you soon. Les Quiero Muchisisisisisisimo

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