Lots of amazing things happened. For instance: Sister Cozzens and I ate an entire loaf of french bread between the two of us for dinner one night. Another amazing thing: Janet is on date for baptism! It's a little ways away, but she knows that this is something she needs to do, and she wants to be as prepared as she possibly can be for it. It's going to be a slow and steady journey with her, but it's one I'm so excited to be on!
I went on exchanges in Spanish Land again this week. Me and the Hermanas are best friends now and have already planned a little reunion at the Y when we all get home. Oh, I love Hermana Babb and Sager dearly. We had a really interesting experience while we were walking. We saw a man working on his gutter, and it would've been easy to pass him by, and not disturb him and his work. But we need to TALK WITH EVERYONE! So we said hello! He noticed our tags and asked us if we were Latter-day Saints. We said yes. He bit his lip and bowed his head and was silent for a few moments. We waited patiently until he finally looked back at us and said, "Follow me." And we did. He led us into an apartment complex and we ended up at the manager's door. He knocked on the door and when the manager answered, he stood erect and dignified and stated, "These Sisters are presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you allow them to speak with the residents?" Wow. The request was denied and the man, Robert, apologized. He introduced us to the man he was working with, and said that he would like to take the discussions. He requested the Elders to teach him, but gave us his information to give to them. Miracles happen when you are exactly obedient!
Another exciting example of exact obedience! We had done an hour of walking in the morning with the other missionaries, but decided that we needed to be obedient and do the last half hour of walking. So off we went! Not much longer than five minutes, we start talking to this couple on their porch. They were setting up Christmas trees, so we talk to them about that! All of a sudden, the woman (who is Samoan) perks up and asks, "What faith are you from? Are you Mormons??" "Yes, we are!" "Oh, my daughter is a Mormon! Come in, come in!" She let's us go into her home and she shows us pictures of her family, she shows us her hobbies, her projects, her cat! Her husband, Jim (a super white guy), is quietly sipping his beer and following us this whole time. We invite them to watch the video and Tua, the woman, is more that willing. But Jim... He steps out of the room. We watch the Because He Lives video and the Spirit entered the room like a tidal wave. There was nothing but peace for those moments. Jim slowly walked in during the video, and watched the remainder of it with us. His heart was pricked, but not necessarily touched. They invited us back, though! And before we left, she offered us lemons off of her tree. She was too short to pick the lemons, so she whacked the branches with a broom. I seriously love Tua.
I don't understand why people don't just tell us that they're not interested! They go through these elaborate schemes to try to keep us from coming back, when literally all they have to say is "I'm not interested, thank you." I'm going to tell the story of Cecelia. Sister Cozzens and I showed her the video about a week ago. She enjoyed it and said we could come back. We made an appointment in the morning to visit with her and thought all was well. On exchanges, Sister Cozzens and Sister Ogden head over to her house. She has a chain link fence around her yard to keep her pitbull, Princess, in and people out. Princess at first really didn't like us. But she eventually grew to love Sister Cozzens, and when she showed up for the lesson, Princess was more than excited to see her. They walked through the gate and played with Princess before knocking on the door. No answer. Rang the doorbell. Nada. They left a sticky note that said, "Sorry we missed you! Give us a call when you can! Love you! -The Sisters." Later that day they got a call back from Cecelia. "Hi, Cecelia! How are you!" "What were you thinking? Why did you go inside my gate?" "Excuse me..?" "My dog could've seriously hurt you. I wasn't home. Why did you enter my gate?" "We weren't going to let Princess hurt us! We just wanted to let you know we dropped by!" "Well I was never interested." "We know that the message that we share really brings peace to peoples' lives. But alright. You have a good day."
People are seriously crazy.
We did a few hours of service this week. There's a park in the middle of Hemet that they cover in flags for Veterans' Day. We set up the flags alongside a JROTC group, a biker gang, and people from the city government. Every flag we set up represented a fallen soldier. There were over 2000 flags. It was kind of hallowing, and the bikers reminded the group every so often that each flag we handled represented a life, and that we needed to be treating them with nothing but respect. I'm thankful for the service men and women who give their all for this great nation. I'm thankful for my dad and for all the years of his life he devoted to protecting me and my family and all those who live here in the United States of America. I love him sooo much.
I have a request for the few of you who read my blog: Send me Christmas cards! Make them hokey, make them beautiful, I don't care. I just want to have lots and lots of pictures of my loved ones' faces on my wall:)
That's all, folks! Tune in next week for the updates on exchanges!
All my love,