I went on exchanges twice this week! Sister Roberts and I drove around in my area huntin' for dem souls to save. Oh, I was driving. Do I know my area yet? Not a chance. Does Sister Roberts know my area? Thankfully, yes!
We had a list of names of people who were supposedly interested, and we planned on visiting every single one of them. Guess how many were interested? A grand total of zero. Being rejected isn't as difficult as I thought it'd be. Most people are really polite, and I've only met a few who aren't too kind. More on that later.
Eggs. Cake. Brownies. Rice. A rice cooker/veggie steamer. A Brita pitcher and Brita water bottles for each sister in our apartment. Soup. Ravioli. Ramen. Pancake mix. Vegetable oil. This may not seem like much, but he had gone to Costco. So we filled up the trunk of the car AND the backseat. We were just overwhelmed with gratitude. Honestly, I don't know how to thank him enough! The other set of Sisters don't get fed dinner that often (each set of Sisters has a different dinner coordinator) so they will never have to wonder how they're going to eat dinner ever again. Gary Van Buren is a blessing.
The week went on. I went to my first District Meeting (where we talk about our investigators and discuss how we can serve them more) and attended my first Blitz (where several different missionary companionships go to a single companionship's area and just walk around and contact people on the street. We went to our Zone Leaders' area to help them out. Usually you can get lots of people for that specific companionship to teach. This wasn't a usual Blitz. We talked to nearly no one. Sister Cozzens and I talked to two people. One of them was having a garage sale and we just talked with him. He has faith in Jesus Christ, but it's low. He's been through a lot, but he wants to work it out by himself. We'll have the Elders drop by his home in a few weeks :) Random note, apparently it's a rule in the mission that if you're doing a Blitz and you find a yard/garage sale, you have to buy something for the host companionship. Sister Cozzens and I bought a Rugrats keychain for the Elders (Elder Reyes and Elder Knight). When we presented them with our find, they were so excited. I've never seen Elders so excited for something (other than food). I love my fellow missionaries so much!
Though the Blitz was rather unsuccessful in its intended purpose, it was pretty successful for Sister Cozzens and me. I did my first street contact all by myself! His name was Rafael and he's a landscaper. We actually caught him mowing someone's lawn. He saw us and turned off the mower and just talked with us! He was interested in learning more about the gospel, and though we contacted him in the Elders' area, he lives in an area that is run by some Sisters... One of those Sisters was my MTC companion! You're welcome, Sister Petersen!
As we walked up and down the uninhabited roads, Sister Cozzens and I came up with a game to help me contact better. We'd pick a random object and then have the other "liken it unto the gospel." We came up with some creative ways to bring the gospel into any conversation!
"Liken that garden unto the gospel."
"Just as you have to cultivate flowers, you have to cultivate faith. You start with a simple concept, a simple seed. From there you have to water it, prune it, let it sit in the sun. With your faith, you need to pray, read the scriptures, and attend church..."
You know you're a missionary when that kind of thing is your number one source of entertainment...
Later that day we did some more street contacting. We saw a man loading up his car and so we asked him where he was headed. At first he was conversational, telling us about his bro trip to the Colorado River to raft and do fun things. And then he started saying some pretty rude and crude things and I had to use every fiber of my body to not unleash my wrath upon him. We walked away after that. But we met an amazing man named Roger! He's a gay baptist and he's really interested in our message. He's told us to drop by for water whenever we need it.
Though the week was tough, we knew we could count on Sunday for a good lesson. We have these two lovely people, Becky and Marc, who are not only really serious about learning the gospel and eventually being baptized, but are really serious about quitting their habit of smoking! There's this near foolproof program the church set up in the 80s via two Elders that all missionaries around the world use to help their investigators/everyone. It's great. We studied the material for hours, role playing and practicing back and forth. We were tying in the Word of Wisdom as well, so we were working on weaving that into the program. We were so excited and we were feeling pretty grateful that we were finally breaking the cycle of not teaching.
And then the phone rang.
And they cancelled.
And don't want us to come back.
Our hearts broke. There have been very few moments in my life where I had been as devastated as I was that afternoon. Becky was still interested, but a few things were happening to her that are preventing her from seeing us. I can't say much about it because it's kind of serious. But I love Marc and Becky so much, and I'm going to continue praying for them. The last thing we said to her was "As you put your faith in your Savior, everything in your life will fall into place." She knows that to be true. And that gives me so much hope.
This week is going to be so good. The Lord is preparing His children to hear our word. The Work is progressing!
Don't forget to thank your Heavenly Father for everything ever. He is amazing. God is good!
Satan tries to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit him.