Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6/9/14 - Pass Along Cards Work

"Ole ole, ole ole..... I'm feelin’ hot, hot, hot" and here comes the summer! 
Some fun details about this week:
  -We have a new investigator!! His name is Isaiah, and we taught the full Restoration, prayed, and set up a return appt. on his doorstep! He's a junior in high school looking for enlightenment, and we are meeting with him (and hopefully his mom) tomorrow! It’s been a long hard week knocking, but he really is a miracle to have found!
   -Church was AWESOME, Juan made it on his own! He is our deaf investigator that has to ride the bus and doesn’t know sign language very well.  We were biting our nails ‘til 3 minutes before! Also, the elders recent convert Angelina (whose been having a hard time coming cuz of her job... sketchy job) came to church and so did Marisa (who was baptized last week) with her son Isaiah. Her son made her wake up at 6:30am and made us banana bread cupcakes, and she is freezing some jambalaya for us, since they can’t feed us. This is the same woman who cooks everything in the microwave cuz she can’t afford to pay for her gas... Wow, very humbling.
   -Taught the law of chastity and tithing to Juan.... hahaha, uhhhhh (play it cool Sis McNeill).  Not fun trying to act out, but he got the message! With the concept of tithing, we’re going to try to teach him again, and we had a new idea to use a calculator, so that is going down tomorrow… pray for us.
   -This Sunday we signed a song called "Keeper of the Flame" while Brittany Ball sang/played piano. Super cool, it’s a whole new way of feeling the spirit.
   -Visited with a gay ex-communicated member. He is doing so good, and he actually said he might come to church to see our baptism with Juan in 3 weeks!! With him, I’ve never felt so much godly sorrow, seeing how much knowledge and testimony he has, yet still turning away from it all. But, regardless of what everything and everyone seems to point to, Sister Cox and I REFUSE to give up hope. We know the spirit has touched much darker souls, and he is such an amazing person!!! So maybe it will start with this baptism. He WILL be able to come to our weddings.
   -Met a woman named Brenda…Sooo kind! Just radiated and praised us for being willing to serve random strangers. She is very caring toward us. She's "not interested...." yet, but her daughters want to learn sign language, and she's practically begging to feed us dinner, so that was a very nice pick-me-up and we'll see how it goes from there.
   -Pass along cards actually work! We have someone named Peter who wants to know more about the Book of Mormon, but won’t meet us cuz of his parents. So, we are teaching him through texts!!!! I’ll keep you updated on that one.

Spiritual summary of the week - it is easier to stuff a camel through a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Hence we are on the search for the poor in spirit.

-Love to you all! 
Sister McNeill

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

6/2/14 - Marisa got baptized!

So, this week was another slammer with numbers, but I’m so ecstatic it doesn't even matter!  I love what you said dad, about how the numbers aren't for the Lord, they are for us.  Two of the coolest events first:
1-The elder's investigator, Marisa, - the one who we found & showed the baptismal font- was baptized yesterday! Sis Cox and I sang “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”, (not bragging, but alotta people complimented us afterwards, so it couldn’t have been toooo bad!)  But it was so neat, we got to help get her ready and dry her off after she came out. This was the first investigator I've been close with, and to see her baptized, regardless of who taught her... the spirit was on fire yesterday.  I have a new sister in the gospel – yeah!!!

2-JUAN CAME TO CHURCH!!!  We had to wake up @ 4:30, drive to Sylmar, ride two-hour long buses and walk a bit, but we got him there, 9:20am! Better yet, he arrived back home safely! We couldn't ride home with him since we had the baptism, so all we could do is drop him off at the station, write 2 sticky notes with the bus #'s, and pray he made it, and he did!! Truthfully, it was a blessing that it was on a fast Sunday, cuz we were nervous!  He can't read or talk, so if he gets lost.... faith is central here.  AND he's stopped smoking fully, so he is really 3 weeks away from becoming baptized!! We had to later travel back to Sylmar to pick up the car in Sylmar... four hours later. CRAZY people are on the bus, so awesome.  Long day yesterday, but one I won't soon forget. J

Other cool things:
-New deaf potential investigator.  She's black, hard of hearing, got plenty of sass, and knows one of our members. Suuuper excited to teach her!
-A Korean man named Michael Yoo approaches us at 8:30pm walking back to our car from knocking, and goes on for 20 minutes about how he loves Mormons. We swapped numbers, and we're setting up a dinner…sweet!
-We are now buddy-buddy with the Gas Station clerk next to our apt. We go there to get quarters for laundry.  His name is Jitandra, from India, and we gave a restoration pamphlet to him!
-Family history work is prime. We met Beverly, a deaf member who refuses to come to our ward, but she loves her family. So, we are going to get her to the temple through family history work. That is also how we are "getting" Stephanie. She is the wife of a less active member. Her house is full of pics of her ancestors and her family (she was a swimsuit model, as well as her daughters... had to kinda burn my eyes a little bit afterwards) but sooo sweet!  PS, mom did you know that we had ancestors actually IN the Martin Harris handcart company. Like the real deal! Cool story.
-It is soooo hot here I’m gonna die when we have bikes!

Sorry, just dripping with stories and emotions this week! The work is hard, but it is so much fun sometimes if you just learn to laugh.  Quote for the week, “"Hopeful people have a peace about them,
a way of looking at everything that happens as an opportunity for growth and happiness.  Their lives are not any easier than anyone else's, it's their attitude that sets them apart."

Love ya tons!
-Sis McNeill