Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lovin' it in Solvang

These are my new companions, Elder Clark on the left, and Elder Castro on the right. Elder Castro is the new missionary, who is waiting for his visa for Australia.

And this is the picture of Jeaninne, Cliff (guy next to me), her son Noah, and Cliff's 10 year old son Logan

Hi! Yes, I am very excited to be staying in the Ventura mission (: It was great to get that news. 
So, about a week and a half ago, on the first Friday I was in Solvang, we met a lady named Gloria when we were tracting. We talked to her a little bit about our church, and I guess she had talked to missionaries before, and knew some members of our church. She invited us in and we talked a little more about the Book of Mormon and about coming to church. She said she'd come to church that next Sunday, but her son ended up having an ear infection, so she wasn't able to make it. So we went back the following day, which was this past Monday, and taught her and her husband, Mark, the Restoration. I think that was the most powerful lesson I've been in so far! That spirit was so strong, and Elder Castro, Elder Clark, and I taught with a lot of unity. It was really cool, when I testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and how it has blessed us as a family, I could see that they were feeling the spirit. I really felt like I was supposed to take part in testifying truth to them as a missionary. It definitely was a lot more than just a coincidence that we met them! We left them with a Book of Mormon Stories for their 5 year old and 7 year old sons. They are leaving for Holland in a couple days, but will be back in a couple weeks, and we will continue teaching them. From what we have heard from Gloria, she and her family are enjoying the reading!

We also met with Brad Rodges a couple times this week. On Saturday night, we hada REALLY long lesson simply about coming to church. Brad has been meeting with the missionaries on and off for about 5 years now, and has only come to church 2 times. We were really determined to have him at church yesterday. We testified that going to church would improve his life and his living situation, and he even shared experiences with us how church has blessed his life. Yet, every time we asked him to commit to coming to church, he would say, "I'll try, but I can't promise." He is afraid of commitment I think. Even though he does not have plans for the next day, he doesn't want church to get in the way of whatever may come up, if something comes up. Unfortunately, We went by around 9:30 yesterday morning to see if he was up to coming to church at 10. We found that he was not at home, but he was at a breakfast gathering somewhere in town. That frustrated us a little bit.... We are going to talk to him about commitments next time we meet with him and see if there is a deeper concern. It's so sad to see how much this Gospel can bless peoples lives, but they won't take it no matter how hard we try to help them see..
Thank you for the notes on Heather's talk! I'm so proud of her. She is awesome (: This week a couple nights ago, we were planning pretty late.. it was almost 10:20 at night, and we had our door open cause it was blazing hot. (It has been 105+ the past couple days (: ) and a guy came up to our door, looked in at us (Elder Castro was sprawled out across the floor), and asked, "Is this the bible room??" We looked at each other, and said sure... so he walked in, sat on our couch, and started talking to us about UFOs, and the rapture for 20 minutes..... it was pretty random, and funny haha (:
Well, I'm out of time for emails. I hope all is going well!! You are in my prayers and thoughts daily! Thank you for all the pictures of Tadum and Emma (new nephew and niece) (: They are so cute!! Have a wonderful week (:

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