This week has been simultaneously wonderful as well as full as learning experiences that were hard to go through. For various reasons, we lost almost all of our investigators. Some of them dropped us, some of them merely stopped responding, but it left us with an astounding lack of people to teach. It was really hard. I didn't understand why everything was going so well, then it suddenly wasn't. But, Sister Wolterman taught me an important lesson this week. She showed me that while it's okay to be sad for a minute, we need to move forward with faith, trusting that Heavenly Father wouldn't let us go through these trials for no reason. So we have been pushing onward, and while we weren't able to teach a lot of lessons, we worked harder at contacting and finding people. We have seen blessing after blessing come from having the Christ-like attribute of diligence. It's not always easy, and it's not always fun, but it's always worth it.
So on Tuesday we were on exchanges and I was with Sister Hollenbeck, At the beginning of this transfer, we promised to go tracting for an hour every single day, so the first thing we were doing was tracting. We were finishing tracting a street, and we went up to one of the last houses on the street, as Sister Hollenbeck went up to the door and knocked on it, I saw something, and I realized that we had already knocked on this door. Most people aren't happy to see us the first time we come to the door, so I was worried that we were about to get yelled at. So when the man opened the door, I was relieved to see one of the nicer people that I've talked to. His name is Bob. I started out with the genius line of, "Hi! I've met you before!" He laughed a little bit, and responded with, "I know!" It was pretty funny. We had a really good conversation with him, (because he hadn't been able to talk to us last time due to a conference call) and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was really touched that we would give that to him, and he promised that he would read it. We invited him to learn more about the Gospel, but he said, "Let me read the book first, then we can talk about it." !!!!! It was so exciting. We will stop by sometime in the next few weeks and see how he is doing. :) We also went contacting down on some hiking trails where we contacted 80 people and handed out 9 Book of Mormons!! (Books of Mormon? Still don't know the plural of that) It was awesome!
On Wednesday we had Zone Conference! Half the mission got together for 5 hours to learn and get trainings from President Orgill, the AP's, and the Lead STL's. It was amazing. President talked about the forces of darkness and how they are like chains. He spoke to us about how when we give evidence of our internal struggles, the adversary knows that it's time to apply more pressure on us. We also talked about having faith, and the cultural beliefs of the Irvine mission. It was just what I needed. We also got these things called tiwi boxes in our cars. It's a box that tracks everything you do while you drive, where you are, your speed, how fast you accelerate, etc. This Brother from the missionary department came and taught us all about it. I was being a little bit sassy, and he was sassy right back. It was really funny, and we had a few good laughs together. We also found out that we were both from Orem. :) He decided that we are kindred spirits. Right when we were about to get our safety training, and learn how to back people, (Because backing into companions with the car has been a problem recently) the power went out. So we will get that training later I guess. It was a wonderful. We also went tracting in the rain, and it was a blast.
On Thursday, it was pretty uneventful. I was on exchanges, and my temporary companion was sick, so we stayed inside for the day.
Friday was amazing!!!! And also kind of sad. We had some meetings in the morning, then went to lunch with some of the members in our ward. Afterwards, we went to teach one of our investigators. After the lesson, he told us that he no longer would like to meet with us. So that was really sad. We went tracting, then we went to dinner at a members house. Also having dinner with us was Randall K. Bennett from the quorum of the Seventy! We were able to talk to him for a good forty minutes before dinner. He gave us a ton of advice and so much good insight on member missionary work. He told us about some of his experiences and helped us see new ways of doing missionary work. It was most definitely one of the absolute highlights of my week. He also helped me realize and understand the importance of being exactly obedient. One of the things we have been struggling with is inviting people to be baptized on the first lesson. I have always been scared to do that. But I realized as we were talking that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the twelve wouldn't ask us to do it unless it was important. That was only one of the few things I learned that night. We also talked with him about the cultural beliefs training that we received in Zone Conference. He was really intrigued by that. We had these little laminated versions of them, so I gave him mine. He was really grateful, and it was awesome that he wanted it. Man, it was such a cool night.
Yesterday when we called in numbers, it was kind of funny, cause our lesson numbers were kind of low, but we got 148 contacts, as well as giving our 23 BoM's. Which was awesome!!! Our goal was 25 books, but there is always next week! :) We were reading out our numbers, then we got to those two, and our District Leader went, "wait, what? Can you repeat those?" It was pretty hilarious. When you try to talk to everyone, and are willing to step our of your comfort zone, Heavenly Father puts people in your path. It's so amazing.
This week went by so fast! I have come to find that my mission won't be nearly as long as I thought it was going to be. I am coming to realize that it is such a blessing to be here and to be able to see so many miracles all the time. I don't know what the future will bring, but I'm excited to find out and I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me, and that's all that matters.
Thank you all for your love and support! You are all amazing, and I love you lots!!
Love, Sister Wood :)
1) Elders Mueller, Te'o as well as Elder Bennett and us.
2) The view from the Stake Center. It's gorgeous!!