What a week! I know it's late, but Happy Canada Day. And Happy 4th of July!
This is the wonderful story you all had to wait for! The Richmond English sisters, Sisters Mathialagan and Sister Shahamati texted us two weeks ago with the number for a potential and set up a time for a church tour later in the week! When we were finally able to get a hold of them, we had to switch our appointment a couple times because he worked.
His name is Alfonso* and he was coming with a girl, Ariana*. They are from Mexico. He got here 3 weeks prior, and she came just one week before.
When we got a time scheduled, we met them for the tour. BUT WE WERE LOCKED OUT OF THE CHURCH because we don't have a key (someone explain this to me), and no one else was near to open it. So we walked to a park as we got to know them better and did some How to Begin Teaching, and taught the Restoration. They were so cute. They asked so many questions, and they asked the questions because they wanted to know answers!
At the end, Ariana told us that everything we taught was more or less what they already believed, except there were a few things that were different. They were excited to read the Book of Mormon. She said that what we taught added on to what they already believed and that what we taught, as well as the Book of Mormon, help them see the bigger picture and understand so much more.
Ok. So they are super cool.
Afterwards, we found out they are married! Blessings! They got married about 6 months ago! They loved the idea that as each of them put God first in their lives and marriage, they would grow closer to each other.
We hope to be able to see them soon! He's busy with work and they are trying to move right now.
Painting last P-day was so awesome! We read a little bit in 3 Nephi 12 with Lucia before we started. Then we got to work! She set up the cutest little area for us to paint, overlooking Lonsdale and Downtown Vancouver. It was so hot, but so worth it. She also gave us agua or fresca, lime flavored. Man it was good. We ran out of time to finish, but we are hoping we can finish soon!
One thing Lucia kept telling us as we were painting was "No tengas miedo!!". Hermana Wilson and I were being unsure and timid about color usage or brush, or how much water to use, etc. She just kept saying over and over "No tengas miedo!". Hermana Wilson and I had an amazing teacher who was teaching us how to paint! What an opportunity! All we had to do was do as she said. It wasn't easy at times (1. We didn't really know the vocabulary for painting in Spanish, 2. We had never done it before). It made me think about life. We have Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father has given us the opportunity to come here so that we can become like him. He sent his perfect son, Jesus Christ to the world, to teach us and show us how to live life. We are here on the earth, and although Jesus Christ is not living on the earth right now, we have his example and his words, written by prophets during his life, as well as words prophesied before and after his birth. We are hear to learn, but we cannot learn without action. Without trying, we will not gain experience. I would have gained or learned very little if Marisol had just painted the picture for me. It would have been an interesting experience, but I would be left wondering what would have happened if I had tried.
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you (DyC 86:6)
The Lord is telling us not to fear! We are hear to learn and gain experience! We need to act, and trust. We have the perfect example. And what is even better than stinking acrylics is that in life, our mistakes can go away! The Savior, whose perfect example could have justly been enough, gave his life and performed the Infinite Atonement, and through him we can be perfect. All our mistakes can go away. All we have to do is "look unto [him] in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (DyC 6:36). We need to act in faith everyday. If we fall short, turn to the Savior and Redeemer, and repent. Become clean, and then try again!
"Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 3:10). Try and see if you cannot better reach your potential as a child of God.
The rest of P day was great! We went on a little hike in Lynn Valley with Hermana Andrea Valderi, a recent convert as of November. It was so pretty and fun! And steep.
We had a really cool lesson with Daniela on Monday night! She is reading the Book of Mormon, and also praying over a baptismal date! She knows baptism is what she needs in her life. She knows she has put off not going to church and progressing too long and that this is what her Spirit has been looking for! Such an amazing lesson!
Zone Conference was so good! It was Friday from 8 until 4! The focus of Zone Conference was to be more consecrated missionaries. I was super excited because that is what I have been focusing on personally, too.
First off, President Burt is so amazing. Such an inspired man. I'm so grateful to have him as my mission president, as well as Sister Burt for a mission mom. They are wonderful.
Here a just a few thoughts, highlights, and quotes I loved:
"As you go about your days working in the 32 degree heat, yeah, you are going to be uncomfortable. But think of the great, warm drops of blood that the Savior gave. Those weren't comfortable" --President Burt
"The blessings are already there, we just have to do the work to receive them. With so many rules, there are so many more chances to be blessed." -- Elder Nielson, talking about living the standards of the white handbook.
There should be no question as to whether or not we are obedient. We just need to do it.
"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21) If we focus on what we should be doing as missionaries, or members of the church, that is where we will receive blessings. As I work to help others receive eternal blessings and perspective, I will receive eternal blessings, no matter how hard it is in the moment.
We need to give up good for better for best. At home, I tried to go to the temple weekly. Prophets, Apostles, and other church leaders stress the importance so much. Since I have been out in the field, I have not been able to go. But that is because for me right now, this missionary work is more important than temple work.
"If you are wondering where God is, he is as close as you will allow him to be" --President Burt
All that is asked of us is to be the best we can be!
We were just living off that Spirit on Friday, and brought it straight into a lesson with a potential I met on the skytrain. We met her about 2 months back, and I had the feeling as I was talking to her that she was going to be baptized. It was stronger than just "I want her to be baptized", but really "She has to be baptized. She's ready". We contacted often over the past two months, but she wasn't able to meet up. We were going to meet with her earlier in the week, but then she had a problem come up so it got pushed back. Then on Friday, we got that text that you read while we were heading into lunch, and she asked if we could see her that night, and that she really wanted to learn more! So after conference we miraculously got a member and walked with her to the church. It was her first time in a church. She is almost 40 and was raised Atheist. We gave a tour of the church (including the baptismal font), and then we taught the Restoration. She asked so many questions, and asked to understand. She was so interested and the Spirit was so strong. We invited her at the end to be baptized and by the time I got to the word "baptism" in the baptismal invite, she was already saying yes and I couldn't even finish the sentence. We set a date for August 1! It was so cool! Afterwards, we walked into the Sacrament meeting room, and she said there was a strong feeling of peace and she felt calmed. She said she wanted to come every week! Then as we were leaving, she asked if she could mark the Book of Mormon we gave her. She told us she would be texting us the insights she had. We are so excited to help her come closer to Christ! She said her first prayer ever at the end of the lesson, and it was beautiful. I love investigator prayers!
Sorry for so many crazy thoughts! It's a scattered email! Hope you made it through!
Hermana Wilson's is the one on the left. Mine is on the right. Almost done...
View from West Vancouver
Happy Canada Day! (From the 2015 Canada Day Photo Shoot Album)
Shout out to Celeste, my faithful follower!<3 El quien quiere Celeste...
We didn't start the fire! It was always burning...But really. Orange sun and smoke for 2 days!