they're still together!!
YES! we are still together!! This will be our 5th transfers together and I'm not sure I've heard of anyone in the mission being together this long ..... but we know there are many reasons. Some we've realized, some not yet. When people ask, we say we've been together since Christmas .... minus 6 weeks. Holy cow that's soooo long! End of fall semester to beginning of the next fall semester. Boooo yah (as our district leader, E. Pebley always says)! We were happy with that news!!
I am so glad to be in this area because there is so much to be done! Rosy and Rosa are still getting baptized September 4th (the weekend before I'll probably leave) but both we want to push up their dates and very likely it will happen. Norma needs to go to Mexico to talk to her Dad about something that happened a long time ago ... and then she has all desires to get baptized. We went to a girls camp skit the JC were putting on for their parents (to prep for the real one at camp) and it was sooooo awesome! I say this because Norma's daughter was in it. WOW. Hermana Nielsen and I were so impressed by the young women and their testimonies and willingness to share their talents and experiences. WOW. YW was certainly different in Michigan and NJ.
MEMBERS. We went by our WML this week to ask his wife if she could come out with us and we walk to where their condo is and their gate and front door are wide open with lights on ..... and it's completely empty. Kind of a scary picture ... with everything going on here right now with the law ... but then they came back. They lost their house this week because of something with the bank. They're moving down the street ... aka out of the branch :( We are SOOOO SAD to see them leave, but we realized that night that that of Heavenly Father's way of sending him to where they are now. They will be a huge blessing in the Valencia branch and to ALL of their neighbors. They're ... awesome.
We got a call this week that a member in our stake invited someone to go to church in spanish. So ... when is church? We got the information and all and then we asked how he met him. So anyone who's reading this .... MEMBER MISSIONARY .... right here. He said he was driving down the road and saw a man at the bus stop and felt impressed to stop. He gave him a ride to Target and invited him to church. Needless to say, church was filled with the Spirit and we are excited to teach Juan this week. I'm sure the story Juan has is years long of searching for something more in his life. This week will forever change his life, whether he accepts these things now or at another time. YAY for awesome member missionaries in Arizona!!!!!
A few weeks ago we had a district meeting with 2 districts together (and then a big pizza party with really good pizza .... I miss NY pizza but this was pretty good!) One Elder talked about TTI's: teach, testify, invite. Each day we are to talk to at least 20 people on the street and TTI them. In our area it is pretty much 100 of the same people, I'd say. Sometimes we meet new people, but it's a lot of the same ones ... so it's like we're becoming friends. Fun like that! Anyway, as missionaries, we are to preach the gospel to everyone. It doesn't matter who they are, what they are doing ... well ... there are some no gos ... but ... anyway. This talk this Elder gave was to motivate us to find more who are searching for the REstored gospel of Jesus Christ. He read a story about an Elder who found his friend, that he is confident he knew in the premortal life and promised to bring the gospel to. I went home and kind of asked myself .... is there someone here I need to find? I pondered for about a day ... knowing that some people do come on missions to find this one person that they need to teach, testify, and invite to be baptized and such .... and I came to the conclusion I don't really think anyone up to now has been someone of that category. It doesn't mean I haven't done the Lord's work, however.
That's a really short answer to that thought but I did realize something. Ryan McGeough. He IS someone that I specifically needed to help. A little different from missionary work in Arizona ... but the work in the temple is the same exact work as those who are living here in Arizona, or anywhere in the world for that matter. It was humbling to realize this. I remember sitting at his funeral when I was ... maybe 14 or 15 ... and thinking .... no one here knows about the Restored gospel. I am the only one who can help him. I kind of pushed it off for years. Well, I knew it had to be done this past summer. That became really evident one night as I tossed and turned trying to go to sleep and finally sat up and said out loud, "Fine, I'll ask her for permission," referring to his mom. I have great faith that he is now serving in the Spirit world. I hope to one day be able to see his family understand and comprehend this great work as well! Anyway, that was a really cool thing to realize this week. And we will continue to find those who are ready to accept the gospel and who we can help prepare to one day accept the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ!
The Law goes in place this week if nothing impedes. It is tough being a missionary here doing this work with this law being put in place, being pushed by a member of the church. We contacted a menos activo yesterday [who no one in the branch knows about] who told us they have no interest in being part of a church that is making this law. YIKES. I thought of Dad's talks on choosing to not be offended. Speaking of hard things, we ran into a man who told us "The Book of Mormon goes against what Jesus Christ teaches in the New Testament." I did not know what to say to him. Hermana Nielsen was pretty bold with him. We just testified to him. I do know though, if you're not open to the spirit, it will not testify to you.
Love you lots! I love your letters! I feel so blessed with so many letters ... from family, friends, missionaries! Until next week! Lots of love! Hermana Clark