That was sadly a conversation with someone in an apartment complex that did NOT want to talk to us. I don't know how I had the guts to say that to him but it was what we were supposed to say. I pray it was said by the Spirit!
I talked to a young mother yesterday of 5 kids. All her kids are in custody by the state because she doesn't have a home nor job. Her family isn't really supporting her partly because she doesn't want to half to deal with them. Her uncle just committed suicide last month. Her youngest, 13 month old son, has 3 life-threatening diseases. What do you say to someone when they don't see any hope. I asked her what she would say if she had an interview with our Heavenly Father (she's met many times with Bishops to get help .... she's thinking that's her only chance right now of getting anywhere). She said she'd ask Him, "WHY? Why me? Why my kids?" Life is not meant to be sad. Though I am positive she has made some very good decisions, she has also made some poor decisions and she and her kids are paying the price for it. I read the talk from E. Carlson (maybe him?? not sure) about keeping commandments and the reasons we don't. 1. We don't think they apply to us. 2. We think it's not important 3. We think it's too hard. In my highlighting ways, the talk was covered in blue (things not to do). To me, it gave lots of examples .... this is an example of rationalizing for this reason or another. It is simple though, if you keep the commanments, you will be blessed. Even eternal life! Obedience is soooooo incredible important! Number one law in heaven!
We are seeing a lack of commitment from lots of people this week and it is really heartbreaking. We taught a lesson to a family and told them that we would not be coming by because they are not "dispuestos a actuar" They were very nice but testified to us about their beliefs. It was hard for Hermana Mazariegos because it was the first time she had to do that. I think of when we were yelled at by an investigator (now a member ..... 6 months later) .... it feels like a heartbreak. It hurts. A lot. We are afraid that might be where some more families might be heading right now. We are also, however, contacting lots of people. The area book was a bit disorganized and so we're trying to get things in order and help all misionaries in the future know what we're doing now and how people are progressing. We pray they will be open to these things in the very near future .... but some won't budge.
You know when you walk out the door and you leave the comfort of AC and realize it is blistering hot outside but you're going to love it anyway? It's hot but the job will get done? That is how I feel about the work. The heat really isn't too bad anymore. Every morning I wake up though and just think, "who are we going to find today?" It has become my daily goal. Find at least ONE person each day who is sincerely seeking for something better in their lives and help them feel the Spirit. Before my goal was to talk to 20 people everyday (that is a challenge many times .... we just end up pulling to the side of the road). That's like playing a game of chess with your eyes closed and hoping you win. What good will that do? No. If you do not have the Spirit, we will not have success. We taught a family this week that is in that situation ... looking for something. Three little girls and a boy is on the way. Oh how incredible is the joy to see people feel, recognize, and act on promptings of the Spirit! I just pray and repent and pray and plead and repent ..... so that we can have it as we are in the service of our God. These are His children. He knows them!
Something I am really trying to repent of is people smoking. I think I talked about this before. President Bassett asked the question, "what if all our sins were like smoke ..... we wouldn't be able to see anything ... let alone breath ... in this room." Honestly, when I see people smoking, my thought is, "ok, yeah, we have something for them. They need help." As if they want an ugly addiction of needing to smoke every few hours. I have started to pray earnestly as I walk up to them to them. It's cool; people aren't so defensive of their very obvious addition to nicotine when I at least attempt to love them. It all reality, we all have things like that, they just might not be as obvious. I talked to a boy who scared the gabeejies (I have no idea what I"m trying to say .....) out of us when we were praying in the car before getting out of the car. His name was Tim. 18 years old. Asked me for a cigarette and then saw the tag and said, "oh .... you probably don't smoke." We only talked for a bit but it was so cool to literally see his eyes searching for more meaning in his life. He's a super senior and really struggling with who he is. I saw the light of Christ in him.
The Valencia branch is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. The leadership is very aware of missionary work being a priority. I'm pretty sure that is why they have so much success in the branch. People are willing to help and find and do it by the Spirit. Not just to do it so the missioanries have work .... but so people who are unhappy can be happy. People can be filled with the light of Christ. The members aren't perfect but they're excited to bring their friends to things.
The work goes well! Our faith is being stretched in extending dates to people and families on the first lesson. What is faith? My favorite object lesson (there were many more I liked) was .... "do you have faith to move that book closer to you?" Any ordinary person says ..... ummm, no. I don't. "I know I can by my faith ... and my works" And he picks up the book and moves it closer. James 2:17-18 in action. We are trying to help investigators reconize and impliment this scripture.
I love you all! Birthday was definitely fun fun fun!!!! Big box from mom that we just laughed and bring toys for kids in our lessons! Even the elders enjoyed some ferrer rochelle ... or however you spell it. And a package from Kenz! And grandma with lavender!!!!! Yum! And yes grandma .... Goodwill is in our area and I bought some great new clothes last week! Hasta la proxima semana!!! mucho amor!!!!! Hermana Clark