Something ALWAYS happens Tuesday night or Wednesday that I want to write about. ALWAYS, no fail. This past week we went to a less active family to teach them the Restoration (something Pres Ellsworth has asked us to do .... teach to their needs but teach restoration, plan, gospel of Jesus Christ) well we couldn't go far because Hno Rodriguez expressed his beliefs that there is not a church that Christ has and that there is no way we can trust in a prophet. It seemed any testimony, answer was disputed. It wasn't said in a "no, you're wrong," but oh how our hearts just ached walking out of there. We testified of the book of Mormon. There's not much you can do if someone doesn't want to accept something new and is not willing to pray to ask God about it. Ouch. They did, however, give us a referral to their neighbor who is struggling with cancer as a young mother.
We had exchanges this week which is always exciting, nerveracking, different, strange, great .... but a relief when we get back to our areas with our propias companeras. I was with Hermana Nichiguchi from bountiful! Oh what an awesome sister she is! She has about .... 4 months in the mission? so 6 on her mission? She struggles with spanish and it was the first time I was with someone with less spanish that I have. Very interesting! Pretty much every exchange I am with natives! I love having a day though to serve with someone different to kind of take a step back and look at how we're doing the Lord's work and see how we can do it better.
The thing that made it interesting was the night before and the night after (we exchange at 9pm). Hna Mazariegos was with Hna Chaca from Peru ... so they can't drive. We picked up another bike so those two could bike the next day. Their apartment was about 30 minutes away. But they're living at a members house (who has other sisters) because they have bed bugs in their apartment. So they moved for the next ..... 3 weeks. Well I pick up Hna N and we get back to the apartment about 1015. Next night we're at her house super early to make sure we get back in time .... but the housing coordinator comes to talk to the sisters and he says that now our house has bed bugs! Ay! That night we got home at 1030 and had to wash all our sheets and clothes and dry them 3 cycles and vacuum bed. Wow it was weird to be up so late again. I vote ..... early to bed, early to rise. During exchanges I also got a call from the mission office telling us we went over miles. We thought we had 1500 miles. Nope .... 1250. We thought we were close last time. Ohhhhh great! So pretty much .... mom and dad. You both have told me about something that I've read and thought, "glad we don't have that problem" and low and behold .... haha we have the potential of the problem.
We haven't had problems with bed bugs ..... so we're thinking no tenemos!!! We have been finding rides places and cutting down on our miles. So far so good .... but we're being careful. With Christmas lights starting in 2 weeks .... YES CHRISTMAS LIGHTS .... we'll be gastando mas miles and that'll be interesting. plus, I've been asked to lead a small group for new years eve when all the missionaries sing at the christmas lights. that means we'll be gastando (i don't know what the word is in english) more miles to practice singing. It will all work out, we'll do what we can, pray for help, and ask for members to give us rides .... and come with us! We see it as a blessing because our area is so big that it can be hard to use time well. So this will force us to stay in an area for a while and find those who we normally would not find.
In the midst of this, the Crandall family also told us their daughter and son-in-law will be moving in in December. I think it will be a whole harder for them than it will be for us to move out. Man we just love them though! They are our parents and are always asking us what they can do for us. Gosh no - that's what we're supposed to be doing as guests in their house!!!! I have also been enjoying their piano and playing "The Olive Tree" one of my favorites!
Anyway, it was an up and down for a week. Last Tuesday seemed to be super and I knew things would happen to try and bring our faith down ..... no doubt they did. The mission can be rough, but the Lord is always there to give us the strength we need, as long as we rely on him. In one moment I just prayed, "help us, we don't know how we can do this and be obedient" I opened up to jacob 3:1-2. I just pleaded with the Lord to help me be pure of heart so that I can have a "mente firme" and do this work as He would like it done. Yay for prayers being answered. The Book of Mormon continues to be a huge strength.
Yesterday we met with Carlos and Mari and Carlos basically told us he knows these things are true .... but doesn't want to act on them. "I don't want to be baptized as I am now" No and our Heavenly Father doesn't either! So we're thinking he needs some priesthood to be his friend, invite to things on Saturday (instead of Sunday) and help him see the great blessings of getting baptized and preparing to have an eternal family!!!! Oh I just love them!
One last thing. No ... I forget now. Something with the Book of Mormon. Nope, I can't remember. I love reading it though. I feel like Satan is working harder on us, especially me right now. Well, one thing was we had stake conference with 90 stakes in Arizona. Sister Thompson talked about reading the BoM - suchhhhhh a need! No matter if your new in the church or all your life! And President Monson talked about rescuing the lost ones. That was great to hear becasue we have about 10 less actives in our area and ...... that'll be good.
I liked one response this week from a sister that's newly called as a branch missionary. She asked us about people she has been told to teach and we talked about it for a bit and in the end she said, "I don't want to burn!" hahahahaha ok yes so we will continue to be diligent in our callings and do what we can in the Lord's work! This is the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth! President Monson is the prophet of God today with all keys and the authority to guide us back to live with our Heavenly Father once again. The Book of Mormon has answers for all of our problems. I will delight in its words and never let it wrest. Love you all! Thanks for your hard work! Keep. it. up!! Love always, Hermana Clark