Monday, December 16, 2013

As hard as this week was, we have had some fantastic success!

So post accident... things are definitely improving. The first few days we'd wake up and something new would hurt on top of the existing problems. We're going to physical therapy two times a week for the next 2-3 weeks at a clinic that is owned by our Ward Mission Leader's son, so they do everything for free for missionaries! They are saints. Our sessions are like an hour and a half long every time... wow. So Sister Organista and I both have whiplash... which is fun. My neck has been pretty sore. My back is pretty bad too. They focused on my neck last Tuesday and my back Thursday... Thursday Friday and Saturday my back was destroyed.... physical therapy makes it worse before it gets better. But today has been good. It doesn't hurt too much. Just my neck feels tight when I turn, especially when driving to check both ways.... ironic because that's what's going to keep us from crashing. On that subject, I have been a FREAK driving haha.... we took the Elders' car and now their stuck on bikes while they wait for a new one. It's bigger than our last one, and I need to learn the area so I'm driving now. Pues, the first day driving I probably slammed on the breaks 4 times. Like slammed. The second day was only like twice and now I'm pretty normal again.... but man that was TORTURE. Especially because our accident.. there was nothing we could do to be more safe. It was the other car. So here I'm driving and every time I passed ANY car I just begged in my head "please don't turn into me, please stay there, please, please please..." everyone thought I was pretty pathetic, but hey! It was a traumatic experience! Sister O just said last night (in Spanish so it was even funnier) "You have a strong personality but you're scared of everything... I don't get it." Hahahaha.... I had a good laugh with that one. So true.  But we're supposed to be icing everything 5 times a day... pues we can't cuz we're not home 5 times a day. But we do it when we can. And we're always supposed to be on pain killers to bring down the inflammation even if we aren't really hurting. So that's killing my kidneys, but hopefully healing my back. We have PT tomorrow, and I'm excited to go cuz things need to stop hurting! Also I have a cold again.... just a wreck. But hey! Here's the good news from the missionary life!

As hard as this week was, we have had some fantastic success! Just this Thursday we went to contact a media referral in Fresno that we hadn't been able to contact for a while. We stopped by and the mom of the house came to the door and was confused and concerned looking... she didn't seem to want us there. But we explained who we were and her 22 year old son came out and said "Oh, that's my dad who asked for you to come, but I would really like to know more too. Will you come in?" Whoa! A referral who actually WANTS you there?! Hasn't happened to me before! So we went inside and met the dad and the dad's mom also and we had a lesson with all 4 of them! The grandma wasn't super excited, but the rest were super receptive! They are all "searchers" and they just ate it all up! So we went back Saturday to teach them the rest of lesson one, and the grandma wasn't there but their other daughter who is about 24 was! So we taught her too! She's a little less "searcher", but she listened. So we invited them to our Spanish group's Christmas party at a member's house that day and they said yes, and they CAME! All four of them! And they stayed like half an hour after we left! And Elder Casteneda had talked with the mom and explained YSA and she was super excited and asked if the YSA elders could come THAT NIGHT to talk to her children! So the mom and dad came to our Spanish group on Sunday and the two kids went to the YSA ward! President, that is crazy! No one does that! Also, we had left them copies of the Book of Mormon Thursday after our first visit, and by our visit on Saturday the dad was in 1 Nephi 11!!!!! And they all read their assignment! Their la familia N. President, it's a miracle. They have a date as a family for January 22 but we think it will be a lot sooner than that! So amazing.

Also, we have a baptism this week for C.. Her daughter E was my first baptism. And her husband J hasn't been interested really in the gospel or religion thus far, but he's come every Sunday since E's baptism except last Sunday and he is making tons of friends in church. Their whole family came to the English ward Christmas party Saturday and he made his family's secret recipe cake and just is super at ease at church. We had a great discussion with him on Saturday as well! We were teaching C(Sister Organista taught her and I translated into English for him, she only speaks Spanish and he only speaks English, don't know how they got married, but they did!) and he just said that he wasn't very religious but he'd listen while we taught her. At the end I said "J, I know you say you're not very religious, but if there was truth to be found, would you want to find it?" And he said "Yes." And I said "Well, will you pray tonight and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet, if the Book of Mormon is true?" And he said yes! We haven't been able to follow up yet, but that's a miracle too President! We'll probably baptize him in January, and then there's just their 10 year old son, and then one year and then we're going to get this family sealed in the temple!

Yup. So pretty stoked. And to answer your question about the little old Catholic lady.... we couldn't see her for like 5 days after the accident, so I was really worried about her. But we finally got to see her Friday. She told us she read the L1 and L2 (lessons 1 and 2) and she said "Well I don't know how to tell you girls this but...." and I was really worried she was going to start preaching to us about how we're disillusion or something.... but she just politely asked how we could believe in something like Joseph Smith. So I just said "You know C, I've asked myself many times if I could believe any of this if I hadn't been raised in it. Joseph Smith can sound kind of fantastic if you're hearing it for the first time, I know. So how do I know? I've read the Book of Mormon and really studied it. I've read it probably ten times on my own, in Spanish, with my family. I know the Book of Mormon to be true. I know it would be impossible for Joseph Smith to write it. I didn't have to meet him, but I know this Book is true and so I know Joseph Smith was a prophet." Or something to that effect and she just looked at me and said "I've never heard anyone say it like that. You talk differently than all the adult Mormons I know." And that was the best feeling ever. Just because it takes the right person to say the truth for everyone. I know I was sent here for specific people like C to say the same truths in the way that she would respond to. Every time we go she starts off "knowing" something about us, and then she is shocked when we explain the truth. And the best part is she takes it for truth! She believes me more than she believes other Mormons who aren't the best examples of what we believe! That's a miracle. So we're going back sometime this week. She loves us, even if she doesn't want to get baptized or anything. Yet. :)

Well that's about it over here! I love you so much!!! Keep up the awesome missionary work! I'm so proud of you, and God is MORE proud of you than I am! (Well pleased I should say....)

Hermana Z

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