Monday, March 24, 2014

This week was a fantastic week to be a Mormon Missionary!

MARCH 3, 2014


Well, this week was a fantastic week to be a Mormon Missionary! First off I just want to thank you for your remarks at the Fresno West Stake Conference. Sister Organista and I were very touched. I hope we know that I love you like I love my dad and that I pray for you several times every day! I don't know of any other mission president who's mission loves him as much as yours loves you. Not just your missionaries, but all the stakes and members! You are so great. Thank you so much for your righteous leadership and all the training that you give us. I love you!

So as far as miracles... the past two weeks have been pretty tough for me, but Friday and Saturday were worth working for! They were just great. Friday, Sister Organista and I did our weekly planning. We have a couple people who could get baptized any time now, depending on how we use our time. So we prayed to know who was going to get baptized this week so we knew where to focus our efforts. Sister Organista felt strongly that we were going to have one baptism this week, and I felt strongly that it would be a man named Jose Luis. We have not officially taught a lesson to Jose Luis, we just did a church tour (with Brother Nunez.... side note, Brother Nunez is pretty much creating the Spanish Branch at this point. He goes out regularly with each set of missionaries that are assigned to Kerman. He's amazing.) The cool thing about Jose Luis is that he had missionaries before and had a Book of Mormon already and everything! It's just that he moved and lost contact with the church. The hard thing is that we just found out that he is moving next Sunday afternoon outside of the mission! Nevertheless, we got the feeling he's getting baptized. So, we planned out lessons for every day this week so that he could be prepared to be baptized next Sunday. We were going to teach him for the first time Friday night, so everything weighed on how that lesson went. Being our first lesson. Well, we went out with our day... it was raining and windy and miserable. None of our appointments were home so what did we do? Knock doors. I was just thinking "This is so cold. There has to be something better we could be doing." But we just kept going. No success with three Catholic doors.... FINALLY this young family let us in. Well we were there for at least an hour. This young wife's mother had just died a month ago. She cried as she explained how hard it was for her and her family and that her siblings were losing faith in God and how much that hurt her. We started to explain that we had a message that could bring peace, we talked just briefly about the plan of salvation, and just more tears came. It was amazing. So we're going to follow up with her tomorrowish and teach her the rest. Tender mercy. Well, after that we went to go teach Jose Luis. We were going to a members house, and he followed us there but WAIT the member left without telling us.... so now we're in the rain, and this lesson HAS to happen and there are no women to be found in order to get into a building. So he agreed to drive to the church with us. We went there and there was some church function going on so we were good to go! President, the whole lesson I was just trying not to laugh. The lesson was text book perfect. He was so in to it. It was amazing. So we invited him to be baptized in a week. He said the only thing that would stop him is that his best friend doesn't live here and he's the one that introduced him to the church, so he's trying to get in touch with him to come over Sunday! So we're praying for that. So awesome! He also told us Friday that as he was praying and telling God he wanted to go to church, that's when we walked up and started talking to him.... so THAT feels pretty fantastic. Sometimes you hear those stories and think "Wow... those missionaries are so good and are listening to the Spirit in order to work out that timing!".... but it wasn't like that. We are obedient every day and work hard, but it wasn't like "RUN SISTERS THERE'S A MAN PRAYING AND YOU NEED TO BE THERE NOW!" We just started knocking doors where we left off and God made it all work out. So cool.

Saturday we also tracted into a new family and had a great experience teaching the restoration! It's so great to be a missionary.

So that's kind of long, sorry. But it was just too cool. I love being a missionary. I'm super sad that Sister Organista is leaving, but I'm excited for a change in the way that missionary work is going on here in Kerman. I'm excited to learn with a new companion and keep things rolling!

Love you tons! Good luck with Transfer Boards! Get me an awesome new companion! (Shouldn't be hard because all the sisters in this mission are fantastic!) Thanks!


About President Gelwix at Stake Conference.... so cool.  He had all the missionaries stand and then he explained to the Stake what we go through, how we work all day every day and that we mostly get rejected and then with tears he said "Don't you reject them". It was just amazing. The feeling I had standing there was that this has to be some small part of what I'll feel when the Savior pleads my case someday. Despite all my shortcomings, He'll explain how hard I tried and say "Please let her in." It just felt really good. And he told us over the pulpit how he loves each one of us as a father loves his sons and daughters. So great. Sister Organista and I were the only missionaries in the room that was being translated into Spanish. So cool.

ALSO an investigator we've been working with for like two months came to church for the first time yesterday! So awesome! Church attendance is directly linked with baptisims pretty much. It's the hardest thing to get people to do. So that's awesome. 

Also, all of our converts were at Stake Conference. Every one that she and I have both been here to baptize. That was so great. Not only are we baptizing, but the people we've taught are CONVERTED.

Still going to the physical therapist.... totally forgot to tell you but we got Xrays of our necks last week. Fancy video xrays from a buddy of our therapist. He said that mine is fine. Normally your neck is a backwards C shape, and mine is perfectly straight, but my upper back is bizarely straight as well, they think that's just how I came. So I'm ok. I tease and tell people I'm "stiffnecked".... it's pretty funny haha...But Sister O's kneck is a forwards C. So she's going to likely have to treat her neck for years.

My back has been hurting extra lately, but that's because I've been trying to be normal and do service projects that include lifting.... so I can't do that anymore. But it's still improving over all, I can twist a lot better!
So keep feeding the missionaries!  Eating with members is a big deal. It's a light in your day. Last week a lot of people had to cancel eating with us because of last minute stuff but they still brought us dinner... better than figuring it out, but not nearly as good as being with people who like you. And referrals are huge.

The Molloys made us ribs last night!!! There was a ridiculous amount of meat on that table. They are so great. I'm excited for you to meet them when we come out here some day. I have eaten a ridiculous amount of meat the past few days... I'm going to die. I'm almost going to turn vegetarian against my better judgement during all time outside of member's homes because I eat so much REALLY GOOD MEAT. And yeah.... still love cheese haha... Sister Molloy has us over every Sunday, and it's to the point where she actually thinks to herself "Well, we've only got a gallon of milk and Zollinger's coming over.... better get another". Love that woman. And she gets me WHOLE milk. Aw yeah.
Oh something else! I don't know if I told you this or not, but people get confused when I speak good Spanish and I'm not hispanic looking, so they guess Portugese a lot... and then I showed someone a picture of dad and they guessed Portugese for him too! crazy. Apparently Zollinger sounds Portuguese... someone read my last name and asked if it was. It's crazy. Also, we were teaching an El Salvadorian family last week, and after the lesson (which was in Spanish) the mom smiled and asked "So does your mom speak Spanish?" I just laughed. NOPE! GIFT OF TONGUES BABY. (didn't say that. not appropriate.)

Also, the trees here have already bloomed, lost their flowers and turned green... sorry.


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