Another week FULL of stories. Where do I begin.
To answer your question mommy, YES Natalie did come do spilts with me... It was so great, she definitely saw the real life of missionary work, being told to leave, having plans fall through and all that jazz, but it was a huge blessing to have her with us and her spanish is so great. She'll be an AMAZING missionary. And I saw Elder Gallup today. And the mission president took our whole zone to Tocano's for lunch today... SOOOO GOOD! I even ate chicken heart.
I wish my fingers could type faster cause there is so much to write. Sibilings, be expecting letters soon.
For starters, favorite quote of the week, "I don't like missionaries, and I don't like mormons. SO GO AWAY." The best experience of the week. We had a referal for this 91 year old man from Mexico, we went into his house and the music was SO loud. Was asked him 4 times if we could turn it down cause we couldn't hear him, and when he finally understood what we said he told us there wasn't any music on... definitely deaf!! So then we found his hearing aide so he could hear us and we had a pretty good lesson with him, then we asked him if he wants to be with his wife again and he said NO... cause she wasn't very nice. Then when we left he pulled my companion in for a huge and kissed her on the cheek and I was like oh great, so I go to shake his hand, he pulls me in for the hug and cheek kiss, then as I'm pulling away, he LAYS ONE on my lips. Then I try to get away and he almost falls over so I have to catch him..... so, that was interesting. Don't worry mission president already knows and I'm not getting sent home..... Sister Johnstun, I know what you're thinking, and I know what you're saying to yourself right now.
Moving on to more spiritual things.
Sister Gail Mayberry, the sweet 65 year old got baptized this week. I felt like I was at the retirement home when I was at her baptism, it was the best thing ever! The best part is when I was giving the talk and this old lady's phone starts ringing and she answered it... and kept talking! My oh my. But the spirit was SO strong, she was so excited to get baptize and cannot wait to do baptisms for the dead for all her family and be sealed to her husband that passed away. She did say she didn't think it was fair that she has to wait a year! She is so incredible.
Miracle. Sister Winn was coming on splits with us (mission presidents wife) and she was LATE. We were at Beverly's house waiting and waiting. Sister Johnson and I went outside to wait for her so if she drove by we could see her cause she was lost. Neither of us had our coats on but so she didn't want to leave the front porch. So I was out on the street looking for her, and Sister Johnson found saw this guy that was fixing his car and thought she should go ask if she needs help. She talked to him for a second, then Sister Winn came so I went over and talked with them. His name is Eduardo and he's from Cuba. Asked him if we could step by in the next couple days and he said we could. Great. So we stopped by sunday night and it was him and his girlfriend Ana from Mexico. We had knocked on his door like 3 weeks ago and this super stanky pants guy told us to never come back. So... we knocked and Eduardo was home. We asked him how long he had lived there and he said he just moved in a week ago. He didn't have any furniture so we all sat on the floor and just talked. He kept asking, so what is this message you bring? What is the message you have to share with us? So we started teaching about the restoration. We have this little object lesson we use, and before we even finished it he goes, wow, I have been searching for all these answers all my life. We told him about modern day prophets and apostles and the book of mormon. He looks at the book of mormon and opens it to a random page then just smiles HUGE. He was like, I already know this book is true, I just opened it to this page and it said something along the lines of pray about the message they bring because it is true.
I felt like I should tell him the story of how we found him, so I was telling him that it was a miracle that he was randomly fixing his blinker and sister winn was randomly late, and how we knocked his door before and we were never planning on going back. I just told him that it was a miracle that we found him and he started crying, and he said, I knew you were messengers from God the first time you talked to me. Just the love and care you showed me, and that you go out in the rain, snow and cold, I knew it had to be true. I knew God lead you to me. My whole body was a giant goosebump! Seriously, he is SO prepared! We asked him to pray about the message and Joseph Smith and he was like I don't even have to, the message is true!!
Next miracle, in this mission the standard of excellence, or goal the mission president sets for the mission is for every companionship to have 1 baptism every week. We have met the goal for the past couple weeks, but Feb. 4th we had nobody! They have to go to church 3 times before they can be baptized, so we were praying really hard that by some miracle that Lord would have somebody prepared for us. There is this man named Javier Luna that the sisters found in November who had been baptized, but they lost his records, so he has to be baptized again.... weird, but kinda lucky. Then he had a family emergency and had to go to Mexico. We never knew when he was going to get back. We have literally knocked on his door everytime we went by. Nothing. No answer. So, we thought he just moved there for good or was ignoring us. We were Sister Johnson and Magdaleno were walking through his apartment complex the other night and this guy was calling out to them from the hot tub. He was half naked and just staring and them, so they were like... yeah, we should walk a little faster and get out of here. Then when we get home they were like we had a missed phone call from this random number the guy said his name was Javier Luna.... we were like WHAT??? He is still alive. So we called him back the next day but no answer. We invited him to church in the message we left, but he never came. So Sunday night around 8:30 we got out of a lesson and didn't have anything else to do, so we called the other sisters to see what they were doing and Sister Johnson was like well we are just talking to Javier Luna on his door step cause we can't get in cause there is only 2 of us. Perfect, we'll be right over!!! Got there and we went in... He is definitely from Mazatlan!!!! So that was super exciting, we were talking about that and he said it is so dangerous now and even he feels scared to go there and that's where he's from. That was sad. But he was like Sisters, I want to show you something. He pulls out this HUGE picture of the temple that he made and on the bottom it says, this is a place full of blessings waiting for Javier. He had made it for himself. So we started talking about where he is in the church and all this, he just looks at us and says, Sisters, I AM READY. I know I have to be baptized again and I want to do it as soon as I can.... All of our heart jumped right out of our chests. We asked him the baptisimal questions and his only problem is that he sometimes drinks green tea, but he was like, whatever I need to change I will, no big deal. I saw you guys walking last night while I was in the hot tub, but you probably didn't hear me, then I called and you never answered, but I just wanted you to know I was back in town and I am ready to follow Jesus Christ.
WOW. I am still saying prayers of gratitute for this HUGE miracle the Lord put right in our path. He is so amazing, the spirit was so strong. I can't even explain how amazing the Lord is and how He always blesses us in way we could never expect.
We have a quote on the mirror in our house that says, "once you have done all in your power and turn to God, you must expect the miracles to come." It is so true.
That's how it is with anything in life, yeah, times are hard. There are times and it's hard to even see the Lord's hand in anything in your life, but it is always there. We make the decision to choose if we see the Lord's blessings or not. He is always preparing us for something better, He just tests us a little sometimes, but He never forgets us and never forsakes us. I feel like here especially on the mission, it's always after a hard week or a hard day that the miracle comes. After every door has rejected us but we still keep knocking that's when the Lord guides us one of his precious children He has meticulously prepared and placed in our path. Heavenly Father is just amazing like that. We should never doubt him.He pulls throught better than we ever could.
I love you all!! Peace and love from the Salt Lake Valley....
Besos from me and the old man,