Monday, July 8, 2013
I'm staying in Anadarko for another transfer or until my visa comes. I haven't heard anything about the visa, but we're praying. Yesterday I actually fasted that I could stay in Anadarko until after the baptisms. I have a feeling that I will be here for another month or so. Both of my companions are being transferred to different areas. Elder Tripp is going to OKC 1st and Elder Nelson is going to Altus.
As for my language barriers with Jesus y Vico, I always have member that can speak Spanish come with us so they can either translate or help me teach! The closet Spanish branch is up in Norman (about an hour away). It's honestly a difficult situation and I've been trying to study my Spanish more so I can understand them.
Good News! Cindy is going to be baptized this week by yours truly! She asked me to baptize her because she had a dream that I baptized her. She is very prepared and will be an awesome addition to the branch.
Charlie and his family will also be baptized this month. We started a Stop Smoking Workshop with his wife who has been smoking every day since she was 9. She is now 5 days smoke free. Miracles happen. We just need to have faith that they will. No matter how "addicted" to anything we might be, with the help of the Lord you can overcome anything! We did the math for her and showed her that she has spent over $25,000 on cigs in her lifetime. Talk about blowing money!
They read and pray every day. Ever since the incident in their house where we cast out this evil spirits, their minds have really changed. They love church, and they can tell that church will be a good guide for their kids. Miracles are happening in their family and the devil is just trying them so hard!
I hope you all have a good time on trek! I almost wish I could go and walk all day in the heat with you - but then again, that's pretty much what I do here anyways! :)
This week we will be getting a set of Sisters in Elgin and more Elders in Chickasha - doubling our district size on Wednesday with transfers.
Monday: We drove up to Chickasha for our p-day and couldn't find an indoor basketball court (it's way to hot to play outside) so we ended up throwing a football around for awhile. It's hard to do stuff with only 5 elders. We stopped in and saw Matt and just had an awesome day. Everyone we have been seeing has been very friendly.
Tuesday: I was reflecting a lot on how much easier it is to just be lazy. To complain rather than be happy, to find flaw in someone rather than give a compliment, to laugh instead of cry - especially in hard situations. I've come to the conclusion that it's a lot harder to be happy all the time, but it's always worth it!
We stopped by and saw Matt and asked him if he wanted to go and teach with us because we've realized a great way to get less active member back to church is to have them feel the spirit! So we brought Matt to Charlie's to teach the Plan of Salvation and we went into very deep detail about the whole thing. I personally think that it's the best lesson we've taught all transfer. Charlie told us that he's been kicked out of a ton of churches for questions that he's asked. I think that's ridiculous. If you have questions - just do as it tells us in James. Ask God! :) Because as we learn in Phillipians 2:12 - we have to work out our own salvation. God isn't going to give us an answer that we don't ask for, although He knows of everything that we stand in need of. He told us a few stories about how he would ask about the Trinity or other questions about heaven and hell and they would simply tell him to never come back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's not cool. I don't like that at all because if I have a question - I want an answer! I think that's why they love the missionaries - because three 19 year old boys can answer these questions for them!
At the end of the lesson, they told us that we explained the Plan of Salvation the most clear of all the times they've heard it. It made us feel good! It's so nice to just talk instead of teach. That's been my goal with all of my investigators - to just talk, not teach.
Wednesday: It was all about Charlie - first because I love him to death and because we spent the majority of the day at his house. Bright and early we went over to help him clean up his backyard.
Thursday: I'll never forgot the 4th of July in Anadarko. So memorable. We had permission to be up until 11 - so we definitely took advantage of it! :) Cindy told me that she's been praying that my visa wouldn't come yet. I guess she has more faith than me! But it's fine. She also asked me to baptize her. Awesome. :)
We went to see Jesus y Vico with Natalia and her parents. They basically taught the whole lesson. We focused on how important the Book of Mormon is and what it meant to them. They bore powerful testimonies. Afterwards, we went and watched a 6 1/2 minute fireworks presentation. :) Wow. Happy 4th!
Friday: Ohhhh Friday. We had district meeting and then helped a lady move. This is how they move people in Anadarko:
E. Tripp and I went to Chickasha with E. Hoopes for the day. It was SO CRAZY FUN! We did some work, talked to some less actives, got them stoked to come to church, talked to an investigator, read part of the Book of Mormon with him, and then we got to talk about his guns.
He showed us this gun that his dad had carved by hand and it was sick! For real. I should have taken a picture. This guy had a dog - a little Chihuahua - and it was a licker! The dog just kept licking and licking. So this guy said, "watch out, or she'll lick ya to death" so I said, "Well, maybe she can figure out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop!" He didn't think that it was too funny, but I did. haha
We also ran into a less active guy and gave him a blessing. Crazy circumstances. We also cooked us some Ramen Noodle Omelets.
Saturday: We drove to Lawton and met the new Mission President. His name is President Walkenhorst and he's 7 feet tall. No joke. He's a pretty cool guy. He wants us to focus on miracles - to find miracles that we see each and every day. Honestly, it's a miracle that people even let us in the door sometimes! Then to see the change in people is also a miracle! I love it! :)
Sunday: We had an awesome fast and testimony meeting. Probably one of the most spiritual meetings I've ever been to. We had 3 investigators come to church: Cindy, Nola and Cody.
We saw Jesus y Vico and I got to anoint oil in Spanish. It was interesting. :) Natalia's parents were in town - and they both speak Spanish so I got to hear a TON! We talked with them for awhile and gave her a blessing.
I'm loving Oklahoma. It's amazing. I've met so many amazing people while being here and I wouldn't trade my time here for anything. But it's time to get to work, I've got 2 new elders and 2 sisters that need to know what's going on in this area before my visa comes! :)
I love you all, miss you more.
Work hard, expect miracles.
Keep the Faith!