I have had the most incredible week!
Tuesday and Wednesday we had Leadership Training Meeting in Morristown from 8:00 am- 4:00 pm. Leadership Training is for all of the missionaries in training and their trainers where we go over the fundamentals of teaching as a missionary and then we practice teaching all them. It can be kind of long, but it is SUPER fun! Since we were going to be out of our area for such a large portion of the week, the minute we got home, we went straight back to work. And did we ever work hard! Because of this hard work we were able to see miracles happen!
Tuesday afternoon during Leadership Training, we had a training on recognizing and following the promptings of the spirit. When we got back to our area that night we were able to put that in practice! We had gone to our appointment's house, but they weren't home so we started on our way to the house of our back up. We walked right past the house of one of our less actives. My sweet companion received the prompting to turn around and go back, but didn't say anything. This less active is never home and/or never answers the door when we knock. For this reason, Hermanita Carter decided that she wasn't going to say anything about turning back unless I did. I didn't receive this prompting. Instead, I found myself walking straight back to her house. It was as if my body had thrown itself around and was being drawn to the house like a magnet. I laughed and told Hermana Carter that "I guess we are going to visit Jenny". We knocked on the door. Waited a moment, and then heard, "Who is it?" We answered, "Las Misioneras!" We were excited to even hear a voice! She yelled back, "Come in!" We opened the door and she ran up to us telling us that her mom had just finished a seizure and had stopped breathing about 2 minutes ago. She asked us to pray. Hermana Carter and I prayed aloud as Jenny went back to her mom's side and tried to wake her up. After the prayer, Jenny asked us if we knew CPR. I turned to her and told her that I did. Her mom had been lying on a mattress (being used for a sofa). I climbed up on it, called her mom by her name, checked the pulse, and started to perform CPR. We did CPR for about 2 minutes before she started breathing again. She would breathe for a couple of breaths and then would stop breathing again. The paramedics had been called and when speaking with Jenny on the phone, they just told her that the only thing that they could do was CPR, so they never came. We did CPR for about 10 minutes before Jenny's mom was stable. Afterwards, we all sat at her kitchen table monitoring how her mother was doing. Jenny offered to make us homemade tortillas. She said she didn't have much because she doesn't have a job, and her food stamps didn't come in that week, but she wanted to give us what she could. She wouldn't let us say no, so she taught us how to make them with our hands. I'm sad to say that I'm not very good at it....but with practice one day I will be.
It was a very humbling experience to me to be there with Jenny. Even though she abuses drugs, has an abusive boyfriend, and has constantly turned away from Heavenly Father's loving hand, I could feel how much He loves her. I felt it so strong that it was all that I could talk about with her as we patted tortilla dough with our hands.
I know God loves her so much that He worked through both Hermana Carter and I to help her in her time of need. I am so grateful for the training that we received earlier that day on how to recognize and follow spiritual promptings. I know God wanted and needed us there at that time.
Wednesday was just as incredible. After Leadership Training, we were given permission to watch the new church film "Meet the Mormons". President Taggart had organized it so that all of the missionaries could see it. We walked into the chapel of the Morristown church building where all of the other missionaries were already seated. As the movie began I wasn't sure what to expect. It talked about some misconceptions about Mormons, but with each story told by members of all different backgrounds the presence of the spirit became stronger and stronger, until the last person gave her story. She was a convert to the church and had gone through the guillotine of obstacles: being a single mother, being homeless with her child, losing her second child, getting remarried and now, letting go of her son and watching him serve a mission. Needless to say, all of the eyes in the room were wet. That movie is inspired. Even though it's not your typical approach at preaching the gospel, I know that it will soften the hearts of all of those who would typically shut the door in our faces. I can see many miracles as the result of this movie.
After a full week of crazy meetings, this week started off again with a large meeting, SISTER Training Meeting. Otherwise known as "Sister Missionary Activity". We arrived at the same Morristown Chapel for a typical 'girl's day': yoga, light salads and tuna sandwiches for lunch, parfaits for dessert, with facials, tips on how to dress and do make up, and then of course a wonderful devotional given by our mission nurse and Sister Taggart. I was asked to teach the station about dressing well as a missionary. haha
Last week was wonderful and it was a great preparation for the things coming in this week. We had a lesson with Nicolas on Sunday, in which we talked about the Word of Wisdom. Heavenly Father gave us a miracle. Nicolas's father sat in on the lesson. When we told him about what Nicolas was preparing to do, he told us that we had his full support and permission to keep teaching Nicolas. He also told Nicolas that if he wanted to be baptized it was his pleasure to allow him to do so. Right after his dad said that, Nicolas turned to us and asked, "Is it still ok if I'm baptized on the 19th?" We were so happy we could have cried. We told him what would need to be done and he grinned so big I thought tears were going to come out of his eyes.
Not only will we be having Nicolas' baptism this Sunday, but we'll be going to the Manhattan Temple on Saturday afternoon with a less active in our ward that we reactivated! Hermana Carter and I have been working very hard with Enrique Chavez to prepare him to get his endowments. The rule in the mission is that if you played a major role in the conversion or reactivation of a member, and if they invite you, you are able to go to the temple with them as they receive their endowments.
We are so excited for both of our friends!
Jorge is still doing well. He loves coming to church and reading his new Book of Mormon and Bible that we got him for his baptism. He's so great! :)
There is no better way to celebrate my 9 month mark in the mission than with these people.
I love being a missionary! I love being a member!
Love you all,