This week was super great and super difficult.
Last Monday we didn't have a PDay because we found out that the date that Sister Palmer and I would be going to the temple with our recent convert had to be changed because of the member who was going to take us all. Sister Palmer called Sister Stone and I on Monday morning telling us that we were going to the temple the upcoming Saturday, which meant that we would have to have our PDay when we went to the temple (temple trips take place of PDay), so after we finished emailing, we went back home, had lunch, and finished studies. We made a plan for the day and were about to execute it, but I had noticed that Sister Stone wasn't doing so well. She seemed sad and frustrated. I thought it better to take a few minutes and talk about it. Well, we did so, accompanied by peanut butter frozen yogurt. It was nice :)
Tuesday, we were on an exchange with the Sister Training Leaders. It was interesting to be on the other side of the exchange. We had an AWESOME day. I stayed in the area with Sister Quinlan, an English speaking missionary, and we saw so many miracles. It was so incredible. We contacted people on the street who had met with the missionaries before in Mexico and they were interested in listening to the missionaries again. We had great lessons with all of our investigators, we worked in perfect harmony with the members, we gained everyone's trust, and we felt so happy doing it. It was the perfect day.
Wednesday, we once again saw the fruits of our labors. I know that planning is inspired, and I'm grateful for the decision we made to follow our plans from the night before. A few days before, we had set an appointment with one of the members here in Red Bank, but because of the exchange, the driving time and other circumstances, it seemed like we were going to have to cancel the appointment with this member. Sister Stone thought that it would be alright to cancel and move to another day, but I'm glad that we didn't. We showed up right on time for our appointment with her and as soon as we entered, we knew that the lesson that we had planned wasn't the right the right lesson to teach, but we still didn't know which one was the right one. We began to ask inspired questions until she finally opened up. She told us that she had been having some marital problems with her husband and that they hadn't spoken in almost 3 weeks. She said that her son no longer wanted to be a part of the church and that she was thinking that it would just be easier to stop trying and not go to church anymore either. Well, when we showed up, we talked to her about what helps us get through hard times, (it was interesting because the last conversation we had was about getting along with your companion), talking it out, counseling with the Lord, and the scriptures. We shared a Mormon Message with her and left the spirit and some hope in her home. I know that is exactly where we needed to be and at the right time. What a blessing it was to be an instrument in the Lord's hands right when it was needed.
Thursday, was a long awaited day for us. We were going to teach our investigator, Jose, about the Law of Chastity. Jose has been living with his girlfriend who is 12 years older than him for almost 2 years. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, so we used the Book of Mormon to teach him the 10 Commandments. When we got to adultery, he asked what that was exactly. We didn't have to explain it twice. He understood perfectly and it sunk deep into his heart. He was heart broken that he had been breaking God's commandments without really knowing. We talked to him about making plans to begin living this commandment. We asked him to talk to his girlfriend about it and said that we'd follow up the next day.
Friday night came and we went to visit Jose. He said that he was distraught all of Thursday night, but he talked to Marianna, his girlfriend, about it and said that he had decided that they were going to get married. We felt really uncomfortable about that because she doesn't treat him well. We then retaught personal revelation and asked him to pray about it. We told him that whatever he decided, he had our support.
Right after his lesson, we drove up to Elizabeth to stay over at the Sisters' house because we had to leave at 5:45 in the morning to get to the temple on time. Right as soon as we drove into Elizabeth, even though we were 25 minutes away from our house, I knew exactly where we were. My heart sank. I was home sick for Elizabeth again. I remembered how much I loved Elizabeth. I wanted to visit everyone again: the Sosas, Loren, the Castillos, our new investigators, the Hererras, and everyone else, but I knew that I couldn't. "My area" was now Red Bank, and we needed to get back to our area as soon as possible.
We got to the sisters' house and slept wonderfully. We woke up super early the next morning to be at the church by 5:45 to meet up with the Corzos, the members who were driving us, and the Castillos. When I saw the Castillos, I dropped everything I had and ran to give them a hug. Wow, how I love them! The ride to the temple was awesome. Sister Palmer and I caught up and we all shared past jokes that we had laughed about when I was back in Elizabeth. It was glorious. There couldn't have been a happier missionary in all of New Jersey.
The temple was just as magnificent. It was incredible to see Juan getting baptized for others even though his knee was hurting him. He is such a trooper. :)
Afterwards, they wanted to spend a couple more minutes with us before we all went our ways, so they asked us to come to lunch with them. We too were hungry, so we agreed. It was fabulous. Good food and good friends makes a good time.
This is what the mission is about; bringing souls to our father in heaven and bringing them to the temple. Even when you've left an area and people you love it seems like your experience there was just a puff in time and the new missionaries come and take your place, it doesn't even matter because they are where they need to be, planted firmly in the gospel. The times that you share with them will always exist. The memories might fade, but the friendships are for eternity.
I love these people. I love being a missionary.
|Exchange with Sister Quinlan my STL. She's awesome!|
|Temple trip with Castillos Family.|
|I found this sign funny.|