February 2011-August 2012

20 June 2011

June 20:The Best is Yet to Be... but we came pretty darn close.

So thanks to the Spirit, a well-prepared and patient family, and an adventurous companion we were able to have a really fantastic lesson about the Plan of Salvation with the Monrroy family. We set up their apartment like the Plan of Salvation, with each room being a different phase of God's plan for us. It was really intense. And involved. And both Hna Garcia and I were afraid that we were crazy, and that this family was going to get so confused because the idea perhaps was just in my head and not from the Spirit. Especially when we showed up 30 min early for our appointment to "set-up" and they were watching us run all around taping scriptures and pictures to the walls, etc. hahaha So funny. But it totally paid off. The Spirit was incredible. We invited them to be baptized on 3 July. They accepted. Without hesitating. Seriously, every day Hna Garcia and I thank Heavenly Father for the privilege and blessing of teaching this family, because this situation as a missionary... NOT NORMAL. Not even "among the Lamanites" here in California as Skylar would say. Neither of us know what we've ever done to deserve them in our lives, but we are so very thankful, and we're SO excited!! We love them so much!!!!

Yesterday an 8 yr old from the ward, Gabriel Lopez, whose family Hna. Kiewra and I helped to reactivate a little bit, was baptized by his father. So great. And even though as missionaries we don't have any sort of "responsibility" in the baptism of children from member families, Hna Garcia and I 1) filled up the font, 2) set up the room, 3) I played the prelude, 4) we gave the special musical number as a surprise to us, and 5) shared the missionary moment. hahaha I seriously felt like I was a one-woman circus running around. Such is life in a Spanish ward though. And plus it was all worth it because 1) Gabriel got baptized!! and 2) The Monrroy family were there. And they loved it. They are all so excited for their own in a couple weeks. AAAAHHHHH SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!

So I had to "drop" my first investigator yesterday. Meliton Alvarez. Made me so sad to know that he just doesn't want to know the truth for himself. He's a good man, but he has no desire to know for himself, and he doesn't believe or want to believe that what we're teaching is true. This is a normal missionary situation I know. But it still broke my heart. Sigh. I just hope one day in heaven when he is tempted to ask me why I didn't do more to MAKE him understand, that instead he'll recognize that I literally did everything I could to INVITE him to come unto Christ. And that is all I can do. Because everyone can choose for himself.

So have I mentioned how much I love my companion? Or how many miracles we're seeing together? Even just little ones make all the difference when your spirit is sucked dry every day from trying to help deal with everyone else's problems... Such is life as a missionary. As Eryn writes, "SOOOOOOOO EXHAUSTING," but in answer to Tanner's question, oh, so very very worth it! The Ward members are slowly changing. And we finally have the trust of the Bishop so hopefully we'll only be able to work harder and more effectively from here on out.

For those of you who are members and read this, I invite you to set aside some time in your schedule this week to offer to the missionaries in order to accompany them to lessons? Please. We need you. YOU make all the difference in our lessons. And to those of you who aren't members and are reading this, I invite you to pick 30-60 min sometime this week in order to meet with the missionaries who have been called by a living prophet on the earth today to teach YOU and your neighbors the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you don't feel good after they leave, then you never have to have them back. But if what we teach really can help change your life for the better, what have you got to lose? Maybe only 30-60 min out of your entire life...So why not?

Well, that's all I really have time for this week. But I love you all so very much. Have a great week!!

Hermana Blackburn

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