February 2011-August 2012

03 January 2012

January 3, 2012 Happy 2012!!!!!!!!

This week has been full and busy, but I don't actually know if it was productive... if that makes sense. Latinos love parties. Any excuse for a party... they'll have one. So most of the people we tried to visit with this week were too busy, not interested, or not coherent enough to meet with us. Hopefully this week will be more productive as far as moving the work forward. :) 

There were some highlights though. We had a couple REALLY great, powerful lessons as we taught by the Spirit. One was with Sylvia, a sweet widow of a year who's living with her son's family who are members (but only her daughter-in-law is active). We retaught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, used the Book of Mormon to address many of her doubts and concerns, and invited her to be baptized... for like the 10th time. haha She finally agreed that she would pray about it and would be willing to act on whatever answer she gets. We'll see what happens... 

The other awesome lesson was with Jose and Marta. We read Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk from this October General Conference, "Teachings of Jesus." It's SUCH a good talk because it teaches us clearly and powerfully WHO Christ is and What He did, and therefore what WE need to DO. So good. And we were able to have a great discussion and answer many of their concerns along the way. The Spirit was so strong. We invited Jose to be baptized when Marta stepped out of the room. He's ready. He knows it. And he said he WANTS to get baptized but wants to do it with Marta. He almost said yes though. haha But seriously. So we invited her when she returned, and she said no. She's not ready, and doesn't understand the idea of setting GOALS and working TOWARDS it, no matter how clearly we've explained it. So what's the difference between this husband and wife who have all been in the same lessons, the same Church meetings, etc.? Why does one feel prepared and one doesn't? Because one has been reading the Book of Mormon and one hasn't. Really, that is the only outward difference between their actions. Obviously I'm sure they have some differences in their hearts too... but as far as going through the same motions, that is the ONLY difference. And in the end, that is the KEY. I'm not going to get on my Book of Mormon soapbox again right now... but seriously people, JUST READ IT!!!!! You're going to LOVE IT!!!!! :)

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, I reached my goal!! I finished reading the whole thing by the end of the year in Spanish. I started over in August, so it was really cool to read it all in such a short amount of time. And in Spanish. :) Yeah! So I decided to set a new goal, a harder goal for 2012/my mission: I want to read the whole standard works--The Old and New Testaments, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine & Covenants, and the Peal of Great Price--all in Spanish by the end of my mission. Yikes! Not going to lie... that's going to be rough, but I'm stoked about it! I made reading calendars for myself yesterday and it's going to be great! I decided that I don't want to neglect reading the Book of Mormon though, so I'm going to read a chapter from that and then about 10-12 pages from the other scriptures assigned for each day. I'm starting with the Doctrine & Covenants and will end with the New Testament. Really, I'm SO PUMPED about it!!!! Anyone want to join me??? ;) haha

We had a funny experience this week... We showed up to teach our investigator Sebastian (9), and he started crying because he didn't want to come down and talk to us. hahahahahaha Oh man... Funny. And tragic. Didn't realize he felt so tortured by us! And his family are members! haha 

Also for P-Day yesterday we found the COOLEST PLACE in all of Sylmar. It's a Cactus Farm! Decorated with international antiques... and cool sculptures made from horseshoes. I'm sure I'm doing a terrible job of describing it, so hopefully I can attach some pictures. But it was really cool. However, the COOLEST part was who we met while we were there. God is so cool. I love how He just orchestrates everything so beautifully to take care of His children. We scared this man, Bobby, who was working on a car and didn't know we were wandering around the grounds. So we introduced ourselves. We said, 
"We're missionaries..." 
And he said, "Oh, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?"
"How can I start going there?"
"Just come! It's at 11 every Sunday!"
"I should write this down," as he leaves to find a pad of paper and pen...

Yeah. That REALLY HAPPENED. And so we talked to him for a really long time and he told us a good chunk about his life... like how he's been in and out of prison for the last 16 years and has now been out for 8 months... the longest chunk ever in those 16 years. What for you might ask? Well I didn't, but he told. Grand Theft Auto. haha I couldn't help but think of all those silly movies I always watched with the boys. Anyway, he is really cool, and is trying really hard to stay clean and felony-free and change his life around. So we exchanged contact info with him and hopefully the English Elders will stop by to see him pronto! 

So that pretty much wraps things up... I still love you all! Hope you have a great first week of the new year! 

Hermana Blackburn

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