I hope that everyone had a good 4th of July. It was weird not being with family or watching the Stadium of Fire fireworks this year. My 4th of July was good but a little hard at the same time. Hermana Porter and I were planning a baptism all week and then on Saturday it fell through at the last minute. It was for the daughter of a member who really want's to get baptized. Her dad is all for it but her mom, not so much. We were working all week to try and get her permission. It was difficult because she wouldn't even talk to us. Really all we want is to understand where she is coming from and help her to understand what it is her daughter is learning and why it is she wants to be baptized. Sometimes it is frustrating when you want something so badly, for all of the right reasons, and then it doesn't happen. I know though that God has a plan for this girl and I know that even though it didn't turn out that we felt prompted to plan this baptism and work with this investigator like that for a reason. That night though we got to play sports with all of the missionaries which helped to lift our spirits.
This week we also had a really cool experience with a referral we received. So the referral started out with just a phone number, which usually when we get those don't go anywhere. However when we called it, the guy answered and asked when we could come over. We set up an appointment and everything seemed great. So this guy lives on a ranch, kind of in the middle of nowhere and we pull up and there was a guy outside with a horse. It wasn't the guy we were there to meet with but he directed us into the back and said he would go find who we were looking for. When we meet the guy, his name is Fidencio, he leads us to where he had a table and some chairs. He seemed nice enough but we were slightly worried because we were in the middle of nowhere and with not many people around. There were no spiritual promptings though to make us really worried so we started with the lesson. About five minutes into the lesson he stops us and then says (in spanish of course) "One minute, I will be right back". We are like, okay, this is kind of weird. Then he returns with this English lady named Deanna. She sits down and starts talking. She was super nice and we were really relieved. Anyway so it turns out they both really are interested in learning about the gospel. We taught the restoration and at the end extended baptismal dates and they both accepted! In fact part way through the lesson Deanna asked us "So I have been thinking a lot about how I need to change my life and that from what I know about church I think I need to be baptized, can you help me with this?" It was amazing to see how ready she was for everything. We referred her to the English Sisters who are now teaching her.
We also had a return lesson with Fidencio and it was great! He said that he had never prayed before so for the lesson we just talked about prayer and about revelation. It was amazing to see how the spirit was able to teach him the importance of prayer and how through prayer we can receive answers directly from God. At the end of the lesson we invited him to pray and he accepted and gave a simple but sincere prayer. It was so special to be a part of that experience and to see how he wanted to begin to make prayer a part of his life. It really touched me because I know how much prayer has blessed my life. Prayer was what helped me to learn that I really do have a Heavenly Father that loves me and knows me. I know that God answer's our prayers because He has answered mine over and over again. It was through this knowledge that my desire to follow him grew. My desire to read the scriptures and to keep His commandments grew. I know that where I am today is in large part due to prayer. As we were leaving the lesson I just was so happy because I knew that if he really did apply those things and sincerely pray that it would change his life.
I am so excited to see where his progress goes over the next couple of weeks and to be able to continue to teach him the precious truths of the gospel.
This week I have been studying about Alma the younger. I love how much I have been learning about how I can be a better missionary. The thing that really stuck out to me is how prayer played such a big role in his missionary work. As I have studied and taught about prayer I have been analyzing my prayers and trying to see where I can improve them to really help prayer become a stronger tool in my day to day missionary work.
Well I think that about sums this week all up! Hope all of you are doing well. Don't forget to pray!