It was a crazy fast week with some ups and downs. We are still struggling to keep constant contact with our investigators, even though some are coming to church like Sandra and her Family. We had a lesson with them watching the Restoration Video. They were a little confused but because they love church, the ward, and the doctrine of gospel, they know that they will come to know for themselves that it is true. They are a really special family. We've struggled to find Paula at home, even though we've set appointments with her and she wants to go to church. However, we came to learn a little more about their family through her daughter Carla who was visiting with her 2 daughters from the projects in Watts (really harsh part of town, the mission just closed off that area for missionaries due to violence). She expressed to us the desire to read the Book of Mormon because Paula has taught that it can really help her right now. She basically told her whole life story with drugs, her ex, her job, her house everything! My companions and I were blown away by her story. The special thing I got to do was to bear my testimony of the Atonement to her and how all her guilt, pains and fears can disappear as she puts her trust in God's plan especially in Christ. I promised her that as long as she read from the Book of Mormon and prayed every day, she and her family would be protected from any danger, as she lives in a very dangerous neighborhood. She's been sleeping with a shotgun in her arms for a long time and has had nightmares fairly consistently every week. I walk away feeling extremely grateful that I've been raised in the gospel and have the opportunity to spread the good news of the gospel. The last couple highlights of this week include Temple Service, the missionary farewell fireside, and playing soccer with the men in the ward. This last Thursday because the temple is closed the next few weeks my companions and I got to do some pruning on several bushes and trees that are in front entrance of the temple. We had tiny machetes to cut off branches and we placed them on burlap sheets to carry them around to dispose them. I had been a while since I worked that hard in the hot California sun. It's been fairly hot here, but not as bad compared to what I'm used to back home! It was fun to go to the fireside because I got to say goodbye to a few missionaries that are going home AND say hi to my last companions (Elder Ditton and Elder Cressman) and my last Ward Mission Leader Hermano Romero! Oh man I almost cried when I saw him! Apparently a lot of things have gone down in my last area, especially with my last investigators. Freddy and Enrique have gotten worse with drinking and drugs so its no longer safe to see them anymore. It broke my heart, but I know one day they will humble themselves so they can feel happier in the gospel. Lastly this morning we played soccer with the ward, and I actually scored a goal! Yeah I showed up a bunch of Latinos. I surprised myself more than anyone. Well transfer are coming up this week so I will let you know how it goes!
Os amo tanto!
Ohh Aubrie.......I'm so sorry!! I can't even imagine what you are going through. If you get the chance to share with me how you're doing, I'd love to hear from you! I'm going to be sending you a letter real soon!
Were you able to view the pictures I sent 3 weeks ago?
I'm running low on black socks, I keep losing them in the wash. If you could send me some I'd appriciate it.
Kurt: If you get the chance, do you think you could send me copies of the music you had on your mission (ex: Paul Cardal and John Schmidt) that would be awesome.
Thank you Mom for the letter!
Love you all