Tudo bem! It has been an interesting week filled with ups and downs.
We had an investigator drop us after sadly telling us that God had told her to cut all ties with us. She told us that we should read the Bible and search for the deep doctrine and not be afraid to be bold and leave the Church when we found out it was wrong. She told us she would pray for us. She herself was crying when we said goodbye as was Sister Culp.
We had a nice lesson with Wayne on Tuesday. He invited us to Taco Bell for dinner, which was really sweet of him, seeing that he doesn't have much money right now. (I don't know if I told you this, but we met Wayne holding a sign on the side of the road that said he had lost his job and anything helped.) We read Alma 32 with him and had a great discussion about faith. His internet was down this week, so he wasn't able to look at any websites about Mormons or the Church (blessing in disguise?).
Before we departed ways, Wayne told us that he wanted to pay tithing to the Lord. He already knew that it was 10% according to the Bible and he told us that since he did not belong to any Church, he wanted to pay his tithing to us because he felt that we were amazing representatives of Christ. He gave us $12. We later talked to President Andersen about it and he told us that we could put it in a tithing envelope and give it to the Bishop. We told Wayne before we did and although he was a bit confused about why we had to be "so obedient," he finally relented.
After the exterminators came last week to fend off the carpet beetles, we found bed bugs. I actually found one last week, but I didn't realize it was a bed bug and actually let it go outside (oops!). So we spent quite a bit of time bed bug hunting and deep cleaning our apartment over again. The pest control came again and hopefully everything will be a lot better now. Sister Lee gave us a "home-made" remedy for the itching that she calls "Shake Up." Here's the recipe: 1/2 bottle of rubbing alcohol, 8 oz of Coca Cola, and 3 tbs of good meat tenderizer. Mix in alcohol bottle and fill rest with alcohol. It helped a little bit.
We have had some great lessons with Bill and Brenda, a sweet older couple we met while tracting. Bill has been reading the Book of Mormon little by little and says he feels peaceful when he reads it. Brenda said she will start reading it when we gave her her own Book of Mormon last lesson. We also had a great lesson with Jerry, Bill and Brenda's son's friend that we originally met at their house. He kind of got a bit off-topic during our discussion though and as we were about to tell him about Joseph Smith, he started asking us what was up with the people who didn't believe in celebrating Christmas.
Saturday morning, we spent the morning doing service at a member's house in the countryside. We raked leaves and stacked firewood and also had a lot of fun hanging out with Brother Surita's donkey and horse, Holly and Sabado, who really liked eating pecans that we brought them from the pecan tree. Sister Surita, an older later in her 80s (estimation) took some pictures of us and on Sunday asked us who we were again, so she could label the pictures. When we reminded her, she wrote down: "Sister Culp - Blonde, Sister Fowler - Black Hair, Sister Dyer - Chinese." I thought it was pretty funny.
Yesterday night we got a phone call from Sister Muldowney. She told us that her friend Robert, who she had invited to dinner with us last Wednesday, had asked her if he could go to her church next Sunday and wanted to meet with the Sister missionaries. We were ecstatic! Sister Muldowney told us that this was the first time that anyone she had invited to dinner with the missionaries had done this, so she was really excited. We are going to meet Robert at the Muldowney's house tonight! Last week, during weekly planning, Sister Fowler said that she felt like we would see a miracle this week. Well, here it is (4 hours before the week was over).
This week President issued the White Christmas Challenge. Before Christmas, he believes that each of the companionships in our mission can see one of our investigators get dressed in white and enter the waters of baptism. In General Conference, Elder Ballard invited all Church members to bring a friend to church by Christmas. We are really hoping that the members of our ward will participate in this and help us make this Christmas a white one, seeing that we don't have any baptismal dates yet and don't have that many investigators.
I also want to ask each of you if you will accept Elder Ballard's invitation and bring a friend to Church before Christmas. It doesn't matter if you are in China (Dad, Mom, and Kari) or nos Estados Unidos (Jake). I know there are people in your lives that you can invite to Church. You don't have to make it awkward or change the relationship you have with someone because of it. All you have to do is say that this is something that is very special and means a lot to you and that you want to share it with them and if they say no it's alright, you'll still be friends and nothing will change. There will probably be a bunch of "no's", but I've heard that for every 9 "no's", there will be one "yes". Would you test that theory for me? :) Come on familia! It's time to hasten the work!
I love y’all so much!
P.S. I went to a thrift store for the first time last P-Day called "Goodwill." I didn't end up buying anything though, seeing that the whole time I was there I could hear Mom in my head telling me that I shouldn't buy second-hand, donated clothes no matter how cheap it was. Sister Fowler and Sister Culp bought some clothes. Mom, you'll have to let me know how you feel in reality now.
|Me at the Surita's farm with Holly (the donkey) and Sabado (the horse)|
|Bed Bug Patrol on duty. "Get thee hence, Satan!" (Sister Dyer & Sister Fowler)|
|Sister Culp, Sister Surita, and me|