So much to tell you, so little time!!!! It has been a YEAR?! WHAT!?
First things first, Sister Bendorf and I had some unique experiences this week. We had a young woman tell us all about how her best friend was going to get into a fist fight and she was getting roped into it.... we had a "parenting" experience as we talked to her for an hour and convinced her to stand up, call her friend, and tell her not to do something so silly and dangerous. At church, she came up to us, hugged us, and told her that she convinced her friend not to do it! haha so if we are not doing anything else, at least we are preventing planned teen fights... phew...
We also had an intense lesson with a family who is very Christian, but their 12 year-old son is an atheist. He was very tough and bold as he interrupted us about a sentence into our lesson saying "I have a confession". He then continued to tell us that God did not exist and that everything about religion was just a made up story. His mom was appalled and started to argue with him, but we just listened. We shared personal experiences, and testified of the reality of our Heavenly Father. We told him of God's love for him, and allowed him to get a bunch of questions off his chest. We uncovered a lot of deeper, hidden doubts that he had. Instead of arguing, we just encouraged him to pray. At the end of the lesson, he got on his knees with us to pray. He thanked us for listening to him and answering all his questions. We are going back this week.
A miracle we saw this week was with praying for a family. We have specifically been praying to find a family of 4 and we found them!!! It started with our volunteering at the homework club at Stein Elementary. Because of that, we were recognized by a ton of elementary school students in an apartment parking lot (they continue to flock and swarm whenever we pull up) haha. Through one of the little girls that always talks to us (Brianna), we found her family. The dad, Lolo, is an alcoholic but after being in jail, has such a desire to turn his life around. He has started to read in the Book of Mormon, and at our lesson yesterday, he wanted to say the prayer! His wife Leticia, has a heart of gold. We are also teaching Lolo's cousin, Everardo, who asked if he could say the closing prayer in the lesson.
This area is just exploding. I cannot express my gratitude. We are so tired every day, but I am eternally indebted to my Savior.
Yesterday I was truly moved at our fast and testimony meeting. In my home ward there is ALWAYS that awkward 5 min silence where no one goes up to give their testimony. And then, some poor soul usually an auxiliary leader or presidency member, decides, "Welp, no one else gonna crack the ice so i might as well." And they go up and sacrifice themselves as the first ones so that everyone else has the guts to go up. That is hardly the case in the ward I am in right now. There are people walking up as soon as the one presiding says "the time is now yours". It's like a mad (reverent) dash to the podium. These people are just so excited to share what they know to be true and it is so amazing. Sometimes they share about how their dog came with them from Mexico, but the joy in their testimonies is contagious! I encourage each and every one of you to do just that. Don't be afraid to say what you know to be true. Because good news, 98% of the people in the room believe the same thing but are still edified. And those who don't know WILL come to know it through the Holy Ghost! Think about it next fast and testimony Sunday!
I love you all and hope all is well. Thank you all for your undying love and support this last year. I can't believe I only have 6 months left. I am so sad but I am also so grateful for the miracles I have been able to see and the small impact I have made through the guidance of Heavenly Father. I love being an instrument in his hands.
I love every single one of you dearly!
PS- On a side note. My dear friends and family. I ask that you please pray for those who were injured and killed in the massacre in Orlando of the those of the LGTBQ orientation this last week. Even if you do not agree with their way of life, they are human, and more importantly CHILDREN of our Heavenly Father. My companion and I were appalled to hear about this awful hate crime. We are all different but we are all children of God and all deserve to be treated as such, no matter what gender, creed, sexual orientation etc.
1) first run in MONTHS! It was sooooooo good!
2) I got my year mark papers! wooohooo! Talk about inspiring and rallying!
3) We are storm chasers! Just kidding, :)
4) Selfie in the thunder storm!