I just found out about 30 minutes ago how my second transfer is going to go! Sister Conant is moving to Clearmont and Sister Hoyt and I are staying here in Winter Garden and I'll be the senior companion! Pretty crazy. I'm going to miss Sister Conant. She is such a sweetheart but I feel at peace about the decision. It's going to be really weird just working in two and I'm a little nervous about figuring out all the little details without my trainer... but we can do it! It's super crazy though because Sister Hoyt and I are going to have to finish training each other... it's going to be interesting. I can't believe I only had a trainer for the first 6 weeks of my mission... kind’ve freaky to think about! But I have faith that the Lord trusts Sister Hoyt and I and we will be able to create miracles. Please keep us in your prayers! haha! It may be a rocky ride for a while. Elder Norman, the one from Lone Peak is now my District Leader. One of my favorite lines that my (now former) district leader, Elder Patten would say is, "Keep working hard and keep smiling and the Lord will hook you up!" haha
This week has been pretty crazy! As a companionship we prayed for several days and fasted yesterday to know if we should drop Sonya. It's hard to explain the whole situation through email but we really feel like we had done all that we could to help Sonya... she has some health issues that seem to be holding her back and other issues that we just can't change on our own. We sat down with her yesterday and told her that it is out of our hands now and that our purpose is to invite others to come to Christ and help them receive the restored gospel... and we had done that for maybe too long... we told her that we know that if she does her part she will strengthen her relationship with Heavenly Father and grow a stronger testimony of the gospel so she can be baptized. It really is a difficult situation but we all felt at peace about it. She did tell us that she was going to see us next Sunday though so that was a relief and really good to hear that she is going to continue on her own.
Another miracle: at the beginning of the transfer we had a note from the Elders, that were in our area previously, telling us that we needed to see a potential investigator named Mike. Before we had planned on finding Mike, we went to a less active home…after we left the LA's home we saw a man sitting outside across the street so we went over and told him a little about the Plan and he was interested in learning more. A couple days later when we were planning on meeting that man named Ray again, we looked through the potentials list to see who else we could try and meet that lived by Ray. We realized that Ray's address was the same as Mike's!!!! SO CRAZY. We learned that Mike is Ray's son. We have had a hard time this past transfer to find them at home and help them so we would occasionally drop off a Book of Mormon, Proclamation to the Family, clean their front door (cause it needed it badly) and other things. Last night we decided to drive by their home before we went home for the night and we saw Mike outside! We stopped and talked to him and he seemed very sincere about wanting to learn and we were finally able to set up an appointment with him. Then in passing he mentioned that his son just turned 8.... hmmm.... 2 baptisms by chance? ;) hahaha anyways, it was really cool :)
I can't remember if I have told you this before, but almost every week the zone meets at the temple and we do yard work for the temple grounds! I LOVE doing it. It's just so nice to be outside, in front of the gorgeous temple and be with other missionaries. So cool. Have I told you how much I love this temple yet?? I think I may have... a couple times ;) but I love it!!!! I can't wait for you guys to see it yourselves.. it's so beautiful. Anyway, I have planted several flowers and other shrubs that I'm told will be there long after I have left on my mission. So I've left my mark on the Orlando temple for sure ;) haha
Another crazy miracle: Sister Chontos, a lady in our ward signed up to feed us dinner this past week. The day before the dinner, she got a text from a 12 year old former investigator named Yazay. Yazay wanted to meet with the missionaries again! So Sister Chontos invited Yazay to our dinner appointment and Yazay ended up bringing her friend Evalyn as well. It was so awesome!!! We asked Yazay why she liked meeting the past missionaries and why she wanted to meet with us now. She told us that she felt like the Book of Mormon was true and flat out told us that she wanted to be baptized. The lesson was so powerful! During the closing prayer, Evalyn, began to cry and we asked her what the tears were for. She told us that she felt like God had answered her prayers. I was blown away by the spiritual maturity of these 12 year old girls.. they are so amazing! The only worry is getting permission from Yazay's mom for her baptism. SO PLEASE PRAY FOR HER!!! Thanks :) This morning when we figured out transfers, we realized that Evalyn lives in the area that Sister Conant has now been assigned to! So Sister Conant will most likely be able to work with her! How crazy is that??! I LOVE seeing those small miracles every day. You can see God's hand in this work so easily every day.
Sister Ferris, the LA that hadn't been to church in over 7 years and came to church for the first time last week is doing pretty good! She invited another LA to church yesterday. Boom! haha So awesome.
This past transfer has been so miracle filled. They have been small miracles but so much has improved. For one, the ward has really warmed up to the missionaries. That was a serious problem at the beginning of the transfer. We were having a hard time with getting members out to help and now the members willing to come out to lessons with us has tripled. The members really love coming out with us as well. They are finding the work is spiritually nourishing. They are sharing their testimonies and feel the spirit that is in the lessons. I highly recommend asking the missionaries if you can go out with them. It's so helpful and such a blessing for everyone :)
Were you guys able to go to Vegas? I can't believe that Rilee is almost 13... that blows my mind... haha so cool! I bought a Birthday card that I'll be sending out to her :) ... oh wait... I NEED HER ADDRESS! man... could you send their address to me? hahaha dang it... next week ;)
I really can't believe that it's almost August. Time has gone by so fast. Angie, you are almost a college student! What?! So awesome. That is so sweet of you to drop by the Admission Office. I miss those guys sooo much. ugh. Angie, tell them they need to write me ;) hehe When does Tanner, Mike and others start coming home? Keep me updated on what is going on there :)
During transfers, mail gets delayed for a while.. so I will be able to respond to your emails in a letter but I probably won't get your letters until the end of the week.
One last story that I think is kinda funny.... we had dinner at a member’s home last night and Sister Conant used their bathroom. She said that she saw about 10 cockroaches in the bathroom while she was in there and a SWARM of nats flying around... yuck!!!!!!! There can really be some crazy, dirty homes here. Winter Garden is full of really filthy homes and really nice homes. Pretty funny! Kind’ve fun to get a taste of both. More things to write home about ;) hahaha
I love you guys so much! Every day I feel my testimony grow stronger and stronger and my love for my Savior grows deeper. We are so blessed to have the truth of the restored gospel. I see so many people that live such difficult lives because they don't have the gospel. It's so amazing to see such remarkable changes in people as they accept our message. You can literally see them glow as they feel of God's love and accept his gospel. This is a beautiful work and I'm so grateful to be a part of it. There will be a lot of changes starting tomorrow... but I am excited to move forward in my mission and in His work. 1 transfer down, 12 more to go!! ;)
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!