Happy Belated 4th of July! The 4th of July in New Mexico feels absolutely nothing like it does in the Washington D.C. area. I didn’t feel the same exuberance to be an American! But some of that may also be because I am a missionary, and missionaries don’t get holidays. Oh well. We all came into our apartments early (7pm). But some of the members in Farmington invited all the missionaries out to have a BBQ at their house for lunch. These people are always doing nice things for us missionaries.
From everything I’ve heard here, it sounds like the Swine Flu in the MTC really DID change the way missionary intake day will go from now on. One of the members in Bloomfield just left for his mission a few weeks ago and his family couldn’t go inside. They also said this would be a permanent change. But I guess only time can tell. I hope they change their minds.
In other news, I’m starting to talk poorly! I caught myself saying “It don’t matter” the other day. I better be more careful! Sister Crossley, my trainer, served in Farmington wards for 7 1/2 months, so it has been fun to be in her old area. There have been at least 3 different people who have said we look alike and have the same mannerisms. What a great compliment!
I have been here so long, that I have tracted ALMOST every street within the main part of Bloomfield; so I sometimes I get stumped when it comes to finding an area to tract. I told Sister Abney that she could just pick any street and we’d tract it again. As we tracted that street, I could pretty much predict which houses would reject us and which would be nice. But I didn’t tell Sister Abney what happened last time until after we knocked the doors. But, I do have a firm belief that it is good to retract areas. Because on that VERY street we found a woman whose Grandfather was a Patriarch, and she herself never joined the church…but she invited us back to teach her today! She wants to learn now, and it sounds like her children do too! Monday is her day off work. We decided it was important to squeeze it into our preparation day activities. I’m pretty excited!
One of our Navajo investigators showed us how to make traditional soap out of cactus roots. She said that medicine men use this kind of root. She finally read on her own from the Book of Mormon this week! I’m so proud of her. I feel like some of our investigators who had been closed off before, are starting to open up again, so that’s exciting!
We got to show “Special Witnesses of Christ” to a part member family that is getting baptized in August. I LOVE using this because it not only lets them see different church sites, but also allows them to hear Apostolic testimonies. We watched the segment about the temple, and the couple just got so excited. I love days like that.
Our investigator who came to church last week LOVED it! She said she wanted to sleep there she liked it so much. (This is the woman who decided to stay for all 3 hours because her children liked Primary so much.) Her little 6 or 7 year old girls told her mom she felt like crying for no reason in Primary, and her mom explained that she was feeling the Holy Ghost. The next time we came to their house, this sweetheart was practically jumping up and down to see us! I LOVE her sweet children so much. A few minutes later her mom said her daughter wanted to ask us to explain what the Holy Ghost was. The dad was so impressed with the experience his wife and children had that he said the WHOLE family would be at church on Sunday. I love this family so much. They told us we can come by any time and their home can be our home away from home. We stopped by to remind them about church yesterday, but they had to get his welding machine fixed, and didn’t know if they’d be back in town in time. I sure hope this excitement doesn’t wear off! I’m tired of people having spiritual experiences and then getting distracted by life! What about ETERNAL life people?
Yikes! I’m 8 days shy of my 6 month mark! Time is certainly flying. Almost everyday, I think of President Calderwood’s advice before I left to “leave everything on the field.” I’m by no means a perfect missionary, but I do feel like I work hard. I want and desperately NEED to be better. Sometimes I look at my last six months and get awfully discouraged because I have no baptisms to show for it. I look around at other areas and wonder why my investigators won’t progress the same way. I feel so much like the little boy in one of the books my mom read to us as kids. The little boy, Li, takes care of the flower seed which he was given…every day he waters it…and nothing grows. Each child was given a seed to take care of, but his will not grow. He looks at all the other children who are growing beautiful pots of exotic flowers, and he wonders what he is doing wrong. He continues to water his little seed. Finally the day comes when all the children are taking their flowers to the Emperor of China to see who will be his heir. Dejected, Li takes his little pot to the Emperor and the Emperor smiles at him. Each child was given a boiled seed…no wonder Li’s seed wouldn’t grow! The emperor could see Li’s hard work and dedication and was rewarded because all the other children didn't use the seeds they were originally given. I’m not saying that other missionaries cheat, not at all. I feel so privileged to be around some of Heavenly Father’s hardest working, most elect sons and daughters. But I do feel like Li... Fruitless, but honest in my work. Could I have done things better these past 6 months? Yes. But did I try to be obedient, find the elect, teach and work everyday? Absolutely.
Love and miss you SO MUCH!