Monday, March 18, 2013

exchanges and artichokes!

Hello my dear family and friends! I love being a missionary in the California Oakland/San Francisco Mission! It's incredible how the Lord really is working alongside all of us in His missionary work. This week was hard, I went on 2 exchanges, both times they took Sister Lau away and left me to be the driver and organizer and everything! Well, I've been the driver all transfer, but still--It was stressfull! Everything is so fast-paced here in this mission and I'm learning so much about efficiency... a quality that I don't think I've ever had... Sister Lau is one of the most efficient missionaries I've seen, I know that that's one of the many reasons the Lord put us together--I just hope she's learning something from me too! So we had 4 investigator lessons fall through this week, but we still saw miracles. 

My first exchange this week was with Sister Oa, from Samoa. She's brand new to the field and she's a BLAST! it's her first time in the states and we had a great time. We had an awesome lesson planned with Gerry (a father of 3 who's wife recently converted) at the Bishop's house, but Gerry told us that we wanted some "me-time" .... so we did some media referral contacting, this man named Joseph was finally home, He's from Persia, speaks 8 different languages, believes very strongly in Christ and is a follower of Him, but wonders why every church he's been to has so much contention within it. We talked with him for a few minutes and set up a return appointment and invited him to church--the coolest part is that HE CAME! He really liked it and has lots of really good & genuine questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His wife passed away 2 years ago and it's so clear that the Lord has been preparing him to receive the gospel. We can't wait to see where this goes! 

My 2nd exchange was with none other than my trainer, Sister Garcia. She is now a VC sister trainer and it was just like old times again--but better! she spoke Spanish with me ALL DAY (except for in tours and lessons) and I was comforted to know that my understanding level is still way high, it's all about keeping up the practice so my mouth and brain don't forget how to speak it! We both had our first experience with eating artichokes too! We had dinner with Sister Stadleman, She's in the Stake Relief Socity Presidency and the dinner was so proper and peaceful. It was really strange being there with Sister Garcia because I had flash-backs of the crazy meals we had with the members of the Spanish Branch and it was just so backwards! It was a blast though, we learned how to eat artichokes and they're REALLY GOOD! anyway, the night went on and we had an appointment fall through, but I felt really strongly to go visit a family in the ward--the husband a wife were recently sealed in the temple, and they have a step-son, Brandon, who has never wanted anything to do with the the Church--until last Sunday when he came to hear his family speak. He said that at church he felt like he was home! So we went to see if we could have a chat with him and it turned into the Restoration lesson!  MIRACLE! Even though Sister Garcia and I haven't taught together for months, we were so unified and balanced in our teaching--I learned more about how the Holy Ghost speaks to me personally and how very important listening is. I'm so grateful for that exchange too. They really are to help us learn and grow, and give us new goals to reach within our own companionship.

Sister Lau and I had an FHE with Brandon's family last night and we taught the Plan of Salvation. Brandon wants to learn, but he's not so keen on the spiritual aspect of it all yet--very logical person--the concept of prayer and the atonement are pretty foreign to him, but we'll keep praying for him and doing our best to communicate in a way that he can understand and feel the spirit. He's seen what happiness the gospel has brought his Dad and step-Mother, so that's really positive. 

Well, my time is up, but I'm so grateful for your love and prayers and the ways you support the missionary work. Keep it up! Heavenly Father a purpose for each of us, have faith in Him! Study the scriptures daily! Pray to have charity for those around you! I love Alma 32, especially verses 27-43. 

Hermana Mitchell

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