It's been an AWESOME week. I can't believe I just started my 6 transfer. My halfway mark is in less than 6 weeks. WHAT. That's absolutely NUTS. Time flies! This week has been great though, and our area is picking up! Also, you may be wondering why I'm so fluent in Mandarin all of a sudden. My new companion is Sister So! She's from Hong Kong, and she's the cutest, most wonderful person on this planet. She's been out for 5 months I think, but knows very little English, so President put her with me so I can teach her! It's awesome! And hard. English is hard to teach haha. But it's so awesome! And she's super diligent so it's great. She's the sweetest, most Christlike person ever, and she's super passionate about the gospel! I love her a ton!! She's been teaching me Mandarin which I LOVE. It's great.
Ok, this week was full of miracles! The first one was on Wednesday at the VC. Every month, we set a goal for how many baptisms we want to get. Someday we want to be getting 30 a month (one a day), but for now our goal has been around 12. This month we prayed, set our goal for 15, and then started the month with a VC fast to reach our goal. On Wednesday (the last day of the month) we only had 10 baptisms. One of the VC sisters that has been full-pros came back in this transfer and found out Wednesday afternoon that one of the people she was working with before she left had gotten baptized. WOO up to 11! But still 4 short of our goal by the time we got there at 3:30. We were determined to reach our goal, especially since Sister So is Chinese and we have a huge stack of Chinese investigators that haven't been called in months because none of us speak Chinese. We had a ton of faith! We knew that we had set our goal of 15 baptisms prayerfully, and we had been working hard to reach that goal. At around 7:30 (an hour and a half before we close), we still only had 11 baptisms, so we decided to say a prayer. All of us sisters knelt in the calling room and said a prayer together, asking Heavenly Father to help us find those 4 that had been baptized, and that we would know who to call and (most importantly) that if they had been baptized, that they would answer their phones so we could know. It was an awesome prayer, we were all super pumped and determined to find our 4! We got back on the computers, and started calling people. I had the impression to call Eddie, a guy that I've been working with for some time now but hasn't answered the phone for a month or so. He was the first person I called. And he ANSWERED. We talked a little bit, he said things were going super great with the missionaries. I asked if they had talked to him about baptism yet, and he said "Um, yeah, mine was like 2 weeks ago..." "Im sorry YOUR WHAT WAS 2 WEEKS AGO?!" "My baptism..." This was not even 2 minutes after we said "amen" to our kneeling prayer. We were at 12 baptisms. #MIRACLES. Luckily there wasn't anybody at the VC so we all ran around screaming and crying. Miracles are so real. About 5 minutes after that we hear Sister Simpson freaking out. One of the people she has been trying to get ahold of answered, and he got baptized a few days earlier. 13. Sister Cain found another. 14. We're all crying. Literally freaking out. We needed ONE. MORE. BAPTISM. So many prayers at this point. I've never seen our calling room so busy or so loud. It. Was. Crazy. Then we hear Sister Amparo and Urbina freaking out. They had just found another. We. Met. Our. Goal. Tears and screams and hugs and jumping and running and SO much excitement. In the middle of our jubilation, Elder Oliver, one of the senior couple missionaries, suggested that we go say a prayer of gratitude. We all knelt in the call room again and offered another prayer of gratitude. So much Spirit is happening right now. It's 8:30 or so at this point. After a few minutes, we hear Amparo and Urbina freaking out again. They had just called a family that they had been working with, and found out that 3 OF THEM had been baptized. 15+3=? I'll let you do the math. Just kidding. We had 18 BAPTISMS. 1.8. That's the most our VC has ever had I think. It was incredible. For the entire year of 2014, the Washington DC Temple Visitors Center had reported 8 convert baptisms. This year we've reported 98. You guys prayers are so real. God is real. Prayers are answered. Prayerfully set goals WILL be reached if you prayerfully work for them. That night was probably one of the most powerful answers to prayers I've ever seen. It was a huge, huge miracle. I LOVE being a missionary!
The miracles weren't just in the VC though, we had miracles in our area too! Sister So LOVES being in the English program, and she's super excited about our area, it's been awesome! Friday night we went to see Dottie. She found out just before we got there that her sister had passed away. We ate dinner with her, and while we ate we were able to teach her about the plan of salvation and eternal families. Her family situation in this life has been really bad, so she loves the idea of being able to improve those relationships in the next life! She kept talking about how much she wanted a change, a fresh start, new beliefs, etc (BAPTISMMMM). She loves the church and tells everyone she meets that 1. "These are some Mormon nuns! And 2. "I'm thinking about becoming a Mormon." It's awesome. She's so great! Just as we were about to invite her to be baptized, her friend came over and started talking to us. Her friend was from China and doesn't speak English. Good thing Sister So speaks Mandarin and Cantonese, right? WOAH IT WAS COOL. Dottie's friend was so excited to have another Chinese speaker that she sat down and they talked forever! Sister So taught her the restoration and plan of salvation apparently. While she was doing that, I was still teaching Dottie. Then, Dottie's other friend Bruce came over and started talking with us. I was able to teach him all about prophets and priesthood and church organization and a few controversial topics. It was so cool though!! We were there for like 2 hours teaching all these people different lessons all at the same time. It's not something that I want to do again (it was crazy), but it was so cool! Dottie is going to get baptized, just as soon as we are able to actually teach HER and invite her. WOOO.
Saturday night we had dinner and a lesson with Nahida at the Lindsay's house. It was so good. Nahida made some yummy lentil middle eastern food something. She's awesome. Then we were able to teach her the restoration and some of the plan of salvation. She doesn't have any religious background/beliefs at all, so it was super cool! She was super open to everything that we taught, and she has a sincere desire to know if what we said is true. She's so cool!! And Sister Lindsay is such an awesome member missionary!! Member missionaries are the best humans on this planet. If you're not being a member missionary, repent! Haha. We taught 4 lessons this week. It was amazing!!! #MIRACLES.
It's been an awesome week. I love Sister So and I'm so grateful for this week! The past few transfers have been a huge struggle, but prayers are answered! All those prayers and fasts that we had for our area are being answered. Prayers ARE heard and answered. Even when it seems like you're talking to thin air and God doesn't talk back, I promise that He does. It may not be in the time of fashion that you want, but He does answer. He knows you, He loves you, and He wants you to come back and live with Him. Keep the faith, things will work out.
Also, how good was Conference? Better than Christmas almost. Best weekend of the year. The Church is so true.
I love you all!
OH MY GOSH I FORGOT ONE MORE THING. President called us on Saturday night to tell us that Senator Orin Hatch called him and gave him a referral that's in our area. This Saturday, we get to teach Orin Hatch's friend. With Senator Orin Hatch, President, and Sister Cooke as member presents. So. I mean no pressure, right? #onlyindc
Rockville district! (Missing 2 people)
Stripes on stripes on stripes
18. BAPTISMS. #MIIIRACLES.
She makes me Chinese food. This was some kind of GIANT Japanese noodle, hairy mushroom, and hot dog stir fry. Yum haha.
Look who came over last night! OH how I miss her. My fav. <3