This past week has flown by! It’s crazy that it’s p-day again and time to e-mail.
So it’s been a busy week with a new schedule and with it being conference as well. On Thursday after e-mailing we went to Walmart for our food shopping. We got everything and I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure how much money I had on my card and well our trolley was just getting fuller and fuller. Sister Peñalba was getting eager with the shopping and I didn’t know how to tell her to slow down! We’re stood in the queue and it’s taking forever, so we let the person behind us go first as he only had one item. As we’re waiting we start talking to this guy. Anyway he pays for his thing and then turns to us and asks if he can pay for our groceries! So kind! We ended up spending $117 and I don’t think this guy realises how grateful we are for him doing that. It might not have been a big deal for him, maybe it was, but it made such a difference to us. And we now have food to last us a couple of weeks!
On Friday we were assigned to help out at the General Authorities’ lunch on the 26th floor of the Church Office Building. There were almost 400 GAs and we help set the room up and then were each assigned some tables to look after during the lunch and then cleared up after they were all gone. Well, I had no idea who the people at my table were but Elder Holland came over to speak to someone on my table who I later found out is David Beck – the general YM president. But Elder Bednar was sat on the table next time mine. It was so weird. The first presidency wasn’t there but pretty much all the others were. I spoke with Elder Cook as well, but at the time I had no idea who he was! It wasn’t until general conference when I saw him taking a seat in the big red chairs that it dawned on me!
So conference was crazy! In a good way though. We began our day at the square at 7:30am and had breakfast together. Then up at the square contacting people at 8am! We just spoke to anyone we could and tried to uplift them and get them excited about conference and where possible about hastening the work. It was so nice to just have gospel conversation after gospel conversation. We were able to go to the Saturday Morning session which was awesome! We were sat off to the side but it was still great, no impeded views in the conference centre! Straight out contacting afterwards! We had 20 mins for lunch and 20 mins for dinner so not much time for rest. The awkward things was that you would just be talking to someone and suddenly a photographer would be there taking pictures of you. It was so awkward because it throws you off your train of thought and you don’t know what your supposed to do! We didn’t leave the square until 9:30pm and it was straight to planning and then to bed! It was so cold though and we hadn’t brought our coats as it ruined our outfits (haha) and it was nice in the morning and just got worse through the day. When we actually had an assignment to stand outside the assembly hall the heavens opened with hail! (happened to coincide with the ordain women protest arriving on the square and the less die hard ones scarpered. There were lots of them and what they did was just not let anyone in). Me and Sister Peñalba then spent time moving people from the Assembly Hall to other buildings under our huge umbrellas in the hail.
Back on the square again at 7:30 on Sunday. We had the sense to wear coats this day! Lots of talking to people and having pictures rudely taken. Thankfully we finished at 7 on Sunday when we met for a meeting. We were told that there have been 478 (I think) baptisms since last Oct conference as a result of Temple Square’s efforts. And we received 350 referrals over the weekend, which is nothing compared to previous conferences but these are quality referrals and all but one that we have called so far from the referrals we received we have been able to teach and set up return appointments. And then it was time for our treat. Ice cream and performance by Kenneth Cope. I was of course more interested in the ice cream! But Kenneth Cope was, lets say interesting. Quite cheesy. Most of the sisters loved it but I just find stuff like that hard to take seriously. But he’s very talented and we actually play some of his songs a lot in the apartment.
So some cool stuff has happened this past week. Since Monday we have had BEAUTIFUL weather. It was 26 degrees C (I think) yesterday. So nice! On Monday we met this family at the Christus. The daughter (in her 40s) told us about her journey. She had been inactive for about 10/15 years and had finally gone back to the temple this past month, such an inspiring story. Then her mum turns up and told us how she had just talked to this guy downstairs after following a prompting and had been able to share her testimony and found out he was not a member of the church. We are taking them over to God’s plan when this guy she had spoken to, Kyle, turns up at the Christus and the woman invites him along with us. We see this woman do missionary work and its no effort at all, just love! Cheeeese, but it’s so true. At the end of the Gods plan presentation they all bear testimony in such a way that really applies to Kyle. We were able to take Kyle on a quick tour and he told us about how he has been looking at a place to put his faith and has never found the right place. He was on his way to San Antonio and had been offered a later flight by the airline as the flight was full which he took and had found himself at Temple Square to kill time. There are no coincidences! He had even given his info to some sisters earlier that day for missionaries to come to his home.
At the end of the day when the square was dead and we were basically waiting for 8:45 so we could go home we end up talking to this woman who was in SLC for conference and to do some family history. I totally forgot what we asked but she ended up telling us how she was on temple square looking for an answer to a dilemma in life. We talked for a while and I ended up sharing a scripture with her – Alma 37:36-37.
36 Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea,let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thourisest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
She reads the first line and just starts crying. We talked for a little longer and bore testimony about receiving answers. I love moments like that. It’s those moments that make being a missionary. No it wasn’t a new investigator but our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ. And often members are in dire need of that!
On Tuesday we found a GOLDEN investigator! It was an inbound call, she was calling for a copy of the Lamb of God. I was able to teach her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and she agreed to have the missionaries come with the DVD and BOM. Quite often they will ask us just to mail it. She even wants me to call back and see how everything goes. She’s so awesome and I love her already even after just one call! I can’t wait to call her again and see how things have gone and to help her on her journey! As i said before we have been calling the referrals we received over the weekend, they are all Spanish speaking the ones we have been able to get on the phone and its wonderful because these people are actually prepared. I always love it when we take a Spanish tour as the people just seem to have much softer hearts and more open to the spirit!
Last night we took an investigator lesson – its where the missionaries from the SLC missions bring their investigators. It went really well and it’s always really cool to see how other (non visitor centre) missionaries teach. Funnily enough, it’s not too different! One of the elders were even from England! Their investigator is on date for 10th May and we were invited to the baptism but I’m not sure if we will go.
I have been seeing Stacey Hooper (my friend from NZ) all the time around the square. I’m pretty sure she is stalking me! It’s so funny that everytime she is here or just passing through we just bump into each other. I also saw Ruth and Christian Turner on their way to conference and was able to speak to them briefly. Other than that I haven’t seen anymore people I know!
I forgot to tell you! On one of my last nights with Sister Tiritilli we were on desk and it’s chucking it down outside. Suddenly this guy, who is absolutely drenched walks in. He just look at us both then turns to the temple and back to us and goes “Why isn’t THAT being used?” and then launches into a speech about how the angel Moroni can be used to generate energy which could supply the whole state. He was quite animated in explaining the science and mechanics behind this. At one point he is kneeling on the floor. A security officer had walked in not long after he had walked in and just pretended to be reading a display near by. He keeps looking over to us to give the sign that we need help but me and Sister Tiritilli are doing all we can to not laugh. We ask him a couple of questions and he tells us how we should speak to his friend Raj who is John the Baptist reincarnated. He has this book with him which he had found in the library and the coincidence was too great that the colour of the book was purple and gold and he was wearing purple and gold shorts when he found it. He has not taken the shorts off since. Lots of talking about the universe. After about 10 minutes security comes over and asks him if he had ever been in the North VC and that it had the universe painted in there. This guys attention turn to the officer and he just starts following him out of the building. It was so funny and so strange at the same time!
Although we have been downgraded in housing, I am loving my new companions and room mates! They are so fun. And me and sister Peñalba have lots of fun together. Obviously there are a lot of teething problems but it’s all good, just the normal level of problems you would expect.
This was in Deseret News!
My Old zone
My Crazy Old Zone
A blurry picture of Ssiter Peñalba and I on Saturday.
All the Brits on Temple Square – Sister Walsh, me, Sister Mathias, Sister Andre. And Sister Cummings photo bombing
Our Humble Abode