Things have been good this week. We had the second half of our exchange last Friday, so Sister Peñalba went with our district leader and I was with Sister Chen. She’s from Taiwan and speaks very little. It was an interesting experience as it was my first tours and lessons in Mandarin. It’s really difficult to get involved when you don’t speak the language and as Sister Chen’s companion is Mandarin speaking too she is not well practiced in the whole translating part. So I was a bit frustrated by the end of the day as I didn’t feel like I had accomplished much in the day.
We met Jose again at the square. Not awkward this time as it was just him and us – not a million of other people! He’s not ready to be baptised this Saturday so we’ve postponed it but not got a new date. He is taking it very seriously – so that is good. But he feels that he needs to truly repent before he gets baptised as he says he has a lot of pride. The problem and concern we have is that he feels a lot of pressure from the Elders he’s meeting with and so we have to always work to remedy that!
We’ve not been able to call Shauna this week as her family are still sick and she’s been busy herself. But we’ve kept in touch over text and she is very keen to keep learning. I really do love her and I can’t wait until we are able to call!
Bill is doing wonderful as ever. The elders are finishing off the last of the lessons with him and everything is set for 10th May. We called the member who referred Bill (Bill was his limo driver when he was on business in NYC) and he was totally ecstatic of how things have gone and might even make it to the baptism as he is going to be in that part of the country. We are also looking at the possibility of being at the baptism via skype.
We also have some investigators who things have been progressing with – Judith in Peru, Henry in Argentina and Oscar in Mexico but it’s all been in Spanish and I wouldn’t say I have really been involved as I have no idea what is going on. But we had a LONG talk about it in companion inventory this week so it should be improving.
I had to drop the guy who had called in while I was in the MTC. He is willing to read the Book of Mormon but not willing to do anything else and seemed to get a little bit offended when I invited him to attend church and he says he has made a promise to himself he won’t change church again. It’s so frustrating because he says that he doesn’t even like his church and how the people there don’t even speak to him, yet he won’t go to another! Maybe I’ll try calling him in a couple of months.
Last transfer we took a chat from a girl named Sage and she referred. When we tried to call though we never got an answer and when we did she wasn’t available. Anyway I tried again this week and left a voicemail. I log on yesterday and she’d called back in! We were able to call her last night and teach her. She is so sweet! She’s 18 but sounds like a little girl and is just awfully polite. She said the missionaries used to come when she was younger but her family never progressed. But she said she had read some of the Book of Mormon when she was younger and felt that it was true then and so now she wants to learn more! I’m really excited about her and she’s already got a special place in my heart!!
I love being a missionary here on Temple Square. I know that I laughed when I was called here and didn’t know what to expect. But every night I express my gratitude for being called here. I LOVE serving here. I love being able to meet so many different people. I love we are able to teach in an environment where the spirit is already present. I love that people come to Temple Square for answers and we are able to help them. Mostly I love it because I know I was called here by inspiration and this is where I’m supposed to be.
This past week I’ve been reading in Alma. I was reading about the people of Ammonihah and how everything they had was just taken away in an instant in Chapter 16. Verse 10 talks about how it was just left desolate in one day. This had been something that had been recurring for a while, how everything that we have and often put the most value on can just be gone within a moment. The temporal things we have on this earth that we believe brings us happiness can so easily be lost. I thought about the cases we saw at work about people who had these businesses and they failed and they would end their lives because they just couldn’t see what they’ve got. The only constant is our relationship with Heavenly Father and our Saviour. Sister Ficquet (France) wrote me a card and it says “If it’s not eternal it doesn’t matter”. Only the eternal things really matter, they are the only things that will stick with us through this crazy life on earth.
And I can see how all these thoughts and studying is already helping – on Tuesday night we met a woman on the square. She was just cutting through on her way to the homeless shelter. The only clue to her being homeless was that she was carrying a sleeping bag. We spoke to her and she told us about how she had lost everything and has been homeless for about a month. She has only just moved up to SLC a week ago because she thought that it might lead to a better life. But I could see how my studying the days before had really helped me to understand her situation and be able to know how the gospel can bless her. We have texted a couple of times and we are hoping she will come down to the square soon so that we can possibly teach her.
Oh I announced on Sunday. Nerve racking! I got it right the first time but messed up the second time.
We’re supposed to introduce ourselves and say “There’s so much to see her on Temple Square and I’d love to show you around and share with you some of the history and basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come see me after this presentation. Or you can speak to any sister missionary here, we all speak english. Or if you would like a tour right away speak to the sisters with the signs over there”.
As I said, first time fine. The second time it gets to my turn I got to the “Lot’s to see on Temple Square” part and my mind goes blank. All I can think is “WE ALL SPEAK ENGLISH!” as it’s Sister Ellis’ favourite line because people assume we don’t. So I basically say “There’s so much to see her on Temple Square and I’d love to show you around and share with you some of the history and basic beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come see me after this presentation. Or we all speak English. Thank you”.
Sooo a little request, if anyone wants to write to a missionary – my lovely companion Sister Peñalba is a little discouraged as she has only received 1 letter in the mail since coming on her mission in August. And I always feel so bad if I receive something. I have asked some sisters to write her some so that she has something in her mail box but it would be awesome if something comes in the post. She has never received a letter or package from home.
Don’t think there is much else to report on!