Our other investigator is...DRUMROLL please... HISPANIC! His name is Bernardo. We found him because Elder Aiono and Elder Rasmussen have eternal investigators that are hispanic, Alejandro and Grace. They understand and speak English but it still is a bit of a barrier in their lessons so they asked us to come along so maybe my Spanish could help. Well when we got to the appointment they weren't home yet, so we walked down the road and started talking to Bernardo. He wasn't exactly interested in our message but I asked if I could practice my Spanish by teaching him a lesson and he agreed to that, so we set up an appointment for the following day. After our lesson with Grace and Alejandro, the Elders went to meet with a referral from other missionaries that they've talked to before but he was always too busy to keep meeting. Again they had us come so I could use some Spanish. When we got there Esteban said his dad wanted to come listen. Lo and behold, his dad is Bernardo! Esteban has read all the way to Alma with other missionaries and really likes the Book of Mormon. We gave Bernardo a Spanish Restuaracion pamphlet and made an appointment to come the next day to give him el Libro de Mormon. Both of them completely accept that God would have dealings with people in America and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. They think that all the people and stories are real. But they don't understand the apostasy mainly. I definitely see why missionaries in Latin America have so many baptisms. They were just so accepting of the Book of Mormon. Bernardo said he'd read out of el Libro de Mormon after his studies of la Santa Biblia. He even asked us where and when church was before we even mentioned it. It was interesting teaching because Bernardo can speak English but is more comfortable in Spanish so he'd switch back and forth. I did the same. I could follow nearly everything he said but the other missionaries were pretty lost. It was pretty interesting. I'm so grateful we found the one trailer park in our entire area so that I could use some Spanish!
We're in Carmel, Indiana which is a very affluent area, voted as #1 American city to live in, with lots of picture perfect people and our two investigators are Justin and Bernardo. Kinda funny how things work out.
Friday night we went to visit a less active. The story goes that she doesn't come to church because her ex-husband is in the other ward and she can't bear to see him, but she'll come when the time changes and the two wards no longer overlap. The good news is that in this Stake they change the times at the beginning of the school year, so that's next week. She was really grateful we came by since as sisters we can come into her home. She invited us to come teach them for Family Home Evening every other Monday when she has the kids. She has 2 kids old enough to be baptized but apparently the father won't give permission for them to be baptized (which is beyond me since he takes them to church at least enough that they know their friends from primary) Since they are older than 8 they need missionary discussions if they are to be baptized so we'll teach them the discussions at FHE. We will pray that the father will soften his heart and let them be baptized.
On Saturday we were praying for miracles, and we had no less than 3 small miracles. We went to contact a less active. It turned out he has moved but his neighbor was a saint. He goes around and buys things at garage sales and such and then gives them to refugees. He basically does that full time. He had to leave to go to a boy's birthday party and deliver him a tricycle but we got his contact information and hope that we can meet with him later. (we actually saw him at the library this morning too.)
Then we were at our dinner appointment early so we found a nearby cul-de-sac to tract. No one was answering and then finally one house answered. The lady said we came at the perfect time because her husband was at the park with the older kids and her baby was asleep. We gave the usual speech and I was just waiting for the "I'm not interested bit" when she said "Sure! Do you have any pamphlets?" We gave her a restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. She didn't promise she'd read it because things get crazy with her kids but she said she'd try. We left her with testimonies and she said "Wow, you girls sure are good at this." Hopefully we'll be able to teach her that it's not us, it's just the Spirit telling her it's true.
After dinner we went to try to visit a less active. She wasn't home but her elderly mother was. We asked her if she could use any help and she let us in. She said her daughter left for a party and she had been sitting there wondering how she would ever feed herself, feed the dog, get her medicine and get to bed. She was cold and miserable and didn't know what to do. She somehow found the strength to come to the door so we were able to help her with all those things. She told us it was a miracle that we came. We told her she was the miracle we were praying for. I'm not sure how lucid she is but she said we can come back and teach her about our church. Even if she doesn't retain what we teach, we can at least go over and serve her.
So no big deal, but we ate dinner with a Colt's player! Brother Moala and his wife had us over. (I think that's how you spell his name) He played for USC and last season he tore his ACL if any of that rings a bell to my espn-faithful father.
I SAW ABBY ALVEY! She came to the ward with her brother Jackson and I was able to talk to her for a bit and get a picture with her and everything. She was so sweet, earlier this week she left cupcakes for me and my companion on our doorstep. Hand-delivered packages?? Talk about spoiled! Too bad she will be moving back to Provo in a couple weeks. But it was such a blessing to be able to see her. Guess I'm pretty lucky that one of my best friends lives right here in INDIANA!
The ward here is really great to work with. The ward has a mission plan that has different ideas of how to share the gospel. And the families are pretty serious about it. The plan has been in effect for a while-ish and they have been instructed to strive for a missionary experience by October. Mom, next week I'll send you some of the ideas from it since you said you want to be more missionary minded!
I love you all and hope all is well!
|With Sister Rytting|
|My first companion Sister Howard|
|On to Indiana|
|Indianapolis temple under construction|
|In Indiana cornfield with Sister Hansen|
|With my former roommate|
|Abby in Indiana|