Monday, September 30, 2013

One Step at A Time

Are you all ready for the exciting news?!?! And behind door number 1? A BRAND NEW CAR! Quite literally. We are now the proud drivers of a 2014 Chevy Cruze. We got it at the end of preparation day, last Tuesday. The best part is that I got to drive! Since it was the week of the training where I'm supposed to take the role of senior companion, we got permission for me to drive too. When I started driving, it was fresh off the lot and literally only had 29 miles on it. Never again will I drive a car that new. It's pretty overrated if you ask me. But we're definitely grateful to have a car back. It makes our work so much more efficient. And helmet hair isn't a problem anymore.

At the beginning of the week all of our appointments started to fall through. We were trying hard to contact all our investigators and potentials to set up some appointments so we could arrange for members to come with us and we could meet our goals. But alas, to no avail. We, of course, started praying to be inspired as to who we should call. So then Sister Hansen says. This is going to sound crazy but we need to visit John and Sharon. (They're a less active couple.) I said "You're right, that's crazy. Let's go." The reason it's crazy is because they live at the tip top of our area, in the middle of nowhere and it takes a lot of time and miles to get there. We've never met them before and the ward council has never even mentioned them before so why we decided to put them on our map, I don't even know. So the next day we planned them into our schedule. We went but they weren't home. However, their cousin Patti was. She was very distant to us at first and just as we were about to leave I thought I should ask for John's number, which we didn't need because we have their number on the ward directory. She said she'd go find it and let us come inside. It didn't take long for her to warm up to us and we were able to keep talking to her. We ended up inviting her to the dinner the stake was having for the Relief Society Broadcast and she got real excited about that and thought it'd be fun. Then she called Sharon to let her know that we had stopped by. That was all and we didn't think too much of it.

The next night we get a phone call from Sharon. First she asks some details about the RS activity and then she says, "Are you ready to start teaching your new investigator?" She told us that Patti had felt something special when we came by. She really liked us and was impressed with us so they had a 3 hour gospel conversation and Sharon invited Patti to take missionary discussions. And she agreed! Sharon asked us why we decided to visit them and we responded that it was all from a prompting. She told us that she and her husband have been struggling lately and the day we stopped by they offered a prayer asking God to help them get back on the path. Four hours later we showed up. Patti and Sharon both came to the broadcast and all the talks were exactly what they had talked about the night before. Patti said everything she knows about us fits with her beliefs. She's already realized that God has been preparing her to hear this message. She's moving next year and already looked up where the closest church is to that home. She's been wondering what church to affiliate herself with lately and she said she felt she had received her answer that night in President Monson's talk. She talked about how she moved in with her cousins to go back to school-culinary arts-but knew the whole time there was a bigger reason. In her classes they've been working with yeast and when President Monson mentioned a story about homemade bread she knew that was her answer.  It was all such a miracle! Isn't it amazing how God is in the details? I love the way he works. This was the answer to John's prayers and Sharon's prayers and Patti's prayers and Sister Hansen's prayers and my prayers. We are so excited to help this couple get back to church and to introduce Patti to the blessing it will be in her life.

This week I was driving and I noticed a college age guy sitting on his porch. I didn't think too much of him but then the car turned itself into the circle across the street. Literally next thing I know the car was parked. So I took it as a sign and told Sister Hansen that we needed to stop and talk to him. He was dressed in all black. He was wearing a dog collar and a bone earring, a wig, high heeled boots, red lipstick, and mascara. As we approached I whispered to Sister Hansen to imagine him in white. We actually had a wonderful lesson with him and he was willing to learn more. As we walked away Sister Hansen said "I didn't see him in white. I saw him in a suit and tie with a black name tag."

The next day we went to visit a former investigator. She wasn't home but we decided to knock the 2 doors on either side of her. Well, as we approached one of these houses we realized it was actually on a different street and weren't gonna knock it. But I thought I heard something and felt like we should go there. No one was home but being at that house, Sister Hansen saw a street that she felt we should go down. Sure enough two houses in we met this awesome guy. He told us if we had knocked 9 months ago, he would have pushed us away because he was an atheist but after he prayed alone in the woods one day, he knew there was a God. So we told him we knew of a similar story of prayer and shared Joseph Smith's experience alone in the woods when he prayed.

It's truly amazing the people we are led to each day and almost always we're guided there one step at a time. We have to show God that we're willing to follow even when we don't understand. Then as soon as we take one step into the darkness the path is illuminated. But only one step at a time. First we have to show our faith and that we trust God's plan for us.

It's also amazing to me how much preparation God makes. Missionaries met someone in that neighborhood 6 years ago that they taught a couple times and wasn't interested. But that was enough to get missionaries back in that neighborhood to meet someone else. It's truly amazing.

The sweet deaf woman that is friends with a member came to the broadcast too. She was a bit overwhelmed but had a very positive experience. There are so many members that know sign language and were willing to help translate and she was so impressed. We've haven't taught her lessons yet but hope to soon.
When we followed up with Blanca after the baptism, she said she liked it and is thinking she should get baptized. Which is great but she definitely has so much more to understand before she could get baptized.

Wonderful Miss Mae had been thinking about a certain person this whole week, who is struggling financially, so she bought her more groceries. Well she's been busy and we haven't been able to meet with her so we just dropped the groceries off at her house. Their door has a broken window in it so instead of leaving the food outside in the sun and exposed to people and animals we slipped the 4 bags through the broken door. Well, we got a phone call from this said person being very upset that we went in her house. We explained that we didn't and apologized she was upset about the groceries. Ah we couldn't believe how ungrateful she was. It made me really sad because the first thing that ran through my head was my mom after she sacrificed for me and I was ungrateful for it and she'd say "This is how you repay me?" So forgive me mom for all those times. Thank you for all the sacrifices you've made in my behalf. This experience made me think about how when God gives us a blessing but not in the way we expected, are we angry or displeased with Him? We shouldn't be. We should be grateful for all the things he gives us even if to us it wasn't ideal.

So fun sidenote. I wore a 4 and 1/2 carat diamond ring this week!! So what if it was only for 5 minutes. It was large and in charge.

Como Siempre,
Hermana Pearson

Large and In Charge!

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm a REAL Missionary Now

We started out the week by getting bikes. Some members are letting us borrow them while we're carless. The one that I ride is a super cute light blue beach cruiser (s/o to Maddi Ostmann, totally reminds me of you every time I ride it.) Poor Sister Hansen is all of 5 foot nothing and the one that's smaller is still way too big for her. Her feet don't touch the ground, so she can't stop without getting off the bike. It is quite...interesting...riding a bike in a dress or a skirt. But it's manageable. I finally feel like a real missionary. No more of that cushy car. It's all about feeling the burn, flying skirts and helmet hair! I really like the bikes but it does require more detailed planning and more travel time. No longer can we have appointments every hour; it takes an hour just to bike to the next place. The first day we used bikes the GPS told us that the bike route would take 30 minutes. It took 90. Part of that though was because Sister Hansen had a near death experience. (Don't worry mom, we've been totally careful) A concerned passerby stopped to ask if we were okay. So of course we did what missionaries do and talked to her about Jesus so I guess it was meant to be! We got stranded because it got dark super fast and we knew we couldn't ride in the dark on the busy streets if we wanted to live, so we called one of our favorite members and she rescued us.

Thursday Sister Hansen was scheduled to help interpret in ASL for the colleague of a member (who we hope to teach soon) at a business meeting. When we were both doing language study we sang hymns. I sang in Spanish, she sang in English and then signed it too. We had 3 languages going at once. It was pretty cool if I do say so myself! The night before we woke up to intense thunder and lightning. So of course we wanted to be prepared missionaries. We put all our things in plastic zip-loc and brought towels to dry off our bikes. We  broke out the rain jackets and boots and decided we'd better ride up in pants and change once we got there. Turns out the rain decided to go away and we were burning up from our boots and jackets. After miles and miles of biking, we were up by Westfield High and we called one of the laurels that has taught with us and asked if we could leave our things in her car so we didn't have to drag them around all day.

Whelp, next day, after we left our rain things behind, the rain decided to come back. Typical.

We had a week of cancellations, which was difficult because we were depending on those appointments for rides to and from where we needed to go. So we had a bit of stress figuring out little things like that. We were supposed to get another car on Thursday but it looks like we'll still probably have another week on bikes.

Nova, the girl we met at the library last week, has met with us 3 times already! She's great and a bit eccentric. Our second lesson with her she got a phone call and found out she lost her job. She was quite devastated because she supports herself. We ended up teaching her at Miss Mae's. Miss Mae excused herself and said she'd be right back. When she came back she had bought groceries to send home with Nova. It was so touching how sweet and thoughtful she was. We sure love her.

We took Blanca for a church tour and afterwards had her attend a baptism. She liked it just fine but I wish it would have been in Spanish for her to understand a bit better. She did say she felt peace and it seemed like a special place but there's still something not clicking for her. At the end she had us come out to her car and she had gifts for us. She gave us each a shirt and jewelry. She was so cute and had to make sure we knew she loved us both and not one more than the other. Aw their my favorite couple!

President and Sister Cleveland were at the baptism. Afterwards we chatted and President Cleveland asked if I heard anything about my visa. Rough, cause he's the one that's suppose to hear about it before anybody else does!

We got a call from a very upset son-in-law saying his wife's mother was not interested in finding another church, that she was upset we kept coming back and she didn't know why we kept coming back. (I'll tell you why, she kept setting up appointments with us for certain days and times. Of course we're going to come back) On the voice mail he threatened to call the cops on us if we ever returned and "trespassed." It's all good though, her memory wasn't very good and she couldn't remember what we taught her. It really blows my mind though how threatened people feel. We're just two girls who love Jesus. Not much scary about that!

Last Sunday we met this guy watering his yard and we shared with him a 5 minute lesson and he said we could come back so yesterday we went back and asked for him. He wasn't home but his 18 year old god-daughter was. She mentioned she was from Noblesville (That's where Abby is from, but so are a lot of other people, so usually I don't say anything.) I asked her if she went to Noblesville High and she did. So I said I knew it was a long shot but asked if she knew Abby Alvey. She does. They're are friends on facebook and the whole bit. We ended up teaching her a short lesson and got an appointment to come back. Crazy the connections I have in good ol' Indiana.

Well as always, I love you all!

Hermana Pearson

Me and my super cute light blue beach cruiser

Monday, September 16, 2013

Things Like That Don't Happen Everyday...Except When You're a Missionary.

So, Ernie, the man from the first street we tracted, we taught his wife and him another lesson. He's much more interested than his wife. He had a bunch of questions from his studies and he asked us to backup some of our doctrine with Bible references. We were able to do that and he wants to keep meeting. Here's the kicker. He's out of town until November. We asked if we could skype but he didn't like that idea. He said he wants to read the whole Book of Mormon by the time he meets with us again. I guess we'll just try to keep up with him by some phone calls. We're trying to do better at following up with investigators in between visits anyway so I guess it will give us good practice.

We got to help the Hammocks this week. I can't remember if I've written about them before. They are an older midget couple in the ward and are so cute. They raise their 10 year old grandson who has Downs syndrome; he's twice the size they are! They've been going through a lot of struggles recently and need some extra help. We've been before to dust, wash windows and clean out the fridge-all places she can't reach. This week we helped moved some furniture, open a ceiling vent and put away things on the closet's tallest shelf. Their whole house is normal size except for their toilets. Aw the bathroom was so cute. In her closet she had the cutest small shoes. And her car's my favorite...She has a pink zebra booster seat so she can drive.

Robin who finally started progressing, text-dropped us this week. Man, enough with the text dumping! We stopped by though to see if we could talk to her about her concerns in person. Her daughter opened the door and told us Robin has bronchitis. We asked if we could just come in and pray with her and she let us. Robin's big hangup is the Book of Mormon so after we prayed, I shared with her Alma 31:31 and asked her to pay attention to the power and the peace of the words. " 31 O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me." I think it really touched her because a few hours after we left she called to tell us thank you for coming by. Hopefully we can keep teaching her after all!

Thursday we had Zone Conference. It was great. This really is an awesome mission. The stakes are so on board with getting member missionary work going. I realized maybe part of the reason I'm here is to take some of this amazing training and ideas down to Argentina with me when I go. It was a great meeting with lots of great training. We did some role playing and I did it in Spanish with Elder Langford who is also waiting for a visa to go to Argentina and whose grandparents are in our home ward. I also got to see Hermana Howard which always boosts my spirits.

On Friday the 13th we went to the Relief Society activity. One of the sweet ladies in our ward, Heidi Wells, brought a deaf friend. Well lucky for us, Sister Hansen took 3 years of sign language. Just a couple days earlier, Sister McKinlay (the stellar member who always goes out teaching with us) mentioned that she had learned sign language to be able to interpret for a boy at church. She got a degree in it and then started translating as a career. So when Sister Wells called us to tell us she'd like to introduce us to her friend at "Fabulous Friday" we were able to tell her Sister McKinlay could interpret for her. The friend, Heather, was really impressed with how nice everyone was and how different the building felt to her. Sister Wells is going to set up a lesson to teach Heather in her home, so we're looking forward to that.

Saturday was the BEST DAY EVER! Why? Because we spent all day volunteering at the Special Olympics. I remember doing a big project on Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her work with the intellectually challenged in elementary which got me involved with Best Buddies in high school and college and I've always wanted to help with Special Olympics. The missionaries got involved because it was a softball tournament at a complex that a man in our ward owns. Seriously, it was so great! We started off as cheerleaders but at one of the games, the Elders were being boring announcers, so we took over to add a little pep! We gave the players nicknames and tried to get the small crowds pumped. One girl asked us how many coffees we had had that morning to be that chipper. We tried to tell her we had never had coffee but she didn't believe us. Then she asked me how old I was. I told her 19 and she accused me of lying about that too and I had to be way younger than that. I guess it's good to have a youthful face. I'll appreciate it when I'm older! We made friends with a pair of twins that go by Zack and Cody like the twins on the Disney Channel show. (See picture) One of the assistants, Elder Sorensen was asked to be the pitcher on a team called the heat. And the other assistant, Elder Rodgers was their announcer. They took a gold medal so Elder Sorensen got to participate in the awards ceremony. It was so cool! In case you didn't think it could get better, you're wrong. Hermana Howard was there too! I got to see her twice in one week! I loved every minute of it. We were there for 6 hours and it wasn't long enough!

Well there were some car problems and so Elder Hodges had to shuffle around different cars and we're the lucky ones to go without a car for a week, starting yesterday. I'm really happy about it! It'll be good prep for Argentina. The weather is absolutely perfect and I love the fresh air. Sister Hansen was really stressed out about it but I think it'll be just fine! I loved walking last night because we got to talk to so many more people we would have talked to otherwise.

I was just about to end this letter but I literally just experienced a miracle. Rewind with me to a couple weeks ago. Elder Coles and Elder Bromley met a girl named Nova near Carmel High School. She really wanted to meet with missionaries and learn more but didn't have a phone and is living with a friend so didn't feel comfortable giving out her friend's address. They set up an appointment for us to teach her the following day and we'd meet at the library. We went and waited and went searching for her but couldn't find her and had no way to contact her. Okay fast forward to yesterday. We were near Carmel High School so we decided to take a minute to walk around the building to see if Nova was possibly there since that's where the missionaries had met her before. I just felt that God was going to lead us to Nova. But we didn't find her yesterday. Fast forward again to 10 minutes ago. Some Elders walk into the computer lab (this library is inundated with missionaries on Mondays) and there's a girl who notices the white shirts, ties and tags and starts talking up a storm. I wasn't paying attention too much but heard her say she was supposed to meet with them at 3:30 and it immediately clicked in my head. I turned around and asked if she was Nova. Her eyes lit up and said she missed the appointment because she had to work and she's been looking for us since. She has a phone now so we exchanged numbers and we're going to teach her this week. Wow! Things like that don't happen. Oh wait, yeah, they do.

Un Especial Salud,

Hermana Pearson

Twins - Zack and Cody

Sisters at Special Olympics

Sister Pearson and Sister Hansen - Announcers Extraordinaire!

Zone Conference with Hermana Howard

Monday, September 9, 2013

If This Were A Movie

We did an exchange this week with the Sister Training Leaders. So since I stayed my area, I got to drive the car. It was pretty exciting with all the round-abouts or rotaries as the GPS calls them. I swear there's a round about at every intersection. The 4-way stops that don't have signs saying they're coming soon (see attached picture.) Haha. It'll probably be the only time I get to drive on my mission. President Collins didn't even bother to certify visa waiters to drive but President Cleveland did so that's the only reason I was allowed to anyway.
At the beginning of the week, we had a lesson with Elvira. We talked about the apostasy and shared Joseph Smith's experience. She said she was confused because she didn't know what was true so we told her knowledge would come as she continued to meet with us. It was a strong lesson. We set up a return appointment for 2 days later. Well she dropped us flat before we ever got to go back. To make matters worse, she made her daughter do it. In a text. I mean, come on. The whole world knows you shouldn't break up with someone in a text message, let alone a text message from another person. That's just low. I don't understand why people don't follow the social norms when it comes to missionaries. We're people too! They said they already know about Jesus and want us to go teach people that don't know Jesus. Quite the switch from "Mi casa es tu casa"
We visited the Hernandez's and they are just too caught up in the details. He's worried about how the Book of Mormon mentions chickens and horses and other animals that as far as he's concerned weren't brought to America until the 1500's. He also doesn't like that in Jerusalem quite quickly after Jesus died, we say there was apostasy but in America the people lived for 400 years in righteousness. To him, if Jesus taught the people in the middle east, they should have stayed stronger longer.
Remember how we saw the bug boys last week and they gave us a referral. Well it was a sweet referral! The lady has a Jesus fish over her door so we took that as a good sign. She welcomed us in right away and said she had just been talking to a Mormon yesterday. We told her we didn't think it was a coincidence. She didn't either but it seemed she felt that way because she felt the need to correct our ways (maybe, she was too nice to actually say so.) She let us talk for a bit but really, she started teaching us. She does a Bible study for the ladies in her neighborhood and I'm sure she is an amazing teacher. We have an appointment to go back and actually teach her this time! 
At district meeting, we focused on planning to reach goals so we were supposed to take 15 minutes to make a specific plan to meet a specific goal. Well, we were really worried this week on teaching enough lessons so we're talking about what to do and our phone rings. A guy we taught last month called to set up an appointment. We didn't go back for so long because he was going to be busy with a work project for a month. He said when it was over that he'd call. And he actually did! I felt like I was in the Best Two Years when the missionary prays: "Please bless that young man that he might call." And then the phone rings. It was cool! So if the movie plot follows, he should get baptized the day before I fly out. I might have talked about this guy before. His late mother and his brother are members and he's investigated the church before. Well since he's such an analytical person, our commitment to him was to reread the Book of Mormon, this time marking only the references to Christ and then everyday after reading write down how he FELT. He was really surprised with such a request but said he'd do it.
We met Robin again this week and took a member with us. We've been hesitant to bring someone before because I guess she had a negative experience in the past with a member but we really needed to to meet our member present goal. Well turns out the lady that came with us has the SAME life. They had so many connections, it seemed never ending. Both grew up baptist, left the baptist church for the same reason, divorced their first truck-driving husbands for the same reason, remarried and then those men died. That was only the basic stuff. They really made a connection and the member was able to so wonderfully tell of her testimony of the Book of Mormon and we could just see the progress in Robin immediately!
Another appointment we had, we were reluctant to take a member because what the man had said to us before, but again we did it to make our goal and it turned out great. We met with Jim Davis. His wife had a stroke 11 years ago and he has lovingly taken care of her ever since. When we got there he had these books for us that his father-in-law published about Indians- since we are in the wonderful state of Indiana and he has Indian blood. He had all these arrowheads on his wall and I told him how my dad majored in archaeology and had a bunch of arrowheads of his own. We we read with him in the Introduction of the Book of Mormon where it talks about the Lamanites being the principle ancestors of the Native Americans, he thought that was way cool. He had a Mormon friend back in the day who gave him a Book of Mormon and Jim read the whole thing (although he admits he forgot a lot). We shared the restoration and it was really powerful.
We stopped by Miss Mae's with the plan to read 3 Nephi 18, talk about church attendance and the Sabbath and see what we could do to get her back at church. Well before we got into the lesson she mentioned planning to go to the store to buy an ice cream cake for her granddaughter's birthday on her way to dinner on Sunday. I was a bit nervous to go ahead with the lesson plan because I didn't want to offend her but Sister Hansen went right ahead and sweet Miss Mae kinda chuckled about it and said how obviously God sent us to remind her that the little things matter and add up and that she wasn't gonna go to the store on Sunday after all. She was super cute about it.
We stopped by a referral from the Carmel Elders of a guy named Evan who has met with missionaries a couple times. It was really cool because I felt God really pick me up and use me as a tool. He used every bold, eloquent and charismatic bone in my body and magnified those abilities to engage Evan in conversation and we really had a great doorstep lesson with him. He's afraid to commit to even lessons because he knows eventually we'll ask him to make a leap of faith, but hopefully we helped him to see that right now all we want is for him to take one step.
Como siempre, envio mi amor a ustedes!
Hermana Pearson

Indianapolis Temple under construction!

Round-abouts everywhere

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Team Reject

There's not nearly as much to talk about this week. Unfortunately it was rather slow and we had a lot of cancellations and rejections. But let's start with the good stuff first.

Back on my first day here, Sister Hansen said "Look at the map. Pick out a street." We started tracting it. Turns out it's a pretty long street. Well on our 2nd day of tracting it we met Ernie. His house was daunting and intimidating and we really didn't want to go up to it. But we're missionaries. Of course we did. We taught him the restoration and gave him of Book of Mormon and said we would visit his church if he went to ours (he goes to NorthView...along with every other person in Indiana. It's a HUGE church.) Well then he went out of town on business for a month and so we had to wait to meet with him. And we finally did this week. He came prepared with 2 pages of questions. He would read online and in the Book of Mormon on his lunch break. We taught a great lesson to him and his wife and they definitely want to learn more. But he's going out for another business trip. We think we may try to embrace the whole technology deal and see if we can teach his wife in person at their home while we skype him. We'll see.

A really great family in the ward signed up a while back to have missionaries come teach a lesson. Well that happened to be the night his sister was staying with them. So we taught her a lesson too. This ward is great when it comes to being involved with missionary work. I'm spoiled here. Well I guess really every ward should be like that. The sad truth is, they aren't.

We taught Justin another interesting lesson. We planned to teach plan of salvation but didn't get far because he doesn't believe that the past is set in stone. Sister Hansen asked him to say a prayer right then and ask if we lived with God before we came here. Before I knew what I was saying, I promised him that if he'd sit and listen after the prayer, he'd get his answer. And then I started to panic. I prayed fervently for God to answer him immediately. I felt like I had made too big of a promise. But I felt peace that Justin had gotten an answer. So we asked Him what he felt and he just said calm. But we talked about how that is how the spirit speaks to us. Especially him since he has anxiety, calmness is something so needed for him and so that's how God answers him. I told him I was scared I had made such a big promise but that God told me I needed to and told me He'd follow through. I felt really bad because Justin asked me if I get frustrated with him. I don't ever feel frustrated I just worry about how I can help him but I guess that came off as frustration to him. I explained that if I was frustrated at anyone, it was me for not teaching clearly enough.

On Wednesday, new Elders got double transferred into the ward. They have a very similar situation like what Sister Hansen and I had a transfer ago. They have no investigators and they're starting from scratch. We'll help them out though. We already have. The ward mission leader doesn't want us to teach single men anymore since we have 2 sets of missionaries so sadly we had to give up Justin. We stopped by his house to tell him we wouldn't be the ones to teach him anymore. Sometimes we feel like he doesn't make progress but I think that's mainly just because we really have to start from the basics. But he told me that I shouldn't be frustrated at my skills as a missionary because I had truly helped him. That meant a lot to me and makes me sad that we can't teach him anymore.

We were so sad because the Garcias definitely took a step back this week. They didn't read what we asked them to and they expressed concern over why the Bible doesn't mention the Book of Mormon. When we talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, they said they don't need that because they already have the Spirit with them. We started preparing "homework" for them so they have reading assignments every day. We hope that can help them progress faster.

We met with the Hernandez family who have met with missionaries for years. We asked them what their intention was in having us over. Their answer blew us away. They like the friendship they get from the missionaries. The question made them think at least a little though, because they asked what our intention was. So we basically told them to teach them the truth so that they can get baptized. Maybe with a clearer purpose set, we can make progress with them.

We tried a lot of less actives. 90% of them have moved.

We had a tentative appointment scheduled with a referral, Todd, so we called to confirm. The lady that answered asked who we were so I said "missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Then she said "We already have our church. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" So I simply started to say "Yes, I'm just looking for Todd, is this the right number?" But before I could get through any of it she repeated ''DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND? DO YOU UNDERSTAND?" So I just kept saying yes. She literally yelled the question 15 times, said "YOU GIRLS SHOULD BE SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND." And then hung up. We got a little laugh out of that one!

We tried by a former investigator and when we got there she said "I was wondering when you missionaries would come back." Good sign, right? Wrong. She told us she had tried to read the Book of Mormon but she couldn't stomach it because it was of the devil. She spent a good 5 minutes explaining how evil it was. Weirdly enough she was a very sweet lady. She offered us water. She said she's a single mom that works and goes to school but she'd make time for us to do a Bible study if we'd come with open minds. She says she prays for the missionaries every day and probably always will that we will realize the error of our ways. She hopes we can find Jesus. She started to say she wishes us luck but then stopped herself and said she hopes that our missions will be difficult so we realize that we follow the devil. It was hard to listen to her deny the Book of Mormon. All we could say is we've prayed about it and know that it is true. We still asked for a referral though. And she even kind of gave us one. She said to talk to the neighbor across the street playing basketball. So we headed over and stopped in the driveway. The guy grabbed his basketball and literally ran away.

Sorry I wasn't able to write home yesterday. We did have a fun Labor Day BBQ though. The new Stake Presidency Counselor is in our ward and his family invited over 3 ward families, and all the missionaries in the ward. So it was fun to eat with President Cleveland. It's so nice to get to interact with him since most missionaries don't get much of a chance. No surprise, he talked sports with Elder Coles. That's what you get when your mission president is a coach. He said his favorite coaching job was his first one at a high school in California when he taught AP gov and econ. He's really cool. We all really love the Clevelands!

On our way to a less actives after dinner we saw the summer sales boys that are in our ward selling door to door. We talked to them for a minute and they gave us a referral of a lady they sold to. They said that one house they had been in, the man told them they have the hardest job in the word selling pest control door-to-door but then paused and said, No, those Mormons who try to sell religion have it harder. So then of course they told him they've already been there and done that!

I got an update from the Missionary Department on my visa. Pretty much all they said was it's not here. With the last transfer we got two more visa waiters. They'll be headed to Australia. Crazy.

Pues, Hasta Luego,

Hna Pearson