It is wet and rainy here in Cali and has been for the past week, I LOVE IT! The rain is just so great, plus the weather here in Cali, it's just perfect. :) However, the rain here is nothing like the rain in Arizona...all it does is mist here. But, it still happens to look like it has be DUMPING. I think it's because Arizona absorbs the rain faster than it can show it's raining, whereas, here in Cali it sprinkles a little and it look like Arizona when it goes through a Monsoon. It doesn't make any sense, but hey, I still love any rain! :)
This week was a pretty good week. So so. Not the best week, but not the worst as far as success goes, but my companion and I are still looking on the bright side and being optimistic. I absolutely love my companion! We have so much fun, while still staying focused. It's the greatest.
So the sad news is that the baptism of Melissa did not happen this week...again. This is the third week. Unfortunately, as we were working with her to plan her baptism this week, she expressed concerns she hadn't voiced before. The typical doubts that the adversary tries to get in the minds of the investigators preparing for baptism. She told us she doesn't feel ready and that she doesn't feel she knows enough. This is sad to hear because we finally got consent from her mother, so she was set to go. Plus, she has had all the lessons, and been to church a bunch of times, and all the stuff we taught her, she already knew. She went to church down in Tijuana. Since the beginning, she's known the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith to be true. She knows the church is true and she knows that baptism is necessary. She understands it all. But we can't force her to do anything. She says she wants to learn more before baptism, but what we are trying to explain to her is that baptism is the beginning. A lot of people feel baptism is the end, that you take all the steps and once you're baptized, you're done. Although there are steps leading to baptism, it's not the end. It's the beginning. We explain that after baptism is when she is really going to learn more, become a member of the church, and grow. We can see how much she has grown, even her family says it. Sadly, since she is not ready to take the next step, we have to drop her. Just for a couple of weeks, so she can figure out what it is she wants. She hasn't been the best with her reading, so we are hoping that this will give her time to read and learn more through the Book of Mormon, and hopefully when we come back, she will be ready. :) We'll be around for sure though, we are still teaching her older sister, Roxanne, and she continues to invite us back, so we'll still get to see Melissa and support her in her studies! :)
But anyways, other than that downside of the week, our numbers are getting even higher! We are finding like crazy and have been finidng lots of new people to teach. Clemente is continuing to progress, and we're so happy for that, he's going to be ready for his baptism, we know it. :) We pray for it.
This week we also had the opportunity to have President Interviews! My first one. :) I love my Mission President. President Bowen is just the greatest! In our interview, he had me teach him something, and I chose to share with him something that I feel really applied to a lot of our lessons with investigators this week. Something that really stood out to me. The Atonement. Something a lot of people don't realize about the Atonement, is that we need to use it. People think that just because Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, we are clean, and now we can return to our Heavenly Father's presence. The thing is, we need to USE it. When we are baptized, we make a covenant or a promise with Heavenly Father. You can find these in the sacrament prayers, when it says that we will take upon ourselves the name of Christ and keep his commmandments. When we take upon ourselves the name of Christ, we are not only trying to be like him, but we are using his name to cleanse ourselves. Does that make sense? When Christ died for us, he made it all possible to repent and return. However, we can't do it without using his Atonement to repent. If we don't use his Atonement and repent of our sins, he died for no reason. We are not automatically saved. Repentance is key. I hope I explained that well...it's hard for me to put what I'm thinking into words. ha I love my President, and I sure am blessed to have such an amazing Mission President and his Wife. :)
Elder Andersen gave me a good workout as he made me laugh until I cried pretty much all day Wednesday. I don't know what it was, but he was so funny that day! I sure love that we can be successful and have fun doing it at the same time. :)
That night, we were headed up our pathway leading to our apartment. Surprisingly enough, our path is pretty treacherous! I don't know what it is, but snails FLOCK to that path, and you have to really pay attention to where you are walking so you don't end up ending up at the apartment with gooey shoes...gross. That night, there were more than usual with the rain...apparently they were thirsty...do they get thirsty? Hmmm... So anyways we were being extra careful, and we made it through the section where all the snails usually are. Well, as we rounded the bend, Elder Andersen, being his funny self was making me laugh and talking about how they need a sign that says CAUTION: SNAIL X-ING...and RIGHT as he said that, and since his focus was turned on me, we hear this HUGE crunch. Ha Sure enough, he landed square on a snail. I was DYING laughing. I think I use that phrase too much...I am still alive, no worries ha. It was super hilarious. Poor snail. :( It happens a lot though apparently because there are splotches of snail everywhere on rainy days...how gross, right? Oh well...
All around, this week was great. From powerful lessons, to hysterical laughter, I'm pretty sure I ranged all emotions this week. :) In a good way. I love you all so much, and I sure hope all is well! The work keeps going! Love it. Love you, miss you, until next week, cuidense!
"If you find the loop-holes in the rules, God will find a loop-hole in your blessings." Elder Groesbeck...Elder Andersen's old companion...it's kind of stuck with Elder Andersen, and he says it all the time ha.