"Oh, What a Beautiful Morning", I sing this song every morning as we wake up at 6:30 am! haha. I'm pretty sure Sister Lampinen is sick of it, but whatever! It's a good song! Another weekly update. This last week contained every emotion possible, but it was just overall amazing. I'm so happy that I get to experience all of these things and that I've been able to see a change in my life as I've served a mission. Rancho Cucamonga is still just wonderful! This week I came to know the members better and our investigators as well. It's so easy to love the people here, they are all so kind and just amazing.
Monday after emailing, Sister Lampinen and I went to Victoria Gardens (The shopping area like City Creek back home). It was really nice and GUESS WHAT.. They had the Cheesecake Factory! I was dying when I saw it! So happy! We walked around and just took it all in. It was wonderful! At night we went to a members house for dinner and then went contacting.
Tuesday was an interesting day. I said that I felt every emotion this week and this day was the day that I experienced a lot of them. We were so excited because we had an appointment set up with a 16 year old girl who seemed so excited to learn more. As we stopped by we were just so happy and then her dad came outside. He explained how they are Christian and how they don't need another religion and that we couldn't talk to his daughter. That was hard to hear. We decided to just go around and talk to people and see if anyone else in the area wanted to hear more. We were turned down left and right. People were shutting doors on us and telling us how they didn't want to talk about religion and all different kinds of things. I was so discouraged. I had to remind myself of all the good things I had experienced during my mission so far to keep myself going. It was a very hard day.
Wednesday was a little different than Tuesday. We had an appointment set up with our investigator, Sonny, who we had met my first day here. We had one of the members in our ward come with, so we were just praying he would be home. We walked up and there he was! He let us in and then he started telling us all about what he believes and what he's heard about us. He is a Catholic, but a lot of the things in the Catholic church bug him. He asked us about the rumors he's heard about Mormons and about why we are apart of the church. We helped him understand how what he see's on the television about us aren't all correct and we helped him get a better picture of who we are. Then we invited him to General Conference and he was so fast to agree. So wonderful! After meeting with him we met with Sister Allred, a 93 year old lady who is a member. Sister Allred is almost all the way deaf and blind. We have to sit really close to her and yell while talking to her. haha. She is an amazing lady! I want to be like her when I'm older. She was telling us about her husband who passed away about 9 years previous and their love story. It was so cute! She taught me a great lesson though. She said that when she was 10 she was in a very difficult situation. There was a day though that she decided that no matter what, she was going to be happy. Since that day she said she has been happy. She has since then experienced MANY hard things, but she looks for the positive and is happy. What a great example to us all! Also, on Wednesday Sister Lampinen and I found out that we are doing a musical number in sacrament in 2 weeks for the Bishops sons homecoming. If you know me.. this is like the most frightening thing! Sister Lampinen is super good at piano so that leaves me to singing. Wish me luck! Kidding. I'm actually really excited this time.
Thursday was another wonderful day! We went and visited one of our investigators, Edith. Edith likes to meet with us to do what she calls "bible studies". She loves just talking about Christ, which is good, but doesn't help when we are trying to teach her about more. We felt like we needed to talk about Temples and the importance of them. She was so excited about temples and wanted to go see one. We told her she could look up more of them on Lds.org. Hopefully that will get her more excited to learn how she can enter one of the temples. In the afternoon we visited one of the less actives. She is going through a divorce and is really struggling, honestly she just needs to feel like somebody loves her. We talked to her for a long time and I got to know her. Something awesome about Sister Palacios, she works at Disneyland! How cool is that? We talked about Disneyland for awhile and she was telling me about all these things I didn't know about the place! It was a good way to connect to her. For dinner we went to a members house. These members are actually one of my favorites because they are just so real. The Packers are the sweetest family ever! Sister Packer is from Peru and Brother Packer is from California. They are some of the kindest, funniest people I've ever met! The family actually reminds me a lot of the Taylor Family! At night we had an appointment with another investigator. Danny and his son have been looking into the LDS church for like 6 months, but the Elders and Sisters that were teaching them before didn't really commit him to do anything, they would just teach him. So we told him about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon and asked him to read and he said that he would love to. He's had the book, but hasn't felt the need to read it because he didn't know the importance. Thursday was just a great day full of sharing the gospel!
Not much happened on Friday, but it was another good day! We spent a lot of the day planning for the week. Something strange happened though! We received an online referral from that person. So we went to go follow up on it and a younger (about 16) year old boy came out and it was him who the referral was for. He said he doesn't know how we had his name or anything and that he doesn't know any people apart of our church. There must had been some reason for us to be there, we just still don't know. Wow my emails keep getting longer and longer. I need to find a way to shorten them. Sorry everyone!
Saturday and Sunday were AMAZING! Sonny came to conference on Saturday morning. We had him write down questions during the session and ask us them after. He had a lot of really good questions that I feel like we explained pretty well. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read the introduction. He seems so excited to learn more and invited us back to his home on Wednesday! We watched every session of conference at our Church Building. The building had a lot of missionaries and a couple of investigators during all 4 sessions. I felt so spiritually uplifted. I can't even pinpoint one talk that I liked over the rest! Two talks that really hit me on Sunday were Elder Holland and Uchtdorf's talks. I loved how they were centered around Christ, the Atonement, and Easter. During those talks I realized a lot of things that I need to improve on and felt such a gratitude for my Savior. I am so thankful for the atonement! I was so sad when General Conference ended because it felt like it was on for only an hour! I can't wait for the next one, but until then, I have a lot to work on.
Sunday afternoon we visited 2 of our investigators. They are this old married couple who I just adore. They are so sweet and loving. I'm excited because they are coming to a baptism with us this week so it will be a great experience. My Easter Dinner was WONDERFUL! One of the members is a professional chef, so he cooked us a huge Easter dinner that was really good!
As I said, I'm doing so good! My week was full of emotions and I learned a lot of things. Being a missionary is great! I have met so many wonderful people and realized how blessed I am. I've become more and more grateful for my life and the people who are in it as I talk to people and learn more about the Doctrine of Christ. Family is what it's all about. I already loved my family before coming out here, but I now feel a love for them that I can't even explain. I am so grateful that I can be with my family forever! It is such a good knowledge to have! I'm so happy though that I can help others do the same. I have come to love some of our investigators and I just want them to be able to have a marriage that lasts forever! I never imagined how much I could love people I barely know as I've taught them about something that is so important to me! Be grateful for what you have because I have come to learn how blessed we all are!
|Easter package from home|
Thank you all for the love and support. I really do appreciate it! I wish I could write you all and express my feelings of gratitude I have personally for you, but unfortunately I'm a missionary and I don't have much time! I'm sorry my emails are all over the place, I'll try to work more on having them be more organized! I LOVE YOU ALL! Keep smiling and Choose to be happy!!
Ps. I thought the funniest part of conference was when President Uchtdorf started speaking in German. All of us missionaries were laughing so hard! I'm sure you all loved that part as well!