Well this week has just been amazing! We are still meeting with Diana and she is pretty much all set to be baptized on February 27 🙂 She had an interview with our branch president yesterday after church and he said he felt really good about her being baptized and that he thinks she is ready! So that was great to hear. I had to teach Relief Society on Sunday (after being told Sunday morning at 8 am…gotta love that missionary life) and she was participating and making comments like a member! I am so so excited for her!!
This week we also met with SEVEN new investigators! Probably the first time in my mission I’ve had this happen to me. All seven of them came from English classes — making those 450 students all worth it. What’s cool is that we didn’t even offer 30/30 lessons, all of these people are simply interested in learning about what we believe! To give you a quick run-down of each of them:
-Galina is a woman in her 60s that knows English really well. She is in the advanced class and learned English alone at home/from our English classes for YEARS. She is very spiritual and believes that God has helped her to learn 7 languages in the span of a couple years. She talks a lot but is very attentive so we are excited to keep working with her.
-Victoria is an older woman as well, probably in her 60s, who is interested in what we believe. She was very responsive and attentive and has the sweetest testimony of God. I asked her if she knew God exists and she said one time she was praying, “God, please show yourself to me. Help me know that you exist.” And then right when she ended her prayer, she felt a warm, light breeze. For her, that was an answer. She kept saying, “Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but for me, it was an answer.” I love meeting people who have these amazing testimony-building experiences even before they know about the Gospel. It shows to me that God is constantly preparing the hearts of the people here.
-Ilona and Beatrice are two younger girls, around 16 years old. We were worried that they wouldn’t be too interested in the spiritual part of our lesson, but as we started talking, Ilona started crying. We were worried at first that she was sad or something, but she said that she is just very susceptible to spiritual things and that she is sensitive. She said something like, “This is the first time you’ve ever seen me cry, Beatrice!” Sora Barrera and I were talking this week about how strange yet amazing the missionary-investigator relationship is. We get to see people cry and tell us all about their deepest beliefs all within just a couple hours of talking of them, yet sometimes I don’t know the simplest things about them, like how many siblings they have, until months later. But they are super sweet and driven girls. I am excited to see how they progress.
-Irina and Maria are two friends, 23 and 19 years old. Irina seems to be more interested and is probably one of the bubbliest and fastest-talking people I have met on my mission…which is saying something. She has a MILLION questions and it makes it a little hard to keep the lesson on track, but we think once we explain to her that we have to show her the big picture and then answer all of her detailed questions, then things will go better. As of now, she just has only snips and pieces of what we believe, but we want her to see the big picture. She mentions though that she LOVES the way she feels around us and in the church building. She says she just feels so peaceful,so we think that is promising.
-Diana is another 16 year old, the one I mentioned last week that came to church. We had a lesson with her on Saturday and she was so receptive and open. She said that if she prayed and knew that these things were true, she would be baptized. She is so loving and I think she really has a true desire to know these things for herself which is such a blessing. She seems really promising and I am so so excited to see her progress.
This week we also had an exchange so I got to spend Wednesday with Sora Huffaker! We basically just talked about Alexandria the whole day since she had just served there for 4 transfers. She is such a great missionary — just so simply doing the things that she needs to be doing and doing them faithfully. Plus she is so funny and chill so it made for a great day!
For Valentine’s Day, Sora and I taught 3 English classes back-to-back, then 3 lessons immediately after. The elders were kind and brought us some food that we scarfed down in between English and the lessons. We came home pretty dead but made ourselves a romantic Valentine’s dinner: Kraft Mac n Cheese. It was the perfect ending to the day!
Last P-Day, we went hiking up a random sketchy tower with one of the elders’ English students and he took lots of pictures so I have lots to show from this past week! We also went walking around a beautiful lake which would have been great had it not been freezing cold.
I keep having moments every day where I realize how close I am to the end…how my days are down to 14…but I then put myself back into blissful denial. But I am so glad that I am sprinting to the end (or at least trying to) and giving it my all. I’ve found that if I’m busy, I have less time to dwell and get all sad so I keep myself moving and doing things. I am going to miss being a missionary, I am going to miss all of these friends I have made, I am going to miss having my days full of connecting with people and bringing them closer to Christ. But I can hardly wait to see you and start the rest of my life! I love you so so much and I hope you have a great week!