Hello from the Windy City :-)
I am finding out that spring in Las Cruces is extremely windy, but I still wouldn't trade our 80 degree, windy, days for the icy rain I hear many others are getting right now. Plus, General Conference marked the end of suit season, so now I get to enjoy the weather without a suit jacket. Its amazing how much spending some time in the sun can help lighten moods and put smiles on peoples faces, which makes meeting people on the street much more enjoyable.
This has been an amazing week since I lost wrote. Since there are so many stories I would like to share Ill just go ahead and start:
It has been recommended that we take any extra time we have during the evenings, when we have NOTHING else to do, to go night tracting. Two weeks ago we had one such evening so we went out knocking, which is not something we regularly do anymore. We drove out into the country side, picked a random street, and began. We knocked for a good amount of time with no success, meaning no one even opened the door or showed any signs of life, and then we saw a couple people walking down the street. We approached them and had a fun conversation, but they showed little real interest in our message. One of them said that he had taken the lessons long ago when his girlfriend was a member and she has since "married in the temple for eternity and then divorced". Before we left we asked if we could come by to drop off a video we had talked about, and they accepted. That Sunday was unusually busy and we forgot about them, probably because they showed little promise in actually listening to the message. Yesterday after Conference we rememberd them and decided to at least drop off the video, and they surprised us by inviting us in and telling us they will watch the video this week and would like for us to come back next week to talk about it with them.
Another great first lesson happened this week with a young girl in college here. When we first knocked on her door she answered looking slightly unhappy that we were standing there. My companion started in with the usual intro about who we were when all of a sudden I felt strongly that we needed to do this approach differently. I cut in and began talking to her about her high school basketball team, college, and a couple other friendly topics. After a few minutes she had visibly relaxed and I told her that we have an amazing message to share and that we would love to stop by some time and talk to her about it. She accepted and set up a return appointment, and we taught her for the first time last Wednesday. She is friends with a member in our ward and he told us that she wanted to close the door on us from the get go but decided that would be mean and left it open out of courtesy, and that we were just " way to nice to say no to". In our lesson she confirmed that about the only reason she invited us back was because of how nice we seemed :-)
I wish I had more time to continue telling you about everything happening here and with my mission, but there are so many other things I need to do today so I better close this one out. I am praying for you, and am very thankful for your prayers on my behalf!
I meant to upload some pictures today but I forgot my camera so I guess you will have to wait for that. A good friend I am teaching in the University ward looked me up on her phone to facebook friend me and showed me my profile picture so now I am in an even bigger hurry to get some new pictures sent off! Well as always, time is short so Ill go ahead and tell you about as much of my week as I can.
Yesterday we had another mission temple trip!! It was an incredible experience and now I am even more revved up to go forward in this great work. President Shumway, the temple president and past and general authority, stood up and spoke to us about the wonderful blessings available to our family through our service. I thought over some of the miracles I have heard about from home and felt very thankful for my service so far, and that I still have another year to help my family receive even more :-)
There have been some very trying experiences I have gone through lately and stress seemed to be ebbing away at me so I prayed for help. I have still loved my mission, but stress was having some bad effects and I was hoping for direction on how to rid myself of it. I felt prompted to take the following week and simply thank God for all of my blessings in my prayers and not ask for anything more, so that's what I did (minus 4 or 5 exceptions for my investigators). At first it was really hard and I cheated a little. I would say "thank you for helping me tomorrow" instead of "please help me tomorrow". But as the week continued and I pondered on my prayers throughout the day, I realized more fully how much I am really thankful for and how blessed I am. Praying like that for a week brought me so much more joy and the things I had been stressing so much about seemed to fall into place. There is so much God is doing for me and those I love that I seem to look over in my day to day life.
We ended up spending 15-20 hours throughout the week serving that lady I talked about in my last letter. She had been falling really far behind and we were the answer to her prayer to get her pecan fields irrigated. She is a little, old Chinese lady who is attempting to attend school full time, take care of her grand-daughter, and grow 120 pecan trees by herself. Two days before we got the call to help her we found a Chinese Book of Mormon in our apartment and she was very happy to receive it. We are also going out to her farm with one of the top agriculture professors in the nation, who we are good friends with, to give her a little more guidance.
Time is short :-)
I love you all!