Let's see, where to begin...I feel like this week has just been full of miracles. Tuesday we had exchange and Sister Manoa and Kim went to one of our appointments and got another baptism date! Art's wife is a member and he has met with a lot of missionaries but has never really gotten very far. We had gone over there the week before and he happened to be standing outside of his house, finishing up washing his car! (He usually is never at home). We talked to him about prayer and asked him if he ever really prayed. He said that he prays in his head but never really formally. We bore our testimonies that Heavenly Father is really there and wants to hear from us and that we can pray to him and actually receive answers. We invited him to do so and he said he would. We then set up an appointment with him the next week. That was exchange day so they went over there and talked more about prayer and knowing for himself once and for all if the church is true. The spirit was really strong and they felt prompted to so they invited him to be baptized on Dec. 28 and he said yes! A few days later Sister Kim and I went over and only his wife was there. She started the conversation by saying, "I was going to call you sisters and tell you not to come back again." As we talked with her we found out that she was just really concerned because they have been working with him for so long and he has come so far over the years and they didn't want us to push him over the edge. They didn't want him to be baptized for the wrong reasons either. We talked with her for a long time. It was really a miracle to see the spirit work with her. She told us her concerns and I don't remember everything we said, but by the end she said, "Sisters, come back anytime, we won't say no to the missionaries!" We were kind of shocked ourselves but it was such a cool miracle to see. Another little reminder that the church is true and that this is Heavenly Father's work!
Well, right after that appointment, we went to visit one of our potential investigators. Unfortunately he wasn't home but fortunately his daughter was! Mili is a 12 year old girl who is extremely smart and spiritual for her age. The other sisters talked to her before and gave her a Book of Mormon and told us she was really neat but she was even more amazing than we expected! She said she had been reading the Book of Mormon and was in 2 Nephi already. She said it was interesting and she loves learning new things. She has read the bible a few times now and she had some great questions to ask us. We talked a lot about faith and what it was. She has so much faith! She told us about how every night she prays and asks God for forgiveness for the things she does wrong throughout the day and she feels like He forgives her. We asked her if she knew much about where the Book of Mormon came from and she said, "I thought it was just written down on some old parchment and some explorer found it." :) Haha, not quite. We told her that it was even better than that. That it was written on gold plates and translated by the power of God. We asked her if she believed the Book of Mormon was true and she said, "yeah, I think so. It's really good and has some good life lessons." We then told her that there was a way that she could know for herself for sure that it was true and really from God. We read her Moroni 10:3-5 and I have never seen a reaction like hers after reading those verses. Especially from a 12 year old! Before we were able to say anything more she pointed at the verses and said, "wow! That's a cool promise! I need to read more of this! That's so cool that you can get your answer from God like that! I'm gonna pray about that!" Mili is so full of faith! I love it! The only challenge with her is actually getting an appointment to meet with her or her dad. They are busy all the time! Her parents are split up as well and she goes to stay with her mom every other week. Her mom is also a VERY devout Catholic which is going to be interesting to see how she feels about Mili's interest in the Book of Mormon. At least her dad is ok with it. He is reading the book as well. We haven’t been able to see him much to follow up but I'll let you know how that goes.
I feel like there are so many more things I wish I could tell you everything! Nina is getting more and more prepared and excited for her special day. People who have known her for years talk to her and later tell us how much she has changed. She literally just glows. She always has a smile and she seems so happy all the time now. I know she is struggling with a LOT of things right now but she is applying the Atonement in her life and it's amazing the effect it has! It has been such a miracle for me to be able to see that transformation. I think the most that I’ve seen yet! She is now telling everyone about her baptism and inviting them all. Including her friends from high school! Saturday the 21st at 4pm:)
The Visitor Center has been soooo busy lately! Busier than I’ve seen it. I think with finals coming up and with all the Christmas trees up and a million other reasons I’m sure. It has been fun though. I have finally been getting more Spanish tours as well. I hadn't gotten a Spanish tour in months it seems like! These last couple weeks though I’ve been seeing more. I have been getting more confident in them as well. Not necessarily better in speaking, but my heart just doesn't pound as much and I don't feel like hiding anymore when Spanish people come in:) One tour I gave, I don't think they understood everything I said, but they tend to think it's cute that I’m trying:) I just kept talking and hoped that they knew what I was talking about:) I do understand more now I think. My favorite tour was to these two friends from Columbia that came in. They LOVED the Visitor Center and were so nice and asked me a ton of really great questions. I ended up giving them a Book of Mormon each and they had me sign them for them:) They also took all the pamphlets and agreed to have the missionaries come share more. One of them lives in Mililani here on Oahu. She speaks a little English but not too much. It was really cool though because they were asking us what we will do after our missions. I told them I was going to go back to school and they asked what I studied and when I told them music, singing, they were like, "so when do we get to hear you sing?" "Well...I sing in my house..." I replied. "Do you sing in church or anything?" they asked. What are the odds that I am actually going to be singing in Sacrament meeting next Sunday! And they are coming! Haha! I don't think they actually know what they are getting themselves into, but I'm super excited about it!
Well, I love you all so much! I can't believe I'm going to be spending another Christmas away from you! This year has gone by so fast though. March will come even sooner I believe. Yes mom, I'm pretty sure I’ve decided on March:) I know you've been "anxious" for a while now wanting to know:) I have been praying about it and I talked to President. I do feel like even though it's earlier then my 18 month mark, it is when I am scheduled to end my mission and delaying it won't make it any easier:) I am super excited to see you all again though! I love you all so much! I can't think of any particular pictures to print mom, just send what you like:). I love you all and pray for you always!
Les quiero mucho!
The one with 4 of us are all my Asian pad mates:)