As you might be able to tell, things are going much better than they were last week. Last week was the pits, man. But we're back to seeing miracles here in "Texoma," as they call it. I'm pretty sure they call Wichita Falls "Texoma" because neither Texas nor Oklahoma want to claim it. But I'll claim it. It's quaint and the people are getting friendlier, I believe.
Alright, good news. We're finally teaching some Spanish investigators! Carmen and Victor. They had been previously taught by my companion and her former companions but they dropped them. However, we had an inkling to stop by and we've been back several times since. Carmen makes a mean tamale and Victor mumbles enough that I really don't think I'd be able to understand him in English, but it has been humbling to be back to teaching lessons in Spanish. I'm back to hitting the books to learn the language... The other day we taught about the Book of Mormon, and my companion refused to speak even when my face turned bright red and I almost chucked my Book of Mormon across the room-- an impulse I was pretty sure wasn't prompted by the holy spirit. Oddly enough.
We've been feeling pretty bad because our area is doing really well and the rest of our district is having a tough time. Not that we're doing well, but we've definitely been blessed finding people to teach. So we've been doing a lot to try to find people to teach for the Spanish-speaking Elders, but we always wind up finding more people to teach ourselves. It's actually getting a little overwhelming... but I guess that's a good problem to have? I don't know. I'm annoying myself so I'll just stop talking about this and provide points (trying to avoid the word bullet, it's still a touchy subject over here...) about what's going on!
-Still teaching Robin and Carla and their kids! Robin's family is having some medical problems so we've been giving them a little bit of space but we'll try to figure all of that out in due time.
-We miraculously ran into the Mom of the boy who got killed in front of the elders. I was backing the car like it was a horse and I was a cowboy and she approached us. So that was embarrassing/pretty typical. But we were able to go to her house and talk to her and comfort her and we have plans to return this upcoming week.
-We met a lady named Theresa in our search for investigators for the East elders. We've started teaching her because she doesn't allow men into her home... She goes to a non-denominational church but was raised baptist. She said, "I was told never to listen to a Mormon because their beliefs are different." To which we said, "You're right! They are different!" And they we laid all of our beliefs on the table. Well, a good portion of them, and she said that it made a lot of sense and invited us back.
-A really drunk lady named Tina approached us and told us that she felt inspired to tell us that God lives and then she reminded us that if we look really hard our veins look like rivers and then she started to dance. I would love to go into detail, but it was all very traumatizing.
Oh, Duh, I should mention that we have met SEVERAL of our investigators at Taco Bell... 1) Wanda works there and her husband doesn't approve of us meeting with her in their home. So we teach her AT Taco Bell. Which is only a little bit distracting, hahah. She's amazing. She's planning on getting baptized on the 21st of June. Hooray! But this week she forgot about a meeting we had with her so we decided to get some churros, naturally, and as we were waiting, a man named 2) Lacy came up to us and just started talking to us. He explained that he was a retired marine and that he was feeling really guilty because of the people he killed in the marines. He said he felt like God had abandoned him. So we've been teaching him. He's really having a hard time. Taco Bell is also where we met 3) Theresa, the lady who won't allow the Elders into her home. As we were wrapping up our lesson with Lacy, she came up to us and told us that she had been eavesdropping and she wanted to learn more. I'm telling you, we've been blessed finding people to teach. We find them when we're not looking. Because, more accurately, they find us! Taco Bell is the promised land, apparently.
I would love to mention more of the joy going on in this area, but there's a lot. And this email is already obnoxiously long. People keep telling me the longer you're on your mission, the shorter your emails get. I really don't doubt that. So I might as well start now! ;)
I love you all. It sounds like everyone is doing really, really well back at home and I'm happy to hear that! I'm actually a little bit concerned that nobody has been sending me bad news... So don't hold it back! I could always use more things to pray for.
In conclusion, I want to share something we learned in church this Sunday. A member gave a talk on the importance of the Sabbath day and he said that a lot of reason people don't go to church is because they claim they don't get anything out of it. He reminded us that while it is a place for us to receive personal revelation, it is more a place to offer up "oblations" as it's referred to in D and C. Which is defined as being time, talents, and efforts. We go to church to serve, to uplift, to share and encourage. It really helped me be reminded what's important and how much we owe to God. It's not "What can I get out of this?" it's "What can I give?".
God loves you. God is in the details of YOUR life.
Photos! Don't ask me how I sent them. It was a process...
-Nerf Gun War. Obviously a mission-appropriate activity.
-Somebody told us to go check out a referral and when we got there, this is what we saw... Call me crazy, but they're probably not interested...
-The sunsets here are unreal! And our rear view mirror is dirty!