Good Morning, family!
To start, I would like to ask each of you a favor. Would you mind praying with Sister Garner and I that we will be able to find, teach and prepare for baptism 2 new families? That is our goal! We've been fasting and praying for it. Our ward is quite small here in OKC and we have two families moving out during the summer, two families that are a huge asset to our ward, which is always sad, so we've been praying to be able to replace them. :)
We've actually seen a lot of success with this goal, though. On Friday, we were getting ready to visit with a family we've been struggling to sit down with recently. As we were in our car, we prayed mightily to be able to find a family who was prepared, then we knocked on their door, and we heard the Mom whisper to her kids, "tell them we're on our way out or something". Ha. Got it. So we walked back to the car and Sister Garner said, "Let's go check on our Media Referral." Media Referrals are people who have referred themselves on the internet to receive a Book of Mormon or meet with missionaries. If they request a Book of Mormon, the missionaries come with it. ;) That's how Conor was found, so I guess you could say they're usually pretty promising.
So we went to visit her, her name is Vania, and we pulled up to this beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood. It's a part of our area that we don't frequently spend time in unless we're eating dinner at a member's house because we haven't had much success up there in the past. And to be honest, big house are intimidating as a missionary. So we prayed for faith and strength and then we knocked on the door. Her husband opened the door and welcomed us with a smile and invited us in. He was followed by four of the world's most adorable children who ran up to us and started hugging us and showing us all their toys and awards and things. Vania walked in holding a fifth kid and she lit up. She said they had just gotten back from their family walk and then she introduced her kids and started showing us around. We were confused. This looked like a typical Mormon family, their decor was even pretty Pinteresty and they had a sign above their fireplace that said, "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today". I think the confusion showed across our faces because she looked at us and said, "Oh! By the way. We just moved here from Utah from Hill Air Force Base because my husband is in the military and there we made some friends who were LDS and we fell in love with them! They were the sweetest people! And so I wanted to get to know more about your church and have you over for cookies and to hang out with me and my family."
That never happens.
She was just getting ready to put her kids to bed, but she invited as back so we have an appointment with them this evening and we're taking the Bishop's wife. Sister Garner and I are just anxious to go back. This P-day kind of feels like a burden. ;)
This is the second family we've started teaching. The first, we found on Monday. We had had an appointment with a man we met knocking doors named David, but we accidentally went at the wrong time, and then we just never showed up afterwards because we got distracted with something else. But when we went back the next week, he said "Where were you? I waited for you!" We felt so bad! We scheduled another appointment and promised to keep it.
This Monday, we went to their house and he invited us inside where he, David, and his wife/girlfriend Kimiko sat on the couch and listened intently as we taught them about the Book of Mormon and how the Gospel blesses families. They have a couple little kiddos and their faces got brighter and brighter as we talked and as we learned about them and about their experiences. We explained the priesthood and it made so much sense to them, so we extended a commitment to them to be baptized by the priesthood and they accepted! June 20th should be the day!
It was a really good week. We saw a lot of miracles on top of those ones, and it's just an overall blessing to work with Sister Garner. Because working with her doesn't feel like work, it just feels like fun. But we definitely do work. We were talking about how this is the most successful, hardest working, and fun we've been or had on our missions so far. And the nice thing is that it's pretty likely that she'll be my companion until I'm finished. :)
This email is long. Forgive me. I just wanted to share some miracles. I'll leave you with this thought:
God is in the details, so we don't need to be. We don't need to be engulfed in every tiny detail because they all make up one perfect picture. And if we're obedient, God' in control anyway. If we look too closely at the little things, we miss the big picture, and then we spend our time just squinting and getting a headache instead of enjoying the process.
I love you guys. I didn't take many pictures this week because it was hectic, but here was a pretty priceless Oklahoma shot. We have to watch the weather if we're under Tornado watch, which we definitely were on Saturday, and this was a picture that was sent in of a tornado in a city called Elmer. And what the sky looks like on tornado-esque days.
Love You Mucho!