All of the messages that you sent me made me so happy!! I'm glad that you've had the opportunity to go to Disneyland so many times and your anniversary was fun. And I LOVED your greenie package. So adorable and tasty and useful!! It's a miracle that it got here on the day that I thought it was just lost forever.
Also, thanks to everyone who sends me mail. I sent off a letter to Kristi and Michael already, but I'll be sure to get back to Jenni and Grandma Holloway today. Everyone else, send me mail!
This week was the bomb diggity (yes I did really just type that)!! My compa and I are still getting used to the area but I think that we've been able to learn super fast. This definitely could be harder than it has been, but with the help of Heavenly Father we've been able to see many many miracles! We also got to dust of the bikes for the first time this week because we're only allowed 25 miles a day and we need to save some for trips to outlying towns that are also part of our area. It's awesome though because biking is super fun! Having to bike in a skirt is a challenge sometimes, but we deal with it.
The major thing we've been focusing on is finding solid investigators. A lot of time what will happen is we'll find someone, they'll say they're too busy for a lesson then, so we'll set up a return appointment. The problem is that they're too polite to say they're not interested so we end up knocking on their door again and they're not home. This was happening so much that we decided to take this "problem" (or future strength as we call them) to district meeting. We do this every week to get input from the other missionaries that's super helpful and often is the solution to the problem. One of the elders suggested that we count the small victories and not just focus on the outward results. By doing that I was able to see SO MANY MIRACLES! For example, on Saturday we found this guy who was really depressed at that moment and needed someone to talk to. We were just biking by and the Spirit said "STOP!". So we did and were able to help him in his time of need. Then on Sunday we went over to the Santos's house to follow up on this young man that's staying in their house. Last week we had given him a Book of Mormon and Sister Santos reported to us that he was reading it. Well we went to talk to him and had an AWESOME lesson with him and his brother who are both so prepared! It was amazing! It was just a huge testimony builder to me that when Heavenly Father sees that we're working hard He magnifies our efforts and guides us to the people who really need us. And now we have 2 new and solid investigators!
Aside from that we're starting English classes this week to help find people and give service to the community. That should be fun. More updates on that to follow.
My district here is also great. Actually after District Mtg. on Friday we were all eating pizza together when I mentioned to my District Leader who is super nice and always asks how he can help that Sister Crockett and I would appreciate some ice cream. This was said COMPLETELY in jest, but he and his comp showed up that night with 2 cartons of ice cream! How awesome is that? We repaid him by giving him 2 referrals from our apartment complex. Now he thinks that whenever he gives us ice cream he gets referrals... But my comp and I are actually really good at finding referrals for other missionaries. I think we're up to 6 now.
Lately I've been reading Jesus the Christ, which is such an amazing book. one of the things that struck me was when Talmage was explaining the parable of the seed growing secretly (it's in Mark 4:26-29). It talks about how a sower planted a seed that grew gradually until the sower came back and found that it had matured into the full ear of corn. I think that this is super applicable to missionary life, because every person that we find is at a different stage in their spiritual development. For most all we can do is plant seeds. When we find those who are spiritually ready to be "harvested" then we have the most outward success, but planting seeds still fulfills the missionary purpose of bringing others to Christ. This parable definitely helped me this week.
Also, one of my favorite quotes from Conference was from Elder Uchtdorf, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith!" Wow! So true! The Adversary wants us to have doubt and think that we can only know if we have concrete evidence, whereas the Lord invites us to trust Him and walk by faith, not sight.
And FINALLY, I should probably explain the title of this particular email. This comes from the son of the sister that lead the choir that I sang in in the conference center. Consecration is when we give all of EVERYTHING to the Lord and He gives us back what we need. My goal as a missionary is to be consecrated, and while this is a gradual and difficult process I still want to dare to be consecrated!
Well I hope this next week is super duper! Sorry this email is so long but I just had so much to talk about.
Love you all!
PS: Dare to be consecrated!