This week has been really good. I'm learning more and more about the nature of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. It's a stretching experience for sure, but I am so grateful for every moment. Prepare yourselves for some crazy experiences.
We had an appointment with this cute family who we just call Frank because the dad and the son are both Frank. Anyways they were very friendly in our first visit and were interested in learning more. We get to their house and these two guys answer the door, neither of them is Frank but we get to know them a little bit and we find out that Ivan is only 18 and moved here on his own from Guatemala. He came because there are more opportunities here. We asked him what he wants out of life, what he wants to do with those opportunities he came to find, and he said that he lives with his cousin and goes to work at a stone quarry place. We told him that God is aware of him and has a plan for him, bigger than anything he could imagine. And we showed him Gracias a El, so not the Easter movie the church put out but the one right before it. We're just watching this video (and it's super powerful btw, watch it when you need something to be happy about!) and all of a sudden Ivan gasps real loud and has his hand over his heart and kind of laughs like, "what the heck is going on right now" and his face is just all lit up while he's watching this movie. We told him that this was the Holy Ghost, and that "por el poder del Espíritu Santo, podréis conocer la verdad de todas las cosas" and that if he allowed us to teach him more about Jesus Christ he would know Gods plan for him, and also that there are great blessings in store for him. We invited him to be baptized right there on the doorstep and he says "I would like to! I want to know if this is true!" And we about died on the inside we were so happy.
AND THEN he asks us if we were baptized and if that's why we are on a mission. So we explained to him that missions are opportunities to teach others about the truths that we know (Alma 5:46) and that bring us happiness. That they are 18 months or 24 months, and he got pretty surprised by that, but I testified that it is a huge blessing and great opportunity to serve God and His children. And while I was testifying I just got this huge feeling that this kid is going to serve a mission. He's going to be baptized and then will serve a mission! Hermana Ferguson reached the same conclusion and we were both ecstatic.
We prayed to thank our Heavenly Father for this experience and felt directed to this other lady's house. We were seriously so excited to talk to her. He daughter answered the door though and told us she wasn't home. We talked to her though to see if maybe she would be interested in coming to church with us. She said, "no, I don't believe in the whole god thing. I think I buy into anthropology instead." We invited her to think about the possibility that there is a God who created the universe and who loves her and has a plan for her. She flat out said we were weirdos and lame beyond all reason. Ouch.
So we go back to the car and we're wondering why God sent us there to talk to her. We said another prayer and all of a sudden the story of Nephi popped into my head. About when they are on the ship and things are going good, and then the big storm comes and Laman and Lemuel tie Nephi up for days on end in this huge storm. Finally his brothers untie him because they realize that if they don't they will be killed in the storm. Nephi is in so much pain and things just aren't going so good. But the first thing he does is kneel down and praise God. We aren't as good as Nephi but our Heavenly Father wants us to be better than him, He wants us to be like our Savior. So in that moment in the car I learned that God wants us to rejoice in Him and filled with joy and praise in every moment, if people are lined up to be baptized, or if we are being called losers by every person we talk to. I think this is really dependent on your commitment to follow the Savior with love and gratitude, and seek for His hand 2 Nefi 7:2
We had an adventure yesterday! The District Leaders really like our car(I do too, it's a jeep and we love it.) and on Sunday they told us that they "needed to borrow it" to drive to the musical fireside in Ogden. We let them use it and then when we asked them if we could switch back...well one of them just turned around and ran, and the other one, the one we thought we could count on, completely avoided us. So after daily planning we came up with a plan to retrieve our car - "operation getbackthejeep". So yesterday after companion study we got in their stinky car and found their apartment and found that they weren't home! So we called them, "hey elders....what's up?" "Oh....not much?" "So...where are yall?"(this was sister ferguson and she has a little Texas accent). "Uhmm...with the zone leaders?" "Ok great, bye!" xD
So we get to the zone leaders apartment and start ringing the doorbell a billion times. All of a sudden the lights go off inside their apartment and we can see them all hiding. So sister ferguson calls them again and elder Hamby answers "hey sisters, what's up?" And we go, "oh yknow, just outside, knocking some doors"(we then start knocking really loud) "oh hey that's great" and then Elder palacios told him to tell us that they were with the other elders in our district and elder Hamby says, "I can't do it 0.0" I know I'm really bad at telling stories but at this point I'm dying of laughter. We go around to the window and make eye contact with all of them and the zone leaders go, "I can't believe you led them to our apartment!" Hahaha. Anyways after much persuasion we got our car keys back :)
Another note, our apartment has bugs in it. Last night hermana Ferguson found a spider and then came and got me from brushing my teeth to kill it. And we couldn't find it!!!! 0.0 so we started vacuuming everything. and we found termites. In our room, in the living room, in the bathroom. Eurghhh. So yes, we are going to try and move this week.
Random thoughts about the week:
We've been on a family history craze this week because we found out we can download the family search family tree app. Hermana Ferguson found a branch of her tree that goes all the way back to year 30!!!!! And we told the elders about it and Elder Palacios opens his up all excited, and his goes back to...his grandparents. Hahaha, the look on his face.
But we've been inviting all sorts of people to come to a family history class at the Logan tabernacle this week and getting our conversos recientes really excited to do their work and go to the temple. There's one family, a mother and daughter, who used to be less active but are basically active now, who we are really good friends with. Diana told us that from several intensely spiritual experiences she wants to go to the temple and do the work for her grandma! This is a big step for her. She has a lot of hard things going on in her life and we know she is becoming and learning from them. Hermana Angel (Diana's mom) broke her knee last week and we went over a lot. This week we were so busy with all of the people we have found that we hardly got to visit her. But hermana Angel called us one day and left a huge long voicemail saying how much she misses us. So we went and visited her and had some yummy soup and it was just really good to be with them. Hermana Angel reminds me of my Grandma. Actually- Grandma, there are two ladies in my ward that we hang out with all the time and if they were combined into the same person they would be you except Hispanic! I will get pictures with them to show you. The ward here takes very good care of us.
Our investigator who we thought was going to be ready for baptism this month is not ready. Well. She is, but she doesn't think so and asked us to not be so pressuring. We went and visited her after a few days and found out that her daughter has been asking her questions about why she would join the Mormon church, and giving her a really hard time about the Book of Mormon. Our investigator was concerned- not about the Book of Mormon, but what she could tell her daughter to make things okay with her. We started teaching her about how important the Bible still is and how the Book of Mormon is another example of Gods love for His people. I pulled out the 2 Nephi 2...7? Verses about how people in our day will complain about having more bible, when really why wouldn't we want more words from God? It was cool to see her accept this and believe it. She wanted us to show her the evidence there was in the Bible for Joseph Smith and the restoration and the Book of Mormon so she could show her daughter. So we started reading some of those verses in the Bible. But eventually we all came to the conclusion that that evidence wasn't going to be enough for her. I testified that the only way we can know divine truths is through prayer and the power of the Holy Ghost, and only this knowledge can carry us through all of the tests and trials of our faith that we will experience in this life. It is so interesting to see this trial of Osbelias faith right now. It is hard on the one hand because we want her to have the blessings of baptism and the Holy Ghost now, because we know she is ready, but we know that Heavenly Father is mindful of her during this trial and that it will work out for the best. Sometimes our faith is tried, but if we hold to it and do everything we can to hold to our faith, however small it may be, and doubt our doubts before our faith, the trial will leave us stronger. Ether 12:6.
This week was a little rough for me, probably for the same reason, Heavenly Father is trying to strengthen my faith and determination to serve Him. When it is easy to serve God we don't learn anything. So He gives us opportunities to learn-- when we are ready for it. God won't give us trials that we can't handle if we go at them with the Savior at our side. I am so grateful for these trials because during them I can come to know Jesus Christ better, and come to understand the love God has for me better too. So there is a bible video that you should really watch this week. It is called "Calming the Tempest". The boat they are in is about to sink and they apostles are all really scared, and one goes to wake the Savior and says, "Carest thou not that we perish?!?!" And Christ gets up and calms the storm. And then says, "why do he have such little faith". And the way He says this in the video makes it so clear, "I've done everything for you, I've carried every hard painful sad and unjust thing, I've given my life for you, and you still have to ask if I care that you perish? Of course I care!" Goodness, the bible videos are so good, watch them! But we can trust Jesus Christ to help us through every hard thing. And also to make it so we can rejoice through those difficult things.
Come unto Christ. My favorite scripture this week is Mormon 9:27. "Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old and come unto the Lord with all your heart". I don't really know when I'm going to get the hang of this language. Or when we are going to find all of our golden contacts at home again. Or how the other stresses are going to work out, but I can be believing that Christ is right here with me and will help me learn and grow and become like Him. And I really like that it says, "as in times of old". Before each of us came to earth we made the decision to follow Christ. There is a great conference talk called "winning the war against evil" from October 2008, that says that we we valiant in our determination to follow the Savior. We need to be that person again during this life and help our God bring about His marvelous purposes for His children.
There were many many miracles and funny moments and learning moments and crazyawesome moments this week. The mission is amazing, every day has something good. Can't wait to tell you all about everything someday!