Good morning beauties!
So last Tuesday we went to a sister's house because... well, long story. So while we cannot watch children like babysitting, I DID get to read to these two adorable kids while the mom was doing things around the house. I was reading Book of Mormon stories in Spanish to them. We read TEN chapters. It was awesome. It made me want kids... But THEN...
Have you ever heard people say babysitting/nannying is the best birth control? Yeah, it's only true for some people. For me, I just want kids even more after spending time with them. So like taking care of children is a good birth control, serving a mission is great marriage control as well! For some people. Let me explain...
I realized that while the mission is surely the very best marriage preparation like they all say, for some of us it's also a great marriage prevention! Remember me? "I'm going to get married and have a billion babies!" Sound familiar? Well people change on the mission, right? Hahaha I still want a billion babies, but living with another person is HARD, and I'm frequently reminded that I've always wanted to live alone with a dog for a time. This isn't anything against my companion or past companions, it's just dang hard living with a person (any person) you didn't grow up with. I could live with my siblings forever and ever, but living with someone ELSE? That's crazy talk. I've never been so sure I don't want to get married in my life (mostly because I've never not wanted to get married). And although I don't want to, I know I'm going to have to. I have to in order to have a billion kids! It's an important prerequisite.
So yeah... You don't have to worry about me rushing into anything serious when I get home. I'm going to be in a very committed relationship with my education. School is my boyfriend.
Well ANYWAY, that same day (Tuesday) earlier we had sent in our supplies list, and I told my companion to throw a French Book of Mormon in there. I don't know why. In my mind I was just going to go into my collection of BoMs to read, but Heavenly Father had other plans... This will be important later on in my email.
So still Tuesday. We were riding our bikes down the street and this car honked at us and turned around to talk to us. It was a young couple and they had just moved in like a week or two ago, and they wanted to give us their information and offer their assistance in whatever way they could. So I was thinking "Ok, they're nice... But we get this practically everyday. Everybody wants to help the missionaries. You know how you can help us? ALL we want is for you to find someone for us to teach. That's how you can help us." So we talk to them a little, and it turns out the wife served in Russia, and the husband is FROM Russia! So I freaked out inside and decided I HAD to say something in Russian before they drove off. So my companion and I were embarrassingly matching, and the wife noticed. She said "You two are so cute with your matching clothes..." So my companion was like "aw thanks, it was an accident" and I just looked at them and said "Spaciba..." as they were driving away. I couldn't see the Russian man's response, but the wife freaked out and yelled something in Russian. I think it might have been something like "NO WAY!" by her voice and facial expression. HELLO, they're so cool. Best thing in the world.
Wednesday night after dinner we were riding our bikes towards a lesson we were thinking to have, but we rode right through the church parking lot where we were supposed to go for a ward blitz that we forgot about. #divineintervention So we split up, and I went with an older sister. She was really quiet and it was almost uncomfortable how inexpressive she was. I thought she was mad and didn't want to be there. So we went and contacted some less active families and came back. It turns out everybody else hadn't finished yet and were running way behind, so we sat there and talked. We talked for about an 1 1/2 hours. In that time I learned she was a recent widow (which explains the quietness) and travels with her daughter. We talked about travel, languages, family, the gospel, school, BYU specifically, and everything else under the sun. She started to open up and she SMILED, and she LAUGHED. I was so excited to see expressions! I could tell it had been awhile since she had pleasant company. She even told me "You have a nice way about you."
She told me about a trip to France she has planned with her daughter for next year and how she wishes she remembered French from high school. I asked her if she wanted a BoM in French, and she started making excuses as to why she wouldn't be able to read it. I told her about my Spanish learning experience with it, and she opened up to the idea. She was hesitant still, but we kept talking about it. I told her she could also listen to conference talks in French to improve her accent, and to sharpen her ear. She said she might do that too. When my companion finally got back I had told this sister that I had ordered a French Book of Mormon not knowing why, and if she wanted it it was hers. She said she'd like that. She was about to drive away, but she rolled down her window and said "So when you get the Book of Mormon in French, give me a call. And I hope you get into BYU. If you do and you need a place to live, you can come stay with me, I've got a nice guest room." WHOA. I felt like Heavenly Father put me with her because He knew she needed a little boost. She is such a cool lady, and I'm so glad I got to get to know her instead of just having the "grumpy lady" impression. And now I have a friend AND a potential place to stay! Hahaha It was a really cool experience.
So my very favorite returning member has been asking me to give her piano lessons. I always told her I could, but she said it was up to me when. So she kept asking me and I kept saying it was up to her, so we never got ANYWHERE. So she said to me "Seriously Sister Willis. Are you ever going to give me piano lessons?" So I was like "Ok, she's serious about this." And we set two appointments to start. We went to the chapel and I taught her some basic beginner theory and we started with just the right hand on a really easy song in the simplified hymns. She picked it up really fast, I was really impressed! I gave her some theory homework (since she can't practice too much because she has no piano). I had a million flashbacks about when I was so grumpy at piano lessons because I didn't understand the importance of theory, and I thought it was hard. THANK YOU Sister Shirley, for making me learn it. I really appreciate it now :)
P.s. Piano lessons are so fun. I'm totally doing this later on in life.
So this same sister was looking into getting a used piano, and I told her it might need to be tuned. She asked me if I knew how, and I thought to myself "Is it really that hard if you have the tools?" Sooo... There's a TINY chance that I might be learning how to tune a piano... I'm a Jack of all trades!
She and her husband just got an apartment this weekend, but it was GROSS. The person before didn't clean it when they left and wasn't very clean while living there, so we came over and NUKED the place. It's so cute now. We bought them a picture of the SLC temple (because that's where they're going to be sealed next June. SO EXCITED!) and gave them a family proclamation and they already have them up on the walls. GAH, so cute.
MIRACLE: We had dropped an investigator that we started teaching when I first got here. We assigned the branch missionaries to keep annoying him/inviting him to things. GUESS WHAT. He came to sacrament meeting with his son FOR THE FIRST TIME. I can't tell you how many times we knocked on his door at 8:45 and he was barely waking up, and he told us "Yeah, I'll be there in 20 minutes" and never showed. There was even a day when THREE people passed by his house and he still didn't come. THIS is a testimony to you all that this kind of work really is work for the members. An invitation coming from missionaries can just seem annoying. When it comes from a friend, IT WORKS. BE MEMBER MISSIONARIES. It's the ONLYway to do it.
Every time someone asks me about how we found Maria's family (the family who just got baptized) I get to tell them about Hermana Salvador. She was persistent in her invitations to Maria, and after months of seeing no fruit but staying persistent, Maria finally accepted an invitation to an activity. From there, she accepted us missionaries, then later her whole familyaccepted baptism! People always say "Oh yeah, that's the best way to do it!" when I tell them that story. I always respond "No, it's the ONLY way to do it." It will not work if the members aren't a big part of it. It's not members work, and it's not missionaries' work. It's The Lord's work, and at baptism we took upon ourselves His name, making this also OUR work. SO DO IT. You signed up for it.
Anyway, Pathways (BYU-Idaho's program) is being introduced to Orem, and we had a big presentation on it for the third hour of church. One of the younger recently reactivated members is going to do it! I'm so excited for him. He had told me once about how he hated school and didn't have plans for college, but this program is so cool! It's perfect for those who need to ease into it, and wouldn't be able to jump in with both feet. INSPIRED PROGRAM!
Anyway, I'm going to stop BLABBING and do some grocery shopping. And I just realized that when I send pictures with the iPad, the captions don't come with them, so I'm going to try doing it a little differently. We'll see. Haha
I LOVE YOU! Be good lovelies!