Our week was crazy. Be ready for quite the email. I will see what I can get in, in the time I have left.
Monday: P-day nothing too out of the ordinary
Tuesday: District meeting then zone lunch afterwards. We made pancakes. That was a lot of fun. In the evening we had a lesson with the Zunigas family. Just as a reminder, we are teaching the mom, Ceci, two sons, Oscar and Evay (no idea how to spell that one) and a daughter, Brianna. We had Brother and Sister Doddridge join us for their lesson. When we got there Oscar had hurt his knee and was down stairs. He didn't think he could walk up the stairs for the pain. Brother Doddridge offered to give him a blessing. He then talked about the Priesthood-where it came from, what it is, what it does, who can hold it ect. Ceci's nephew was there as well. He was the first one to be baptized in their family. He is the one that introduced Ceci and her sons to the church. He bore his testimony on the Priesthood and the blessings he has received since he got it a few years ago. It was a wonderful lesson. Then we dragged Oscar upstairs and Brother Doddridge gave a blessing to Oscar. It was great.
Wednesday: In the morning, the Elders in our ward and Sister Manumua and I went to a single lady's home in our ward. Her husband passed away recently and she was trying to get her yard work under control. She asked us to weed against her back wall. Sister Manumua and I got straight to work while the Elders did whatever elders do-I still can't figure that out. We weeded probably a section that was 3 feet wide and maybe 35 feet long (not exaggerating) in the time the elders did a section 4 feet by 5 feet-maybe. It was ridiculous. Sister Shelby (the member) came to us and told us we put the elders to shame by a lot.
After that we went to the food bank and gave some service there. We helped fill orders and restock shelves. There is this program coming out by the church called Just Serve. They want us to serve, imagine that. So us and four elders from our district go every week there. It is fun.
Thursday: There is a less active lady in our ward named Angela. She said she needed some help in the morning. We went over and she said she had a bunch of family coming into town and needed help putting together tamales. So that is what we did. We learned how to put them together (can I just say, way too much work for such little food!) She then gave us a dozen doughnuts for helping. Well we sure weren't going to eat a dozen doughnuts so what do you think we did with them? That's right. We found Elders. They loved it.
Friday: We did our weekly planning with the zone leaders...Fun stuff. It wasn't too bad. Just long. Then Sister Shelby wanted to take Sister Manumua and I out to dinner. We went to her house and then headed to Upland (don't worry we got permission). And guess who we picked up there? SISTER RILEY and her new companion! It was so much fun! We were all so excited. So we went and had a lovely dinner together! Loved it
Saturday: (here we go) So we didn't finish Sister Shelby's yard on Wednesday so we came back Saturday. We brought our zone leaders though so we would actually get some work done. And luckily the elders in our ward were on exchanges and the one that we are pretty positive has never seen a weed before in his life, was gone. We had to go back over the Elders area from Wednesday because they really didn't do anything. Then we planted a bunch of trees and vines and bushes were we weeded the other day. We mowed the lawn and trimmed bushes and we started weeding a whole other section as well. Didn't get done with that in time so we are going back once more. It should all get finished this week.
Next we had a lesson with our zone leaders and someone they had tracted into in our area. They are in the Tongan ward so they cover all of Ontario. We went over there. The mom, Monica is a less active and when the elders came by she asked them to come back later and give her a blessing. They had us come with them since we are the missionaries in her ward. She had told us that there have been quite a few times that she has thought about returning to church and something happens-once the missionaries came and left a card on her door. She got home from work and found it (That just happened to be Sister Respecia) Another time, she was driving thinking about it and Elders rode by on her bikes. Another time she was at work, Payless, and two sister missionaries walked it. Well can you guess which Sisters those happened to be? Let me tell you a story:
About a year ago while serving in Rancho Cucamonga with Sister Pollard, we were meeting a member at one of her favorite stores called Fashion Rush on a pday. We got there a few minutes early and decided to go look at payless next door. So we walked in and the cashier was super nice and overly friendly. We figured she had to be a member. As we got talking she said she was a less active member from Ontario and told us the same things that she told us in this lesson about the missionaries coming at the right times over and over again.
So it was actually me that ran into her at work when she had been thinking about going back to church and now I am teaching her.
So we invited her and her three kids, Isaiah 15, Victoria 12 and Tatiana 11 to come to church the next day. Monica explained that it was Isaiah's 15th birthday and he wasn't sure if he wanted to go to church. We told him we would bring him ice cream for his birthday if they came. The Elders talked about the priesthood, gave Monica an amazing blessing (so cool the things that were promised-family being together for eternity) and we left
We then went to our other investigators home. Her name is Sabrina and she is addicted to pain killers and once she can kick that addiction she is going to get baptized. We had a super powerful lesson with her about the plan of salvation and then I told her of things I had learned when teaching Sam back in San Bernardino. I had seen how when he read the Book of Mormon daily, he had added strength to overcome his addiction to coffee. I promised her the same power, strength and blessings. It was wonderful. God has it all figured out. I realized I had to be in San B. teaching Sam for a transfer so that I could come and teach Sabrina a year later and help her! AHH so cool.
Sunday: Sister Manumua and I were standing at the door of the church waiting for the Zunigas family to come it. Church was about to start and we went to our seats. As we sat down, a few rows in front of us, we saw the bishops wife talking to Monica and her kids! WHAT??? I guess Sister Freeman knew Monica because their kids went to the same school. They were friends. So they stayed through Sacrement then Sister Freeman grabbed them and gave them a tour of the church. She showed them where their classes were and wouldn't let them leave. Tatiana is super out going so she was fine going to primary. Monica went to gospel essentials with Sister Freeman and we went to class with Isaiah and Victoria because they were super nervous.
After that hour we got them all to their third hour. Sister Freeman was going into Primary. We took Monica to Relief Sociey. We got our ward mission leader to take care of Isaiah and found a young women who was 12 to sit with Victoria. It was great. After church we all met up with them. Tatiana came running from Primary saying "I love this! Can we do this all the time?" Isaiah came out from priesthood with a ride all set up for mutual on Tuesday for him and his sister. Victoria came out with handfuls of cookies and said she loved young womens! Oh it was so good. We were so happy. And it made Monica a little less worried since she had seen how much fun her kids had. It was great.
We noticed that Isaiah was really interested in the priesthood. During Sunday School, there was a picture of Peter James and John giving the Priesthood to Joseph Smith. It is the same one in the Restoration pamphlet we had left the day before. He grabbed the picture and was reading about it on the back. We realized it was necessary for the Elders to find Monica so that Isaiah could see the priesthood and have that connection. It wasn't until the blessing that Isaiah really opened up.
We said something to Elder Fernando about that and he told us this: After the blessing he was talking to Isaiah. Isaiah was looking at the same picture in the pamphlet. Isaiah said that during the blessing he had seen two of the men in that picture actually standing there giving the blessing instead of Elder Fernando and Elder Ercanbrack. "The two men in white robes" is how he described it. How cool is that. This family has been being prepared for quite some time now and Sister Manumua and I are so grateful and humbled that we are two of the missionaries that get to help them out. Amazing family! They are something special! And we love them already!
Well that was my week. I hope you have a good week and get through everything okay. I love you all