Monday, April 28, 2014

The Great Plague

There were both spiritual and physical plagues in our area this week. (And weather plagues: we woke up to snow this morning.)

This week was a really bad one for our area and yet, I am not sad or depressed this week. In fact, I feel hopeful. Which is more than I've been in a while. We tried to do exchanges this week, but they just lasted like 10 hours because Sister Peterson was sick. There is this weird flu going around up here that takes you out for like 3 full days where you can't do anything, so Sister Manning and I decided to help the sisters out with their appointments so they didn't have to cancel all their appointments. So Sister Manning and I were bouncing back and forth with them all week going to their appointments and ours and switching companions around and so forth. I had 3 companions for the week, though, so that was pretty cool! I got closer to all of them, the sister up here are top notch.  It took it's toll on our area, though, and so we didn't accomplish a lot in our area. But we were able to help the sisters out a lot, which was awesome! It really helped them out. And I think I needed it, to be able to help them.

Karla was on date to be baptized this Saturday, but through a sequence of events didn't. We went over there yesterday and she dropped us. She told us that she KNOWS she is making the WRONG decision, but she doesn't feel like she has the strength needed to do otherwise. At first, when we came over and started teaching her, she felt like we were an answer to her prayer (and we know we were). But after we were teaching her and her life didn't get any easier, she decided to pull away. She no longer believes that God is there for her or that she is worthy of His love. She thinks she has to cleanse herself before she can come to Christ, although deep down she knows better. Being there with her yesterday broke my heart. I know Sister Jensen and I were led to her for a reason, and I KNOW she knows this is true. But we all have our agency. She understands that she will one day stand accountable before God. All we can do is pray for her and visit her every once in a while. After the lesson, Sister Manning and I sat in the car for a few minutes and just cried. We have both come to love her so much, and it's heart wrenching that she is choosing this path. But a quote from Preach My Gospel comes to my mind, "When people do not accept the Gospel, do not be discouraged. You have raised a warning voice. You have given them a clear choice. Disciples of Christ feel sorrow when people choose not to repent, but they maintain a vision of who they are and what they are doing. They continue to diligently move forward." (PMG Page 170) And so, that is what I am going to do. I am going to keep working hard and do all I can to pray for her and help her, as well as find other who need to be found. 

This week we also go to help out Shirley in her yard! She has an awesome yard and we had a lot of fun helping her out! She is such a sweetheart. :) She fed us and the other sisters lunch and we had a grand old time with it all. I attached a bunch of pictures from it. It was nice to get out in the sunshine and just work. And Shirley is awesome! She was at Church this week, which was great. She is doing really well. She is getting to know the ward more. It's so fun to watch her progress!! Haha on Sunday, Shirley came up to us after Sacrament Meeting and congratulated the 4 of us on our musical number (the one the 4 of us did last week in 3rd ward we did yesterday in our ward) and said, "Okay. You've helped me with my stuff, how can I repay you? Would you like gift certificates for books? Gift certificates for clothes? Gift certificates for food? Gift certificates for purses?" We told her that we don't need anything, that lunch was enough! But she wouldn't accept it. I'm scared now that she's just going to go out and buy something just because she can. Oi. Just having the chance to serve people is seriously enough for me! Plus, we got to help Donna in her yard, too, which was awesome because she needed it a lot. She's in a lot of pain, so we were happy to come help out.

I also saw Jose this week! Yesterday, in fact! It was awesome! I've actually missed seeing him a lot. So it was great! He looks so happy with his newlywed wife, Amanda. They're on 9 days married now! It's so cute! But it was great to see him again, he's doing well. :)

This week we had a really cool experience with Ashley, the one who replaced Carson at Salvation Army. We went in Friday morning instead of the afternoon, and it was just her and us. She started asking questions about her Church, and so we taught her the Restoration pretty much, right there in the middle of the Salvation Army. She said afterwards, "I felt something" and is interested in coming to Church. It is AWESOME how the Spirit can touch people. Who knows, we might be able to teach her! She said when we go back tomorrow, she'll have some questions for us (We invited her to go to and gave her a Restoration pamphlet). That's a missionaries favorite thing, so that works out for me! 

Even though Karla didn't get baptized on Saturday, 2 of the Elders' investigators did, Dalia and Estaban. It was really cool because they only speak Spanish (very little English), and so the talks and the ordinances and the Welcome to Elders Quorum and one of the prayers were in Spanish. The rest was in English, with the exception of the Relief Society President's testimony, which was in Portuguese. I could understand very little words that were being said, but it was so cool to be able to feel the Spirit there. The Spirit is the same in every language! 

I feel bad that this such a short letter, but a lot of our work was in 3rd ward's area so you wouldn't know who they are anyway. So I hope you all have a fantastic week! Remember that EVERY soul is GREAT in the eyes of God. 

love you!
sister leslie.

There were both spiritual and physical plagues in our area this week. (And weather plagues: we woke up to snow this morning.)

Sister Manning, Sister Peterson, Me (with crazy hair--yikes!), and Sister Osburn during the week of the Plague.
Sister Osburn and Sister Manning with their nicely weeded flower bed.
Sister Peterson and I on the path we outlined with bricks (yeah, that's right!) about to step into the flower bed--oh no!

Evidence that we worked hard. 

Me, Sister Manning, Sister Peterson, Shirley (our AWESOME investigator), and Sister Osburn.

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