Monday, November 25, 2013

The Most LEGENDARY week of my mission!

Caution: This is going to be a long post. But, every experience was amazing and miracles continue to happen!

Monday: Fishing

·     Preparation day we got to go fishing in a nearby stream next to our apartment with our zone. Of course we didn't have fishing poles so we just used fishing line, hook, and hot dog...yes hot dog…and guess what? I caught my first fish!  It may have been a small one, but a fish nonetheless.

·     Frank, an investigator we met while walking around the park near the mall came to Family Home Evening! He has been to 2 youth conferences with a friend who now is attending BYU and he loves the Book of Mormon. When we met him and asked about the Book of Mormon he told us it was amazing. His friend asked, "Oh so it’s good?" and he replied, "NO. It's AMAZING!"

·     Received news that the forecast for Friday was supposed to be thunder and rainstorms and we have been planning a missionary bonfire activity for 2 weeks – see Thursday and Friday below.


Meeting with Brandon, our miracle tracting investigator. Sister King and I were so nervous to meet with him and we couldn't figure out what we wanted to do. Whether we wanted to give a Restoration lesson, a church tour, or a combination of both. A church tour is when we basically give a tour of the chapel, the paintings, the classrooms, and the baptismal font. We talk about what to expect when attending a meeting, the sacrament, the bishop, and of course baptism.

We both felt uneasy and really really nervous about the meeting and we didn't have a plan. We decided to just cover all of our bases since our lessons NEVER go as planned and go early to get the chapel ready for a church tour if we decided to do one. As we were turning on the lights we went into the chapel and the spirit hit us like a brick wall as soon as we stepped inside. An overwhelming sense of peace came over us and we both looked at each other and knew we had to do a church tour. 

We first got to know Brandon and he truly has been prepared by the Lord. He has attended other churches but was offended by some of the things they believe in, such as babies going to hell if they die before they are baptized. We walked into the chapel with him and again the spirit was so strong there. He could feel it too and he said that he felt so peaceful. We continued on with the tour and talked about the many pictures hanging in the halls. He really liked the picture of Christ knocking on the door but there is no handle on his side. We explained that like he was talking about earlier with us, Christ is always there. We are the ones that have to open the door and let him in.

We continued on with the Restoration and he accepted everything that we taught him. It was more of a conversation then a lesson. We talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and he was so intrigued and interested! Everything seemed to clique with him. He was so excited to start reading and knew that the book would help him strengthen his relationship with his Heavenly Father. We told him that it was not a coincidence that we had met him and he said, "Nothing is a coincidence."

10 minutes after the lesson we received a text from him telling us that he had posted about meeting with us on Facebook and that his mom wrote and said that she wants to come to the next lesson! Sister King and I screamed, hugged, and were jumping up and down all at the same time in the church parking lot!

Wednesday: 4 New Investigators!

Probably the longest and most busy day of my mission so far – I didn't even have time to go to the bathroom! J

Sister King and I attended The Mission at Lone Star. Afterwards a girl stood up and started asking, "Who here is sick? I know (and points) she has a broken ankle. But does anyone have depression, is sick, or has a mental illness? Well, today Jesus wants to heal you and perform a miracle. So if you are in need see a leader." 

Sister King and I went about and started talking and meeting new people and in the corner of my eye I see a whole bunch of people crowding around the girl with the broken ankle. They are touching her shoulder, squatting near her, touching her head, and praying. I felt so sad for them. They had so much faith that it would work, however they are missing one key thing. The priesthood power- the authority to act in God's name. I was so grateful to have the knowledge that our church has the authority and priesthood power that Jesus Christ had when he was on the earth to perform miracles and blessings. 

We then rushed back to the Klein Stake center as we had a lesson with Frank. Since the church tour with Brandon had gone so well we decided to give Frank a tour even though he had been in the building before. As always the spirit was so strong in the chapel and Frank did not want to leave. He felt so peaceful. But we moved on to the baptismal font and had a Restoration lesson right in front of the font! At the end of the lesson Sister King asked frank if he would be baptized and he said that he had already been baptized. We then explained the priesthood authority and starting with a clean slate. Sister King didn't back down and again asked if he would be baptized... and he said YES!

We had to run to our dinner appointment but Frank stayed at the chapel with a member of our ward to watch the Restoration video. He texted us later that night and said that he absolutely loved the video and wanted to watch the full version.

Thursday: Fasting for Sunshine

The weather started to turn for the worse and it was raining…a lot. We were really nervous that all of our wood for our bonfire was going to be wet. We didn't know if we should continue on with the bonfire and were thinking about alternative plans. But, we were not going to give up! We wanted this bonfire to happen! I have never prayed so much for strength and also that it would not rain! 

So we decided to get tarps to cover the wood... which we did in skirts... in the rain... trudging through a muddy field. Over the past week Sister King and I have recently discovered that there are many things that you can do in a skirt!

Friday: The Big Day- Bonfire Time

After much prayer, sister King and I awoke to a massive thunder and rainstorm. We were so discouraged we couldn't even work out that morning. We continued to pray and pray and pray. We were debating on cancelling the bonfire on the way to District meeting but when we got there and were talking to the missionaries in our district they told us to not give up and keep with the faith! They said that either way it would be a fun time! So we decided to keep going with the bonfire plans.

We went to go and check the wood and when we got there we found that the tarps had blown off half of the wood and it was soaked! The field was also really muddy and flooded as well where we were supposed to have the bonfire. We went up the road to a members lot and checked their field and it wasn't as muddy. So we decided to move the fire there... But one problem. We didn't have wood anymore.

On the way home Sister King and I tried to think where we would find dry wood or pallets. Out of the corner of Sister King's eye she saw at a True Value Hardware Store that there was wood under a covering. So we pulled in to the parking lot and saw that they had wood pallets in the corner too. We went inside to ask how much the wood pallets were and this is the conversation we had with the owner.

Looking Sisters: "Hi Sir. We are having a bonfire activity for our church and are wondering how much the wood pallets are in your parking lot?"
Bob: "Well how many do you need?"
Looking Sisters: "Well how much are they?"
Bob: "How many do you need?"
Looking Sisters: "Umm... Like 10?"
Bob: "Well since it’s for your church you can have them and I'll give you a pile of dry logs for free too. Do you have a truck to take the pallets?"
Looking Sisters: "No. We will have to pick them up later."
Bob: "Well I have a truck. How far away is it? I'll have my worker load them up and take them to the place where you are having the bonfire."

And so the worker loaded the pallets into Bob's truck and followed us to our member’s property and unloaded them. Sister King and I were ecstatic! We could not believe the generosity of this man! It was a miracle. He was so Christ like and generous, we were so thankful and indebted to him. We covered this wood and the weather was starting to turn around. It was only sprinkling a little bit so we texted everyone saying that the bonfire was still going to happen rain or shine.

And the Lord will provide... It didn't rain the entire activity. We had a huge bonfire and it was a big success. We had about 60 people there and 13 non-members! Everyone enjoyed themselves and since it was so great we are planning to have another bonfire in a couple of months.

Saturday: BlueBell Ice Cream

After a long week we decided to treat ourselves to our very own personal tub of BlueBell Ice Cream :)

Heavenly Father has blessed me so much this week with the many miracles that happened. My faith was tested but The Lord Will Provide (seems to be our motto these days). I know that none of these miracles and events could have happened by coincidence. None of it was Sister King and I. We were fulfilling our duty and the Lord was working through us. 

I know this is the true church and that prayer truly works. Faith brings Hope!

Love ya'll

Sister Loo
Fishing Adventures! 

I caught my first fish with just fishing line and hotdog.
No fishing pole! 
Rain clouds...
Friday...and success...the bonfire happened!!! 

After a LONG week...we each had to get our own tub of
BlueBell ice cream...yummy!

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Are they trying to bring us to Jesus or take our money?"

Miracle #1- Stop Complaining…Yes you can tract.

Sister King and I have been talking lately how we can't tract for young single adults (YSA) because it would be awkward to knock on a door and ask if there was any YSA's ages 18-30. And no we aren't looking for a boyfriend. :) 

So we were on our way to an appointment with a less active member of our church. We had parked in front of the house and noticed a younger guy walking the street smoking a cigarette. The neighborhood looked really nice and he seemed out of place especially since he was lingering around one of the houses as soon as we pulled up. We waited for a while and then he went into the house…surprisingly.

We had a great lesson and then decided afterwards to go knock on this same house and see if he was home – no one home. We were walking back to our car when I got the feeling that we should just keep knocking on doors. So we went to the neighbors – no one home. We looked across the street and noticed a ton of "teenage" looking beater cars in the driveway and decided to knock on that doors house. The house had a gate to its front door but we noticed a door on the side of their garage that looked like a separate loft to the house. We knocked on the door and heard a grumpy low voice, "Who is it?" Sister King replied in a high voice, "It's the missionaries." Usually when this happens no one answers. But to our surprise the door opens and a YSA in his Lone Star College T-shirt is standing at the door. He looked like we had woken him up, and we did, but he still answered the door! He said he was recovering from a cold and that he just moved to Houston. We talked to him about our church and he said that he has a step mom who is a member of our church and he is currently looking for a church to go to. He then offered that he has Sunday mornings off from work! We were so excited. Gave him a restoration pamphlet and we have a lesson scheduled for this Tuesday!  :) 

We left his door and Sister King turns to me and says, "Dude! That's a miracle!" Heavenly Father was showing us that we can tract! We realized that even if a family does come to the door we can offer to share a message with them and if they reject that, then we can ask if they know of any young adults who are struggling and could use a message about Jesus Christ. 

Miracle #2- Angelic Voices.

We were invited by members in our ward, Francisco & Dianna Gutierrez to have Mole with his parents who are not members. Their parents also only speak Spanish; they only know a couple words in English so we were trying to get a member in our ward to go with us to translate. But no one could come. We finally just gave up and realized that maybe we aren't supposed to have anyone come with us.

Their mom made us Mole and it was delicious. Truly some authentic Mexican food. Yumm! :) Afterwards we asked Francisco about the first time he met with the missionaries (he got baptized about a year ago) and he said that they sang a song with him and he could feel the spirit so strong. So Sister King and I decided to sing a song for his parents and chose Nearer My God to Thee. Even though they don't understand English we hoped that the song would bring the spirit and touch their hearts. We sang acapella and hoped that we were going to sound good. We opened our mouth to sing and I was shocked! We sounded oddly good. Almost angelic. This was not our voices! We sang and afterwards the mom was crying and the dad kept commenting on how great we sounded. We had Francisco translate for us and we shared our testimonies and how thankful we were to be in their home. We then asked Francisco to bear his testimony. And it was so POWERFUL! The spirit was so strong while he was testifying it could hardly be contained in their small dining room. I could understand about half of what he was saying and he testified of the Book of Mormon and the joy the church has brought into his life. The spirit was so strong and the experience was amazing.

We talked to Francisco at church the next day and he told us that his parent’s hearts were softened to the church. Before his dad would be really angry at the Elders coming into their home but for some reason he was ok with the Sisters coming into their home because he didn't feel threatened with another man in the house. He said that they were really touched... And guess what? That was the first time Francisco had bore his testimony to his parents!!! Oh we were so happy for him and grateful that we were there because his parents needed to understand how important this gospel is to them!

Funny Moment Miracle - Growing Taller by shaking your feet miracles

Went tracting again and was talking to this guy about the Book of Mormon. He couldn't understand that it wasn't a bible and suddenly turned to me and said, "Is there something wrong with your back? Here sit." So thinking he was a chiropractor I sat on a chair on his porch. He then told me to stick my legs out straight in front of me. He held each of my feet by my heels and bounced them up and down... He looked at me and said, "Do you see that? Do you see that? Look your legs are the same. Did you feel that in your leg?" I was confused. I didn't feel anything nor did I see a difference. Sister King started laughing and then realized that he was completely serious. He continued, "That's Jesus! Did you feel that?" And he continues to bounce my legs up and down. "Now that's Jesus! See you're 1 inch taller now. That's Jesus. I can do it again and you will be another inch taller. That's Jesus. He did that to you and he still performs miracles." He turns to sister King and wants her to sit down on the chair so he can do the same thing. We quickly avoid that; testify of the Book of Mormon, and leave. Ok Sir. Yes Jesus can still perform miracles but not for those types of things because apparently everyone has shorter legs and can grow an inch in an instance. Hope you got a good laugh... We had a smile on our face for quite a while.

Well... I hope that ya'll have a good week. I love this gospel and the many miracles that I am able to see each day. Heavenly Father truly loves all of his children and knows what is best for us. I am continually grateful for this wonderful privilege to be a missionary!

"God does notice us and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs." - President Spencer W. Kimball

Love you forever!

Sister Loo

Luke 9:62

Last P-day playing speedball with a member,
 and his non member friends.
I didn't think we were going to run so much...

Oh texas!
You know you are in texas when...
you have a penguin blowup in camo holding a gun...
Oh dear!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The "looking" Sisters are moving forward with more determination than ever!

Missionary Game Night - Every other week we are having a missionary activity for people to feel comfortable in bringing their friends to. We are trying to create more "hangout" situations so that the members don't feel so awkward in inviting their friends. This week was a game night and we had a nonmember there for the first time! Success! Next week Friday we are having a huge bonfire and playing night games! We are hoping that a lot of people will come to this one.

Christian Crusaders for Christ- We found out about a group of Christian students who meet on LoneStar Community College and have a testimony and spiritual thought each week. This week we went to go and check it out and it was awesome! We got 5 numbers for people that we can invite to our activities and slowly talk to them about the church. It was a little different for me since I haven't been to any other church services, with all the "Uh-Huh's" and "Amens" in the crowd. Some of the testimonies were slightly outlandish...One of the girls was talking about how she saw Jesus in a Forest and there was lightning shooting out of his fingers. He was glorious. Which he is! And hey if you had that experience then more power to you. :) We are hoping that one of these weeks we will be allowed to go up and share our testimonies. But first we need to build trust in the group. 
- Afterwards I was talking to this one guy and he said that sometimes he goes through the day forgetting about Jesus. So he looks next to him and says, "Are you there Jesus? Ok You're still there." I held in a slight chuckle. It was great but they express their love for Jesus in a different way than we do. I love it though. Keep up the faith!

Investigator/ Member Updates-

Julie- Still not responding to our texts and messages. We feel as if it is a prompting that we need to focus more on the less actives that we haven't had time to reach lately. We can't forget about those members that need to be uplifted and brought back to church! Please continue to pray for her that she will re-recognize the spirit she felt when we met with her.

Brady- It was a miracle! We finally got to visit with him as we have been trying to get ahold of him for weeks now. He is super busy and works somewhere between 60-80 hours a week! We were wanting to meet with him because he has met with other missionaries and has expressed a desire to be baptized. We were nervous because we heard he was doing it to get closer to a girl in the ward who only dates Mormons. But after meeting with him he has a sincere desire to know if this is the right choice for him to be baptized. We extended a baptismal commitment and he said maybe because he wants to receive an answer if this is the right choice for him to be baptized. He is working on getting less hours so that he can have more time to meet with us and so he can attend church on Sundays. 

Stephanie- She told us that she has a desire to go to the temple and be sealed with her boyfriend who is not a member right now but she doesn't feel worthy. We had a great visit with her about Repentance and that it is never too late to come back. Sister King shared a great quote and she cried.

 "However late you think you are. However many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talkents you think you don't have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infiniate light of Christ's atonement shines." 

We really felt like we got through to her and asked her to pray each day for strength and forgiveness and guess what? She agreed! It was a miracle that it happened this fast. We thought it was going to take her a lot longer to get to this point. And she prayed for us at the end!

"Testimony is a point of departure, not the ultimate destination."

Love you all! I love this gospel! Love missionary work!

Sister Loo

Isaiah 40:31- My new favorite scripture in the Bible! 

Finally got my pumpkin spice doughnuts!
We were on our way to a dinner appointment but Sister King insisted that we stop.
After scarfing them down, we felt sick to our stomachs.
We are getting along a little too well... 
Now we match without even talking about it!
Sister King finally got the Famous BlueBell Pumpkin Spice Pecan Ice cream!