July 13, 2015
We had a week filled with success here! It was really great. I learned a lot too and I can't express to you the gratitude I feel to be here in Kings Canyon! I love this area so much and I'm so grateful for the members and the people. I learned this week that if I hadn't come on a mission, I wouldn't have overcome so many of the things I've overcome. I have overcome much of my anxiety (and I will overcome it completely by the end) and I was filled with so much thankfulness the other night when I was thinking about it. Without this experience I wouldn't have been able to accomplish that. And without all of your support and love and encouragement I know I wouldn't have been able to push through my hardships.
Monday was a really unproductive day. Well, night. We actually watched Forever Strong in our apartment while we wrote letters so that was nice. But then we tried to go see some people but no one answered. We ended up heart attacking the M family's home. We put it on their garage because their house is really long and going to the door probably would've resulted in us getting caught. It was fun though! (Helaman 3:26-27, 35; 5:6, 8, 9, 12)
On Tuesday we had a really good zone meeting. We were trained on planning, finding, and teaching. And our missionary purpose. It was really good! I loved it. We did a couple role plays which isn't always my favorite thing but one of them (when we role played with Elder Harrison and Elder Guereca, our zone leaders) was really good. I love them. Elder Harrison was my district leader in Hanford so we're basically best friends now :) We saw Sister D and we watched Forever Strong with her. I think she really liked it. I fell asleep on accident so...I didn't see the whole thing. I tried really hard though to stay awake! I felt so bad. But it's okay. She only laughed. I think Sister Dale fell asleep too. We ate dinner with K and his family. they are so sweet. We were late...again. It's hard to get out on time with them. K is still progressing but still hasn't decided when he wants to get baptized. He needs a lot of prayers. I pray every night that he will decide soon so that I can see it. I want to be here for it and I will definitely come back for the sealing of them. Then we saw the F’s. Brother F’s is opening up more to us and I'm really grateful for that. We taught parts of the Restoration. It was good, I think. sister F’s is pregnant so we are excited for them! (Helaman 5:40-41, 47)
Wednesday we saw Sister J who is a recent convert/less active. She's super sweet. She's Native American, like F, so she's great. We watched Meet the Mormons with her. She liked it. I forgot about some parts. I love the last story, about the missionary, of course :) It reminded me of leaving and it reminded me of coming home too. It was good! We went downtown (ish) but not really. We talked to a couple really cool people. One of them was B. He was out working on his car. he was super open and we taught him the Restoration very briefly and then gave him the pamphlet. We will go back this week. We also talked to an artist whose name we don't know. He offered to give us tattoos, but I wasn't really in the mood to have a needle stuck inside me so we declined. he was making me uncomfortable and the spirit was telling me to leave so we left, even though Sister Putnam wasn't getting the same vibes. It's okay though. We ate dinner with the B’s. They are really great. I love them a lot. I hope they know hwo great they are. We then saw F and J after we went to mutual. I absolutely love them. We found out that she prefers J though so we are going to start referring to her as Jo. She's great. They both are. I love them a lot. (Helaman 8:15)
Thursday was a good day. We did service for Sister O. It was good! It went by so fast and I wish it wouldn't have. I love them a lot. Their whole family just adores us and it makes me feel so at home. I love them. We tried by a few people but not everyone was home. We ended up going to dinner and that was our first lesson. Sister M is really sweet. She loves us and she is just the sweetest lady. She is a convert and she loves the church a lot. Then we went by the Ds' family. they are great. This is where following the spirit comes in. We just went by to meet them and they let us in. We shared a message after getting to know them and then they shared with us that their daughter who was also there, A, was going through a lot right now. I won't go into detail because it's really personal. Basically they told us they needed us and they were glad we came to see them. It was really sweet. It made my day. I loved it. We saw Sister J’s next and shared just a short scripture with her. But she has a young man living with her who likes us and we think he's interested so we are gonig to try to teach him. (Helaman 10:4-5. Quote: "Love is spelled t-i-m-e.)
On Friday we weekly planned. It felt like it took forever but it really didn't. It was a good planning session. We were supposed to have an appointment with Sister Pa and her family but she got sick. So we weren't able to go by. We did see Sister D. She's really great. Super sweet. After her we went to see F and J and they fed us and then we watched Forever Strong with them. They really liked it. F says we're like her daughters. J loves us too even though she won't admit it. They are the best. (Helaman 12:23; 13:19; 14:2)
Saturday, we finally contacted K! She doesn't really understand that we are there to invite her to come unto Christ. She's sweet though. We talked about faith and she said she was going to use some of the material we left her in the lesson she was teaching at her church the next day. We taught the M family. they are great. R works five days a week and her days off are in the middle so she hasn't been coming to church. But it's okay. She's sweet and I think she's pretty strong. We ate dinner with the K's. Funny story about that: While we were sharing our lesson, Sister Putnam was bearing her testimony and in the middle of it, she...well, she tooted. (She'll kill me for telling this story.) And she burst out laughing! And then I couldn't control my laughter and this couple was staring at us like we were crazy--they didn't hear it. I felt so bad afterward. I really hoped we didn't offend them. I couldn't even look at Sister Putnam without her laughing! It was hilarious. We went to see Brother U and his wife was home! She has been in Mexico for the last few months. She's not a member so we are teaching her again! Then we saw the M's. They lost a daughter about a year and a half ago so they've been through a lot. She's great. She's always serving others. It's great. (Helaman 15:6, 7, 9, 13; 16:14; 3 Nephi 1:13-14)
Sunday was probably one of the best days of the week. We had MCM and ward council. It was good! The P’s live in the ghetto--downtown--and Bishop told us he would feel better if we took a man with us. It was kind of sweet to know they worried about their sister missionaries :) We ate dinner with J. I'm not sure what her last name is. She has a return missionary son who is super funny. He is under the impression that Sister Putnam and I have lock your heart problems...but we don't. We then went out with K M! She's leaving on her mission in two weeks so we need to use her as much as possible. We took her to see a potential who had been coming to church the last three weeks--M. She's living with Sister H, a member. She's getting baptized on July 25!! She's so sweet. I think she's autistic or something like that. I know she has some sort of mental disability, but I know she needs this. I am going to talk to President about it just to be sure but I really love her and I know she's ready to make this commitment. She's so innocent anyway. She's so sweet. We then saw J and F...again. They are the best. We talked about the Word of Wisdom. J drinks beer and doesn't understand why it's bad if she's not addicted. I honestly couldn't answer it so we committed her to pray and ask God if He wanted her to give it up. She said she would. F needs to give up coffee but I know she will. She said the most beautiful closing prayer. She said that we are like her daughters and it almost made me cry. She has a seven year old granddaughter she's adopting. S is so sweet. I just love them and I know they will be baptized. (3 Nephi 3:12)
I absolutely love being here. I'm actually quite proud of myself--I haven't been struggling very much here in Kings Canyon. I am just loving it. I don't really want to leave! I love this area and these people. Sister O is probably one of my favorites. She is so great. We went to study and do laundry at her house this morning. She LOVES us. She's like our mom. I love her so much.
Thank you for everything. I want y'all to know how much I love this Gospel and my Heavenly Father. Don't ever forget that God loves you more than you know. And He is always tehre for you.
I LOVE YOU!
Sister Abigail Reese