I can't believe it is already January 15th! Boy how time flies! Sunday will be 7 months for me already! Craziness. This time I have to serve the Lord fully is so short and so precious.
Well the work goes on in La Jolla. I am still just adjusting and getting use to how different it is to teach young single adults and be in a singles ward full of very successful and very busy people. It has been a week of ups and downs...as my wise MTC teacher said, "I love roller coasters, but my favorite roller coaster was my mission." So true. We have been striving to seek and find those the Lord has prepared for the gospel...we know they are out there...it's just a matter of being the best finders ever! We had the weirdest couple of experiences: We added a new investigator named Jared. He is a 21-year-old college student who wanted to meet with the missionaries. They have been in contact with him for a while and he finally said he had time to meet. He had been sick so I got him some soup and we went and knocked on his door. He was so great! Happy and interested and very promising. We told him about the Singles Ward and he said he would love to come to the activities. We taught him of the blessings of the gospel and of Heavenly Father's love for him and gave him a Book of Mormon to read. We even invited him to pray (which he hasn't ever really done) and he said he'd give it a shot. It was a beautiful prayer and I asked how he felt after praying and he said he was so happy. He said he wanted to get on a better path that didn't involve drugs and alcohol. We were so excited to see him and teach him more last night and all weekend he never responded to us...didn't come to church...didn't come to FHE...and didn't show up for our appointment. We had called and text several times. So, we went to him. He was home and when he answered he was surprised to see us at his door. He was very out of it and I am pretty sure he was drunk. After talking a minute and asking why he hadn't responded he didn't really have a good excuse. I asked if he had a minute for us to share a thought and he said not right now. When we saw him last week he said he was pretty much open any time...he's not in school and not working...yet last night he said he'd been really busy and trying to find a job, etc....I asked him if something had happened over the weekend to change his mind because he seemed so excited about it before. He said no and that he just didn't know if religion was right for him. I said, "Well you can't know for sure if you never give it a try, right?" We ended up sharing a thought and a scripture anyway because the conversation lead that way....and then I asked if we could say a prayer with him before we left and he said no! I said, "You don't have to say it if you don't want to, but one of us could real quick." And he still said no....he said he would text us if he changed his mind. We got in the car feeling so confused and a little defeated. It broke our hearts because we could see him light up with the spirit and the potential he had...and we saw him completely turn away from it. We will keep him in our prayers and keep texting encouragement and maybe one day, when the time is right, he will come back.
Another weird experience....We met with a less-active member, Akiko, at the food court of the mall and she was mad when we showed up and found out we were girls and said she thought we were a guy texting her and asking to meet with her....she full on thought she was meeting a man for a date....when it was the Sister Missionaries there to help her come back....she wasn't so happy....luckily, we were able to soften her up a bit and get her to sit down for a minute to get to know her. Through our conversation we came to find she is struggling with addiction and that she feels she is too far gone for her to be able to come back. She literally said she knows that what she is doing is destroying her and destroying her body, that she wakes up feeling fear and shame knowing she is on a path of destruction, but that for the momentary pleasure and happiness she feels from her addiction...that it's enough for her...that minute or so of happiness. How heartbreaking. Literally, my heart broke for her and I had to control my emotions as I bore testimony of the Atonement and that you are NEVER too far out of the Savior's reach. Those temptations and struggles are exactly why He did what He did....how sad, how ungrateful we are to slap that away and say it isn't good enough for what I'VE done. I know we all struggle with that when we make mistakes. We think the Atonement works for others but not for ourselves....but how wrong we are! Satan is the one who deceives us into those thoughts. "Thanks to Him, wounded souls may be healed and broken hearts may be mended. There is no burden that He cannot ease or remove. He knows about our infirmities and sicknesses. I promise and testify to you that when all doors seemed to be closed, when everything else seems to fail, He will not fail you. Christ will help and is the way out, whether the struggle is with an addiction, depression, or something else. He knows 'how to succor his people' (Elder Gonzalez - last conference)." Through a lot of loving text messages, she has finally asked if we really want to help and of course we do...the Savior does....and I pray she will accept what He gave for her. But my dear loved ones...PLEASE...I plead with you to never ever believe or think you are out of His reach....and if you think the wrong choices you are making are what make you happier....please get on your knees and let the Savior heal you because it IS POSSIBLE....you hold the key....let Him in....He stands at the door...don't keep Him knocking.
We DID have quite the miracle though in adding a new investigator who is golden and literally said, "I want to learn every day so....what do you have time for?" Ha ha! You're kidding!? We are meeting with him Monday, Wednesday and Friday and he is so prepared. His name is David and he is from Hong Kong, China!!! He loves the gospel and prayer and as we knelt in prayer and heard him say the feelings of his heart for the first time, the spirit was so sweet. Those are the moments...among all the hard days....those are the moments and the times I remember why I love being a missionary and why I love the Lord!!!
Oh, by the way, I totally played a duet with Elder Coon (a great trumpet player) at the Spanish mission president's fireside! We played "Love is Spoken Here." Everyone was shocked to find I also played the trumpet an they were all asking what I don't do = ) I had a couple real embarrassing notes that gave me a good laugh when I listened to the recording after, but I only had 3 out of many = ) It was fun to play again after 10 years!!!!
OK I love you all! Keep me in your prayers!!!