This week was what I call an "up" week :) It seems like last Tuesday was forever ago, but it was such a great week! Last Tuesday I had an exchange with the San Juan Spanish Hermanas - my first Spanish exchange :) It was a blast! I didn't really know what was going on sometimes, but I could feel the spirit of missionary work so strongly. I learned a lot of Spanish ("Lo siento, que bueno, yo se que el libro de Mormon es verdad, somos missionaras de la eglacia de Jesus Christo de los santos de los ultimos dias!" I probably butchered those spellings haha). I think the best part of the day was teaching Armando, a potential the hermanas have been trying to teach. We knocked on his door and he let us in and we taught him the Restoration. I didn't really know what anyone was saying a lot of the time, but it was incredible because I did know what was being taught, and what the Spirit was teaching, and I could feel the truth of the message because the Spirit isn't limited by language. When Hermana Laboriel started to recite the first vision, it was like a lightswitch went on in the room. I could feel the exact moment she started and stopped. It was incredible to feel the flood of love and light testifying to Armando, without being distracted by the words being said or worried about what to say or ask next. Near the end, Hermana Carmack helped me give a small testimony to Armando of the power I had felt there and how he could know for himself. It was a beautiful reminder to me of the importance and greatness of our message.
So to start this week, we made a commitment to improve our contacting. We decided that no matter what this week, we were going to get 70 contacts as we'd been encouraged by our mission president. It may only be 10 a day, but it's harder than it might sound. We employed some crazy tactics Wednesday to make it happen :D Here were the best stories: We were walking around a neighborhood we call the "tree streets" (myrtle, cedar, oak, holly, etc) and no one was outside... but suddenly there was a man across the street and I was determined, so I may or may not have run across the street to talk to him. Then Sister Rolfson legitimately contacted a man through his car window while he stopped at a stop sign. Haha he was surprisingly friendly for someone sitting at a stop sign. :) We also knocked on a few doors, and our favorite was this man named Terry who told us he didn't believe in our religion because no one had ever seen Joseph Smith and he didn't think he existed. That was a new one. But ok - whatever you wanna believe. He was quite adamant about it. But it was also highly entertaining when we accidentally knocked on Jen's back door. That happens a lot here. It's confusing. But we gave her a Book of Mormon and had a great conversation. Then awkwardly a few minutes later we accidentally knocked on her front door, too. Hahaha it was so awkward. But as one of my zone leaders (Elder Boggess) said this week, "If you're not having awkward experiences every week, you're not being a good missionary." Couldn't have said it better myself.
Thursday we had MLC, (Mission Leadership Council) our last one with President Orgill. :'( It was bittersweet, to say the least. But he left us with a very fond aloha and made us promise that there would be "no empty chairs" at our mission reunions, both here and in heaven. Funny moment during lunch, though - I was eating a gluten free corn dog (yes, that's a thing.) and President Ellis was sitting at my lunchtable and he said, and I quote, "If you're going to defile yourself by eating a hot dog, you may as well eat a real one, you know what I'm saying??" Haha we laughed so hard.
Friday we had Morgan's interview for her baptism, and the AP's (assistants to the President) had to come do it because literally every district and zone leader in our zone was busy, other than Elder Payne in our ward who couldn't do it because he's taught Morgan before. So the AP's came and did the interview and it was awesome! While we waited for it to finish, we went and knocked all the doors on Morgan's street because we still needed 7 more contacts that day haha. But it went great and we were so happy. Later that day, we visited a less active Indian woman, Sis Kumar, and actually got to come in and visit for the first time! She was so sweet and we got to know her better, and were so shocked because she is 81 and her mother is 98 and lives with her, but her mom is still cooking and cleaning and active! What! She said it was because they do yoga and deep breathing every morning. Hmm. Might have to try that haha. Friday night was game night with the Ottesons, and it was so much fun! We played mafia and Nico, Luke (one of the young men), and I came up with new characters to use. It was great to see everyone happy and smiling, and there were so many youth there, members and nonmembers, squeezed into the Ottesons tiny cottage living room. The elders showed a video about relying on Christ's strength, and it was a little hard to leave because it was very likely my last game night there. Transfers are next Tuesday and I won't know until Saturday, but I am probably leaving.
Saturday's baptism was beautiful. Morgan was happy and smiling, and Georgie gave the talk on baptism and bore a lovely testimony. She just beams all the time now. She is learning so much! Sister Rolfson and I sang "I am a Child of God," with the ukulele to bring things full circle back to the night at the Lunds' when we sang that and invited all those youth to be baptized. The Spirit was so wonderful, and everyone enjoyed it - even Morgan's nonmember dad! It was great to see him there to support her.