|We got some game meat at a Baptist dinner we were invited to! Oh the south!|
This week was great. For Hermana Winters birthday on P-day, the car was in the shop (the other hermanas got in a li'l accident) and so we walked to do email and to lunch and to the bowling alley! Haha, interesting but fun. Then afterwards our car was ready to go! That night a sweet member made us dinner and had a little birthday cake for Sister Winters, so it was fun.
We had some good times contacting more people, and found some people to teach. We had a lesson with a man named Fidal who seems promising, and a young family, and one named Juan. The rest of the people we visit are REALLY Catholic -- so sweet, yet very stubborn in their belief. But one of these families, after praying for us that we'd see the light, offered us FRESH-made tortillas with Mexican cheese, it was heavenly! Tender mercies. haha.
On Thursday we had Zone Meeting, and I was SO nervous about the training, but it went all right! I am so grateful the Spirit was there to help lead me. I shared about repentance and faith, and based a lot of it on an article out of the Ensign about the Atonement by Elder Bednar. Turns out a large portion of his talk in the last session of conference was taken from that, which was one of my favorite talks. I also shared an experience that I don't know if I have even shared with y'all. Last transfer I was studying repentance and learned that "bringing our lives in line with God's will through repentance is a central purpose of our lives" and thought back to an experience. In third grade I had taken part in drawing on the bathroom stalls. Afterwards the teacher asked every student if they'd done it and I said I didn't. I've since repented to Heavenly Father for what I'd done wrong, but I realized I'd never apologized to Mrs. Barnes and knew that I needed to if I wanted to continue preaching repentance to the people here. She wrote me back on Monday, and told me the sweetest things -- that my writing a letter was enough and that I shouldn't worry about what I'd done and she was glad I learned from it! It was super humbling to share that in front of 30 missionaries, but I think it helped get across my point that repenting with a broken heart and contrite spirit, no matter what it is that we did wrong, can CHANGE us as missionaries.
The other cool even of this week was Migdalia. Months ago, we received a referral that we never found, but whilst looking, tracted into a woman named Migdalia. She wanted to visit with us and gave us her address. Since then, we've tried 4 or 5 times without her being home, and normally we would've given up at this point, but for some reason we were inspired to go back this week. She answered the door and greeted us warmly but said she was "Tortillando" and invited us to come back the next night. So the next night finally we went in and started talking to her! We talked a bit about her life--she's from Guatemala--and she seemed to sort of know about us but we didn't really know why. We asked her if she had a church. She said, "Well the truth is I went to your church." We thought she meant a time or two, but no! She's a member! The second one we've found recently in the streets. She was baptized into the Rocky Face Branch seven years ago! Hermana Winters and I were just like SHOCKED as she told us about the people she remembered, and the doctrines she loved. She even told us how much she liked listening to President Hinckley. She remembered a ton for not being back for that long! Turns out she got offended by someone, and left. Even though she didn't accept our invitation come to conference, we're excited to keep working with her and help her overcome her fears and dive into activity again.
GENERAL CONFERENCE was so good! After looking over my notes, there were a lot of words I wrote down for different talks that seemed to be themes repeated, some of them were: stand and defend, serve, find joy, obey, increase faith, keep covenants, and importance of family. I also learned about the power of simplicity - The talks at the end centered on the Atonement by Elders Corbridge, Bednar, and Christofferson were so powerful to me. I just have so much to learn and apply from what we heard, so much growing to do!
Family I love you and miss you so much! Hope you have a wonderful April week filled with rain showers and sunshine and blossoms and love and stuff! Thanks for everything you do
Love, Hermana Collier