Monday, June 23, 2014

CRAZY weather!

This week was pretty busy and absolutely flew by!  Can you believe that this is going to be the last week of June?  Super weird.  But, I love being busy :)
Tuesday-  We had district meeting and I really learned a lot.  We talked about "understanding".  The reason that we are willing to go to church and read our scriptures and pray every day is because we understand why it is important and we understand the blessings that come from it.  Our investigators and people that we are teaching don't understand that yet!  So when we help them understand by teaching them to their individual needs, it will lead them to act.  Nothing happens until our investigators act!  I really learned a lot that district meeting.  Tuesday night we had a lesson with a new member.  She told us that she got to go visiting teaching for the first time this week!  Can you believe it??  She is a visiting teacher now!  It is so exciting and I am so proud of her.  Also- she had her interview to get her patriarchal blessing!!  So many good things are happening I can hardly even believe it!
Wednesday we had crazy weather.  In fact, this whole week has been CRAZY weather.  Like super crazy bad thunder and lightning storms.  Between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning there were 3200 strikes of lightning in Milwaukee.  Isn't that crazy?  Lightning was striking seriously ever couple of seconds.  The power went out in our apartment and there were trees everywhere in town that had been knocked down.  It was nuts! but we were kept safe. :) 
This past week, we haven't just experienced crazy weather, but we have met some pretty crazy people too.  Wednesday afternoon we went to go contact a headquarter referral that we received for a lady named Happy Holiday.  The second we saw the name, we knew we were in for a treat.  We went to her house and she told us that she was a member of the church, but had stopped coming and was looking to "re-investigate."  So we started trying to get to know her a little better and asked her what made her want to start coming back to church.  Here is the kicker- she looks up at me and says, "I am Jesus Christ reincarnated in a woman's body."  Yeah, I know.  Sis. Silva and I could hardly keep it together.  We got out of there real quick.  hahahahahaha Everytime I think about it I still laugh out loud.  But, that is West Allis for ya!
Thursday-  You'll never believe it.  We got to meet Jesus again!  But this time it was a black lady.  We were waiting at a bus stop and I sat down to talk to this lady and introduced myself as Sister King. 
She asked why I went by sister.  In my head I was thinking, "Yes!  This is great!  A perfect opportunity to teach her about the gospel and she is the one that brought it up!"  So I explained to her that we believe that God is our loving Heavenly Father and we are all of his children.  Because of that, it makes all of us brothers and sisters.  She looks at me and says, "No.  God is not your Father.  He only has one son and that's me.  I am Jesus Christ."  hahahaha  Sis. Silva turned to look at me but I knew I couldn't look at her or else I wouldn't be able to keep it together.  This lady was seriously crazy.  She kind of reminds me of that one lady in that youtube video that's like, "ain't nobody got time for that!"  But anyways, after she said that there was this really awkward silence.  So I tried to fill it by getting to know her a little bit better.  I asked, "So, are you originally from Wisconsin?"  She looks at me and says, "No!  I was born in Bethlehem!"  Duh, Courtney.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem! hahahaha.  Yeah so those are the types of people that we meet on the bus here in Milwaukee.  I don't know what Sis. Silva and I are doing to deserve getting to meet Jesus twice, but we must be doing something right to deserve these blessings!  :) 

Sis. Silva with our rent certificate!
Thursday  was also interviews with President Cutler.  I remember being so nervous for them last time, but I was actually really excited this time.  I love getting to talk to and learn from President Cutler.  This time, we were asked to come prepared to interviews having studied the Atonement from Preach My Gospel.  I loved being able to study the Atonement.  It is my favorite thing to teach people.  My favorite quote (or one of my favorites) from Preach My Gospel says, "Everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."  I love teaching others about Christ's Atonement, but because on my mission I have been so focused on others, lots of times I forget that the Atonement applies to me too.  I always expect a lot from myself and sometimes I feel inadequate even for Christ's Atonement, which I know is silly.  I just want to make sure that I am doing all that I possibly can be doing!  I shared some of these thoughts with President Cutler.  He told me that sometimes we think that we are saved by grace after all we can do.  But the Atonement has to time frame.  It is infinite!  Christ's Atonement helps us through things and helps us to become better as we face things.  He said a lot of other things that blew my mind that I really wish I could remember.  But the one thing that I do remember is that the Spirit was so strong and I know without a doubt that Christ's Atonement was for me!  And it is for all of the people that I am here to touch in Wisconsin as well.  So pretty much I left that interview feeling on top of the world, which is exactly what I needed.  The rest of the day we spent weekly planning.  And our apartment complex had a picnic!  So Sis. Silva and I went to get to know our neighbors a little more.  They had a raffle to give away a certificate for $500 dollars off your rent, and Sis. Silva and I won!  haha That was cool.
Friday was exchanges and guess what!  I got to be with Sister Tanner for the day in West Allis again!!!!!!!  What a tender mercy that was.  I didn't even realize how much I missed her until I got to be companions with her again! When we started teaching together again, it was almost as if she had never left.  We were able to have a lesson with a new member that night and it was so fun to be reunited with the 3 of us again.  We all grew so close as we helped the new member  on her journey.  Getting to be with Sister Tanner again also helped me to see how far I have come since she left. 

Sister Tanner and I with Sis. Rebarchik.  She is an amazing blessing to the missionaries in West Allis.

So good to be with Sister Tanner again!
Saturday we got to go and visit a couple of less actives that Sister Tanner and I worked with a lot when she was here.  That was cool because I think she sparked a fire under one that she had a really good relationship with.  We were also able to meet with another investigator and this time she brought her son and we set a baptismal date with both of them!  Miracles happen on exchanges.  But then it came time for Sister Tanner to head back to Kenosha :(.  I was really sad to see her go, but also happy to have Sis. Silva back with me.  On Saturday night, Sister Stewart in our ward had all 6 of the missionaries in our ward over to her house for dinner.  One of the Elders was giving the spiritual thought at the end of the lesson from a conference talk that sounded really familiar, but I couldn't remember just which one it was.  He committed everyone to be better member missionaries, and then for his promised blessing he said, "If you to this, you will find joy.  Just like this family!"  He whips up the Ensign that he had been reading from and there was the picture of our family in the Ensign back in 2009. hahaha
It was super funny.  I guess he had just happened to read that Ensign earlier in the day and came across our picture. 
Sunday church was exactly what I needed to hear.  Funny how it usually works out that way.  We got to go to the Dominguez's for dinner!  Love them.  But the world cup was on and that was a super big temptation for me.  But don't worry, I withstood.  All I know is I better get a lot of blessings for missing it!  haha
So this week was pretty awesome!  I am praying for you all!  Thanks so much for being the best family ever!  love you!!!

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