Monday, April 12, 2010

Ariel's getting baptized on the 2nd of May

So this week has honestly been miracle week here in Plano and the whole week has been absolutely CRAZY!!! So if you don't normally read all my incredibly long e-mails (BRAD!!!!!) you will want to read this one!!
Monday: After all our P-day fun we went to dinner where we had lasagna with ham.. interesting.. then we went to teach Leo who was suppose to get baptized this weekend, but definitely can't. He started by telling us that he didn't want to get baptized.. we asked him why and he kept saying there was no reason. After pushing a little harder and asking what changed from out lesson a couple weeks ago on Friday to that Sunday that made him not want to come to church. He finally told us he got into a fight and in his own words "gutted" someone.. so needless-to-say Leo will not be getting baptized this weekend!! But we will keep working with him and try to help him change. I pray one day he can find the peace of the Atonement.
Tuesday: (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MATT!) we had district meeting then our first couple appointments of the day canceled on us so we made some stop-bys and got a couple return appointments.. then we were heading to the woodland appartments where the Busto Family lives. The weekend before we had met a lady having an easter party with her family.. she said we could come back but we didn't think she was very promising. She lived in the other side of the Woodland complex which is HUGE and we are hardly ever on the side she lives because it's opposite of where our other investigators live. Well we drove around trying to find vistor parking and finally ended up parking on the street...and as soon as we get out of the car there is a lady standing there waiting to talk to us.. a little strange. After finding out we speak spanish and being estatic she asked us where the church was... we were a little taken back because normal people don't beg us to come to church. Well come to find out that her Lilian Toro and her husband Renae and three girls, Lilibeth, Lilieth, and Lizbeth are all members that just moved her from Houston and they have been looking for the church. Lizbeth actually saw us the weekend before while we were making an appointment with the grandma at the Easter party and had told he mom.. so when we were driving around looking for a parking spot they had seen us and she ran out to find us... turns out the lady we met at the Easter Party lives right next to the Toro Family and she wasn't even there for the appointment we made with her. God definitely places us where people need us. And the best part is that their little give Lizbeth is 9 and isn't baptized so we get to teach their whole family the lessons agaion to prepare Lizbeth to be baptized in May!! MIRACLE #1
We also got two media referrals that day when we haven't gotten ANY the whole time I've been here.. MIRACLE #2
We had dinner with the Castro Family and as usual they were HILARIOUS.. Hermano had taken a picture of Hermana Kleinman and I on Sunday and photoshoped it and had printed us an 8 x 10 picture for each of us.. they're awesome.
Wednesday:We did some random contacting then went to go to our appointment with Manuel a less active and his wife Rosie who isn't a member. Their car wasn't their so we knew we had a little time to contact more. There was a guy sitting on his step outside his appartment getting ready to smoke so we approached him and started contacting him. Hermana Kleinman and I felt a little weird about the contact considering he was blowing smoke in our faces and I was about to just give him a pass along card and walk away when the thought came to me to ask him if he was happy... He kinda looked a me shocked and said well... yea.. then he added all the problems he was having too.He told us his name was Carlos and had not really heard of the church before. But after telling him that we knew the gospel could bringing him happiness to his life... he said, "I Know." We come to find out that his real name is Juan Carlos and he was baptized 8 years ago... he got the Melquesieck (can't spell it sorry!! ha ha) and everything... but that his wife had told him that he had to choose her and the catholic church or his church and he chose her... he has now gone down a back road including drugs, drinking, and other things.. he has no job and his marriage is falling apart. He told us he wanted to give us his Triple to give to someone who could actually use it.. we told him no.. that he was going to use it again!! I gave him my Book of Mormon to read a passage in 3 Nephi and I have never seen someone hunger so bad to read that book.. he started flipping through and by the end had given US a reading assignment. he told us stories about when he used to go out with missionaries and it was amazing how his countanence physically changed.. he went from blank stares and no hope to light escaping from his eyes and such HOPE!! he ended up giving us his cigarettes and took his ear out of his ear to give to us.. and we devised a plan to come back and knock on Friday night to try to get his wife to listen to us!! And once again our other appointment never showed up... God placed us again right where he needed us to be! MIRACLE #3!!
That night we went to get to know the Toro family where we got a second dinner and I got to know Lilian figure out a little more about their church history while Hermana Kleinman was talkign to their friend and their conversation led into a first lesson ending in a soft commitment to baptism.. while I figured out when Lizbeth was going to get baptized.. It was a successful night!
Thursday: During planning we were looking through all of the old investigator sheets in our area book and I stumbled across one that said MANUELA LEMUS LOPEZ!!!... Elders two years ago had found Leo and Jesse, Manuela's sons in the Fiesta parking lot and were teaching them for awhile.. Leo actually read 1/2 of the Book of Mormon.. but then they got to busy so the Elder's dropped them. I guess everyone just has their time! That night we had a member Hermana Saldias come with us to a lesson with Gregonio and the rest of the gang in the trailer and we taught them a Plan of Salvation. When we got in the car after the lesson.. Hermana Saldias just said "I never realized how hard your guy's job is... trying to help people believe when they really don't care.. we are so lucky we had the faith to accept this gospel."
So Thursday night we were laying in our bunk beds.. i was half asleep and we hear a knock... Hermana Kleinman freaks out and says "Someone is knocking on our window!" I just brushed her off thinking it was someone at the door so I yelled COME IN... but no one came in.. I just thought it was Sue, our roomie, knocking on our door... then the knock came again and it was from the window.. I looked out the window and there was a young man standing there...I just yelled.. WHO ARE YOU!!! I thought he said BUENO and I started freaking out thinking someone we had contacted or an investigator had followed us home.. then he said.. "Oh I mush have the wrong how does sue live here??" Well it ended up being Sue's grandson who is 18 knocking on the wrong window and scaring the daylights out of me.. so I went and got Sue and when I got back... Sister Kleinman just looked at me and said, "I just want you to know you just invited an 18 year-old to come in your room through the window ON YOUR MISSION!!!" We were laughing sooooo hard!
Friday: We taught Keren, when we got there she was in a really bad mood because her and her boyfriend had been fighting alot and she is probably going to leave him. We ended up having her watch part of the Special Witnesses of Christ DVD since she didn't come to church... by the end of the lesson she was smiling and said she knew we had a prophet on the earth today.. the gospel brings happiness.. NO DOUBT!! We had a lesson with Luis who isn't getting baptized this Sunday and doesn't even really want to come to church because of some rude things the kids in primary said to him.. so we are going to push for the 25 of April instead.. please pray for him!
Our next scheduled appointment was to go and knock on Juan Carlos' door and try to get his "crazy catholic" wife to listen to us. We were SUPER nervous because we had no clue what to expect.. but we got there and Juan Carlos had all the doors open waiting for us and when we got there he told his wife the door was for her.. she was sleeping so had to change and as she is walking to the door and asked who it was he said, "Las Misioneras, they can come in right?" without really giving her a choice he let us in and we all sat down at their table to talk. He pulled out a briefcase filled with 2 triples, 2 book of mormons, tons of Liahonas and church manuels and said... well what are you going to teach us. I talked to his wife Mayela for a minute and she told us she would take the lessons but didn't think she would come to our church. So I told her we could come back another time or start today depending on her schedule and she told us to go for it. We taught her the first lesson about the Restoration of the gospel and it was honestly one of the most powerful lessons of my mission. She had AMAZING questions like.. after explaining the great apostasy she said, "So where's the prophet today?" then after the first vision she blurted out "So what'd they say... which one did he join?" while explaining about where the Bible was from and where her ancestors were from she said, "So shouldnt' we have a Bible in the America's too!?!" Yep the Book of Mormon. Then we asked her husband Juan Carlos to bear his testimony...he was a little anxious at first but the spirit RUSHED in as he told her that he knew it was true and that she could know for herself it was true also. he told her that the happiest time of his life was while he was in the church and he never wanted for anything he ever needed. He told her that he knew God sent us at this time because they needed this gospel. After he was done she just turned to us and said "I can come to church this Sunday.. we'll be waiting and ready for someone to take us." AMAZING MIRACLE #4... God can change hearts!
Saturday: we did a blitz for the elders since elder Esplin has been out of commission for a while with his kidney stones so we knocked doors.. taught some lessons plus dinner but nothing I can remember to report.. good day! Wait a second.. that's a lie.. We taught Ariel the plan of Salvation on his porch and ended up setting a baptismal date with him for May 2nd.. he's super excited!! and GOLDEN!! MIRACLE #5
We waited and waited and waiting expecting a transfer call that night and IT NEVER CAME!!! Hermana Kleinman and I are staying together in Plano for another 6 weeks and we couldn't be happier!
Sunday: was a little frustrating.. but still good!! Keren didn't come to church.. we don't know why.. we stopped by our investigators/ recent converts in the morning and Joe was at his girlfriends... Leo was still hung over and couldn't even stand up when we went to pass by to see if he was coming to church... others weren't home. and Juan Carlos went out with his friends the night before and Mayela didn't know where he was at noon on Sunday. Then the member that was suppose to go by to for Ariel couldnt' find his appartment so just came to church without him... leaving Ariel waiting to come to church all day. But the amazing thing of the day was MAYELA CAME TO CHURCH.. even without her husband!! The "crazy Catholic" as she husband described LOVED church and told us she is coming back next week... now the only problem we have is getting her husband there. But it's amazing how God changes hearts and prepares a way! And Manuela said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting.. she went up there.. introduced herself and then said the prayer with her eyes open like she was giving a talk.. it was hilarious and she was sooo nervous. She is giving a talk on missionary work in a couple week.. that should be interesting can't wait!!
This has been an amazing week!! Thanks for all your prayers and support.. hope this week is just as exciting!
con carino,
Hermana Katie Barber

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