Sunday, 25 August 2013

August 12, 2013

Dear Family,
This week was pretty fantastic; we got to meet some more members and get to know them better. It can be hard to catch people because they aren’t home much during the day; they all work. They are really nice and they are amazing members; so willing to serve and they try to be missionary minded and bring their friends to the knowledge of the truth. They are preparing their friends because they want us to meet them; they are really great and down to earth. My companion and I bought flowers and gave them to our bishop’s wife and she loved them! Then we made the mistake of telling the elders what we did and now they are trying to top us; but, they haven’t done anything yet. We also made brownies this week so that we could give some to our investigator, Oscar.
I also got to go on exchanges this week and I went up to the Newhall are for the day with Sister Walgren (from Pleasant Grove, UT) and it was so amazing how many miracles we saw. We found a ton of solid potential investigators, including a family that seemed really interested in what we were saying. We taught them most of the first lesson and then we covered some other topics here and there. The dad told us when we walked up that he was tired of his church because they were so repetitive, he needed a change, and something that would teach his kids right. (They are 13 & 15.) So we talked with him about the church and the youth programs and he was really interested. We spent over an hour talking with him and his kids; it was amazing! He also talked about a Bible story and it wasn’t very good and he was asking about why it happened that way. My companion did not know the Bible story very well so I was able to clarify it for him since I was familiar with the story. He would be a great member; he seemed like he really could be but he wasn’t; he has been prepared to hear the gospel which is incredible! They are a Hispanic family and they speak English very well. They are so cool! We also met many other really prepared people and we planted tons of seeds with other people too. It was just a great day! We were able to invite several others to church and many of them said that they would try to make it. We also talked to one of their investigators, Zeki, who is from Turkey and still learning English. I was able to say ‘hello’ to him in Turkish (my college roommate taught me since she was Turkish) and he was really impressed and we started talking more. He told the sisters earlier that he would get baptized once he accepted Christ as his Savior. He still doesn’t believe that yet, but he is interested in the gospel and has many perfect questions that can easily be answered. He is 22 years old and used to be Muslim; but, he is awesome. He is coming along and he will understand the truth eventually.
On Sunday, our investigator, Oscar came to church and he came to the gospel essentials class with us and the teacher had Oscar introduce himself to the rest of the class and he said that he can’t wait to be a member! In relief society I sat next to a lady who was transferring her records over to our ward. As we talked, she began to cry as she told me about the trials that she was going through and that she had a prompting to join our ward and she said that her son is serving a mission in Mexico. She is so sweet and she wants to take me and my companion out to dinner or lunch sometime when things settle down for her. Later we had a session with Oscar and taught him some of the commandments and one of them was the Word of Wisdom. He has been drinking coffee and tea; but, once we told him that members are not allowed to do that, he immediately said he would stop drinking coffee and tea anymore. We know that he will succeed because when he is set on doing something he will do it. He told us that last week in priesthood meeting they talked about being kind to everyone and the next day he decided to be nice to one man at his work that people gossiped about and he just said, “hey, how’s it going?” and the guy was caught off guard, but was happy Oscar talked to him. We talked to him about the temple a bit too; his daughter was married in the temple so he knows a little about it already. We are planning on having Oscar getting baptized on September 8 and the bishop is going to announce in sacrament meeting. Oscar wants to surprise his daughter with it so he talked to his son-in-law about clearing up her schedule and his side of the family’s calendar so they can all be there for his baptism. The Spirit was so strong during his lesson and I was impressed to tell him how much God loves him and that Heavenly Father is proud of him for everything that he is doing and it made Oscar cry a bit; it was so powerful. I can’t wait to see him baptized. (His date of baptism is during the week of transfers; I hope I don’t get transferred before this happens.) What a great week!
Love, Sister Reese

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

3 Months Out

On July 22 we went up to Stony Point Park which is a huge hill covered by scattered rocks. Our zone went there and we hiked it and had fun. We got to one rock that was 6 ft. higher than the rock we were on and so one of the elders got up on it and then helped a few of us up. It was really cool because it overlooked most of the valley. It was a little hard on the way down because there was dirt everywhere which made it slippery; luckily I didn’t fall hard enough to hurt anything.
We had a meeting with one of our investigators, Jeannette, we talked to her about the importance of the Book of Mormon, prophets, and watched the Restoration video with her. The Spirit was really strong with her, but it still didn’t feel right to ask her to be baptized, she still needs some more time to learn, which is okay. We didn’t get to meet with Pilar or her son this week so we are hoping that she still makes it to church which would be the third time she has come and her date for baptism is August 10. If they don’t come her baptismal date would be pushed to August 24 which would be sad because she is absolutely ready for the gospel; so we hope to see them at church.
I finally got roped into singing in sacrament meeting; my companion and I sang 'Song of Ruth' and it went pretty well. One of the elders in our zone was hit while on his bike; but he wasn't injured and people came to talk to him to see if he was alright and they found a few investigators that way. I still hope I never get put on a bike; that would be dreadful. I'm glad we have a car; it makes things so much nicer. We did find out that they will be splitting are area and that part of it will be bike; so we will see what happens.
Well, transfers have come and I have been transferred to Valencia, CA. My new address is:
Sister Kirstin Reese
25343 Silver Aspen Way #325
Valencia, CA 91381
My new area is really close to the mission office so you can still send things there and I will get them almost as frequently. The area is crazy rich, and I mean everyone. My apartment is the most expensive in the mission; but, we also have the best gym and I personally have the 'Miracle Bed' which is the only one that the mission owns, so I am pretty lucky with that. The downsides are that I am opening a new area with my new companion; most every home is in a gated community and we can only work through members. Our apartment used to be an elders' apartment and they didn't clean very well as they were leaving.

Sister Reese