Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Where to Start??

This week has been abnormal to say the least.
Well we had Zone Conference this week and it was amazing! We learned about the Atonement and the true meaning of Christmas. We talked about the story of Christ's Birth and applied it to missionaries. The angels that proclaimed glad tidings of great joy are us! That is our purpose. To proclaim the gospel and to bring great joy to the souls of men! It was so motivating and it really just makes me want to go knock and doors and say, "Have you heard the news?!? Christ lives! And because He lives His church has been restored to the earth!" But then again most days I'm too chicken to do that! ;)
We had several appointments this week with potential investigators and investigators. Our one investigator totally dropped us hard core. Sister Bray and I felt like we had been broken up with. We were so sad and irritated at this kid. But if he listens to the promptings of the Holy Ghost eventually he will come around. We really just had adventures all week. We went to one lesson with a member who brought her 3 month old son, the person didn't end up showing. His family owned the restaurant where we were meeting him and they don't speak English. Eventually they had a customer translate for us and we left. We went home and just as we were sitting down to hot soup for dinner the phone rang and lo and behold it was our investigator. He told us he was available then and at the restaurant. We left our soup and rushed over there. The lesson went very well and we picked up a new investigator! He even made pupusas for us! Sister Bray is hooked now! heeheehee
The next day we got a phone call from our district leader asking us if we wanted a new investigator with a baptismal date. Of course we said yes! However the details attached to this person came with a risk. I am not at liberty to give all the details over email. However we were sent in there to assess the situation based off the information we had from her past. aka see if she is crazy. She is in the Elders area but President asked that we go instead because it may have been too dangerous for the Elders to go there. I hope I haven't confused you yet. Basically we had 2 elders in the vicinity during the lesson our zone leaders had to be told when we went in and came out of the lesson. We had to have a text prepared to have the 2 elders come and help us if needed. Our mission president is aware of everything that was happening, and the background behind it. We also had to have 2 members with us during the lesson. It was all very exciting. :/ We had to park pretty far away from our appointment and we were almost late. So we decided to jog part of the way to make our trip quicker. Well let me give a scripture to explain what happened next.... Doctrine and Covenants 61:3-4,6 "But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for...mine Sisters to be moving swiftly upon the [sidewalks of California in long maxi skirts], whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief. Nervertheless, I suffered it that ye might bear record; behold, there are many dangers upon [the sidewalks], and more especially [when you run]. Nevertheless, all flesh is in mine hand, and he that is faithful among you shall not perish [on] the [sidewalk.]"
If you haven't made any assumptions yet I pretty much biffed it on the sidewalk. I didn't take the time to check my knees because I was in a hurry. Well by the time I sat down on the couch I could feel the blood and the sting..... Yeah it was bad. Luckily my companion carries a first aid kit with her at all times and after our appointment I was able to clean up mine wounds. hahahaha  The appointment went well enough, better than expected and we picked up a new investigator. The next day was our ward Christmas party and there was a roasted pig. The pictures are disgusting haha. The food was amazing. This new investigator came (we forgot she was coming) much to our surprise. During the dinner she randomly asked us when our birthdays are. We told her the months and then she proceeded to say, "Oh, on the ______." We would correct her and she would just nod her head. When she left the party Sister Bray and I started feeling sick. The whole thing was just weird. We left soon after her and talked about our feelings on the way home and the situation that we are dealing with. When I went to go unlock the door to the apartment I got a huge prompting to not go inside. It terrified me since I was just about to turn the handle. We went down to our car and called the zone leaders. They came over and by that point we felt fine to go into the apartment. We asked for blessings and talked about what had happened that night. They suggested we stop teaching this sister and to call president. The blessings they gave us were terrifying and comforting at the same time. In my blessing they cast out Satan and any of his followers and proceeded to give the comforting part of the blessing. When the Elders left I started to cry. I explained to Sister Bray that for the last couple weeks I kept getting the prompting to find in the scriptures how to cast out Satan and that lines in my patriarchal blessing had kept coming to mind that would have applied to the evening. She looked at me and said, "I opened my eyes during your blessing and saw angels stand in to give you your blessing." We both cried and felt the Lords love enter into our hearts and our home. The next day we were exhausted and could barely function. The Lord is truly knowing and protects His missionaries. Unless its a sidewalk. =) President Hall has given us permission to not teach this lady but we are waiting for some information first before we make that decision.
This weekend we went to a house we had previously tracked into. We had been told to come back by a girl who looked to be 14 years old. She opened the door and we unexpectedly started teaching her on the doorstep. She is actually 17 and LOVES to talk! She is also a new investigator. So it has been a week of miracles! The Lord has stayed close to us and we know it!
I love you all! Van Nuys is amazing sidewalks and crazy people included.
This next week is going to be great! I promise I'll be safer this week. =D
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell

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