Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Where Did The Week Go?

Hello All!
I hope you all enjoyed your New Years Eve! We had a classic Missionary Holiday. We had curfew at 7 pm. It was a little weird not having much to do at home but we did enjoy the time. I updated my journal which was only 15 days behind...........horrible! Don't worry its all up to date now! Then we celebrated the New Year with New York at 9pm! Hooray! hahaha I think we still have a bottle of Martinellis in the fridge. ;D We went to bed and tried to sleep through the parties and fireworks/gun shots. Now don't get worried. The Mexicans fire their guns in the air when they celebrate. However a couple nights later Sister Bray heard a gun shot which she said sounded like a 45 and then screeching tires. So thats Van Nuys for you. Lots of drunk Mexicans and that racist of me to say? If it wasn't safe here the Lord wouldn't have us here. Besides we know that the Lord doesn't protect stupid and we are smart! So that is a huge comfort.
I had a couple sick days this week that literally kept me down. I just lost all energy and had horrible stomach cramps. Can't figure it out. We thought it might have been some food but it still is persisting. I did get some energy back and of course spent it all moving furniture out for a lady in our ward hahaha. The first day I laid down during lunch and crashed for 3 hours! I couldn't believe it! I guess I needed the sleep. I am getting better and I can get out and work now which, Hallelujah! I hate sitting inside all day.
We got blessings this week to help us start off the new year. I had been feeling a little down anyway and just felt like I needed the boost. It was very insightful and reminded me that the Lord knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. I was given some really good counsel and can't wait to put it into practice! I was also told that my family AND my friends where receiving blessings by me serving a mission. I knew about the family but the friends surprised me. I didn't realize that my service extended that far. It was a cool little thought and was extra comforting. I love my family and my friends a lot and so it made me happy to hear they are being taken care of.
Probably the saddest part of my week came yesterday morning at 6:30 AM. We have a had this fantastic investigator who has a baptismal date in a couple weeks. We got a text message saying he wasn't coming to church and isn't ready to get baptized and proceeded to explain that he is gay.....:( I honesty just wanted to cry. I hate that this is a part of our culture these days. I felt so bad for him because he said its not a choice he has made and that he didn't want to come to a church that can't support someone like him. We realized that when we taught the law of Chastity he hung to the part of we don't support those relationships and didn't hear the part where we said that we love them anyway. So frustrating! He even said to us, "Marriage between a man and woman...makes sense." The little punk! I wish he hadn't said all the right things to make us believe everything was okay. It totally threw us for a loop and it wasn't till 3 pm that we pulled out of it. We have talked to several people about it and we have some resources that can help us. He said his life has been full of sadness and unhappiness. We are going to use that line to our advantage in our next lesson with him to help him see the happiness the gospel has brought to his life. I am so grateful that the church has published literature for this exact situation. We need all the prayers and help we can get right now! We believe being in Primary all day helped us out a lot. Those little kids are so cute! Junior primary is so good at answering questions! And boy do they have good ones. All the teachers were scrambling to answer them. hahaha one of the little girls suddenly shouted out and said, "My mom served a mission too!" Her mom who is the chorister looked at us and replied, "No I didnt." The little girls jaw hit the floor. Her facial expression was, What!?! The mom lowered her voice and said, "I have failed my child."  It made me all the more grateful that I can tell my children that I served a mission.
On wednesday night we found a former investigator. She is so cute! She is also from El Salvador. She offered us dinner and said that the Elders previous to us loved to eat! Especially Chile. Why chile? I couldn't answer. We didn't turn her down since we didn't have a dinner that night. Are you ready to hear what we ate???? Drumroll please...............we ate Goat meat! It was so good! It tasted like roast beef but was more moist and tender. YUM!
Last night we got a member referral for some people which attend chruch regularly. The young grandson is not a member but comes every week and participates in all the young men activities and scouts. He also has Aspergers (sp?) His grandfather is only a priest and needs to do some things to progress in the priesthood so he can baptize his grandson. We approached them last night and asked if the grandson would like to take the missionary lesson. He said, "Yes, because I want to get baptized!" When someone has Aspergers they have a hard time accepting change so the fact that he wants to get baptized is a big step! I am a firm believer that timing is essential in finding those that have been prepared to receive us. We are excited to help this little family come closer together in the gospel and to each other. We have members in the ward who know them well and know how to help the young man learn and retain info. Its going to be a group effort and require lots of planning in advance but it should all work out. See, the Lord is kind and gives us someone new when we start to loose investigators.
Otherwise its been kind of a slow week. I did see someone walking around in a Nebraska shirt and it wasn't me. I was sick that day and it made me smile.
Well thats about it folks! It was a slow week but productive. I hope you all have a good week!
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell
ps just so you know transfer calls come Saturday night. Can you believe it?