Monday, March 14, 2016

#FindingLostSheep

Okay so I have a few things that I want to talk about. First off, a few months ago, Elder Douglas and his comp ran into a lady named Esperanza. She was raking leaves in someones yard. Apparently she was really cool and seemed really interested in the Gospel. They had tried to find her again and for a while knocked a few areas to try and find her, but had no success in doing so. The English sisters in North Chuck are Sisters Hyde and Brewer. They gave us a referral to go see a girl named Jasmine. On Tuesday night, we went to the house of whom we thought they were talking about, and lo and behold we find Esperanza. Elder Douglas freaked out! Jasmine was not there but we found Esperanza, so wohoo! That is not all though. Last night, we went over to go and teach jasmine and Esperanza (third try to contact them), but they were not home.
(Backstory) 
So the sisters were in the same area as us a few days ago when we tried for our second time to contact Esperanza and Jasmine. Apparently the referral was for a different house down the street. In  this house down the street they have an investigator as well. We knocked and talked with their investigator (Jackie). She said that three other Hispanics live with her (she is white and doesn't speak Spanish). Their names are Naomi, Jose and Jose. She told us we could come by in the night when they are home. We were pretty excited! #Goldmine. 

We went by last night as a back up plan for Esperanza and Jasmine. We met the Jose guy playing soccer outside with two kids. The kids were Christopher and Angeline. We asked for a Naomi and she came outside as well! We talked about the Book of Mormon, and the sisters had given Christopher (Naomi's 10 Yr old son) a Book of Mormon. He told us what he had read, and he is at Chapter 5 of First Nephi right now! He is retaining the stories as well! We said we would come by next Friday. Afterwards, we had another lesson 

(side note: We cannot seem to teach the last part of the restoration without phone calls, dogs, cats, etc. interrupting the message... Satan is LAMEEEE!) and then went home. We planned for tonight and then sent in key indicators and had call-ins with our DL Elder DeGraffenried. We talked about not really having investigators and since we have a push on less- actives in the mission right now, we talked about that. A while back we shredded the old paper area book, but Elder DeGraffenried asked us about the "JR Book" which I guess is the key for the old paper area books. We looked through it and there was some pretty good stuff! We looked through some of the names, and we found a name "Naomi". We looked at the info and it had her same address and the name of her then 8 yr old son Christopher!! SHE IS A LESS ACTIVE!

She is not even on the church records!!! She is like 30 or so and was baptized in Mexico at age 16!! This is so exciting! #FindingLostSheep. I have come to the conclusion that we found Esperanza as a means to find Naomi and her solid, Book of Mormon reading son! So we are now of course focusing on less- actives. Referrals through less actives have proven to have as a result, a higher baptism rate. We are going to be finding through the less actives (otherwise called "Former Golden Investigators") and at the same time reactivating them. In my area we have like 50 now, since we narrowed it down some more! I hope to keep running into these people not on the records and bring them back! This Naomi experience is a testimony to me that the Lord wants us to help the less-actives out!

We did service for a less-active sister on Friday. We took apart her patio for her trailer since it had water damage and termites and it just was not safe. We started to build a new one, but we had to go. Her sons finished building it. I also gave her a blessing! It was cool, and in Spanish. We had a really good doorstep lesson with a girl named Melissa. I will send my journal entry about that one since it is long and detailed (Next week). 

Remember Rob? The guy who we contacted a few weeks ago? Yeah so we visited some investigators near his trailer and we saw him sitting out front with his dog (He is a veteran, blind, and has no legs and is going through dialysis). The North Chuck English sisters put him on date! They told us that when we came over the first time, Rob said he knew it was a sign from God. I'm grateful for the direction of the spirit I had a few weeks ago, when we contacted him for the first time.

So our investigators are really going down right now (thank goodness for LAs). Julio was golden and now has stopped responding to our texts, calls and our knocks on his door. He said he was having some problems, but hey, we are here to help! We care for you and want to make sure you're okay! Dez and Oscar wont meet with us either. There is stuff going south in their family right now. We know their concerns, but I'm not gonna share since its confidential. But they haven't met with us for like 2 weeks or so. Last week we got offered beer and liquor by an investigator we set up a lesson with. We explained to him why we wouldn't have some. We were going to teach the Plan of Salvation, but he said no. We were like, uhhh what... and so we asked if we could at least read with them a short chapter in the Book of Mormon, and he said he was tired. So we decided to share one scripture from the bible (James 1:5) and then talked more about Joseph Smith...While his kids were riding Piñatas and screaming. Hand to the face please! That was a rough one. We left after like 15 minutes.

So we have a missing Spanish member right now. We have not seen him for like 15 days. The people who he lives with have not seen him and his stuff including his bike (only mode of transportation) are still at his trailer he lives in. A member contacted every hospital and jail in the area and he is not in any of them. The thing is, we have been working to get him some help with food, since he has no job anymore and needed food. He went fasting for three days one week because he had no food. We still do not know where he is but we have been praying and fasting to find him! We hope he is not illegal and therefore sent to another country. That would suck!

Me cooking carne asada with Jorge!
Saturday night we had dinner with Jorge and an investigator. Little
background on Jorgy Boy. He is a convert of three years and went from being drunk all the time and taking drugs to being temple worthy! He is THE BEST MEMBER MISSIONARY! He consecrates himself for the church. He works long hours, goes to the temple every Saturday and still goes to like 10 lessons between the three Spanish companionships every single week! He even has a media box in the back of his car! Anyway, we were at his house and we had the best carne asada tacos ever! I actually cooked the carne asada! I chocked on one long piece...I thought I was fine. Elder Douglas saw my face turn purple and ran to the other side of the table. Before this I started gagging and grabbing my throat.... I was able to pull it out though...Gross, but hey at least I didn't pass out. That would be an awkward phone call to president.

One last thing, there is so much pollen here! Our cars are like light green! Every single car has pollen on it! Aaand South Carolinians suck at driving. Everyone honks at everyone for no reason, and everyday there is a crash on Rivers Ave (the main street we drive to get everywhere).

Es todo!
Naomi's street 
The District: Top left to bottom right: Hyde, Acuña, Brewer, Shaw, DeGraffenried, Blackham, Me, Astorga, Douglas, Aldous 

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