It has been a great week and such a good start to my ninth transfer as a full-time missionary in Oregon! Things are falling into place so perfectly that I absolutely cannot doubt that this transfer was inspired. I know that God placed me here for a reason, at this specific time, that is true of Sister Berrett as well. I know that things are really going to take off and they already have started to!
This week we found 2 new people to start teaching. It was such a miracle! We haven't found that many in one week in ages, so this was a huge miracle! The first was Loretta. Her story was pretty neat. Our mission has a new-ish thing that we do each week called, Finding. From 5-7 every the whole mission dedicates those two hours to being out and focusing solely on finding new people to teach. It has been a really great experience to do this with all 220 missionaries! we picked a development to go door to door contacting in. For the first hour and a half we talked to about 4 people, none of whom were interested, the rest of the homes were just empty or ignoring us. Within the last half hour, at the very, very end of the street, we met 3 great people! One of them was a young man about 15 years old. He opened the door and greeted us in such a cheerful way, informing us of both his first and last name. That was unique! Anyways, we talked to him for about 4 minutes about faith, religion, truth, God, missionaries - he informed us missionaries had taught his family awhile ago...why didn't I know about them?? - then I asked, "So you're Christian, you have a good faith in Christ, what church do you attend?" He looked puzzled and said, "We're Mormon." Why does this seem to always happen to me! Haha, but it was so perfect. I had not heard of this family ever before, but I really feel like they have been prepared. We never would have found anything out about their family though if we hadn't knocked on their door on accident. It needed to happen! It was just really cool! Then, we asked him if we could come by and teach his family sometime and he said yes. Bishop is going to invite them to have the lessons in their home. I am really excited! After that happened, we were scrambling through our records on our iPads, trying to find out when they had been taught. We sat down on a bench and when we were about to leave, I had forgotten we had missed the last two doors on the street. Sister Berrett remembered at the last minute, so we went back and knocked. One was totally empty, it had just been sold. But, the other was the home of Loretta, our new investigator! She is from Taiwan and has no real religious background, she seems to be agnostic and unsure about what she believes. We asked her about what she believes the purpose of life to be and she said she didn't know, she had never really thought about it. That shocked me! I cannot imagine never thinking or wondering about why you are here. We asked her if she believed God existed and she wasn't sure about that either. We really stirred up her thoughts though, which was really amazing. She had never put much thought into these things, but because we were asking these questions, she now is going to think about them. We gave her a Book of Mormon and I bore my testimony to her that that book has the power to answer those questions and change her life. I asked her to read one of my favorite chapters, Alma 22. I also asked her to ponder those questions we had asked her and to consider the value of the answers to those questions. I love inviting people to think about that! We promise people answers to some of life's greatest questions through reading the scriptures and praying and asking God, those answers are really valuable! They require effort and dedication in order to receive those efforts. She accepted and said she will read it, then she said, "You know, I am going to have tons of questions after reading this chapter." She said it as if that would turn us off, but we excitedly responded, "That's why we're here! To not only invite people to do these things, but help them through it too!" Set a return appointment and got her phone number. It was so miraculous. And we ALMOST skipped her door. The last door at the last minute of our Finding evening. I love miracles!
The baton passing has happened. President and Sister Ballard are here with the kiddos as of. I love them so much already, they are absolutely great! I do miss the Morby's a lot though, not because the Ballard's aren't good enough, but because I have such fond memories with the Morby's. It's like when I was leaving home to come here, I missed my parents so much. Not because it was bad here, or because my mission president and wife weren't good enough, but because my parents are so special to me. Now I feel like I lost another set of parents! I know it is temporary and I know I will feel the same way about the Ballard's when I leave the mission, but right now I feel a little homesick for the Morby's. We just came here to email from helping unpack at the mission home and it looks so different now with a family in it rather than the one couple. It is going to be so much fun! They have 6 kids, 4 of them will be living here in the Oak Hills area with us, which is going to be a blast. They have 2 young daughters, 12 and 10, we just set up their tea party room. I LOVE IT! They said, "P-days are going to be tea party days. You have to come! We'll make you fancy invitations!" I am so happy to have sissies back!
Well, I think that's about it to talk about this week. Things are going so great, I still love being a missionary and still love this area and these members. Something Sister Ballard said yesterday that I love, "God is hastening His work, we aren't, He is. The question is, Can we keep up?" Things are going to take off here in the Oregon Portland Mission, the Only Perfect Mission!
I love you tons and tons. xoxoxoxo <3
p.s. someone please email me this week and tell me about your vaca!