Saturday, June 20, 2015

Week 32 – June 20, 2015

Wow- This week has been a week of MIRACLES! I think I would say this has been the best week so far out in the field. I have a ton to fill you in, but we have to start from the beginning...

Last Saturday, June 13th, was our P-Day and Sister Steadman loves theater so we went to check out the Guthrie Theater which is one of the best. It was pretty neat. We just walked around. The coolest things we saw there was the blue room where they do set design and the amber box that sticks out of the theater where you can go and look out at the view of the city. Oh and there is a place where you can stand on a glass floor and look down and see everything you are standing over.

The Amber Room at the Guthrie Theater.

Sunday, June 14th, we were hoping Iris was going to be able to make it to church, but she worked the graveyard shift and text us super early and told us she was going to need to go to bed once she got off because she was so tired and needed to get some sleep. We totally understood. So when we got off at 8 am we went to visit her and just drop off those beautiful flowers our neighbor Katherine had given us. We knew Iris was sad that she wasn't going to be able to make it to church so we wanted to be able to cheer her up a bit.

Visiting Iris and giving her those beautiful flowers :)

Iris may not have been able to come to church, BUT Dixon came! And wow this is when the miracles really started to happen! In Sunday School our teacher asked him if he would pray (he hadn't ever even prayed with us yet) and he didn't even hesitate before saying "sure"! So at the end of class Dixon got up in front of everyone and said an amazing prayer. We couldn't believe it!

After church we had "linger longer" where they serve lunch and let us mingle and get to know one another a little bit better. Dixon jumped right in and started getting to know lots of people. After lunch they announced that they were going to have choir practice. Not too many people got up to go and we teasingly asked Dixon if he wanted to go. And guess what?! He stood right up and made us join him! Who is this guy?! Talk about an over achiever... we haven't even given him an official lesson yet!

When Monday the 15th rolled around we got together with Iris to teach her about Prophets and about the 10 commandments. Those were both things she had never heard of before. I love teaching Iris because everything is so new and different for her. After she committed to follow the commandments and to pray about if she should be baptized. Yay!

That afternoon, we had to pick up Sister Cox. She was companions with Sister Huang, but she just finished her mission and went home so for the next nine days Sister Cox is going to join Sis. Steadman and me until the next transfer starts and she gets a new companion. It was going to be very different working with Sister Cox because we sees and does things very differently, but I knew we both could learn something from the other.

That night before FHE, Dixon came to the institute to have his first lesson with us. I honestly don't even know how to put this lesson into words. It had to have been one of the most power house lessons I have ever been at. By the end, we asked Dixon if he believed that Joseph Smith had seen God the Father and His son Jesus Christ and he said he did NOT doubt it. He went on to tell us that he wanted to read the BOM and learn more. He then opened up and shared more about his life with us and how he has come to know God personally. It was long before this grown man was sobbing. Tears were rolling down his checks as he shared about how he found himself homeless, but even then he knew God was there. He had a powerful testimony of the Savior and what He has done personally for him. We asked Dixon to pray to know if the things we taught him were true and we told him he could know before reading the entire BOM, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Dixon promised us he would.

The next day (Tuesday the 16th) we got a phone call from Dixon asking us if we could talk. We couldn't meet with him until later that day, but that evening when we were finally able to meet up we had no idea why he wanted to talk. We really didn't know what to expect. We sat down in a room and he shared a very neat experience he had the night before.

Dixon went on to tell us how before he went to bed he decided to randomly open up the BOM and read a verse. He happened to open up to 2 Nephi 1:23. He said after he crawled into bed, he couldn't stop thinking about that verse and how hard it struck his heart. He ended up getting back up and out of bed and went back to find that scripture. He told us that was exactly what he needed to hear from Heavenly Father. He explained to us that he had been holding on to so much bitterness and when he read that he knew it was time for him to let it go. And in that moment he did! He realized that over the years he had been looking for happiness in all the wrong places and that happiness wasn't found in material items, but it would ONLY be found if he changed his heart. He went on to tell us that growing up in Africa, his father use to always tell him that are a lot of things that exist, but one thing that does not exist are coincidences! Dixon told us that he KNEW it wasn't a coincidence that Sister Steadman and Sister Huang found him a could weeks ago. He knew coming to this church was what God wanted him to do. He knew this was Christ's church and he told us he was ready for this! He was ready to be baptized!!!

The three of us sisters couldn't believe what we were hearing. Dixon once again had tears coming down his checks and we all could feel the spirit so STRONGLY! In that moment, I asked Dixon if he would prepare now to be baptized on July 11th and he said he was in! This man had only been seeing us for ONE week and had only had ONE lesson and he already had one of the strongest testimonies! It was so neat to hear him bare his testimony to us of how he KNEW God was real. He told us that if we ever doubted, to know he KNEW! Dixon is incredible! God truly had worked a miracle in him and I'm so grateful I could be there to witness that change!

Now that I have filled you in on that exciting news, let me back up and tell you what we did earlier on Tuesday. We had a Zone Conference/ Mission Training. A couple Zone Leaders gave some real good trainings and I was able to meet with President Forbes afterwords for a few minutes.

Then we went to help a lady in Sister Cox's ward, Sister Jones, paint her house. And we also were able to go and visit Jenna. We talked with her about how love casteth out all fear. She was going to be getting together with her Mom the following day and she really wants to tell her that she is a member of the church. Jenna has been a member for a year now and still hasn't told her Mom, but she feels strongly that now is the right time.

So... fast forward to Wednesday, June 17th, Jenna told her Mom and guess what?! Her Mom thought it was great. She told Jenna if it made her happy and brought her closer to God she would support her. So there you go folks—Jenna did it and God blessed her!

Wednesday morning we had a lesson with Jordan and Ranell on the plan of salvation (or God's plan) and answered the questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? and Where are we going? Jordan seemed to already have a pretty good understanding because Ranell is always teaching him. We asked Jordan if he will start praying to know if baptism is that right thing for him. (Later this week we got a text from Ranell and she said that Jordan has been talking about "when" he is going to get baptized not "if"... pretty cool!)

That afternoon we went over to our neighbors again and helped do some yard work with Katherine. After we sent us home with all sorts of different leafy greens to eat. I have a feeling this summer we are going to be getting a pretty good fruit and veggie intake :) Thanks Katherine!

That evening, we were walking around Dinky Town not totally sure what we were going to do next, when out of no where, Dixon walked right by and he told us to follow him. He ended up taking us to Potbelly's for his favorite peanut butter banana shake. He had told us about it earlier and he couldn't believe we still hadn't gone and tried it. We were able to enjoy a nice shake and have a great conversation with Dixon. It's funny how Heavenly Father puts people literally in your path that you need to see and talk with.

Dixon treats us to his favorite peanut butter and banana milk shake. Thanks Dixon!

We ended the night off by going over to see Maxwell at his restaurant. He was the man that two Sundays ago made us free drinks when we stopped to talk with him outside of his place. We sung by to say hi and drop off a plate of cookies the other night, but we didn't have time to talk so he made us promise that we would come back sometime in the next three days. So tonight was the night. We weren't hungry at all, but we HAD to get something from him! We wanted to show our appreciation for his kindness. We ordered a couple of things, but when we brought the food out he just kept bringing out more and more! Wow—what a guy! We made Maxwell sit down with us while we ate. We were able to learn so much about him! He is so kind! He wants to do the right thing even when it is the hard thing to do. He shared with us many stories about things he has done to stand up for his values and beliefs. Wow—talk about impressive! I love the things I learn from the people I meet out here! We all come from different backgrounds and have very different stories and experiences, but we truly can learn something from everyone we meet. And let me tell you, that hour we spent with Maxwell I learned a lot. He truly understands that we are all brothers and sisters and that we must treat everyone with the same respect. Oh, I hope I can be more like Maxwell.

Maxwell fixes us a Egyptian feast! Thanks for spoiling us Maxwell!

Thursday, the 18th, we spent the day visiting people from Sister Cox's ward. First we went to teach one of her investigators Ming Ming. Going from having the best lesson with Dixon earlier this week, this lesson had to have been the most heart breaking lesson I have had so far. Ming Ming has a lot of different trials she is facing right now and because of that she is having a hard time seeing God's hand in her life. She just can't see how there can be a God when she has to deal with hard things. We tried our best to bare testimony of the reality of God and the understanding we have that we are his children, but still, by the end, her heart was completely closed. It was sad to leave because we knew there was nothing we could do until she was ready to soften her heart. We let her know that as soon as she has a change of heart and is open to listening and learning, to contact us. I am so grateful for the understanding and knowledge that I have that GOD IS THERE and that HE LOVES US! I'm grateful I understand He has a plan and part of that plan is for us to grow and learn and that comes from being faced with hard things.

We helped do some yard work at Sister Joyce's. And we also went and taught Sister Trice. We had a wonderful lesson about forgiveness with Sister Trice. She is the sweetest little lady, but we learned that she has been very hurt by her son's father and hasn't been able to forgive him for the things he has done. As we talked about forgiveness this sweet lady broke down in tears and at first she said there was NO way she could ever forgive that man, but as we continued to talk she finally said she would try. You could see the Savior's love in her eyes. You could see how hard this was going to be for her as she continued to cry. What an example Sister Trice is to me and how we can better use the atonement in our own lives to help us forgive those who may have hurt us so badly. Heavenly Father is so proud of you Sister Trice!

We also went around campus today and put up posters for Alex Boye! That was fun and I have to say we were very proud of how well our posters turned out... Trev, aren't you proud?!

Alex Boye is coming to town and we made this sweet posters to put up all over campus... too mad we didn't realize until the night of that we forgot to put the times of the events on them... oops ;)

Then we finished the night off at home enjoying some of Sister Higbee's yummy cinnamon rolls. And boy did those hit the spot after a long day.

We love Sister Higbee's homemade cinnamon rolls!

Friday, June 19th, we went to FMSC and Iris and Becca came along with us as well. I love how intense it gets for us missionaries. We are always trying to break new recorders of how many boxes we can pack during our session. I labeled today so it was relaxing, but it was sure fun to watch everyone work away! Becca and I got to work with some of the cutest little kids ever (Hanna, Laura, and Jake).

This week at FMSC I had the chance to label with some awesome little kids!
Iris even joined us to help serve this week with all of the missionaries from our Zone.

Then Higbee's spoiled Sister Streadman, Iris and me by taking us out to a beautiful lunch at I-Hop. We came hungry and we definitely left full, but boy was the food good!

Higbees took us out from a BIG lunch at I-Hops and boy did it hit the spot!

This afternoon, we had a lesson with Amy (Sis. S. had a lesson with her a couple of weeks ago when I was on exchanges so this was my first time teaching her). Amy is super nice and I hope that we will be able to teach her some more. She seems to want to know what is true and right.

That night Tuan and Monique made us dinner and then we drove to the Alex Boye concert. No one really knew what it was exactly. President Forbes told us we could go because it was our ward's Friday night activity, but once he started singing we realized we really didn't need to be there. It was fun music, but it was just kinda weird for missionaries so we ended up just leaving, but we did get to meet Brother Boye before his concert so that was kind of cool.

Just hanging out with Alex Boye- no big deal ;)

I feel like have grown a lot this last week and have seemed to have my heart change in many different areas as a missionary and that is pretty exciting to see! I hope that I can continue to watch myself change and become more of the missionary and person God wants me to be.

I love you all.
Keep on keeping on!

-Sister Larson
Scripture of the week: Alma 7:15

his week Theo and Uffda got something in the mail! Yep those bears are becoming quite popular!

Here is a picture from their Honeymoon... more to come next week

Check out this crazy grass car we found cruising down the freeway... you never know what you are going to run into out here!

Weekly planning with our favorite Larson Orange Julius.

Oh man do I miss going on summer rides... oh well I suppose the sacrifice is worth it ;)

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