It has been an interesting week to say the least. It's been really up and down with our investigators and everything. And the bed bugs have returned with vengeance and we still can't find a place to live within our mission and we had investigators fall through and people that were planning on coming to church didn't show up. But this is truly the Lord's work and all is well. Just as mom says when I used to clean my room- it's got to get worse before it gets better. Alexzandria's baptism date was last Saturday but some things didn't go as planned and so it looks like she will be baptized this coming Saturday. The work was really slow this week but that's how it goes sometimes. We met lots of new people the week prior to teach last week and we were really excited but those fell through as well. I went on exchanges on Saturday with a sister that was in the MTC with me so her trainer companion could be with mine to train mine because she is a new trainer. So Sister Chambers and I were companions for the day- two brand new sisters that have only been out for about two weeks. I went to her area, Roland Heights. I really enjoyed it. I learned that you can have all the experience in the world and do just about as much good if you're brand new. Being a missionary is about helping others feel Christ's love and learn of and want to live the atonement. It's about inviting the spirit and loving them. You can do that if you've been out two weeks or a year. We did a church tour that morning which neither her nor I had done before but it went really well. It was for one of their investigators a Chinese man named Walther (that's his American name) and his wife and daughter were there too but don't speak English. We had a Chinese sister in the ward, Sister Grant come too to help translate. They speak both Cantonese and Mandarin but it sounded like it was more mandarin for the both of them. It was a great experience. We show them things like the chapel and sacrament table, the baptismal font, pictures of Christ and explain their significance in our church and in our lives. My new life goal is to learn Chinese. Seriously, it's the coolest sounding language in the world. I wish I could be speaking Chinese here. The sisters that teach them are English sisters but they said that they would rather go to the English ward here. They just moved here a couple weeks ago. They probably want to be immersed in English. We have given them resources in both English and Chinese. One of my favorite parts was at the end we watched the restoration- in Chinese! That way the wife could understand and it's not for us as missionaries it's for them. It was so cool to watch the movie in Chinese. I've never heard Joseph Smith speak Chinese before! It was really cool. And the little girl was really into it. You can't not feel the spirit when talking about Christ and the restoration. It was wonderful.Another cool thing that happened this week is probably one of my favorite stories so far from the mission. We get referrals from church headquarters sent to our cell phones but sometimes we don't get the whole message and it doesn't work the best. These are people that go on mormon.org and ask for a visit/ a Book of Mormon or people that are referred by others. But we don't always get all the details. So this week we were driving and I get a text message that's a referral for Swags Bangbang. Yes, you heard that right. I started reading it to sister Baum as she was driving but I couldn't get the whole name out because I was laughing too hard. We figured it was a joke or a gang- a really lame gang to be honest. Then we weren't sure what to do about it. How do we call this number without laughing if Swaggs Bangbang is there? And what about if we visit. Which sounds better- excuse me is Swaggs here? or Is Mr. Bangbang home? Neither sound like good options to me. We tried calling the number but it was fake. Then we decided to just go over and see if anyone was even home and just say that we had a referral. We knocked and told the woman who answered the door just that. She said well it's not for me, I'm a devout Catholic. Then she said, wait, I think I know. She got her son and we found out that he requested a Book of Mormon on mormon.org but we didn't get any of those details from the text referral we received. So at this point we know he just put in that name and that he's the real "Swags Bangbang" and he must know that we know but his mom has no clue. How funny is that. The son's real name is Donavon. He is looking into different religions and his mom was actually really supportive of it even though she's very much catholic and sends all her boys to catholic schools. She really liked us though and asked us lots of questions. We were able to share with them part of the first discussion and the spirit was there. We are going back to teach them tonight. It was so cool to talk to him because this boy is 14 the same age as Joseph Smith and he and Joseph Smith at that age were both trying to figure out what church to join. I'm excited to continue teaching him.
The Lord works miracles in our lives every single day. Swaggs Bangbang is just one example. We cannot have these miracles so much though if we are not obedient and walking in the ways of the Lord. The Lord loves and knows each of us. I am so grateful to be a part of His work and telling others about His gospel that is restored on the earth again today and that we all have a loving Heavenly Father that loves us.
Thanks to everyone who has been a support to me. I'm grateful for all the prayers and letters sent my way. Love you all.