Friday, June 14, 2013

September 17, 2012 Hello!!!

This week has been good!! It's funny that Sister Adorable and I have been saying that because the funny thing is . . . we've had to drop most of our investigators. So we're pretty much starting with a clean slate, but we still feel really good about our area!! We were supposed to have 2 baptisms yesterday, but guess what? They fell through. It happens a lot to us, right?? :) We had scheduled a baptism for Gaby (a 30 year old woman) and Marianna (Gaby's niece, 15 years old). But Gaby works 2 jobs and she was out of our area, so we could never get a hold of her. I asked Sister Adorable why we were assigned to teach these two and she said "Because it's a referral from President Winn and he prayed about who would be teaching them. His answer was us!" So that made me focus a lot more on these investigators, knowing that the mission president knew that Sister Adorable and Sister Bragg were supposed to be teaching these two women. Gaby wasn't answering our calls, so we tried everything. We went to her work, we talked to her co-workers, we talked to the elders in that area, we talked to the bishop of the ward, we tried everything! So we had the program ready for the baptism and everything, but Gaby wasn't responding to our calls and she wouldn't answer the door. We finally called the baptism off two hours before it was supposed to happen. Marianna texted us and said that she was already baptized in the Catholic church and she felt bad turning her back on that religion. We tried everything in our power.
We have a woman on date to be baptized on the 13th of October!! We met this woman in the parking lot of an apartment complex and asked if we could teach her later. It was funny because Sister Adorable made me do most of the lesson. I'm surprised she understood it all! This woman's name is Maria, she's about 30 and she has the cutest little boys! She has a 4 month old, a 3 year old, and a 5 year old. So we taught her about the plan of salvation and she was understanding what I was saying! Towards the end of the lesson, Sister Adorable asked if she could use the bathroom. She left me in a room. During the middle of a lesson. With a woman who only speaks Spanish. So I asked her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I bore my testimony and I committed her to baptism on the 13th of October. Sister Adorable came out of the bathroom when she heard the 13th of October. She's a great trainer. I asked her if she really had to go to the bathroom and she just smiled at me.
Leti (the woman we had on date for the 29th) . . . that story is the longest story ever. So I'll spare you the details. She's moving to Chicago on Tuesday or Wednesday when her uncle can pick her up. Yesterday morning was probably one of the hardest mornings I've ever had on the mission. Sunday mornings are pretty stressful because we have ward counsel at 7, stake correlation at 8, and we have to go around our area knocking on our investigator's doors to get them to church before 9. We were mostly focusing on getting Leti to church. She said all week that she would come, so we got to her apartment at 8:40. She answered and said she just had to get her shoes. It took 30 minutes for her to "get her shoes." We were standing on her doorstep and it just didn't feel right. We prayed and we could hear yelling coming from upstairs. She came back down and told us she couldn't go because her husband wouldn't let her. But the thing is . . . she didn't even really care. She said that she wanted to come, but she didn't really understand the importance or the sacrifice. Sister Adorable said she had never pleaded for someone's salvation more than we had on her door step yesterday. We talked with her for 30 minutes, trying to really know what she wanted out of life. We tried to help her see the importance of doing what Heavenly Father has commanded us. We bore our testimony, we told her we loved her. We did everything in our power. But it was like our words were bouncing off of a brick wall. It didn't hit her, and she didn't feel the importance of anything we have taught her. We walked away from those apartments and I just started bawling. It hurts so much when you care for these people, you devote every waking minute to thinking about and praying for these people, but they still don't understand. They have their agency, they have to choose whether or not to accept this. This has been the hardest part of my mission. Caring for these people so much, putting it all on the line, but still letting them choose for themselves. We called President Winn and told him about what had happened. He told us that we had done everything we could do. It helps a lot to hear something like that from our mission president.
So this week has been a struggle, but we've had so many wonderful lessons and opportunities. We are focusing on Part-member families and less-actives this week because we need to try other ways to find more people who are truly ready to receive this message.
We got our bikes fixed! We gave the zone leaders 10 tamales each for fixing our bikes. One zone leader (Elder Maasi) is from New Zealand and he tried his first tamale last Saturday. Now he's addicted to them! Bikes are truly the best thing. Ever.
I got letters from the Weiss family, Katerina Bricker (JOHNSON!), Pam (Thanks for the umbrella!), Sabrah, Jasmine, Sister Ellingson, Mom and Dad, Ashley Bragg, Sarah Bragg, and Jentry Friedli. I love you alllllllll!!! Thank you so much for cheering me up!!
We got to go to the Salt Lake Temple this morning. I loved it!!
Ok, that's all for now!! I love you and I miss you all!! But this gospel is true! I wouldn't be riding a bike in a skirt if I didn't know this with all my heart!
Hermana Jenny Bragg

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