Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Coral Reef March 6, 2017 Welcome Hermana Carling!

Hello everyone!

I hope that you are all doing well :)!! This has been an amazing week, and we have seen so many miracles!! It has been great being a trainer so far! My trainee is Sister Carling, she is from Logan, Utah. She went to Utah State before the mission to study Spanish and social work, and she is amazing! So ready to work hard, and she is so good at testifying to people. I love her to pieces and I am so excited for this upcoming transfer!

Like I said: so many miracles!! We started off on Wednesday with finding a new investigator. A sweet little old Nicaraguan lady named Lila. She said that she has some Mormon friends, and so she was open to listening to our message. Sister Carling did great in her first lesson. It was funny because we went back to see her the next day, and she was having troubles with her car. Well, neither one of us knows much about how cars work, but we spent about 20 minutes in her driveway trying to help her figure out how to turn her lights off inside (the button wasn't working). Well, eventually we figured it out, but then next we know she says "gracias", gets in her car, and drives away! We were like "well, I guess we won't be having our lesson with her right now." We won't be able to keep teaching her, but she was so cute, and we definitely planted a seed!! 

On Thursday we had some awesome miracles!! After knocking in a super rough area with lots of bible bashers (poor Sister Carling, first time knocking and we run into some HARD CORE bible bashers, the kind where all you can say is "we are going to leave now, have a nice day"). However, later that night we knocked into Rose and Shakira, two of our AMAZING new investigators!! They are progressing so well! They weren't able to come to church yesterday because their grandma wouldn't let them use her car to get to the "Mormon church". Well, we went over last night, cleared up some concerns, and now they are set for baptism on March 25th! The Spirit is so strong with every lesson we teach them!!

Other miracle we saw last night was when we were knocking we ran in to two old ladies that let us share a prayer, but afterwards they wouldn't rest until we'd left the neighborhood (because it was too dangerous). We relented and drove a few streets over, turns out that is where we needed to be anyways because we found another new investigator Laquita!! She is a young mother with 6 little kids, she is looking for more spiritual guidance, and she also has a baptismal date for March 25th!!

Other crazy stories: the police showed up to interrogate one of the formers we were teaching (we managed to slip out unnoticed before things got too crazy), and Sister Carling accidentally dropped our phone in the toilet!

I wish I had more time, but things are a little crazy!! Just know that this week has been absolutely amazing!! We found 7 new investigators!! I am doing so well, I know that this gospel is true, and I'm so grateful to be sharing it with the people here in Florida. 

Love, Hermana Monson

Turns out, we actually have a little bit more time, so I can explain things better!

So, on Thursday we ended up finding Rose. Rose is a young black mother, and she has a 5 year old daughter. She is really looking for spiritual guidance right now, and she accepted baptism right away at the end of our lesson on Thursday night. When we went back the next day, she had invited her friend (Shakira) to join us, because Shakira had been curious after Rose told her about our visit. By the end of the lesson they had both promised to read from The Book of Mormon, and Shakira had committed to baptism as well. We were so excited!! The spirit was so strong during that lesson, Sister Carling and I had a miniature freak out on the street outside their house. We were supposed to give them a tour of the chapel on Saturday, but Rose's daughter was sick so we couldn't. However, they both promised to come to church. We went to go knock on their door on Sunday morning so they could follow us to church, but their grandmother answered the door. She did not seem thrilled to see us there, and she told us that they were asleep so they wouldn't be coming to church, and also that they would probably be sticking with their religion. We were so disappointed! Well, we decided to go back and see them on Sunday night. Luckily, Rose answeredd the door instead of her grandma. She let us right in and explained that they had wanted to come to church, but their grandma wouldn't allow them to use her car to get to the "Mormon church." They both had some concerns about polygamy, about the Book of Mormon, and they got us confused with the Jehovah's Witnesses (their grandmother had heard some things), but we got it all cleared up, taught a very powerful lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and committed them both to baptism on March 25th!! So exciting!

On Friday we were out knocking and we ran into a lady named Johanna, she let us right in and we taught her the message of the Restoration. At the end of the lesson she committed to baptism, and to come to church. Right as we were about to leave another lady walked in the door, and Johanna introduced us to her wife. We got out of the lesson, looked at each other, and just started laughing. What do we do? So funny. Well, we called the Bishop and Relief Society president to let them know that Johanna (and possibly her wife) would be coming to church. Then anxiously waited for Sunday to roll around. Johanna had to cancel her lesson with us on Saturday, and she did not end up coming to church. We haven't had much contact with her for a few days, but we are hoping to be able to stop by her house later today.

We had dinner with the most amazing member family on Saturday. They invited us, the sisters from YSA, and the Elders over for dinner. We had the typical Cuban arroz con gris, maduros, pork, and tres leches cake. It was amazing! After dinner the YSA sisters shared the spiritual thought. One of them is Brazilian, and so they shared the first vision in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The Brazilian sister is a convert to the church, and she got very emotional as she was sharing it. The spirit was absolutely amazing! This family is so on fire with missionary work! We normally walk out of a member's house with 1 or maybe 2 referrals if we are lucky. They gave us 11 of their neighbors to go visit!! They are so awesome!! Victor and Rosabla were baptized about 4 years ago, then they met each other in the temple, and now they both LOVE the gospel and are always trying to share it with everyone they meet. It was funny because Victor speaks a tiny bit of Italian, just enough to invite this Italian couple he met on the street to church. It threw us all for a loop when they actually showed up to church, and no one actually knows how to speak Italian!! Thankfully they could understand a little bit of Spanish, so we were able to introduce them to the Bishop. They don't live anywhere near the chapel, but we are going to find out if missionaries from their home ward could pay them a visit. Also, Sister Carling accidentally dropped the phone in the toilet at this meal appointment, it stopped working. Thankfully, we already had a new phone in our house, we just hadn't transferred the contacts. Well, now all of our contacts are lost, so we will have to put them in manually. I guess that is our punishment for procrastinating transferring the contacts. Oh well, we had a very good laugh about that!!

Another crazy thing that happened was when we went to go visit a former investigator named Barbara. We show up, she opens the door, we introduce ourselves, and next thing we know another lady comes storming around the side of the house and starts yelling at Barbara in rapid Spanish. Barbara starts yelling right back. They were speaking way to fast for us to understand everything, but we knew they were calling each other names, and they kept gesturing to us as if we knew what the heck was going on. We stood there for about 10 minutes, trying to interrupt and excuse ourselves, but they ignored us. Finally the lady went back around the side of the house, and Barbara apologized and let us in. She explained that the lady was a tenant, that she wasn't paying rent, and that she was demanding that Barbara fix her outlets in the room she was renting, but Barbara didn't have the money because she got robbed. She literally has 5 dollars and that is it. She is pregnant, and going through a very rough time. Well, we are sharing a scripture with her, and trying to help when there is a huge knock at the door. Barbara answers the door, and the police are standing there, they start asking her about the situation. We just look at each other. What do we do? Will they need us to testify? We decide to kind of just slip out the door, thankfully the police didn't mind. It was so crazy!

Anyways, it has been a crazy busy, but absolutely amazing week! We are so exhausted, but so happy!! I hope that you all have a great week!! 

Meet Sadie's new companion Hermana Carling!  Also, at transfers, Sadie got to see her trainer Hermana Root, so they took a "three generation picture."

Hermana Monson

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