It is good to hear from all of you this week! I love Mondays for that reason. :)
Well it is back to sunny California, for which I am very grateful! I love when the weather's nice. It makes it just a little better, although the work is always great! Today for our p-day activity we are going to be playing softball actually, which is going to be fun! Behind our ward building there is a baseball diamond, so we are going to take advantage of it. :)
This past week was wonderful! Let me tell you about Nancy! Nancy is the mother of Melody, who is a less-active in our ward. We met Nancy a couple of weeks ago, while we were visiting Melody. Nancy just moved in with Melody to help financially. So last Saturday we brought in a Book of Mormon while we were visiting and asked," Nancy, do you have a copy?" She replied, "No! But I was hoping that you would bring one! I was hinting last time!" We gladly gave her a Book of Mormon! Both of us didn't realize last time that she hinted to anything, but the Spirit helped us figure it out and remember to bring a copy inside. Then we asked if she wanted to start learning and she said of course! So, we taught her 3 times last week and she is soaking it all in! She always is saying, "I am hungry. This is exactly what I am looking for." When we teach her, it is just wonderful and she wants to go "all the way" she says. She is going to be baptized! We don't have a date yet because they are in the process of moving, but she really wants this in her life and it is wonderful.
The most amazing thing was the second time that we met with her. She hadn't said a prayer with us before because she was nervous about saying one in front of people. But we explained that it was just speaking with Heavenly Father and that she could do it. So she said a prayer! And she was crying by the end of it. (I don't cry too much on the mission, but I was tearing up too.) When she ended she told us she had never done that in her whole life. That was huge for her and it truly was a miracle!
Nancy is wonderful and we are so excited to be teaching her! :)
The other miracle experience was about prayer as well and a 9-year old boy named Alan. So we were over at Joyce and Savannah's home. (Savannah is the 11 year old that was baptized in December.) Savannah is friends with Alan and Aldo, 9 year old twins, and with Jasmine, Alan and Aldo's younger sister. Alan happened to be over when we were there visiting and as we shared a scripture with their family, his face lit up. We then started talking about prayer and he said, "I don't know how to pray." As missionaries, we were so excited because it is a perfect teaching opportunity! So we taught him how to pray! And then we asked if he wanted to say the prayer. He said he didn't feel ready, but we said what if Savannah helps you. He agreed! So Savannah helped him say a prayer! It was so amazing. Then, Alan and Jasmine came to church yesterday! And we had another lesson at Joyce's home and Alan soaked it all in. He was so excited to get a Book of Mormon that after the lesson, he ran home and said, "I am going to go show my mom!" As he was running home he just kep yelling "bye!" and waving to us. It made our day. He even knows our names! (A lot of people remember Sister Jones, but not mine... But Alan was even saying my name too!) We are having Family Home Evening with Joyce, Savannah, Alan, Aldo (i think), and Jasmine tonight, so it should be another great night!
As I just shared those two story, I was thinking about how blessed we are that we know how to pray! There are people who don't know how or don't feel comfortable praying. Growing up in the church, that is just something that we do. We pray a lot and we pray vocally. I wonder how many little boys like Alan don't know how to pray. I have known how since I was so little! That is one of the many reasons why we are out here. To help others come unto Christ, starting with teaching them how to pray. We are so blessed to know how to communicate with our Heavenly Father!
Another wonderful part of this week was a leadership meeting that I attended this past Thursday. We had two men from the MTC there to train us and we had a great training from President Smart. We learned more about the Doctrine of Christ, how to effectively follow up on failed commitments, and how to begin teaching. It was such a great training and I realized how much I need to work on my teaching! I have improved A LOT since I first got on my mission, but I still have a lot to improve on! It was a great meeting and I learned a lot! Sister Jones was on her own in the area for the day with a team-up and she did wonderfully! I know it was good for her to get out there and have to take the lead! It was a good day for both of us. :)
Life is good in Highland, California! I love the work and we will see what happens this Saturday for transfer calls. :) I have been here for four and a half months, so we'll wait and see!
I hope and pray that everyone is doing well! I love you all sooo much! The Church is true and we are so blessed to be a part of it! The gospel of Jesus Christ blesses our families so much! I love it! :)
Con Amor Siempre,
Sister Gretchen Schillemat
(You like my Spanish?)