I don't even know how to share everything that happened in the last week and a half--there was just so much!!! Thing are going really well.
We were finally able to contact some inactive RCs with some of our ward missionaries in the 8th ward. We brought up the temple and being sealed with one Brother and his eyes lit up. He had the experience of temple baptisms after he was baptized and he loved the temple. He currently works Mon-Sat and so is his only day off which makes it hard to come to church. We were able to set a teaching appt for another day but then they weren't home. We're just excited that they are receptive. The RS is visiting the Sister as well so I think they have some good fellowship. The other family is going to be a little stubborn about coming back. They have a son who's 8 years old and when we were talking to his mom on the porch he came right out and said "Will you teach me about the Book of Mormon?" It was awesome!
We also had success visiting this less active family. They're inactive because the husband's mom is living with them and she apparently can't come to church because of her health/old age yet she can go shopping at Walmart??? Crazies... for some people any excuse will do. We're going to start teaching them tonight and we want to invite them to take turns coming to church if it really is necessary that someone is home with the mom.
Jeff Miranda, the convert of just over a year received his endowments in the Snowflake temple. It was such a neat experience to be able to work with a convert who has been retained and is still active and who is worthy to enter the temple! His son is visiting him right now and he's not a member and we taught him yesterday. He's really curious and desires to know the truth. He committed to start studying the Book of Mormon.
The 4th of July festivities sure are awesome up here in Taylor. These people are some of the most patriotic I've ever met! They have some really neat traditions. The history of Taylor is that members of the church were called by the prophet to come settle this land. They start out the day by early early in the morning lighting the anvil- an anvil with gunpowder with another anvil sitting on top and when it blows it's so loud! So they go all around town in this parade lighting off the anvil. I know that wasn't a very good description of how it all works but that's the best I've got. haha There also was a band following the parade playing patriotic music of course and the drum that was in the band is the original drum that came all the way from Nauvoo. We had breakfast with members and then we went to the patriotic program at the stake center where they had the band playing more patriotic music and there was a keynote speaker- a brother from our ward actually and they gave some town awards and things. The plans for our mission on the 4th were to "Go where the people are" so we went to the rodeo grounds to watch two daughters of a family we're working with barrel race! Then we went home for some studies and we lucked out with the way we planned our day because while we were studying while it was pouring rain. It was such a crazy storm. It poured for hours. We thought they were going to have to cancel the night rodeo! But they spent hours trying to fix the dirt in the arena and as my investigator Mel told me "Cowboys are tough" so the rodeo went on! We were able to watch a little bit of the rodeo with Mel but it was so delayed because of the arena being a bunch of mud that we only were able to watch about 30 mins because our curfew was ... We live right across from the rodeo grounds where they were going to light the fireworks so we would have had a perfect view but they cancelled them due to all of the rain or something which was a bummer. We only saw a few big ones that people lit off.
We have a baptism ! McKinley had her interview and she's all ready for her baptism this weekend :) We're super excited!
Also in the 6th ward we just committed Brayan to be baptized in August! :) We invited him to read the Book of Mormon but then he went to soccer camp for a week and when we followed up he hadn't read so we showed him exactly how the Gospel Library app works so he could listen to it and follow along and we explained thoroughly the background of the Book of Mormon and read the first chapter with him. He loved it! He thought it was really cool. We then invited him to read/listen to another chapter and when we followed up yesterday HE DID READ! :) It really is the greatest feeling when your investigators keep their commitments. He's also praying on his own and we committed him to listen to a chapter every day this week until we have a lesson with a family in the ward.
Susanne is another RC we've been working with. We've been trying to help her be worthy to receive a temple recommend and go do baptisms. She is starting to be more receptive and really has a desire. We committed her to be worthy to do baptisms next month and we also committed her and her husband to prepare to be sealed next April after she hits her year mark! :)
We've started teaching the doctrine of the Sabbath for our dinner messages and committing families to make their Sabbath Day worship more sacred and meaningful. We've also been extending invitations to rescue less active families by inviting each family to pick a family in the ward to befriend and fellowship to help us in our efforts to bring them back. We feel like this is a more successful approach to inviting members to participate in missionary work here because no one seems to know or interact with nonmembers. We're excited to see how this works and to follow up with the families we've committed. I know that it is our responsibility as missionaries and members to rescue those who have strayed. Luke "and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren"
I love the Gospel and I love being a missionary and I feel so blessed to be serving in Taylor at this time!
Sorry to those I didn't get a personal email to this week! I will ! :) Also sorry for all the pictures :P
I LOVE YOU ALL!