Happy 5th of July! Yesterday was awesome for us....we have been working really hard day after day and it has been difficult finding new people to teach we have been pleading with the Lord and have been working hard to get out of his rut.... until yesterday. It was a normal day of church, there were some great testimonies borne in sacrament meeting and the classes were good. During third hour one of the members of the bishopric came up to us with a name written on a paper. He said a few minutes before he heard the church phone ringing and he answered it... there was a hispanic woman who was on the phone and had been trying to get ahold of the church for about two weeks. He asked her a few questions and after talking she really wanted the missionaries over to her house. She was ecstatic about their conversation and was really looking forward to meeting us. Immediately after church we went over to her house. This woman's name is Francis, she has lived in Utica for over 30 years but recently married Juan from the Dominican Republic. Her home is nice and well kept (which is always a great sign). Juan just moved with his children to live with Francis in Utica. One of Juan's children is Anny, she's 20 years old and joined the church 2 years ago. They got here 2 weeks ago and the transition has been difficult because they don't speak english. Francis is the only one that speaks english so she has to translate for everyone. Anny is really struggling with the move because she really loved the church there and hadn't found the church here yet. Anny's face lit up when she saw us, it was such a cool experience to see the comfort that she found when she saw missionaries from the church. For the past two weeks Anny has been telling Francis all about the church and begging her to call the church...which is ironic because Francis has been searching and searching for the right church for years. We sat down and started asking a few questions. With all three years of my highschool level spanish, i tried to communicate with Anny... i asked her if she likes pencils and how many backpacks she has.. (my spanish is limited to mostly school supplies and little conversational language). We started talking to Francis and she told us her background. She has had a tough past few years. She has prayed and prayed that God would guide her to what's right... and then Juan's family moved in. She said when she called the church, Brother Bloss answered and as she spoke to him this rush of warmth went through her body and she cried. We bore testimony to her that it was the Holy Ghost. As we said that she said she felt it again. Long story short.... we're going back to teach her the gospel and she loves us a lot. Anny is really excited to be able to come to church and Francis is coming with her.
This whole experience has really built me up. I have a lot of gratitude for the church... I can't really explain it, but wherever I go... when i see our church buildings it puts everything in perspective. This isn't our work... it's God's work. I put myself in Anny's shoes... and I think my first reaction to moving to another country would be to find the church.
We're getting ready to head off for zone conferences again. This week we have Albany and Utica. Elder Cook and i have been working late trying to get our trainings together.
I don't remember if i mentioned it, but i'll be doing two more firesides. One on the 18th in Utica and one on Aug 1st in Albany.
i love you all. pray for missionary opportunities!