My oh my oh my. This first week in the mission field was rough. But there were a lot of things that helped me through--one of them being Alex Boye's soulful spectacular voice in "I Want Jesus to Walk With Me" (accompanied by the fabulous Mormon Tabernacle Choir). Seriously, if you haven't heard it, get on the tube right now!
So Sister Knowlton and I live with a woman named Sister Peel and she is hilarious. She owns a storage unit business (?) and she is awesome. She always makes me and Sister Knowlton laugh.
Anyways, this week was intense. SO. Picture it. Thorton, Colorado. The ninth of July. A young missionary and her companion go tracting. But! Then one of the sisters has an idea (Sister Knowlton) to go visit a less active family in the ward. (Okay, I'm doing with story mode). So we go over to see the family and no one answers and apparently, they aren't ever home. But when we turn around Sister Knowlton decides that we should go tract--specifically to two homes across the street. So we go over nonchalantly and knock and a man answers the door and we talk to him. He tells us his name is Gavino and he is from originally from Mexico. Then he says to us, "You just made my day!" WOOOOOOOOOOOOOT.
Sweet, right? We scheduled to meet with him later in the week. He asked us to pray for him to receive work and when we met with him later, he told us that he had several job offers! He then told us that he wanted to be one of Jesus Christ's sheep. Perfect baptismal invite, right? Right. We invited him to be baptized (in the FIRST LESSON) and he said yes! After the lesson, Gavino wept. He told us that he was so happy and that we were his angels. How wonderful is that?! The Lord has prepared him to be receptive to the message of the gospel.
He came to church and we met with him after church. We talked more about the Restoration of the Gospel and guess what? He wept again. This man is such a wonderful son of God and I am so thankful to have been led to him.
So one of the things that we do here in the Colorado Denver North mission is called Just Serve. The mission standard is that each companionship serves for at least ten hours a week. Sweet, huh? It is so nice to have the opportunity to go and serve people in the community. Some of the things we did this week was work at the local thrift shop--All I could think about while I was there was "I wear my granddad's clothes. I look incredible." (Mom, it's from a song. Look it up :-)). We also sang hymns at a nursing home and there was one man that cried while we sang. And on Friday, we hauled huge tree branches across a field into a wood chipper! Yeah! Don't worry. I was wearing jeans. Man. Service is awesome.
So I forgot to mention that the ward had about 600 members and only 100 are active. Now we have around 400 members in the ward and still only one hundred are active. Sister Knowlton and I have a lot of work to do. A lot of the work that we'll be doing is helping people come back to church.
We visited some less active families in the ward and Sister Knowlton and I were shocked to see them at church on Sunday! Three cheers for the gospel! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! Hip-hip-hooray! We taught so many less active lessons this week and it was wonderful to see the happiness that the gospel can bring to people.
I am sooo thankful for the happiness that the gospel has brought to me.
Throughout the week, I have met so many people from the ward and just the area. This ward is a great one, but we need a lot of member help. --A word of advice, feed the missionaries!! They will thank you forever and be so grateful! A second word of advice, always give the missionaries referrals! The members are so important to this work. Seriously.
On that note, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve said at a Mission President conference that there are FIVE people in EVERY area that are ready for baptism. They don't always know what they are looking for, so reach out to them. We missionaries need as much help as we can get.
I love you all! Know that I pray for you and wish you all the happiness in the world!
p.s. The lightning here is crazy! It's gorgeous and incredible. A few nights ago we had a storm that rocked the house pretty much. It was AMAZING. The storms here are wild, but I love them. I would invite every single one of you to visit Denver turning this time of year just for the storms.
The first picture is of two McKaas. (Yeah, I have no idea how to spell that). We went to a family's house that had THREE of them. Sister Knowlton and I both got to hold them. Cool, right?
The second picture is of the cute planner that Sister Knowlton made for me. Pretty sweet. My main man Alex Boye is on it! Yeah!
The third and fourth pictures are by a prairie dog field. THERE ARE PRAIRIE DOG FIELDS EVERYWHERE. Apparently they are protected by state law or something like that. Intense, right? Anyway, there I am modeling the Book of Mormon for the prairie dogs and the other picture is of a prairie dog hole.