Hello from Sacramento!!! The land of endless sunshine, crazy Californians, and wild turkeys. I love it here!
What a week! I left the MTC on Tuesday and Wednesday morning I was sent to my new area and met my trainer. I'm currently in the Carmichael Zone/Stake, serving in the Northridge Ward (congregation). My trainer companion is Sister Zenger from Salt Lake Utah and I love her. She is so energetic about the work and such a great example of diligence. The minute I put my luggage in my room (we live with members of the ward by the way) we were off to do missionary work! And we have been going non-stop ever since. This has been the busiest, most exhausting week of my life, yet I feel so happy and blessed to be serving here in Sacramento!
Guess what... we are biking missionaries! I never thought I would have to ride a bike, especially since I'm a visa-waiter. Never say never! Ever rode a bike in a skirt? It's definitely an accomplished art that I am still trying to master. I am so glad the weather has been nice for us. There is supposed to be a rainy season soon so we are enjoying every beautiful day we get. I'll get a picture of us on our bikes and send it with my email next week.
We go to members' houses for dinner every night so that has been really fun to get to know the families in our area. I love seeing the reaction when I tell people I am from Alabama. "Are you sure? You don't sound like it!" or "Wow... I've never met anyone from Alabama before. What's it like there?" Like it's a foreign country or something haha. I wish I was good at faking a southern accent because these people would be all over it!
So highlight of my week. We had a lesson with one of our investigators (someone who is interested in our message and we are teaching the gospel to) named Lorraine, a sweet older lady with a heart of gold. They had been teaching her for a few weeks before I got here. We were teaching lesson 3 about the gospel of Jesus Christ and I committed her to a baptismal date! So exciting. My favorite part of the lesson was at the end when we taught her how to pray. Hearing her pray out loud, probably for the first time in her whole life, and sincerely asking her Father in Heaven to help her understand what we were teaching her... what a powerful moment. The Spirit was so strong! I testified of the love that God has for her and how He is smiling down from Heaven because she was talking to Him. It was so tender that I totally started crying during her prayer. I thought of the story in the Book of Mormon when Aaron teaches King Lamoni to pray. I also thought of an experience my dad shared from his mission about teaching a sweet lady in Spain how to pray. Prayer is so crucial to conversion! It's so important that our investigators learn pray for themselves and get their own confirmation that what we teach is true.
We found a family to teach so we're hoping that everything continues to work out with them! That have 3 little, crazy, very energetic kids with lots to say. I love being around little kids because it reminds me of being around my family :) We gave them a "Finding Faith in Christ" DVD and challenged them to pray as a family. We'll go by again this week to see how it went!
One of the many things I love about this mission is that all the missionaries, all 260 of us throughout the Sacramento area, recite a scripture at 9:59 am. It's 3 Nephi 5:13 "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life". It's such a good reminder of our purpose, to invite others to come unto Christ. We are representatives of Him! I will strive to make sure my missionary name tag is painted on my heart.
You don't have to wear a missionary name tag to be a missionary. Just be who you are, be true to what you know is right, and people will notice! Don't be afraid to open your mouth and share your testimony. "For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" (1 Cor. 9:16).
Have a wonderful week everyone! I miss you and love you all!
P.S. My new address is 8267 Deseret Ave. Fair Oaks, CA 95628. This is the mission home address, not exactly where I live, but all mail/packages sent here will be forwarded to me.