What a week! Especially the weekend! It was running from one thing to the next. We finally collapsed into bed last night (Me at about 9:30) ;)
Love Forever, Sister Stanley
Tuesday evening we met with Blanca and her daughters and taught the plan of salvation again since they were there.
Wednesday evening we met with Blanca to teach her again. During our lesson we called Elder Sparks so she could ask him to baptize her. He told her that he would, but he was going home on Monday. So she said, "We have to move it forward!" :) So, she moved her date up to Sunday, June 2nd! We through together the baptism like 2 crazy people! ;) After Tuesday, our week was mostly devoted to Blanca and making sure she had an understanding of all that is needed to know before baptism.
She is AMAZING! She told us that her fiance had been treating her differently but that not even that could make her change her mind. She has incredible faith and is such an example to me! I am SO thankful that I could witness her faith and testimony growing!
Wednesday we hit her with the "big guns" (commandments) and she accepted every single one with perfect understanding. :) She is incredible. I love her so much!
The downfall for that day was that we found out that Brother Bowhey has decided to be offended, so we are praying and fasting for his heart to be softened. We did invite Jennifer to the baptism yesterday and she did show up. She also brought her daughters to the primary activity on Saturday and a birthday party that happened in the ward. So, we think they will return to church soon.
Anyway, we met with Blanca again on Thursday. We taught her the rest of everything she needed to know before baptism and set up her baptism program. We also brought a YSA girl with us will be receiving her call soon. She sounds a lot like me in that she is very quiet and very nervous about tracting. So we took her with us for some tracting and then to Blanca's. Her mom and aunt were there and they made us DELICIOUS enchiladas! I was in Heaven ;)
Friday we were on exchange with the sister training leaders until 3:00. We helped someone in the ward move from 4-7, then got changed and met Blanca at the church to fill out her baptism record. Then President Wilson came at 8 and interviewed Blanca for baptism while we practiced our musical number. After that the Spanish elders came and went over the procedure with her. That was all really great!
Saturday we did the missionary stake primary activity from 9:30-1:30 for ages 8-11. All the missionaries in our zone helped out. It was so cute! They made it look like when you go into the MTC and then they gave them their envelope and name tag. As they came into the doors, we gave them a sticker that told them which "country" they'd be called to for the day: Japan, Argentina, or Fiji. The first class was Language and Culture. Someone who served there taught those classes. We were assigned to Japan, so we stayed with that group of kids for the day. They also had passports and they got a stamp in each classroom. The second class was Teaching, and each set of missionaries taught a class. We taught our class how to teach their friends about the Book of Mormon using the pics in the front of the book. They were all really smart! It was great! Then they had lunch and there was food from all those different countries (DELICIOUS!), then there was a music performance by a "band". They sang 3 of the songs from the Nashville tribute to missionaries. We (the missionaries) sang part of it. Then the third class was A Day as a Missionary and they taught them about our schedule. So that was a really cute activity!
After that we ran to make a stop at a recent convert's granddaughter's birthday party that we had been invited to. She turned 5 and she loves us! So we stopped there for a few minutes, then ran to meet Blanca at our apartment. She took us to a baptism in Everett of a girl who Sister Redford taught. After that, we stopped at Jerry's daughter's birthday party. He lives in Everett and invited us. It was the perfect opportunity to pass him off to the Elders that serve in that area. He's insisted that he only wants us to teach him, but I think our attempt on Saturday was successful. He seemed to like the Elders there.
Anyway, after we went back home we had to run a few errands like practicing our song, getting Blanca's baptism program all set up and printed out.
Then yesterday was such a wonderful day! I was on a spiritual high all day! We went to church, taught Gospel Principles, then filled the font, arranged the rooms, copied Blanca's program, etc. Then Blanca and her daughters and their friends came with all this food that Blanca had made and we helped them with that. She's so cute! She also paid her tithing and fast offering yesterday!! And it was so great because TONS of people showed up! Lots from the ward, our mission president, and her mom and brother and fiance all came. She was extremely touched by her brother coming because they have a very rocky relationship and he tried to convince her many times not to join our church. So that was so great for him to come. She cried during our song. We sang a duet of Be Still, My Soul. It was all great during practice, but my voice was shaking so much while we were performing it! Anyway, she loved it. Then a wonderful sister in our ward gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, and it REALLY brought the Spirit. Everyone was touched. Afterwards, her mom was crying (she's very strict Catholic) and later on that evening we went to Blanca's house and her fiance, Vincent had tons of questions for us. He was asking what all these different feelings were and asking why he had butterflies in his stomach and why Blanca looked different like "the way we all do" after she was baptized. It was so great! The Spanish elders went over and talked to Blanca's mom when she was crying after the baptism too, to let her know what it was that she was feeling. It was SUCH a wonderful day! :) I'm so truly grateful to have been a part of it!
Later on, we went to Everett again for a double baptism of people Sister Redford taught in her last area. When we got home, we basically collapsed and then woke up bright and early this morning. :) It was truly an incredible week.
Also, Tiffany (Blanca's 13-year-old daughter) committed to baptism on June 15th!! HOORAY!! :)Look this week for all the missionary opportunities we have all around us. :) I love you!
Love Forever, Sister Stanley
Washington Everett Mission