I hope all is going well on your trip! It sounds like a fun adventure :) I can't believe Izaya's old enough to be baptized! Holy moly! I'm glad you were able to go though. It has been said that a baptism is the most spiritual meeting in the whole church. I think you can enjoy it more when you are not in charge though! I'm glad that Brandon was there, I hope all is going well for him. I'm so excited for Malori! A mission is going to be a great exerience for her I am sure. "a trial and a test, it shows you the worst and teaches you the best!"
So yesterday I had probably two of the strangest experiences of my entire mission. The first one happened when we were out knocking doors. We were talking to this really nice old couple, and through a series of events (perhaps unfortunate ones;) ) My companion told the couple her first name. They then asked for mine and in order to not make the situation super weird, I told them mine as well. We had a good conversation about the word of God, and how Jesus Christ is our Savior, then when we were leaving they called us by our names again. It was so strange, because I didn't really....connect with my name! I am so use to everyone calling me Sister or Sister Trickler or Trickler or Trickster that it took me a second to realize that they were talking to me! CRAZY WEIRD. I am officially becoming a missionary, and it's sort of weirding me out!
Second experience. We were home and my companion was in the other room for a bit. I was just talking to myself in my head like I tend to do, and all of the sudden I realized that I was talking like a missionary to myself! It was rather bizarre. I seriously was wondering where I had gone, and who this crazy missionary was that had taken my place! Don't worry, I got over it, but it was rather strange for a moment. I have been out for a long time, it's crazy.
This week we did have a rather neat experience though. So....the first day I got into Austin, nearly 6 months ago, Sister Amis and I went to teach a girl named Maddie. This was the first real lesson that sister had with her, the other one being just a doorstep lesson. Anyways, we have taught her pretty constantly since then, usually twice a week. She has set a date for baptism multiple times, but it always is pushed off due to usually family opposition. Well, this past Saturday, we were eating dinner with her and a member, and she told us rather nonchalantly, that she had talked a lot with her mom, and they decided that August 16th would be a good day for her to get baptized! Say What?! Se said her mom really wanted to be there, so that was the soonest she could come! Oh my goodness, I was in such shock, I still don't think that it has completely hit me! Super cool experience. I have felt for quite a while, in particular with her, that there comes a point where you have to make a stand. Whether you are investigating the church, or have been a life long member, there is a point where you have to stand up and decide what you believe in. You have to decide whether it is true or not, and what the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth to you. She did that. She decided that it was the most important thing in her life, and is making a covenant with God showing how important it is to her. One of my favorite things to say as a missionary is not to just believe me or my companion, we are just two girls, but to ask God if what we are sharing is true. If it is, it will change your life. It it isn't, then you can go on your merry way! Maddie decided to ask God, and she found that answer for herself. She didn't rely on my testimony, or the words I (or my companion) spoke, but she relied on her testimony that she has gained, the answers she has recieved.
In case you can't tell, I am a huge advocate of finding out for yourself if things are true. Asking questions is a beautiful thing. Now, it is always important to "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith", but explore. Find out what you really believe and why. I think if we don't have this solid knowledge of what we believe, then the winds of life will be able to move us. They can knock us down if we don't had a deep root system! (speaking of the who, my tomatoes are getting so big!!! :D) These last days are going to be crazy, we don't have time to waste in finding out what is truth, and what is not!
Another neat experience. On Thursday we recieved a call from on or our members who is from Guatemala I believe. She moved here a year or two ago, and has very limited english. She is so very sweet though! She called us and said that she met this Chinese lady (Susan) and was talking to her a bit about family. Somehow during the conversation, Susan asked if the member was a mormon. The member said of course, and Susan said that she didn't know that there was a church here in Austin! Long story short, the member gave us Susans name and phone number and told us that she was expecting a call that evening. We called and set up a time to go talk to her. It turns out her family moved here from Iowa City a couple of years ago. They went to our church there with a member friend, but didn't know that there was one here in Austin, so they have since joined another church. We were able to talk to her and her two daughters, and they came to church with us on Sunday! There were a couple of things that really stood out to me about this experience.
1st. The sweet member who could only speak a little English had the courage to not only talk to this sister from China who has a really thick accent, but she wasn't afraid to tell her that she belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This sister knows who she is, and is following the prophets council.
2nd. Because of members she knew when she lived in Iowa City, Susan had a very positive impression of the church. She had a desire to attend because of the family emphasis, and the classiness of character she saw! Our examples matter. She told us about a man at the church in Iowa that she saw open the car door for his wife. I'm sure that man didn't open the door just so Susan could have a positive impression!
3rd. Once again, we are all brothers and sister. God is our father and we are his children, no matter where we are from, how old we are, or what we have gone through in our lives.
Okay, I sufficiently sound like a missionary, bother. I have learned this past week that I am in favor of the word melancholy. But I think the only way to pronounce it is mel-an-kal-ly. (megamind!)
I hope you all have a lovely week, and that all goes well. Enjoy summer while it lasts!
Sister Christina Trickler