Friday, August 24, 2012

I love Rio Vista! I love Sister Thomas! [From 6 AUG 2012]

I love Rio Vista! I love Sister Thomas! We’ve seen so many miracles and progression every day! As you can probably tell it's been an amazing week! Both of us are exchange sisters. We do it now as a companionship. For which we are grateful. It’s been so fun receiving inspiration and revelation for them. We have four companionships. You’ll be very happy to know that Sister Thomas takes lots of pictures so I have lots more. :)

This week has been incredible! I absolutely love the area, the branch, and Sister Thomas! Every day we saw so many miracles and progression of others and within ourselves. The work of the Lord is amazing! Together we're going to start a journal of miracles and amazing things we see and experience. There's so much even with just one week. The branch is so willing to help us. We had a referral from the branch president for his neighbor. Yesterday we finally contacted the family and began teaching them. We have another appointment next Sunday. A young woman in the branch brought her friend to church and we'll be teaching her at her friends’ house. One family whose lives have been very tough is progressing well. They still have a long ways to go, but they're on the path. The father is working towards the temple. Another investigator knows the church is true. Now it's just getting him to act and accept the baptismal invitation and a date. One less-active sister came to church after many years of inactivity. She thought she couldn't go to the temple because she had married a non-member. That same member drove us to Fairfield to do our grocery shopping so we could save miles. As exchange sisters we have felt guided by the Spirit, as we have planned for our sisters and the exchanges we'll have. As a companionship we are so good! I love working with Sister Thomas! She is incredible! Each day is filled with laughter and spiritual uplifting. Our conversations have been edifying and uplifting. Our companionship studies just kind of extend throughout the day. And even go to the next day. My hunger for more knowledge has grown immensely. I love studying the gospel even more! Like I told Sister Thomas the other day, each day I fall deeper and deeper in love with the gospel. With the plan Heavenly Father has for each one of us. I love how He is a part of every little detail of our lives. If we let Him He will guide us and change us. And we will be happy! This past week was the best yet of my mission. And perhaps even my life. I have not had any stress or negative feelings. When things come that in the past would have normally caused me to stress or think negatively I let it go. Sister Thomas and her positive attitude helps. She helps me to laugh all day and to see the miracles. We are continually in awe of the Lord. Of everything He has done, is doing, and will yet do. He is so good! My heart is filled with true joy. And I love it! It comes mostly from, I believe, my companion. Words can't express how happy and grateful I am to be companions with Sister Thomas. Nor can they explain how wonderful she is.

Last night our car wouldn't start. Thankfully we had just talked with a family from the branch as we walked by so we called them and they came to our rescue. They jumped our car and told us to drive straight home. And thankfully it started again this morning.

Rio Vista is amazing! There are windmills. It’s pretty cool. It’s a very small town. We could walk across it in about 30 min. The area is on the border of the mission so we have accidently gone out of the mission a couple times. There aren't too many Spanish people here in Rio Vista, but we saw a good number when we went to Walnut Grove the other day.

I can't explain how much I love this area! The time I have isn't sufficient to tell you all the adventures we had this past week. Sister Thomas got turned around a few times, but each time we ran into someone just ready to receive the gospel. That or we found a less-active; we're doing a lot of less-active work. Right now we're working with 12 families and have been asked if we could check up on a number of others. The branch is pretty small. We’re 30 min away from Fairfield and all by ourselves. I’m used to working in a city with other missionaries, but not here. Last night when our car wouldn't start we texted the zone leaders just to let them know. Not too long after they called us kind of worried. Elder Gifford said, "Well, we were just calling to pray with you." for some reason we found that hilarious. They really wanted to do more but knew they couldn't do anything more. We were very grateful for the members that showed up not too long after we called them. With one try the car was going and we were on our way. Our first reaction after realizing our car was dead was to laugh. Then Sister Thomas said, "Where's my camera?" So we have pictures of us in the cold and wind by our car and the jumper cables. That morning we had both put our winter coats in the car. It had been a little chilly the day before. That afternoon walking around we were hot so we thought it funny we had them in the back seat. But then as we stood by our car at 9 that night we saw how the Lord blessed us and knew what would happen.

It’s little things like that that make me just smile and realized even more how much the Lord is a part of our lives. He knew and the Spirit spoke to our minds. We obeyed, not knowing and then realized later we had followed the Spirit. That just makes me smile! :)

Love you lots and lots! Thank you for your love and support! I hope you have another great week. Have fun on the trek. I’m glad G's eagle court of honor went well. Congratulations Buddy! You’re the best brother ever!
Hermana Stephenson

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