Shoot dang, I feel like I barely sat in this same chair and wrote almost the same email. The weeks fly by so stinking fast! And every day is full of so many incredible experiences, it's really hard to fit it all into one email.. but i'll do my best!
So Tuesday we had exchanges and I was sent to Anthem for the day to be companions with Sister Cook. Apparently Anthem is the highest tithing paying stake in the world so that was pretty cool to see the massive houses and super classy people everywhere. It was completely opposite from my area though.. almost nobody wanted to talk with us. It was a huge testament to me about why it is so important we stay humble and don't let money and riches be the main focus of our life. Hardly anybody was interested in hearing even a 5 minute message about our Savior Jesus Christ. It was definitely a learning experience. We did have a really cool lesson with an athiest though whose wife is a member. Not really sure how they make that work, but hats off to them! He was a really cool guy, but he just believes that the feeling of the spirit, or good things that happen to us are all scientific, and endorphins being released. We had a good discussion and even prayed with him.. which he high fived us afterwards and said "good work!" It was interesting but we rolled with it :) He said he'll read the Book of Mormon (specifically Alma 32 which talks all about faith). Later that night I got to eat with a member who took us to the cheesecake factory! She was an incredible lady and told us about how her son had been a professional dirt biker but died a couple years earlier in an accident. She had one of the strongest testimonies I've ever heard about how much God is aware of us and how we can overcome trials and truly grow from everything that life throws at us. She was called as the Relief Society president soon afterwards and said she loved every minute of it. Such a testimony about how serving others and losing ourselves is what makes us the happiest and can help us to feel grateful and happy in life no matter what happens.
After dinner we got to go to the church to talk with the little 10-11 year old girls about what it's like to be a missionary. Ahh it was so fun! And every single one of the girls raised their hands and said they wanted to go on a mission. They asked us questions and we told them about how we knew we wanted to come on our missions. The spirit was super strong and I left knowing that the church is in good hands! The youth are incredible :)
Wednesday we had a couple more really intense lessons with people that just wanted to argue with us. We did our best to keep the spirit in the room and just testify of the things that we know are true. The first kid insisted that Adam and Eve were black, as well as Jesus, and that the curse placed on them is where white people came from.. it was pretty interesting. There were a lot of other points he wanted to argue, but my overall feeling and testimony was just that none of these things really matter. The only thing that matters is how we are living our lives right now and how we are trying to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ every day. If we aren't doing our best, we're going to fall short of our divine potential! He sort of settled down and ended up listening a little at the end. We also taught a big man from Africa who started the lesson off by bible bashing. We were both like whoa bro, we're just hear to tell you about how you can find peace and joy in this life and the life to come. He listened a little better after that, but still wasn't really grasping the eternal perspective concept. We'll work with him :)
Thursday was awesome! I felt a little like I'd been kicked in the shins after Tues and Wed, but we left the apartment with good attitudes and happy hearts! We talked with the sweetest 90 year old man in the world named Art. We ate super spicy red pickled cabbage at our Gypsy friend's house, and we got hit on by a red convertible car full of guys. They asked for our names/numbers and we gave them a pamphlet and Mormon.org card and they wanted us to come have a bible study back at their hotel... ha.ha. good joke. We were safe. Don't worry ;) We got to teach a guy named Akeem who is so prepared and accepting of the gospel and agreed to be baptized, but he went back to California a few days ago for school :/ hopefully we'll see him when he comes back though!
Friday was Sister Crane's b-day!! Shout out to the best companion evah! We taught Stephan (is getting baptized this sunday!) the law of chastity and it went great! He has really strict morals already and had no problems :)
Saturday was a little rough at first and sister Crane and I both felt a little sick when we woke up, but we know that Heavenly Father blesses us most when we feel like we don't want to work and we work, and it definitely proved true! We met a bunch of awesome people, but the highlight of the week was definitely teaching Stephan the word of wisdom. He was like, "no beer?? ahh i'm good with that. no coffee?? Ahh I don't like it anyways...i'm good with everything, as long as i can still eat my fried chicken!" He's hilarious. We also had an awesome lesson with Rachel who has been meeting up with another new convert in the ward to read scriptures (date style in my opinion). We're doing our best not to play a little matchmaker here and there, but with them, they're perfect for each other so we couldn't help it!
Sunday was awesome as always and I played "Savior, Redeemer" in Sacrament with a girl from another ward. That song is pretty popular these days.. and I"m playing it next week as well with another lady. Good thing I love it :) We also talked with this guy named Lavelle who is the owner of the homeless house where Stephan and Christian are both from and turns out that he used to go to the LDS church back when he was 16 and really respects us! We had a super good discussion with him and he said he used to be a drug dealer/gang banger, but now he's married, has a family and if he ever settled down in a religion, it would definitely be ours. We we can def work with that :) He is awesome!
Ok sorry this email is so long. All in all it has been an amazing week, and a lot of good learning experiences. The church is true!! The book is blue, and Moroni is still on the ball ;)