This has been an interesting week. Luckily I haven't been sick like Derek, though! It's been pretty frustrating because we've been working very hard but not seeing results in the ways we've been expecting to see them. We'll set several appointments with new investigators every day, and every morning, when we call to confirm appointments, EVERY person cancels! It's so weird to go from having 5 appointments at 9:00pm the night before to having 0 the next morning. It's normal for several appointments to fall through every week, but it's never been like this before, where literally every one cancels or falls through! It's been really good for me though, because it's made me pay close attention to EVERYTHING I'm doing and to focus on improving my abilities to teach and find by the Spirit. The work of the Lord takes humility and love, and hard work, but most of all, hard work in the Lord's way--by the Spirit! We've had several experiences this week that have been a test of faith for Sister Camarillo and I. We've had some pretty interesting contacting experiences. This weekend, we knocked on a lady's door and she opened it, all smiles and very enthusiastic because she's also Christian. We testified of Christ and of a living prophet. She told us we were wrong, and that God isn't going to call more prophets. She told us that she'd pray for us because we're lost and we don't know the truth! It made me think about where my testimony comes from. Its hard to hear someone tell you you're preaching lies! However, my testimony of the restored gospel is something I can't deny. It's something I know is true on many levels, but most importantly, on a spiritual level. What I know on a spiritual level really can't be challenged by the intellectual arguments that people throw at us every day. I know that Heavenly Father does call prophets! I sometimes feel the temptation to "soften" my testimony so people won't slam the door in our faces, but I don't ever want to slacken my conviction of what I know is true. I'm not naturally a very forward person, but my mission is teaching me the importance of being bold when it comes to bearing, and living, my testimony. We've also had a lot of experiences where we've been protected by the Spirit. Nothing bad has happened, don't worry, and we're very cautious about where we go and when we go there. But there's a lot of bad stuff that goes on in the Bay Area, no matter how careful we are! But it's true that the Lord constantly looks out for us, and the Spirit does have a warning voice! I say that not because I want you to be scared that we've been in situations where we've had to listen to the warning voice of the Spirit, but because I want you to know that I have felt the protection of the Lord. So don't worry!
[M] (the man who didn't want to stop drinking coffee) was supposed to have an interview with President Wade this week, but he didn't go! He requested an interview last week, so we set one up for him. We were calling him and calling him Thursday night, and finally we went to his house and he was there, instead of at the interview. We talked with him and he said he didn't want to be interviewed by President. He seemed to feel a lot of bitterness still, and it made me realize the importance of always being loving toward everyone, even and especially when calling them to repentance. It's really trying sometimes to show love when there's also a lot of stress and frustration involved, but if they can't feel the love we have for them, they of course can't recognize that we've been called to represent the Savior, and that they can trust the things we teach them. So many times this week, I've realized things that I need to change about myself if I'm going to fulfill my purpose as a missionary. I need to be more loving, more bold, more diligent, more committed, more patient, more everything! Sometimes it's overwhelming to think about, but with the Lord, it's possible for me to get closer to being what He wants me to be. Without the Lord, it's more than impossible. Anyway, that's what's been keeping me awake at night.
We had zone conference this week and the theme was the priesthood. It was such a great zone conference! Sister Wade gave an amazing talk on honoring the priesthood. Honoring the priesthood truly is the responsibility of both men and women. The priesthood is the power of God and I've seen the blessings that come to homes in which all members of the family uphold and honor the priesthood. The contrast between homes in which the priesthood is not a part of family life and the homes in which it is amazes me. Funny thing that happened this week--President Wade made an allusion to the movie WAR GAMES!!! And I was one of only 4 people that knew what he was talking about! Hahaha, thank you, Dad! We have Tiwi boxes installed in our vehicles (Google it, since you have that power) and the automated voice sounds JUST like the computer, Joshua, in War Games. :D Kind of freaky. Other news: we're getting a new mission president in July! Look for their picture in the Church News at the beginning of March. ALSO, my companion's parents were just called as mission president and companion in the Mexico Guadulajara Mission!!! Look for their picture too! Elder and Sister Camarillo. So cool!!!