Finally Wet in California!

It finally rained. I mean…. really rained. In fact, in some parts of LA County it rained 4 inches this weekend. 4 inches… of rain. It dumped rain on us alllllll weekend long and it was wonderful. We were teaching a lesson on someone’s front porch and we had to yell because the sound of the rain was deafening. We even had thunder and lightning… which apparently never happens in California.

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Our member’s backyard had water all the way up to the back door of the house, but luckily it stayed outside.

It was nice to have some weather for once.
Plus this week we don’t have to wash our car on p-day (Woohoo!)
Of course, today and for the foreseeable future, it is sunny again.

Also, no one in California has rain gutters (why would they? It never rains), which means that in order to get in to someone’s home you have to walk through a sheet of water pouring off of their roof. Although I don’t think I have much room to complain. I’m in a mission that probably has the best weather in the world for missionary work. Sunny, not too hot, not too humid, never windy, and never cold. The rain was a nice relief.

Good luck in the snow, Mom! Hopefully it doesn’t snow anymore this week. Thank you so much for sending my FBI paperwork. That’s funny that Kyle Starr got his the same weekend. Yes, I am still practicing Portuguese. And I feel like I have also learned a decent amount of Spanish or something that resembles Spanish as I have talked to all the people who don’t speak English here. It helps me practice my Portuguese because I have to think of how I would talk to them in portuguse and then spanishfy it.

Also, good luck Dad on your trip this week. Hopefully the weather cooperates. It is interesting to see how missionary works changes to adapt to a changing world. And how it progresses. More is able to be done as we as members do our part. When we are examples and talk to our friends, colleagues, coworkers, people at the store, etc about the gospel, and pray to see missionary experiences, we change the dynamics of missionary work, as President Tew, our mission president would say.

Kimmie: Thanks for the email! I understand… life gets busy. When is your due date? I can’t remember how long ago you found out you were pregnant. Also, I figure God sees the beginning from the end. If He knew I was going to be in Long Beach, California than that is where I need to be. It doesn’t matter if I am in California or Brazil or Australia or Spokane , WA… I’m still called to be a missionary to preach his gospel.

On Saturday this week, we went by some random name that we found in our area book. We had no idea who it was. We knocked on the door and began talking to a man who told us his son, recently married, was in our ward and had served a mission in Chile. We were surprised, but we figured out that the name had been written down in our area book extremely incorrectly and in reality we knew his son very well. As we talked to this this man, Art, we could sense that he hasn’t forgiven his son for “becoming Mormon” when he was in high school.
From his perspective, his son went behind his family’s back, left the faith of his fathers, chased after a girl, and wasted his time and money trying to convert other people to his wacky church. But he had gotten past all of that. His true concern is that his son is not going to be with him in Heaven.

When I realized that, I stopped seeing Art as a prideful and close-minded man who wouldn’t let himself see the blessings of the gospel in his son’s life and began to see him as a father concerned for the welfare of his son’s soul. Much like the concern Alma had for his son, Alma they Younger as he went about persecuting the church. Or like the concern and despair the father of the prodigal son felt before his son’s return. Or like the concern many fathers and mothers in the church feel for their wayward children.

Never before on my mission have I felt such a deep commitment to help someone I have known for such a short period of time. Of course I have loved the people I have taught. Of course, in time, I have become more and more committed to helping them. But we haven’t even had a lesson with this man yet.
Our goal here isn’t to be baptized. Our goal here isn’t to have him read and pray about The Book of Mormon. Our goal is to help a father and son repair their relationship which has been torn apart by pride, miscommunication, and disbelief. Because ultimately the family is most central in God’s plan.
However, does that mean we won’t invite this man to church? Does that mean we won’t invite him to read The Book of Mormon and pray before God to ask of it’s truth? Of course we will invite him to do those things. Because if he can humble himself and do those things he will realize his son isn’t damned because he is a member of the church. In fact, he will see just the opposite.

I know that family truly is central to God’s plan. I’m so eternally grateful for righteous parents who made constant sacrifices to raise their children to have their own faith in Jesus Christ.

And I know and can never deny that faith.

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