Yes my whole mission was on fire this week :( Lots of missionaries were evacuated and moved. Because I live by the ocean I was surrounded by smoke but not actually in danger. The sisters inland came to stay at our apartment though. It was crazy! four sisters in one apartment. We woke up to run and just were coughing on smoke. But because we are obedient we still did it. I think it was unhealthy because everyone else had masks on and were advised to not go outside. I guess normal rules don't apply to missionaries. People still need the gospel when everything is burning down. The sky was so beautiful though with the red and such! I am grateful that nobody was hurt and they are now controlled.
It was a crazy, crazy week because we had fires, two exchanges, and my companion got sick. Exchanges are very tiring things. I love to learn and help other sisters but it can be really hard. I stayed in my area for one and left for one. The one that I left for was in La Costa. It was over 100 degrees and every single appointment fell through. We ended up tracting for 7.5 hours. I have never done something like that before. Between the heat and the walking I ended up sick as well. It was great though because we got 6 return appointments for them next week. My heart goes out to any missionary that tracts all day long. Being a missionary is hard work. Also, this heat wave thing has got to end. All the sisters are getting sick from heat exhaustion and the sun. I am officially dark and tan! I bet I would even beat Seth right now. I met some really cool people knocking doors. I love all the people we get to meet every single day. I have also decided Buddhists people are the nicest people around. Really, they are quite peaceful and kind. We got a 30 min yelling about us being a cult at one point and also got told we believed in the wrong Jesus. I never realized that there was a "wrong Jesus" :) I just love trying to share with people even if they don't want to hear! I still feel good inside because I know that I am trying my hardest.
Robert!!!!! Ah man he is sooo cool. He is having dreams now. He has dreams of him and all around him is light. He said he can't tell where the light is coming from or what it is but he says the light fills him up and is inside of him. Pretty awesome! He also sees his Grandpa who passed away a few years back. Robert loves his grandpa more than anyone else. I know his grandpa is trying to help him see that this is right and help him along. We are going to teach about temples! Robert also just randomly texted a verse from Alma 32 yesterday. It talked about how we receive no witness till after the trial of our faith. He says whenever he reads the Book of Mormon he hears our voices telling him it is true. So pretty much he is progressing right towards baptism. I am so grateful for our friendship with him. That is how I began teaching him and that is what we will have forever. Friendship is powerful. When you love somebody it is natural to share the gospel with them. Keep that in mind!
Michelle came to church again and loved it! We are just trying to fit all the lessons in so the baptism can happen. If it getS moved it is because we can't meet with her as often as we would like. It will happen very soon though regardless:) I love the ward for just embracing her. She feels so welcome and loved. That is the key to this whole process. If someone feels love at church, they will keep wanting to come back. Every person loves and needs to feel loved.
We picked up a new investigator named....Robert! Ahh that means we have 4 Roberts now. It is hard to keep them all straight. This Robert is a believer in Jesus Christ but not God. He can't accept God. He has studied every religion or faith in the world. He speaks 9 languages and is very well educated. He knows God is there but he is fighting it. And yet, I have never loved someone like I love Robert. I want nothing more than to tell him about God. We taught him a lesson and at the beginning we were pretty much screaming at one another. This is not normal don't worry but for him it worked. I think God sent me to Robert because I will tell him what is up and not be fearful. Other missionaries have tried but they aren't bold in the way I can be I guess. That is what he told me. When I was talking to him I felt the spirit so strong. I started loudly proclaiming my testimony and knowledge of God and he just went silent and listened. He didn't fight anymore. I told him that I could never deny the fact that someone does listen to us when we pray. I told him that God would heal his soul and fix his life. I told him he needed to stop being stubborn and listen. I told him he needed to humble himself and accept that he will need to change. And you know what, he listened and then he stayed quiet and let us teach. He said he can always tell when someone actually believes what they are preaching. He says he only will listen to passion. I am grateful to learn from him and if nothing else to better understand my own passion and testimony. I know it is true and if I have to yell it I will. I hope that future lessons are a little calmer:)
Speaking of love- I am giving a training in Zone Conference on charity and love. The bible dictionary says: Charity is the purest, noblest, strongest kind of love. That is the kind of love I want to have. That is the kind of love that makes everything else ok and worth it. That is the love that shines through to people who are rude and mean and not happy souls. That is the love that can change the world. It is what Christ preached and lived. It is what so many seek for. Let us pray every day for charity for God. If we ask for it, and live worthy to have it, He will give it to us. I love being a missionary. I love the hard times, well I'm trying too :), and I love the special moments that can't even be described or written.
Keep it real!