Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter #59 (November 18, 2014)

Holy cow where to start? This week was crazy. First of all, we are staying at the Emperor condo (where I lived when I served in Pasadena) because our bathroom is basically being overhauled. They took out most of one wall, all of the shower wall, and most of the ceiling above the shower. In order to take the wall out, they had to remove the light, sink, and toilet. So it was time to find a place to stay. So much of this week was spent talking to the mission housing lady, the apartment owner, the manager, and the plumbers, and moving things to the other apartment. Before we moved, we would bike to the Emperor pad to shower, which had to be done after studies and everything, so took up a chunk of the day. We have no clear idea of when repairs will be finished, so we decided to move to save that precious time every day. 

However, we still struggled to get much accomplished because on Thursday I got a flat tire on the way up to the Emperor pad. There was a screw coming out of my tire! By the time we were able to find a member to take us to the store to buy a patching kit, patch my tire, find that there were too many holes to patch, and locate a new tube and put it on my bike, it was time to be back home anyway. But we got it all fixed.

Except that on Friday as we biked to and from the church for weekly planning I realized that something seemed to have happened to my back brakes when we removed and replaced the tire from the frame, so they weren't working. Which is a problem. So the rest of our day after planning pretty much consisted of finding a member to fix my brakes.

So basically, up to this point just about no work has gotten done. We went out as much as we could, but everything has been so hectic with plumbing, bike problems, and helping Susan get ready for the funeral, that we were only able to try by a few people all week. I could tell that Sister Walker was getting a bit down, but I just reassured her that something really really good was going to happen because of all of the opposition we have been facing. Not only this week, but because of me being sick for over a month as well. Let's just say I was very much correct in that assumption. I'll get to that in a second.

Saturday was the funeral. Sister Fjeldsted picked us up and took us to the church where we practiced singing. While we were practicing, a man came in and sat in the back of the empty chapel and listened to us sing. When we finished practicing, we went and talked to him, because we were pretty sure that he was not there for the funeral. It turns out that he thought that church was that morning and he had come to attend church! He is from China and has lived here for a couple of years. He works as a tour guide for all of the Chinese people that come to America, so he is out of town much of the time showing them some of the sights of the west coast. One of which is Temple Square! He talked to missionaries there and has been in contact with them via phone calls for the last couple of years. He has wanted to start coming to church for a while but has been unable to due to his crazy work schedule. But he finally came on Saturday!

We explained to him that church is on Sundays at 9:30 and he said that he will do all he can to come on Sundays! We also told him what we do as missionaries and he was so dang excited! You'd think that we had just told him that admission to Disneyland is now free or that Christmas is coming early. He asked for our number, gave us his, and then headed off to work with a Restoration pamphlet and Book of Mormon in hand. At around 5:30 that same night he texted us "I want to learn 1-2 hours tonight, is it possible?" Double-take WHAT?! We told him that we were unable to meet tonight (because that wouldn't give us enough time to find a female member to come with us and we had other things to do) and that we usually teach in much smaller amounts of time but that we'd love to meet with him tomorrow!

So we taught Lee the Restoration last night. When we asked him if he wanted to be baptized he said "absolutely. When can we do that?" Ummm, can we say golden investigator?! He just kept saying how happy all of this was making him feel and how when he looks into the eyes of any Mormon that he meets, their gaze just seems pure and good. So cool. I can't get over him. 

What's even cooler is that we had received him as a referral in August but was never able to contact him because every time we went over, he was out of town and the people that he lives with only speak Chinese, so we could never get much figured out. So finally we just referred him to the local Chinese elders. 

And then he just shows up at church! So we're teaching him again tonight, and will likely teach him pretty much everyday. He just wants to learn everything as quickly as possible so that he can be baptized. The only snag is that his schedule is super crazy, so getting him to church might be tough. But he really wants this. We told him that we can continue teaching him through Facebook and Skype when he is out of town and he was so happy! He leaves the area again in 18 days, so we'll see what we can do before then and then will do everything we can to teach him still even when he's gone! I'm so excited about him!

The law of compensation really is incredible. The past couple of months have been SO rough, but then Lee shows up. AND it wouldn't have happened the way it did if we weren't at the funeral.

Speaking of which, I was surprised to find that many of Janis' relatives came and talked to me and Sister Fjeldsted, and then me at church yesterday, asking about how we came to start visiting Janis. Apparently she went inactive when she was about 30, so the fact that she asked us to read the Book of Mormon to her and was so eager to come to church was amazing. She took the sacrament for the first time in decades just a few weeks before she died. It is so incredible to see the hand of the Lord in every little detail of this work. You just cannot deny that this is His work. 

I just love being a missionary so much. It is so hard, but it is the absolute best thing that I have ever done.

I love you all so much! Thanks for the cards and letters! Keep 'em coming!

~Sister Kretchman

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