Last Sunday afternoon after we had gotten home from church, I (Heidi) was in the kitchen working on dinner, when our phone rang. I looked at the Caller ID and didn’t recognize the caller’s phone number. Usually when this happens, I don’t answer the phone. I figure if it’s someone other than a solicitor, they can leave a message and I can call them back later. But for some reason, I felt like I should pick this call up. I said, “Hello?” but didn’t get an immediate response from the caller. I could hear some voices in the background and some words spoken with a Spanish accent. I said “Hello?” a couple more times, and was just about to hang up because I had concluded that the person had dialed our number by mistake, when the caller said, “This is Teodoro!” Then it hit me! Teodoro! Emily’s precious new convert in California--Teodoro--was calling us! Emily had told us on Mother’s Day while we were Skyping, that she really wanted us to talk to Teodoro on the phone. At the time, I thought that was sweet sentiment, but I didn’t think it was very realistic to try to have a phone conversation with him since he speaks only Spanish, and my Spanish-speaking skills are practically nonexistent. But Em apparently thought otherwise! And when Em puts her mind to something, she makes it happen! So, sweet Teodoro was calling us! I didn’t know what to do since I can’t converse in Spanish, so I tried to pass the phone to Skibby, figuring she was our best option. She did just pass Spanish 3, after all. But she insisted she knew “NOTHING” about Spanish... Nice. I didn’t know what to do! Then Peter took the phone and calmly greeted Teodoro in English. That was when we found out that Emily was right there with him, ready to listen in on our conversation and translate for him! So, with Em translating, Peter talked to Teodoro for a few minutes, congratulating him on his recent baptism and confirmation, asking him how his wife, Yolanda, was doing, asking him if he liked Hermana Christensen, etc. It was a very sweet phone visit! We didn’t talk to Em directly, but I know how much fun this visit must have been for her to orchestrate!!!
On Em’s P-day the following day--Monday, May 19, 2014--she sent us the following email & photos:
I hope you enjoyed that cute phone call from Teodoro yesterday! He was very excited to talk to you guys and he is excited to receive you after I finish my mission! He was able to get confirmed! I only barely could hear your voices from the other end of the phone because we didn't know how to put it on speaker phone or anything. He was overjoyed and so was his wife!
Transfers are going to happen this Tuesday! Hna. Blankinship is out and I will be staying to take care of Arleta! They are taking a HUGE chunk away from my area and giving it to the zone leaders and in turn we are taking over all of Pacoima again! Pacoima, shut me down!!
We have some really great investigators: Maria, Luz, Oscar, Soila, and Alba. We have more than that, but these are the ones I think can get baptized in the next transfer while I'm here teaching them :) It's really cool to see how much people trust missionaries. We have so many people open up and tell us the things that scare them or that bring them the most anxiety. Alba especially was very closed and didn't want us to talk to her. Sometimes it is mis-information and people's opinions that really mess them up and really become their biggest obstacle. We were able to get her to open up and she ended up crying to us. I can't even begin to tell you how many people cry to us.
Maria is my favorite. I call her Maria Linda because she is so cute and I don't know her last name. Her husband likes us too and put her in charge of telling us 'hi' for him. We must be doing something right because a lot of people are really responding well. Maria has 4 children and her oldest is autistic. Maria is a little shy, but very content and competent. She is very humble and smart. She likes to read books and has high values for her children. She is already living in the world, but trying to live apart from the filth that drives away the spirit. She was worrying about what would happen to her oldest son because she didn't know if he was going to be able to "accept Jesus Christ" because of his mental capacity. It was wonderful to be able to share with her the doctrines of Christ and help her feel comfortable. We shared Moroni 8 with her and Alma 29:4. These scriptures tell us that those that can't discern good from evil will be blameless before God. Her son Jonathon can't discern and therefore is as innocent as a bebe, and Christ's mercy covers him over and over again.
I feel like I've come to a little bit of a lull in my mission where I don't feel like I'm being pushed as much as I have at other points. I want to keep progressing and growing. I'm trying to prayerfully seek guidance for the goals I want to set for this next transfer so that I can continue to grow. I want to be the missionary and the daughter of God that the Lord needs me to be and I know I still have so far to go.
I loved Sam's farewell talk! It was really nice. Love is an incredible thing and the further you get into learning about the gospel, the more amazing it is that Christ loves all of us. Sometimes it feels like we will never be strong or competent, but we have to use his love and his atonement so we can be perfect in him.
I love you guys and I'll talk to you soon :)