I am pleased to report that this past week went very well. It was, for the most part, uneventful, but still very good. Lots of tracting, street contacting, random service activities, etc.
I don’t think I’ve said too much detail about the area here yet. My ward is much like my first ward I served in: an older family ward with a love of missionary work. They are super supportive of the work here and help us a lot. The cities we in are small, but very beautiful. It’s very, very green here and the weather is nice and cool all the time (such is the peninsula). It feels a lot like Ventura in some places and Simi Valley in others (those are two other cities in Southern California).
We found a new investigator this week who was a referral from a general authority. Brian K. Ashton, the current 2nd Counselor to the Sunday School General Presidency, was in San Francisco and met a man named Nosrat. Nosrat is an Iranian who recently lost his wife. We went and contacted him this week and were able to teach him. In fact, he invited us right in when we showed up and he took great interest in what we were saying. He truly wants to understand the eternal nature of the family as a blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so he was very willing to listen to us! It was an excellent lesson and we are going back tomorrow to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon in Farsee, his native language.
I dunno why, but I’m feeling at a loss for words today. I don’t know how to articulate my thoughts really. Sorry about that.
The last thing I do want to share is the miracle that happened last night while we were street contacting in San Bruno:
Every night, from 8-9 PM we go out and talk to people on this street in San Bruno called the Avenue. It’s a small shopping center and there are a good number of people out and about during the day and night there. We went down there again last night, doing the usual contacting when we stopped this young man named Galen.
Galen was nice enough and he allowed us to share with him the Message of the Restoration with him just there on the street (most people shut us down quickly if they aren’t interested), so we shared with him the fundamental beliefs of our church and the Joseph Smith story. All the while, we knew something was off. We could tell something was not right while we were teaching him.
Round about the point we start talking about the Book of Mormon as evidence of the Restoration, he stops us and reveals to us that he is already a member in the San Francisco YSA ward. However, he also told us that he has recently been reactivated and trying to decide whether or not to serve a mission. He said he had seriously been struggling that day and praying to know what he should do with his life, and our testimonies of Joseph Smith as a prophet and the importance of our message were a very clear answer to his prayers. He then invited us to his home to give him a Priesthood Blessing and we talked a bit about what he is going through and how we can help him. Testimonies were shared, prayers were answered, and the hand of God has never been more clear to me before.
Events like that do not happen infrequently to missionaries. It happened to us when I was in the city, too. Elder Barnett and I got off the bus once at a stop we did not intend to get off at and ran into a man who had recently lost his dog that day, as well as a close friend and his fiance within the week. We arrived at the perfect moment to help him.
Events like these are testimonies to me that God’s hand is in our lives and that He does love us and want to bless us as we turn to Him in prayer. It’s never been clearer than it was last night. God does reach out to us. He puts us in the paths of those who need faith. He is there and truly wants to bless us. I know that is true. It’s not a statement of belief. It is eternal truth.
I hope you all have a great week. Always remember the love that God has for us. As you turn to Him you can find greater happiness than you can any other way! I know that is true!
I love you all! Have a great week!