This was the quickest week of my whole mission!! It's been such a huge, busy week that I've been looking forward practically the whole week to when I could tell everyone about it!!I had one of those crazy spiritual experiences this week that missionaries who come home always talk about that make all the young men and women want to go on missions. We had had a very crazy day and after dinner we didn't have any set appointments so we had the opportunity to decide what exactly we wanted to do the whole evening! A large (but hardly populated) area of our ward extends south of Maricopa into the desert. Pretty much all that's out there is a couple of large cattle farms and houses for the workers of the farms. We decided we'd explore the desert a little bit and stop by an inactive man who we've seen before.
There was a little beaten up dirt road off the high way we were traveling on that I was prompted to go down (honestly the prompting was more for the adventure of off roading than looking for the elect). We saw a lot of cool cactuses but nobody lived out there so we turned around to go back to the highway. On our way back there was another small dirt road (it looked more like a trail to walk down than a road to drive down) and I felt the unmistakable prompting from the Holy Ghost to drive down that path. I immediately acted and a minute down the road we found a house. There was a big "No Trespassing" sign out front but I drove in anyways. Whenever the spirit tells you to do something you should do it. I bet Satan put that sign up anyways ;) We got out of the car and were greeted by about 10 angry little dogs!! The owner of the house opened the front door and came out and called out across the yard to us, "Are you guys Mormon?" I yelled back, "Yes sir! And we have a message for you!" He hollered back, "Well come on over then!"
He's an older man and he introduced us to his grandson and his girl friend who are about in their early 30's. They told us they had some cool goats in the back and asked if we'd like to look at them. We agreed and went around back to see the goats! They confided in us that they are very unhappy with the baptist church they're currently attending and have been looking for another church to go to. They had so many questions about why Christ seemed to have left us without direction and we were able to teach them about the restoration and prophets! It was such an ah-ha moment for them and by the time the grandson finished the closing prayer he felt like God was already speaking to him that this was God's true church. I can't wait to see how the rest of this plays out! They will be coming to church with us this next week and we've had one other lesson since this one.Earlier this week we had just started an exchange with one of our District Leaders and his companion when President Toone called us and asked us to make the 2 hour drive to Ajo where the companionship serving there had gotten into a big fight and weren't speaking to each other. He needed us to go down and make sure everything was okay and resolve the conflict. When we got there one of the missionaries was laying on his bed stiff as a board with his mouth shut as tight as it could be. His companion had opened the door for us and seemed a bit mellower. Apparently they had gotten into an argument about something silly and now they were at wits end with each other. Step 1 was to get the missionary on the bed to open up and talk. It took a lot of coaxing but he finally opened up and we were able to talk things out. After 3 hours of "He said this" and "He said that" they had forgiven each other and were ready to go back to work. I learned that a lot of things about us don't change when we get out on our missions.. I can guess the same thing about marriage. We won't all of a sudden become super patient and understanding and mature. It's a process that starts with a decision that needs to happen long before the commitment is made.I wish I had more time to tell you more stories! It kills me sometimes how much I'm not able to write about! I think I have had the most rewarding and fulfilling mission anyone has ever had up to this point. Every week there are new opportunities and experiences that stretch me to the limit and help me become a better person.I love you so much!Love Elder Janis
Oh, I forgot to mention that I had to hold a king scorpion and tarantula to get a kid to take the missionary lessons! I did it and now he's preparing for baptism on August 30th! I'll try and send some pictures!