This was a wonderful week!!! We had transfers and I'm staying in Tempe for another transfer! I was very much expecting I would step down and be trainer for my last two transfers but it looks like the Lord has other plans for me. I'm still a zone leader serving with Elder Belnap. This is our 2nd transfer together and we have a great friendship. The two missionaries we lived with got moved and now the mission IT specialist and his companion from Canada live with us. It is so cool to live with these Elders. Elder Baker, the IT specialist, has an assignment to train the mission at zone conferences, mission leadership councils, interviews, and other settings on online proselyting. He spends a lot of time with President Toone and the Assistants and I've been able to pick his brain a little for some of those stories. I love hearing stories about President Toone. The more I learn about him the more I'm blown away with how great he is. He has my loyalty completely.
Funny story: Elder Belnap and I were driving down the street and pulled up to a red light. A lady started across the cross walk by herself and half way across she stopped and pointed down at the ground and started shouting! (It really looked like she was casting a spell on the cement.) She looked up and all around her at the cars waiting at the red light and she started laughing like the wicked witch of the west. She then jogged to the other side of the street and karate chopped a cup that had been resting on a rock by the street light. The cup and the liquid inside flew everywhere and she began to laugh again. There was a car with a guy and girl right next to where she was and the guy in the car started laughing too but the girl in the passenger seat looked scared. I love seeing strange happenings :) This is a great area for people watching.
I had one of the best lessons of my mission this week! There is a single mother with 3 boys ages 10 11 and 12 who we are teaching. They've all been praying to know if our message is true and we followed up on how that was going. The 11 year old boy said, "I think I got my answer." We asked him to explain what happened. He said, "I was saying my prayer to know if this church is true and when I finished my prayer and looked up, I saw some shadows holding their thumbs up. So I think that was my answer!" We couldn't help laughing a little bit but we encouraged him and his commitment to praying and looking for his answer. The rest of the family is still trying to find their answer so we decided that as a family we would all kneel down and pray to know if they should be baptized and we extended February 28th as a day to pray for. After the prayer we all sat silently feeling for the answer. The Mom finally broke the silence and said yes! The 11 year old is ready to go ASAP and so are the other boys so the next step is to make sure the family comes to church.
I have a testimony of the importance of attitude. At transfers especially, there is so much gossip that goes on between missionaries who are leaving and taking over areas and a lot of pre-bias is created. One missionary might say to another, "Oh, you're companions with so and so? He's annoying.." or, "he's a tough companion," or "he's really smart"... Or they might say, "this area is pretty slow". This totally affects the effectiveness of that companionship in that area for the rest of their time spent there. How sad! I believe that if we believe something, we can achieve it. The brain is so powerful, it can achieve the impossible. Please change any negative attitude you have towards anything to a positive one and reap the blessings.
Love Elder Janis