We found a really cool investigator this week named Fitore (Fih-tor-ee). People in Royal Palm have interesting names, man. She is so cool! She has a one year old daughter named Athena who keeps trying to climb on my lap and it's taking all my will power to resist haha. We actually met Fitore when we were trying to visit a former investigator. We found out that they'd moved, but she let us right in and we were able to teach her. She was baptized Christian about 4 years ago when she was really struggling after her divorce. She feels like she's fallen away and we were literally an answer to her prayers. She loves what we share with her. We told her about the Book of Mormon and she was like, "That's so cool!" which is a pretty good reaction.
Freddy and Darlyne picked a new date for baptism and are now on track for November 11. They are so ready to be baptized, but with all the work that needs to be done so Darlyne can be divorced and she and Freddy can get married, they need some time. Freddy lost his job and Darlyne is starting at McDonald's this week. They could really use your prayers! I love this family!
We met with Amy again and sadly she is not ready to commit. She told us she might come to church sometime, though. It's always sad to see someone reject the Gospel because I know how it can change their life, but God has a plan for everyone. Hopefully she'll be ready one day!
We had zone conference this week and talked about being 100% responsible. I'm working to figure out how I can take full responsibility of my stewardship here!
We've had lots of opportunities to serve since the hurricane. During the week we proselyte normally and offer to help when we can. The past couple weekends have been completely devoted to hurricane clean up. All the missionaries on the east coast of our mission were sent down to the Keys to serve this weekend. Sister Monson and I drove down on Friday and left Sunday night. We were stationed in Marathon and I was shocked by the devastation. Some streets we went to literally looked like a third world country! It was so humbling to see. We had a very hardworking crew and helped to remove furniture, drywall, trees, and debris. The smell of the rotting homes was haunting. I can't imagine coming home to a completely destroyed house! It really makes you reconsider what is truly important.
As I was praying about the opportunity to serve, I thanked Heavenly Father for allowing us to fully devote those few days to helping people clean up and rebuild their lives. The Spirit taught me that that is my job as a missionary every single day. With the hurricane, we're helping people repair their physical lives. As missionaries, we're helping people to clean and rebuild their spiritual lives. Hurricane clean up is important, but these homes can be destroyed again. The seaweed and trees can be washed back up. But with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our spirits receive full healing and cannot be destroyed by the circumstances around us. I'm so grateful for the Gospel!
We camped out for a few nights. Luckily, there was a museum at the campsite that they opened for the missionaries. We got to sleep in air conditioning and have flushing toilets. What a blessing! The stake provided portable showers. There were two showers inside this tarp block, but the divider between the two was only waist high...sadly the lines were very long to shower so there always needed to be two people going at the same time. Let's just say that Sister Monson and I have bonded in a way that I haven't with any of my other companions haha.
I just want all of you to know that I am incredibly grateful to be a missionary. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ with all my heart. I'm grateful for the opportunity to hear from living prophets and apostles. Take advantage of this weekend to receive what the Lord needs to teach you. I know that I learned a ton from Women's Conference! I learned that I love myself and I hate myself, but luckily the Atonement is infinite!