Missionaries are seriously the last to know everything! The skies were kind of cloudy on Thursday so we called the weather hotline and it said that we would have some scattered storms throughout the weekend. Then we got a text the next day from the office elders saying, "Do not drive in standing water over 2 inches." So we called the weather thing again and it said, "Hurricane Patricia is now moving towards Texas and Southeastern Louisiana." Whelp! Good to know. Then Saturday wasn't too bad, but yesterday (Sunday) was crazy!! It absolutely POURED like I've never seen rain pour before! The roads were super bad! We went to church and got a few things done after church, but then we had to go home and stay inside because the roads were flooding quickly. Luckily we were safe and nothing happened to our apartment or our car. It was just nuts! Then last night, amidst watching every movie we own from The Testaments to The Restoration, we called the weather hotline again, to find out we were under a tornado warning. We started to think that if we called again, we were going to find out the world was ending! We didn't have any tornadoes though and the rain has calmed down today. It was kind of annoying to have to stay inside yesterday because a) I just love doing missionary work and we had a lot planned for yesterday, and b) there is literally nothing to do when you are stuck in the apartment! Especially because we went through our area book extensively this last week so there wasn't much else to go through there, and there wasn't much to clean either. I will say though, maybe it was Heavenly Father's way of letting us take a break, because we've both been exhausted with how much we've been trying to do lately. It was nice to take a Sunday nap for the first time in 5 months! Here's to hoping the rain calms down now because not being able to work doesn't feel super great.
Another tender mercy-- we've had this golden family for forever, but it's so hard to get a hold of them because their schedules are crazy and even if we finally set something up, they aren't there when we get there. We've been finding them more often the last couple weeks and they're progressing so well! We had a mini-lesson with Patricia (the mom) the other day and she is just incredible! We found out that she and her husband have been reading the Book of Mormon and that they love it so much and are learning a ton. Towards the end, Patricia told us that she's just really grateful that we don't give up on her with her crazy schedule. She told us she knows we were sent from God to help her and her family and that she's already seeing so many blessings in her life because of it! I LOVE HER!! She and her family are worth every other non-progressing investigator because it is so easy to feel that I'm in the right place doing the right thing when I'm with her. I'm on my mission because of her and people like her. This Gospel has brought so much joy and peace into my life and it is such a miracle and a humbling opportunity to be able to share this light with those around me!
Also, kind of on the same note, I've noticed this week that I've developed a huge love for the Hispanic people. They are some of the most kind-hearted, loving, open, genuine, spiritual people! I always love walking around in a store or in the park or something and over-hearing someone speak Spanish because I just feel so close to them. I'm very grateful to be a Spanish-speaking missionary!
Updates on piano: Sister Johnson is actually teaching piano now and I'm teaching English because she's not quite comfortable with her Spanish yet. I still teach the adults piano though because that's in Spanish. I play piano on p-days when I can and it's super fun now because Sister Johnson plays really well. We can sit down and play duets which is something I've missed a ton! I played "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" ("Yo Se Que Vive Mi Senor") in church yesterday and it went well. Also, Sister Johnson and I love music so much that we came up with the idea of doing a Christmas music fireside in December for the ward/non-members/investigators and we got it approved by the bishopric. Now, they're all super excited and they called a ward chorister to organize a ward choir. They're also organizing a children's choir. I'll probably do a solo and then the missionaries will do something too I'm sure. We'll have congregational numbers (including Silent Night at the end with the kids singing first and then everyone joining in with the kids doing a descant?!) and then other people in the ward who play piano (including some of our students!) or guitar or things like that! AH! We're so excited!!! It just feels so amazing to be able to use music in missionary work and to get the ward to come together to do something like this! The purpose of this fireside will be to just focus on Christ and the spirit of Christmas and to invite as many non-members as humanly possible! It's not until December 13, so we've got a while, but it just all started coming together this last week.
This week we also had zone conference and it was awesome! I loved seeing all the other missionaries (especially Sister Whitney!) and I always love hearing from President and Sister Hansen. The emphasis this conference was on planning smarter and better. We've put it into practice this week and we've seen a ton of miracles from it! For example, we've been planning contact time every day, instead of just contacting people in between appointments or lessons. One day this week, we were at Lafreneire Park, and as we were walking on the sidewalk, we crossed paths with two former investigators who I had heard had moved like a month ago. They were both so excited to see us and they were amazed that I remembered who they are. Turns out they just moved houses, not to a different state like they thought they were going to. We got their new address and we're going to go visit them this week. It was another "right place at the right time moment." Anyways, zone conference was great!
I love you all so much! Thank you for all the love and support! Go do a missionary a favor this week and give them some referrals, okay? Referrals are like Christmas presents here. No joke. Also, if you really love your missionaries, invite a non-member family over for a family home evening or just dinner or something, and invite the missionaries too. You will make their year. Trust me.
Have a fantastic week!