Being sick on the mission is a super big buzzkill because nothing gets done. Sister Portzline was sick a lot of the week which meant we couldn't do as much as we wanted to. So I don't actually have a ton to report on missionary work unfortunately. We did have a crazy Restoration lesson on Sunday with a new investigator that was crazy just because of how long it went with all this guy's questions, but also crazy in that we found out immigration is on his tail and there's a chance he's getting deported this week. He also can't read or write so he can't read the Book of Mormon until we can find an audio recording. #thestatesidespanishstruggleisreal Other than that, we just did what we could, and planned a lot, and called a whole lot of people. Not the most exciting thing ever, but definitely necessary and helpful going forward. Also, there was a baptism this week that we got to go to and one of our investigators came. It was a miracle! The little girl getting baptized is one of my piano students. When she got confirmed, she just started bawling. She said she was crying because she was so happy. It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Also, Juan Pablo got his patriarchal blessing yesterday and is over the moon with elation! I'm so excited to teach him tomorrow and ask him how it went. He texted us after and was SO happy! Also, he was called as the secretary in the elders' quorum yesterday which I was super happy about because it’s taken a while to get him in a calling. Everything is just working out nicely. :)
One of the things that stood out to me the most that he said was when he first stood up to talk. He said, "I don't know why I'm here. This is one of the few weekends in the year we're not on assignment to go do a training or stake conference or anything, so the President of the Twelve just sends us to where he feels we should go for a weekend. And I don't know why I'm here. But I'm excited to find out!" I just thought that was super powerful. Even an apostle didn't know why he was sent here, but he did it anyways because he knew the Lord would work through him in the way He needed to work. That's how missionaries are a lot of the time. We don't know exactly why we're in this mission, or in the areas we're in, or with the people we're with, but we know it's where the Lord needs us right now, so we just press forward and do everything we can so that the Lord can accomplish His work.
The last thing he talked about was my favorite, and it was the power of names. He talked about the name of the Lord, and how so much of what we do is by the power just in the name, like how we say prayers in His name, or perform ordinances in His name. He talked about promising people things in the name of the Lord, which was super powerful, because it means we have to be the real deal or else we're using the name of the Lord in vain. It's crazy that right now we have the power to promise people things and testify of things in the name of Jesus Christ. It's quite humbling. Elder Rasband also talked about the power of using our investigators' names when we talk to them. Like when we're testifying or promising things, we should say, "Wendy, I can promise you that God will hear and answer your prayers..." and stuff like that. He told a few stories about remembering people's names and how much it meant and I realized it's so true. Hearing your own name makes it feel so much more personal and makes you pay a lot more attention. I wish I could quote him better because so much of what he said was just incredible. It was just an amazing lesson on making things more personal and heartfelt and not being afraid to call on the power of the name that is on our tags, which is the name we represent.
Overall, it was amazing. I wish I could accurately describe how I felt and what I learned, but I can't. Sorry. :) I know without a doubt that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ and that it is led by Him whose name we wear, and that He speaks through His prophets and apostles today. I am so humbled and honored to work closely with the apostles to help bring the Gospel to our brothers and sisters. Elder Rasband said, "You all just shook my hand today, and just two days ago, I shook President Monson's hand. That's how close you are to the prophet. Just one handshake. And do you know what he said in that meeting? He wanted to hear where we all had been, and where we were going, and after we reported, he said one thing. He said. 'Brethren-- I want you to tell the missionaries that I love them.'"
I love you all so much! Go have the best week of your lives!