Once upon a time in a land not so far away, Sister Rendon fell in love with missionary work and lived happily ever after.
That's really the whole story...but here are some details from this particular week.
I talked about him last week-I called him a mix between the Lord's elect and tulare's most frustrating investigator and that most definitely still applies. We had an appointment with him on Tuesday and we decided that maybe having some visuals would help Rudy out so we taught him with a whiteboard. I am being 100% honest when I say someone from the outside looking in would have assumed 100 times over that I was coaching the most intense superbowl game that has ever occurred rather than assume I was teaching the restored gospel. Which yes..there was a little bit more running and jumping than the average missionary lesson but also the SPIRIT WAS THERE. Rudy is finally beginning to understand things. That being said on another occasion this week. We were teaching a lesson and at one point Sister Burnside and Rudy and the member that was there for the lesson all looked at me...assuming I would say something because I tend to say a lot-and all I could get out was......"Rudy. I do not know what to do with you." Everyone kind of gasped and then the member assured me about 12 times after the lesson that it's okay to feel frustrated as a missionary. All is well though because when you know come to know what your working for as a missionary........It's all worth it and also I love Rudy.
Here is one more conversation we had with Rudy this week over text to help ya'll feel like you know him.
us: Hey! Are you still going to be available to meet tonight?
Rudy: Yes. Never forsake the gathering.
Teaching the Harris family:
The grandma of this family is an amazing woman who joined the church about three years ago. Her daughter just started investigating and the three kids are little jungle babies that I love. Important facts about the Harris family. THEY LOVE FEEDING MISSIONARIES. We ate with the grandma on Thursday and literally we showed up to dinner and they were only planning on the two of us eating and yet there where two whole entire chickens being served and this kool-aid that tasted like liquid jolly rancher (which I enjoyed), and a long list of other foods that were very tasty. We also had an awesome lesson with the daughter. I really, really feel as though she is committed to start moving closer to the Savior. They live in Pixley which is this minuscule little town at the very southern border of the mission. They've taken to calling us 'the utahn's' and we call them our 'little pixlies.' They both have a long past that they've shared with us prison...drugs...and most importantly REPENTANCE. It's truly amazing to see what Jesus Christ can do for a person-if we let Him in. I look at this family and I see disciples. JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF FAITH AND REPENTANCE.
I can not ever say how important the first principles of the gospel are......so pray that we can start moving towards the ordinances (baptism) with the daughter!
Teaching a witch:
We had an investigator tell us he was a witch this week. He also told us he felt like he was getting closer to God and that he loves our message....and I figure if God is no respector of persons than I certainly shouldn't be either. We are going to keep teaching him but also we are definitely going to have to teach repentance in a very unique way. I've never witnessed someone change from a witch to not a witch.....but I'm prepared to do that in this area!
teaching Sister Rendon:
After walking away from a lesson with someone who is living a particularly difficult life in particularly different circumstances. I was thinking a loud to Sister Burnside and asked a simple question....."What would it take to change his life." It didn't take us long to recognize the simple answer....making and keeping covenants. Before my mission I saw a range of different qualities of life.....barely. Now I see a far grander spectrum. Life is hard for a lot of people. Really, really hard. It's surprising the suffering you can see in Tulare California and I'm sure the suffering you can't see would be even more surprising but it is a miracle to see what life can become when people become disciples of Jesus Christ. What that takes is making and keeping covenants. So I invite you all to think about the covenants you've made- or could make. You can find them in Mosiah 18. Read the chapter. Apply the teachings. Change your life.
I love you, I love my mission, I love my Savior.
Have a great week.
-Love Sister Rendon