Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween from a little dragon

I'm so glad this costume fits this year at least. I was so disappointed it didn't last year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Worst day yesterday

Man peed in our back yard (alley) while we were watching with disgust from our porch.
Workers' hammers woke Isaac up.
Workers smoked on our shared porch.
Blake is sick.
Grated my finger with the carrots.
Got audited. Who knew you had to pay to St. Louis City, as well as State and Federal?

Curse my life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not as much faith as my mother or my brother

I am so proud that my mom and brother have been serving as missionaries for the past year and a half. Anyone that has talked to me here in St. Louis has heard about how I was going to visit my mom who was coming home from her MISSION at the end of September. And my brother is such a funny letter-writer and we can tell he's just so awesome, as can his mission president because he's been AP for months and months.

Excerpt from Andrew this week:

"But yesterday was probably the best day of my mission, so it is all worth it. Now I am sure you must be thinking, "Andrew, the BEST DAY of your mission? That is a bold statement. What did you do? Find, teach, and baptize a family all in one day?" Not quite...but we sure came close.

Gina Garcia asked for a missionary visit. She had gone to church with a friend in High School and enjoyed it, so she wanted to learn more. Our appointment was for yesterday. Going into the lesson our main focus was to teach by the spirit, and that meant to do everything possible to invited the spirit into her home. So we began with a Hymn, #135 My Redeemer Lives. Then we prayed and bore solid, pure testimony of the Restored Gospel. The Spirit was so strong, I was on the verge of tears. She is a single mother and has struggled for years, finally she is humbled enough to say, I need God, what do I need to have His help. She is going to prepare for baptism on October 30th. When we started to leave, she said, will you also go downstairs and teach my sister and mother? They are waiting for you. Basically the same experience happened, they too are committed to baptism on October 30th. My entire service out here has been in anitcipation for such an experience, and it happened. They have had exposure to the church before, when they lived in Forest Grove, and now they want it in their lives. Really, we did not do anything, just another instrument in the Lord's hands. They were prepared for our visit, and they recognized the spirit.

When we left, I realized how many months I had been wasting trying to indoctrinate people and convince them of the truthfulness of the Gospel by my own logic and reason. The way the Lord asks us to preach is by the spirit. If they feel the spirit, they will recognize us as servants of God. And if they believe with all their hearts that we are the Lord's servants, then teaching becomes easy, it becomes secondary to the testimony they have received. The Lord has people prepared, people who will recognize the promptings of the spirit, and once I understood how to really teach by the spirit, the Lord poured out his blessings on us."

He's my little brother?
And my mom is awesome too. It was so funny seeing her walking around her huge house with this look on her face like, "Where am I? What am I supposed to do? Who can I teach?" (The answer was the photographer we met up the canyon and the lady who asked us to take a picture of her and her dog.)

Anyway, I visited home. It was fun. Wish I was still there.

On Wednesday I was reminded of something that happened on my trip to Utah. At 7 AM I was unloading the dishwasher and Isaac was walking around the kitchen, as usual, pulling things down from the shelves and putting magnets on the floor and taking utensils out of the dishwasher and getting them dirty on the floor. Anyway, his shoes were on the floor by the fridge and then one of them was missing. All day we couldn’t find it. I was just sure it had to be in the kitchen because I didn’t think Isaac had left. When I was in Utah with my mom Isaac lost a shoe in the middle of a shopping trip so we traced our steps through Deseret Book and the across the parking lot to Bed Bath and Beyond. My mom drove up to Bed Bath and Beyond and while she passed me said, “Have you said a prayer? We should pray.” So I know my mom prayed and I did say a quick little prayer, but I was thinking that was a little childish. I found the shoe in Bed Bath and Beyond and I know it was because of my mom’s faith, not mine.

So on Wednesday God was giving me another chance to pray for something I needed. Anyway, found it at 5 PM in between the rice and the oatmeal where I had looked five times. I almost called my mom to get her prayer power because hers work better. So now we know—four of my prayers = one mom prayer.


my sisters

so many boy cousins

missionary mom (and Drew)