Hello Family!!!! Happy Fourth of JULY!!!! I will miss being with you at the parade! We are allowed to be with members during the festivities, so we are going to stay with the Launchbaugh family. Their backyard is the ocean, and 30,000 people line it on the 4th! We are excited. :) Thank you so much for the Fourth of July package as well!!! Hna Young and I loved our t-shirts, and we decorated the apartment! We are going to wear the shirts on the 4th. :)
Okay I spent the whole time writing President this week, so I'll just copy what I told him...
Morro Bay is doing great as well. We have two kids we are teaching, Alejandra and Luis, and they came to church yesterday! They had so much fun! They sang, "I Am a Child of God" for everyone in sacrament meeting. We taught them that song a few weeks ago, and they sing it constantly! Everyone was really good to them at church, so they had a really good experience. We are trying to get their parents to be more interested. We keep telling them that the message is for families, but they haven't wanted to come to church themselves yet. Hopefully soon!
Also, I went on exchanges with Hermana Killpack this last week! She is from Firth and she's SO CUTE! We saw so many miracles! We had a list of new move-ins that the ward council had given us. There were about 15 people on the list, and so we decided to look at the list and pick some people to visit. One of the names stood out to Hermana Killpack, but the city he lived in was really far away from everywhere else we were working that day. We decided to go anyways, not even knowing if he would be there. When we pulled up to the house, we saw a car backing out of the drive-way and so we hurried and ran up to the car. The lady said, "Can I help you?" We asked if a William Sheppard lived there and she said, "Oh no, I don't know him." We asked if they had just moved in and she said, "No, we've lived here for 3 years." So we went back to our car, and she left to go wherever she was going. We looked at the paper again to double check the address, and sure enough! It was right. Hermana Killpack again was very prompted that we needed to go knock on the door. So we did, and a man answered the door. We asked if a William Sheppard lived there and he said, "yeah..." and so we asked if it was him and he said, "...yeah... you must be mormon's cause you have the tags. ." We asked him if he was a member of the church and tried to shake his hand and he stood there stiff and just said, "That's what they tell me. But I try very hard to make sure they don't know where I am." We found out that he had lived there for three years, but the ward had just barely received his records because it was on the new move-in list! We started talking to him about random things, and found out he had served in the Navy. When we asked what he did in the Navy he harshly responded, "Killed people." The spirit again guided Hermana Killpack, and she began to cry and explained how her grandpa had served in the Navy, and she thanked him for the service he had given to the country. This softned his heart (not enough to WANT to talk to us, but enough to actually converse with us.) We later found that he has two granddaughters on missions for the church in south america. He doesn't know where, and he doesn't talk to them, but he found out from their dad that they are on missions. We also talked about his job (he makes vitamins, and he warned us that taking Biotin will make our hair fall out rather than help it to grow..good thing! Hna Killpack and I have both been taking it!) When he mentioned that someone sent us there to find him, Hna Killpack was able to explain how we were actually guided there. That his name was the only one she could see out of 15 other names on the paper, and that we knew we needed to see him that day. Towards the end we asked if there was anything we could do for him. He responded, "I would say leave, but I felt bad the last time I said that." Right after his wife pulled back into the drive way and he said, "However, that's my wife and she hates Mormons, so you better leave right now because she has really mean dogs." He then lifted up his hand to shake ours. We were able to tell him that we didn't know why he was so bitter against the church, but we promised him that the church would still bless his life if he would choose to come back. His wife then chirped in, "If you ever step foot on this property again, we will call the cops!" (Ooooo scary.)
Later when I explained everything that happened to the ward council, they looked on his record and saw that he had been ordained a 70 at one point in his life. It reminded me of zone conference and how important it is to save these inactive members who have made covenants with the Lord, and who did know at one point in their lives of the truthfulness of this message. It also reminded me of Hna Newland, and how much she wants her family to re-activate in the church. I know those granddaughters of William Sheppard have probably been praying really hard that the missionaries might be able to go and find him! And I'm sure that's why we were guided there that day. And that he needed to meet Hna. Killpack!
I don't know what will end up happening with him. And as it turns out, he actually lives in the Elder's area (which I did not know because I am still getting to know the area!) But I know that we were walking side by side with Jesus Christ that day, and I know that Heavenly Father cares about each one of his children enough to set up something like that for any one of them. That was one of the biggest miracles I have seen on my mission so far. I wish I had more time to write out all of the little miracles that led up to that one, and explain exactly how much we could see the hand of God guiding us that day! But I was able to witness God taking the time away from the 99 to look for the 1 lost sheep.
I love you all! Have a great week and a happy fourth!! Be safe and don't drink, it's not smart. :)
<3 Hermana Ricks!