Well week 1 was a success!
We gave a bunch of trainings and had to do a ton of little things like fixing bugs in schedules, and lots of other things but we have seen a lot of miracles. Sister Ichikawa is an awesome missionary. She is an excellent teacher and is focused on her purpose. Because of that, our goals for the transfer is the same. We want to teach as much as possible, so we have had more time to teach in the past week than we did last transfer. I think it's because we have set it as a priority. We've been able to set goals and make plans together. We have been making time for things, and choosing to delegate other things. I'm not sure if you've heard of the Urgent and Important chart, but if you picture a quad chart kind of like a geno map chart (I don't remember what you call it) from biology where if you stick the A characteristic and B characteristic you get AB, etc. I don't know if this makes sense haha. But if you picture it with Urgent on the top left, Not urgent on the top right, Important on the bottom left, not important on the bottom right, you can kind of map decisions. We can prioritize things according to their urgency and importance. So I think that's what we've been trying to do, focus on the things that urgent and important, get them done, and then go teach as much as possible. Hopefully that made sense!
We had an awesome experience on Friday. I was on a short exchange with Sister Penalba (Panama) because our companions had come back from outbound and had a meeting. It was like 4:30 and Sister Penalba hadn't eaten lunch yet, so we were gonna run down and eat for a couple minutes.We were walking past the Tabernacle where the Standby line for the Christmas Concert had already started to form, when a Senior missionary stopped us and said that there were some nonmembers in line and they had some questions, so he wanted us to go over and answer their questions. We went over and started talking to them. Their names were Jim and Kathy from North Dakota. They are Catholic. They said that we might have wrong expectations, because they were just curious about some points of the church. Well we got to talking and they liked how we don't make people give up what they believe but we invite them to come and get more good things. They asked, "where can we purchase more material we can read about your church?" So we said, we will go get something that will help. We brought them copies of the Book of Mormon and taught them all about it. They were amazed! And the spirit was so strong. They said what can we give you for these? And we of course said nothing. Well, Kathy had been trying to get tickets to the Christmas Concert for 5 years but no luck, so they were the 6th people in line. We told them they had pretty good chances of getting in. We shared with them about us as missionaries, and how we can help them learn more for themselves to know if this could be true and if there is more about Christ they could learn. They were interested and gave their contact information. Well later after we exchanged back, we were walking down to go have dinner and we walked past the Tabernacle. We went over to say hi so I could introduce Sister Ichikawa and a different Senior missionary stopped us and said that he had leanred we had talked with them and that they were interested in the Gospel so he was wondering if he could find 2 tickets to the Conference Center if we would walk them over. We were shocked! The CC was getting full, so they weren't going to let anyone from the standby line in probably, but he went through the trouble of finding two tickets and we waled them over. Kathy had tears in her eyes and they were so thankful. We texted them the next day so they could have our phone number and they said they loved the concert. Then the next day, they texted us and apologized and said that they have serious commitments that are going to make them decline our offer of teaching them more. We are so heart broken! The conversation with them was SO special and the spirit taught all of us. We are hoping we can save it some way. We will keep you updated! They are so prepared for the Gospel, and the Temple!
Paul has been a little tricky this week....We will have to work with him a little bit more to help him progress. Right now he feels like the church is really good but not for him. We hope that the spirit will teach him and he will focus on what Heavenly Father is trying to tell him.
Lauren is doing really good! I always like talking with her. She is really open, even though she has had a really hard past. She has been praying!! She said that she hasn't felt anything, but that she isn't giving up and that she will keep trying. We had a great talk with her about being willing to act on our faith, and give Heavenly Father som3thing he can work with to answer our prayers. We talked about listening and what answers she can expect, and I think it really helped her. The spirit was really strong, and she learned new things she had never learned before. i shared a story about losing keys and praying to find them, and after she said that she was brought up being taught never to pray for little things like that because God doesn't have time for those kind of things. It was so sad! But we were able to teach her that the things that are important to us are important to Him, and He always has time for us, He wants to hear from us and is willing to help with anything. She has committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying each day so we are excited to follow up on that.
Sister Ichikawa contacted this Japanese guy in the North Visitor's center the other day. He is now a new investigator and hopefully will start to progress! It's cool how things like that just fall into our hands. We were just there for our assignment and a member friend brought him up to her and they just started talking and then he was really interested in the church.
Well that's all that we have time for! We love being companions and we love being able to be here as missionaries. We are so lucky!
Happy Anniversary to my parents on Thursday!
p.s. we got to go to the Christmas Concert!