I think it was maybe last email, dad mentioned to me about how you had the elders and a less-active family over for dinner and then mom told me about how Pres Monson's mantra is about rescuing all the lost souls. We've been especially emphasizing that in our mission lately too!! I love that you had less actives over for dinner because the help of active, strong members is so valuable. We as missionaries can go visit them as much as we can, but normally it's not until they know they have friends who care about them in the ward, that they feel comfortable to come back to church.
But, we did have one cool experience this week with a less-active. We were teaching this mom, Joann and her daughter, Roann, who are both less-active members. Roann's cousin is an investigator but of course she won't go to church without her cousin. So we've been teaching the three of them. We can't figure out the mom's concern because she has a super strong testimony, but the other day we taught all of them the Plan of Salvation, well reviewed it with them. We used the awesome wooden puzzle mom sent me:) and at the end of the super good lesson, after we had closed and prayed and everything, Sister Roann said quietly to us, "Sisters, I'm going to church this Sunday." OH my goodness, it was the cutest thing ever. We had invited her several times before, had a member pick her up before, but she never came. This lesson, we didn't even invite them to church, but the Spirit testified to her that that it what she needed to do! She decided on her own, without her mom, to come to church. This Sunday, Sister Roann and her cousin Jona (they're both like 16), were one of the first to show up at church! They came by themselves, so cute and dressed up! It's all about timing and the Spirit working within their hearts:)
We have one investigator who made me think of dad! Her name is Celine and she was a member referral from her friend who is on a mission! I thought of dad and how he took the lessons while John Jarstad was on his mission. We've only been able to teach Celine a couple times because she is super busy with school and gets home late, but last night we had a great lesson with her about the Book of Mormon, We noticed how lovingly she held the book in her hands when we gave it to her. I don't know if that's the right word to describe it, but you could tell that she was really grateful for the book and she prayed at the end that she would have time to read the book and understand it. Sister de Leon bore a powerful testimony to her of how the Book of Mormon has helped her in her studies and even with passing tests. We're so blessed to have this book! The Book of Mormon is so powerful!
We have the cutest investigator who is deaf. Oh my goodness, I wish I had taken sign language before the mission! I wish so much I could communicate with him! Sister de Leon has gotten pretty good at it, but I'm still really struggling...but he came to church yesterday for the first time! His name is Reggie. He told us as he was leaving church that he wants to come back next week! I was thinking about how the Spirit doesn't need a language of words, but it's a language between spirits. I have learned so much about that on the mission, especially at the beginning when I couldn't understand or speak Illonggo:)
Last night we visited this member family, where the wife recently got baptized, but the husband has been a member for a long time. They have two daughters that are so adorable. I think I told you about them and how they sang for us and played the guitar. Last night they did "A Child's Prayer" It was the cutest thing ever because all four of them, the whole family, performed it for us:) We talked about families and how to build a strong family centered on Christ. They said that their youngest who's like 3, goes around to everyone every night and says "Men ta!" Men is her word for prayer because we end with Amen and ta means everyone. so cute! I've been learning a lot on my mission about the importance of each member of the family and how important it is to keep up the little things, like family prayer and scripture study. I've seen all sorts of families and different situations on my mission-good and bad. I have gained such an appreciation for our family and for mom and dad who have not only raised us in the teachings of the gospel, but live the gospel everyday, setting that example for us to follow. Thanks mom and dad! You're the best!
Well, I hope you're all happy and strong in the faith and healthy! Hold fast to the iron rod and we will all make it to live with our Heavenly Parents one day! I love you all sooo much! You are in my prayers:)
Love, Sister Malyon
P.S. I know you'll never believe this, but I'm overcoming my fear of birds. It's crazy. I don't even flinch when we're near chickens anymore or ducks or ugly turkeys...ok that's going a little too far. If they start to flap, I flinch, but that's it! I thought you'd be proud;)