Now I get it. I understand why it's called Bakersfield. I'm being baked. 111 degrees for three days in a row...
Tuesday morning we got to help a part-member family lay some sod in their backyard. It went really quickly, and while waiting for another load to arrive, we got to talk to their non-member daughter a little bit about prayer and about the Savior.
We had zone conference on Wednesday! It's called zone conference still, even though there were four zones there. All the missionaries in Bakersfield came, and we got to be instructed by president and Sister Layton as a whole, and by our zone leaders in smaller groups. We talked a lot about faith and finding. I really enjoyed talking about Caleb and Joshua in the book of Numbers, giving reports on what they found in the Promised Land. It's easy to feel sometimes that we are "as grasshoppers" to the people in our areas, and that no one will listen to us. But no missionary is called to preach and never be listened to at all. If we strive to have the Spirit and follow Christ fully, as Caleb did, we too can experience miracles.
Because of the zone conference about finding, we spent a lot of time that evening with our bishop and ward mission leader, talking about how we're going to organize work with the ward from now on. We also spent a lot of time planning for it on Thursday. When we asked President about some specifics, he told us (sort of unrelated to what we asked about) to share the First Vision with members, and have them think while we share about who they know who could use these blessings. We prepared ourselves to do it at the dinner that night, and while we were there, a non-member friend of their daughter came and joined us for dinner! We went ahead and shared what we'd planned (the first vision is part of the restoration after all) and I don't think I've ever felt the Spirit that strong at a dinner in my entire life. I don't know if that girl is going to be an investigator any time soon (her parents are VERY devout Catholics), but she definitely felt the Spirit too, and won't soon forget it. Miracles happen, even if they're not by the means we expect them to.
Friday was a long day. We spent a lot of time out in the hot sun, and hardly got to talk to anyone. It's hard here at times, it seems like no one lives in many houses here- they don't answer the door at any time of day, and don't seem to like being outside. But we're working hard to give them the chance to accept the Gospel. That's all we can do.
Saturday and Sunday were a lot like Friday. Oh well. Can't have an incredible week every week!
I've been out for almost 11 months now. Weird. Time goes by fast. Even if I've only been here for a couple baptisms, I feel that my mission is starting to have the intended effect. I'm not perfect by any means, but I do love the Savior, and it's a good feeling.
Hopefully I'll have more exciting news next week. But until then, thanks for your support!