Dear Family and Friends,
It has been such a long, yet short week and I just hit my mark yesterday...only 3 months left until I catch a plane back to AZ!!!! = 0 It really makes me a little sick to think about. For now, I am so glad I am a missionary and the work of the Lord is ALL I have to worry about. Phew!
There was lots that happened this week! We had MTE's (missionary training experience), a combined Luau with the YSA's in the area, Temple shift, our special Rescue Sacrament Meeting, and 3 full days of proselyting and a great Pizza making FHE with the Branch....plus the hundreds of miracles in between!
Our MTE experience was so wonderful and we had a couple of amazing moments while talking to everyone along the way. One lady in an apartment complex was getting her mail and I asked, "Do you know anyone around her who needs a message of faith and hope?" She said, "Yeah, anyone from this side over that way." I laughed and said, "Does that side of the building not include you?" She said, "Yep." We walked with her for a minute and she just spat out that she was having a hard time because Sunday marked a year since her boyfriend died of cancer. She told us she believed in Jesus Christ so I bore testimony of the hope we can have because of what He did, even when it comes to our physical imperfections, that because He overcame death, we can look forward to a day when our bodies will be perfect. I asked her if I could read her something and opened up to Alma 40:23: "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame." Almost before I even finished the verse, she cried as she threw her arms around my neck and said, "thank you....I have been praying and praying to John to give me a sign." Wow! That's never happened to me before, and it was so cool to see how one verse from The Book of Mormon changed her world in about 60 seconds! Then, just after that, we were trying to contact a referral in an apartment complex and Security came around the corner and told us we had to leave and couldn't solicit or anything like that here....we explained that they knew we were coming but he said we still had to go. My great companion said, "OK, well what's your name?" In the sweet way she does...we started teaching him and he went on quoting scriptures from the bible...he was very religious. He mentioned his marriage was rocky, and we testified of family prayer...reading 3 Nephi 18:20-21. I invited him to pray with his wife, and testified personally of the power of hearing those you love pray for you, and the way it softens hearts! We asked if we could say a prayer with him and he said, "Sure, we can pray before I escort you from the property." ha ha! As we said goodbye he said he hoped to see us again...ha ha...oh that was weird...but super cool. Finally...at the end of the day a member called us and said, "Hey I have someone who wants to meet with you guys! She's right here, do you want to talk to her?" We found out we were all at the church so we met and she is SO AMAZING! She said that she is just wanting a confirmation that this is all true and wants to learn. We testified and knelt to pray. We asked her to pray and taught her how...she was nervous because she had never prayed out loud, but we comforted her and asked her to ask God if this was right and true, she cried as she finished and said she felt so good and we looked at her and said, "Alicia, (like Alys-see-uh) you already know it's true!" She is so great! We also added another young man named Charles, who is a 20 yr old in the navy. We have 4 solid investigators now and 2 with a baptism date. The work is moving along and building and it is so exciting to see!
Our "Rescue Sacrament" went so perfectly! We had hymns dedicated to the rescue..."I'll Go Where you Want Me to Go" and "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd." The Lord blessed us with many in attendance...more than usual. 2 members spoke of their experience in going less-active, then coming back, and how they have seen the blessings change their life. Our recent convert then spoke about how this was everything she didn't know she was looking for and it started with an invitation. I sang a song "There Are Angels" about how the shepherd watches over and knows His sheep and then President Little spoke and it was beautiful! The spirit was magnified! At the end of the meeting, the presidency, relief society president, elders quorum president, and ward mission leader stood at the doors and the members took a slip of 5 names, accepting the challenge to call or try to contact them in some way and invite them out to something. Through this process we will eventually narrow it down to those who are still friendly and interested in coming back and whom we can visit as branch members. 3rd hour we spent elaborating with additional stories and testimonies and went over the organization and logistics of following up and reporting. It was amazing to see the members leaving sacrament and talking to each other about it. There seemed to be a lot of excitement...some members taking 2 or 3 slips = ) and saying things like, "Are you going to invite your 5 to the pool and pizza party?" So neat! This is what it is all about! I know we will see miracles!
I read these verses in the New Testament and loved them...it is how I feel about those I teach and the vision I have for them!
1 Thessalonians 2:9-12,19,20
"For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
For ye are our glory and joy."
|Teaching our newest and greatest Investigator, Kelsey!|
|Doesn't it look PERFECT!! Everyone kept saying it looked too perfect and restaurant quality = )|
|President Little slicing up our pizza....it was soooo yummy and he actually only ate our pizza and gave it rave reviews = ) Too fun!|
|Singing "Be Still My Soul" at the Senior's Luncheon.|
|Funny and awesome sign at the car shop we went to to get our estimate of damages...fitting place to have it = )|
|Me and my mission president's wife, Sister Clayton...we always seem to match ; ) I could be her daughter|
|Cutting fruit for our big Luau for the YSA's|
|Me and Sister Patterson at the Luau! It was a big hit!|