November 25, 2013
We had a truly wonderful week. We have been applying many of the principles from Elder Golden coming and I can see them paying off! One thing he talked about was comparison. In missionary work, we should NEVER compare ourselves to other missionaries. We should always compare ourselves to the Lord, though, and strive to be more Christlike. The way we can truly experience the miracle of the atonement is to compare ourselves to our old selves. We have been applying that to our goal-setting and Heavenly Father has been helping us with increased desires to improve and increased faith. Here are some highlights from this week:
We were door knocking on Friday and we met this lady named Alba. She is from Columbia and was feeling sick when we came to the door. She was on her way to closing the door but we asked if we could say a prayer for her health. She let us in to her house and we talked more about the restoration and said a prayer. She invited us to come back the next day. We were so excited! We even got a member who speaks Spanish to come with us. We showed up Saturday at the time we planned and she wasn't home. However, her husband was there. We explained we had an appointment set up with Alba and he invited us to come in. He said while we waited for her to come home, we could give him "a 15-minute presentation." It was amazing. As we started bearing testimony of restored truths, his heart truly softened. Alba eventually came home, but her husband stayed and we ended up teaching for over an hour. He started posing questions like, "What happens to people after they die if they have never heard of Christ?" and it was amazing to see we had the answers. We are going back this weekend so we are excited to see them again! It was such a huge miracle!
We had two more opportunities to rake leaves this week. It was awesome! One of them was so cool. We door knocked into this lady named Del on Halloween. She is pretty old and set in her ways but was really nice. We had an impression to go back last Monday after P-day and she mentioned her neighbors had to leave town for a family emergency so no one was there to rake their leaves. We offered to help and we went back on Thursday to do that. We raked with a guy named Daniel. He lives in that neighborhood and offered to help out as well. Del told us Daniel was studying to become a minister and so we were really excited to talk religion as we were raking. Sure enough, we raked for a couple of hours and Daniel asked questions the whole entire time! It was so awesome to be able to teach in a service-oriented setting. We got his number at the end and he wants to learn more so that was awesome. We will have to pass him off to the MSU missionaries, but we are all working for the same team so that's ok. ALSO, we asked him at the end about wanting to become a minister and he said, "I have no clue why Del said that. I am a web design major." It was hilarious but also so inspired Del said that! It set us up to expect having religious conversations with him. When we have that faith and those expectations, Heavenly Father meets them!
We taught Sandy Saturday night. We felt like we should teach the restoration again and we really emphasized there being one true church. She told us at the end she knows Joseph Smith saw God and the Book of Mormon is true and we asked her what she would do with that knowledge. She has a goal to read the Book of Mormon by the 1st of the year so we are doing that challenge with her and she accepted a baptismal date for January 4th!
Jaszzameen is progressing well. She has been consistently coming to church for a while now and is really well-fellowshipped by the ward. She is just waiting for Heavenly Father to tell her if this is the right thing to do. It was really cool to see her at church on Sunday. We learned about family history and baptisms for the dead and she was so touched by that restored truth. We read with her about it in 1 Corinthians 15:29 and it really brought the Spirit showing the Bible talks about these ordinances as well. Pray for her that she will be able to recognize her answer!!
One of my old investigators at MSU got baptized this weekend. His name is James. I think I talked about him before. He was the one who we found after an hour-and-a-half of walking and not seeing a single soul! Heavenly Father really knew where we needed to go. His baptism was such a spiritual experience! Right after James came out of the water, he said, "Wow, I feel different." He bore such a powerful testimony of the atonement after. He is definitely someone I have seen change throughout the process of becoming converted. I am so grateful for the atonement and how truly joyful it can allow us to be. Also at the baptism I was able to talk to the sisters in the Lansing area. Do you remember the lady I talked to on the bus named Rikisha? She was super prepared--she even had a daughter named Cumorah! Well the sisters told me she is on date to be baptized as well! Miracles are happening all over and it is so amazing to be a part of it. Missionary work is truly an invitation to participate in miracles.
In other news, it is freezing. If you have any good ways of staying warm, let me know! The humidity here is killer during the winter time.
Also, I did a cool thing where I counted the number of times it says, "Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land." It says it SO many times! It is such a testimony to me Heavenly Father really does keep His word. Our family really has been blessed so much. I am amazed at the things I took for granted growing up. If we all commit to keep his commandments for the rest of our lives, we WILL be blessed.
I love you all!