So there's this kid who just returned from the Mexico Tampico mission. Fireball. His family is less active, but started coming off and on before his return. They invited us over for dinner and he invited a friend to hear the first discussion. During dinner, as we got to know the family and friend better, we learned that Sarah (the friend) and I share the same birthday, which was the day previous. When they learned that I didn't blow out candles for my birthday, the mother got excited, and stuck a candle in a Klondike bar for me and sang and what not. It's crazy how much that meant to me. She said it meant a lot to her to be able to do that for a missionary because birthdays were so hard for her when her son was serving. The discussion went well. Sarah is awesome. She is very active in her church, but feel the spirit, and wants to learn more. It helps to have a ward member encouraging the rest of the ward to get people in their homes for the discussions, and then to be an example. Member work is still the most effective, but with most members, we're trying to encourage them to give the last 2% needed to invite others to increase their faith. It's going to happen. The gospel essentials lesson was on missionary work yesterday, and the ward mission leader shared that when women find a recipe they love they immediately share it with all their friends, or make it for their friends, but they're hesitant to do that with the gospel. He asked "why don't we do that?" One of my favorite recently reactivated sisters in the ward exclaimed, "Yeah!!! Why don't we do that??? I don't get us!!!"
For our second time doing service at the senior living center, Sister Wells and I sang a hymn for them and then were asked to help do the ladies' nails. Sounds like fun, right? I never ever ever ever ever ever ever want to do that again. Haha. I'm no good at nails, but thankfully Sister Wells is, so I could remove polish and file some, do base coats, etc, and ask her to help make it look pretty. Ugh, the toe jam smell makes me shudder now just thinking about it. NEVER again. But I do love serving those people, they are so sweet, and I love hearing their stories and discussing perspectives on God and life.
We got a text from our district leader during our study hour asking if it was possible for us to make two cakes for district meeting which was to start two hours later. He concluded the text with, I have FAITH and assured us it was for a mind-blowing object lesson. We responded, "it shall be done, according to your faith." Sister Wells had one cake mix, and I came up with another one from scratch. It was pretty good. It was a memorable lesson on presentation to be used in our teaching as we contact people. I love having such faithful missionaries in my district to learn from.
It was incredible to me to watch a 6 yr old girl receive revelation this week. This family is AWESOME. The Youngs. They are very missionary-minded and set goals as families before we started working with them. We used the referral tool lesson which ALWAYS brings revelation. I helped 6 yr old Cora--who is pretty much my best friend, I LOVE this little girl--write her list of everyone she knew who she would like to see have the gospel. When we went back through the list, I explained what the spirit feels like, and asked her to listen to the spirit as I read the names again to see who she thought was ready. I would read some names, and she would say, "no....no...she's very nice, but not ready right now..." then I got to two names, and her eyes lit up, and she said, "YES!" because I was talking to him and he asked me if I could come over and play, and I said "no, I can't play right now because the missionaries are coming over, and he said, 'what are missionaries??!!'" She was SO excited, and I was SO excited, and when we gathered back as a whole group with the family to share the results of our list, every family member had written the name of someone from that same family Cora was talking about. Inspired? Absolutely. Time to INVITE.
Our neighbor/eternalgator Harold overcame a serious addiction! This has been years coming. A cause for much rejoicing! Another investigator, Brent, accepted an invitation to be baptized and is starting to read from the Book of Mormon daily.
The rest of our teaching pool is working like revolving doors. Anthony and Chey haven't returned our texts or phone calls this week, the British woman, June, dropped us. Sharon is awesome, we have an appointment with her and the family history specialist this week for which she's very excited. She wanted to attend the women's conference, but wasn't able to. Her husband doesn't like LDS faith, but lets her investigate.
We were able to team-up with members to get to the far parts of our area to teach some unbaptized members. It's hard that church is almost an hour drive for them, but they need the gospel and were very receptive. We also found less active members who still have such great testimonies and I feel could so easily be reactivated and feel the blessings in their life again. I'm excited to work with them, some even got excited at the prospect of coming out with us--as they invite others to come to church, they will come themselves.
We had another exchange this week. This time I got to stay in my area. At the start of the exchange, Sister Christensen asked what I wanted to find that day for new investigators. I said I wanted three--a family with three baptismal candidates. We kept this as our motivation for the day as EVERY appointment/plan fell through. In the last hour, Sister Christensen suggested we knock a door. I don't knock after dark without an appointment as I've learned people do not appreciate it and are never receptive. If plans fall through for the evening, I normally try to call up a member--active or less-active to teach a lesson or find a public place to contact. She continued to say that she may have a feeling about a particular door--she wasn't sure if it was the spirit or not, but we would never know if we didn't try. We tried--the lady was not appreciative of us knocking on her door so late. We left, and she said, "just one more." I hesitantly agreed, and chose a door I felt good about. A man let us in, and called his wife--who was laying down in a room with their two kids--to come to the living room for a minute. We were surprised at how well they received us. WE shared the first lesson. The kids LOVED it. The wife did too. When we asked if we could come back the wife and kids simultaneously said, "YES". Family of four. Three baptismal candidates (the youngest is under 8). Three new investigators. God helped us reach our goal in the last hour.
The gospel is true, y'all, and I'm fixin to find more the Lord has prepared to receive it.
Steadfast in Christ,