"HAVE FAITH, HAVE HOPE.
LIVE LIKE HIS SON.
HELP OTHERS ON YOUR WAY!"
Holy moly folks it's been a darn good week. God is so good.
On Monday I was a bit rebuked for not recognizing miracles as much lately. So I prayed for help to recognize them and for more to happen this week. And boy did they come pouring down. I need to leave myself a little reminder so five years from now when I look back and read my blog I'll be able to remember--->GO READ YOUR JOURNAL FROM THIS WEEK TO REMEMBER EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED.
First off, CONGRATS to CHAR CHAR on her engagement! As sad as it is that I won't be there for her wedding, she was repping her ARKANSAS SHIRT when he purposed. So it definitely makes up for me missing her wedding, ok not exactly but I still think that's awesome. The whole world is getting married meanwhile I'm just trying to wear outfits that match. hahaha the simple life of a missionary, can't beat it. :)
So let's just dive in here...
We are finishing up lessons with one of our young investigators so she is prepared for her baptism on the 27th. Something we've been working on is helping her pray out loud because it makes her super nervous. We tried and tried to get her to say the opening prayer before our lesson but she didn't want to at all. We said it, taught the lesson and finished by getting her started in the Book of Mormon. We read 8 versus in 1 Nephi 1 and she looked up at us and said "Can I say the closing prayer??" We both were so shocked! She did it and then said another one later on that night. 8 versus of the Book of Mormon people, that's all it takes. :)
On Friday night we had a conference call with the Spanish zone. It's hard to stay united as a zone because we all our spread out across the whole mission and we each have our own area zones so the zone leaders wanted to have a conference call to bring us all together. In the call we all were challenged to set 3 dates before the end of the week, giving us 2 days. They told us not to go in Sunday night without 3 dates. It made us super pumped and we definitely were up for the challenge. On Saturday we spent the day in Dardanelle spiritual harvesting. The Dardanelle elders gave us some areas we could try to find Spanish. Dardanelle is a gold mine! After a couple hours of knocking in a few areas we found around 8 new Spanish gators. 3 of which are FAMILIES. By the end of these couple hours we were all out of media. We had given away every Libro De Mormon, and Restoration pamphlets we had. It felt so good. Some of these families are just gold. However, we were kind of piles and did not set any dates. Which lead to a lot of stress dreams Saturday night because I knew we had 3 to set all on Sunday.
So Sunday- Church went super well! Our young investigator was there and another investigator came! I don't remember if I ever talked about him, but on Christmas Eve we were in Dollar General and he approached us and asked us what church we were with. He seemed genuinely interested and we left him a card with our number. He told us he would call. Which lots of people say that and never do. So we thought it was cool but never thought much of it and hadn't heard from him since. So Sunday morning we had a missed call from a random number, after calling back we found out it was this man! And he wanted to come to church! AND HE CAME! Mac was in Spanish and I waited for him in English. I was in the hall in the middle of sacrament and he still hadn't come. I was mid prayer asking God to help him make it here and praying he didn't change his mind, and I looked up and there he was walking in! He really liked the service and afterward wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. MIRACLES.
We also got to teach the priests. Which was a first, I've never taught in priesthood before. We talked about the importance of our choices and going on missions. What made it even cooler was there are a total of two priests, one is a Stokes and one is a Barrera. Two families I adore and two boys I definitely want to see serve missions.
So after church, our task was to set these 3 dates. We first went to a referral we got from the elders a while ago and nothing was really coming from it. We had the feeling to try again, so on Thursday we stopped by. When we arrived she was out front doing yard work. We started helping her out and talking and getting to know her a little bit. After about 45 minutes of this she told us to get in her car so we could all go get drinks. The instant trust missionaries get is insane. Haha so we all went to DQ and talked about the Book of Mormon over our smoothies :) haha That's never happened to me before. A complete stranger, not even an investigator yet just has us jump in her car and takes us out and buys us drinks! We weren't able to teach her much then, but we went back Sunday and taught her the Restoration. It could not have gone any better. She was in tears, she feels a lot of confusion in her life and is really overwhelmed. The spirit was so strong and she accepted a baptismal date for March! YAY!!!
We had 2 hours until the end of the night and the Spanish ZLs sent us a reminder text that we couldn't go in until we had 3 dates. We joked that there was a good possibility of us sleeping outside.
We had one last appointment to go to before we needed to go in to finish studies. We went to go contact a member referral. Brother Plumb is the best member missionary ever. He was in Krogers and saw a young couple he knew from work. He said the spirit told him to talk to them and gave them a Book of Mormon and has been stopping by ever since to follow up. We went by, taught Restoration and set 2 more dates for March! They are the best! And we left with the biggest smiles on our faces because God is just too good! :) Man it's the greatest feeling ever to teach the restoration over and over again and feel of that spirit and help people find out the church is true. It's the best.
This week we've been studying lots about Moroni's challenge and promise in Moroni 10:3-5. Anyone who has served a mission is all too familiar with these verses. As we teach our investigators about the Restoration we finish by explaining that we are not here to persuade or convince them that our message is true, our purpose is to invite them to accept Moroni's challenge, we are there to help increase their desire to seek their own answers. We help them read The Book of Mormon and then ask God, who knows all, and to receive their own answer and gain their own testimony that their through own experiences, that what we are saying is true. I've also learned that Moronis' challenge is not just for first time readers. This is for all of us, everyday, after we read even just one verse, to get on our knees and plead with God with sincere hearts if that one verse we read is not true. And from personal experience I can say the spirit will testify again and again of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to you by feelings given from the Holy Ghost.
Moroni's challenge is also for those who once knew it was true and have forgotten. Sometimes I become frustrated because I have a hard time remembering spiritual experiences. I've come to learn that there is a reason for it! Because I forget, even things that happened last week, it makes me yearn for more. It requires me to keep working and striving for those kind of experiences every day. Because we work with members who have forgotten their testimony or maybe felt like they never really got the answer, we always suggest they TRY AGAIN with sincere hearts and the intent to act upon their answer. Having the confirmation of the Book of Mormon is the most important piece of our testimony we can gain. From what I've seen those who have received this witness aren't likely to leave.
I was guided to the conference talk "The Great Commandment" by Elder Holland, a talk I've referred to in my emails before. Go read it again:) I thought it connected well because like Peter, after having the knowledge of the gospel and working so closely with Christ, he was unsure how to go forward after death of the Savior, and funny enough, decided to just go fishing instead. As the resurrected Savior returned and called upon Peter, he asked him if he love Him 3 times. Peter claimed he did. Elder Holland paraphrased the Saviors response:
"Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, are disciples"
Many of us like to go fishing. We aren't real sure how to move forward or may run into road blocks so "fishing" seems like the safe option. But the last thing we want to be found doing is sitting on the lake taking a nap when there is SO MUCH for us to be doing that result in a greater happiness than a few temporary fish dinners. I'm not a big fan of fish anyway ha.
Our loyalty to the gospel won't budge if our testimony is centered on the evidence of the restored Gospel. PMG says "Reading, pondering and praying about the Book of Mormon are critical for an enduring conversion." I love the Book of Mormon. President told his non member family before leaving for his mission "any positive change you see in me is because of my testimony of Book of Mormon" I feel the exact same. The bible and Book of Mormon together is the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
On a different note, I heard about the passing of Sadie Wells. Char told me about it through email on Tuesday. I was incredibly shocked; my head was kind of in the clouds all day. I can't claim to know Sadie very well, because I didn't. I had only hung out with her a small handful of times and our relationship didn't really go beyond Instagram friends. The biggest connection I had with Sadie is that we both are Sister Missionaries. I just simply want to testify that the veil is a little thinner with the calling of a missionary. I imagine the transition she made from the work she was doing here to the work she is doing now are quite similar. Sadie ended all of her emails quoting a primary song. I want to echo her testimony,
Have faith, have hope, Live like his son, help others on their way.
THANKS FOR THE MUSTACHES AMANDA!
WEEKLY WALMART TRIP
P-DAY AT THE CARNATHAN'S!