HAVE MIRACLES CEASED?? NO!!
It's been a great final week:) here's the last email!
Lesson with Richard Boyd- he is from the church of Christ. They aren't big Mormon fans normally. But after offering service he agreed to sit down and have a "bible study." He actually knows the Osmond family- cool right? He has nothing against Mormons but he told us flat out that he thought we were wrong and that he would pray for us so we wouldn't go to hell. Haha He made it pretty clear that he didn't want us to use the Book of Mormon at all and we were only to use the bible. He got us all sat down on lawn chairs and gave us kool aid and started preachin to us. He definitely knows his bible. We were able to take control and taught the Restoration using only the bible. Of course some of his interpretations were different but there were some scriptures that he was not able to explain. When we recited the 1st vision the spirit was so strong. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon. I told him as he read it that he would want to deny the power that he feels, he probably won't want to openly admit that he feels the spirit as he reads, especially because it's against what he believes, but that it will be undeniable as the spirit witnesses that the Book of Mormon is truth. Ahh the spirit was just so strong as we testified. He admitted "y'all are converting me..." He doesn't want to meet regularly but he will be a member one day. Heavenly Father has been preparing him. I've had the chance to teach the restoration a lot this week and it's a big tender mercy.
Another miracle- by Friday we had 0 new investigators out of our goal of 5. We set a goal to have 3 by the end of the day. We joking talked about getting all 5 new investigators in one day… Whelp sure enough! By the end of the day we had 5 new investigators!
Sanchez family - another Spanish family. Every Spanish family I've had the chance to work with have been miracles. This family has the sweetest spirit to them. I felt at home being in their home. Can't say enough how much I love their culture and just them. Everything about them. They speak English too! So they can go to the Morrilton ward!
So y'all may remember Thelma Marquez, the mom of a family Hermana Madsen and I taught in Memphis. We had randomly knocked on their door and found out that a recent convert lived there with family. None of the family (Marquez family) were members. Our first visit with them we just got to know them a little, set a return appointment and left them with a prayer. Missionaries have been working with them ever since. So this week I get a call from Hermana Madsen and Macfarlane and they told me they had just gotten out of an appointment with Thelma. Thelma finally admitted that she had felt the spirit so strongly during that first prayer we had said when we first met her. She said she cried the rest of the day because the spirit hit her so hard. She now, 5 months later, has made the decision to marry her boyfriend and get baptized!! Miracles! Power of prayer!!
For my final sacrament meeting I was asked to speak on the Restoration. I taught it like I would in a lesson with an investigator. My final time teaching the Restoration. I felt the spirit so strongly, especially as I recited the 1st vision. It was a powerful moment and one I'll never forget.
Although I was only here a month the members have taken such good care of me. Sad to say goodbye - I'll miss them tons.
SISTER PETERSON AND JESSIE
Another miracle- Brian. He is a chaplain that visits the rest home. We go to the rest home twice a week to call bingo and I had met him a few times. He really respects us and was always so kind. He was sad to hear I was leaving and I felt prompted to invite him to listen to me speak at church. We didn't think much of it. After church I walked down from the stand to find my companions and right behind them I see Brian! My mouth literally dropped. He gave me this little bible note book and was just so kind. How cool right?!
Sunday night, my last few hours of proselyting- well, back up to a few weeks ago. We all had received bishop’s blessings. One part in my blessing said "find the one and let them know of God’s love for them" I had somewhat forgotten about it until our final hour Sunday evening. We were out knocking a few doors (upon my request) and I felt so much urgency to find this person and tell them God loves them! It was such a clear feeling that they were close. We stopped and said a prayer. Mid prayer, car headlights flashed on our faces and I knew it was them. They were driving towards us and had to stop at a stop sign. I went up to the window and had them roll it down. It was a middle aged couple. I gave them a card and testified of God’s love for them. It was a really simple experience. But right after I felt like I had completed my work.
Some other funs this week:
I had my last quarterly interview with President. It's always good to see him. I've missed him. He renewed my temple recommend :) He talked with us as a companionship and told me for the last couple days I was going to be more of an "observer" so Sister Clarke and Fifield would be ready to take over when I leave, and I'd give feedback at the end of the day. It's been challenging to sit back- after the first day I was so sad. The reality of me leaving really hit. It's been good though! They are going to do awesome! Morrilton is on fire! President also gave us some good life advice.... G.O.I = get over it. Hahaha
I was blessed to see more Russellville family this week! I saw Jim and Vicki stokes! Bishop Stokes came to our sacrament meeting. Amber, Jake and Dayvonne came and treated us to dinner! Amber got a new calling and is now in young women's with Dayvonne!
Daniela and Jaime also were in Morrilton getting their temple recommends so I got to see them! THEY ARE IN UTAH RIGHT NOW!
BISHOP JIM AND VICKI STOKES
DAYVONNE AND AMBER
Elder Ockey invited me to instruct at district meeting. They also threw me a little funeral. Haha
We met with a member that has pet raccoons!
For those of you that know Grey Gardener, his great uncle visited the Morrilton ward today- haha small world.
My Last supper in the mission was biscuits and chocolate gravy #blessed. It's a classic southern meal and somehow I had never had it before. Went out with a bang ;)
Today I'm getting everything packed and ready to go. So weird. Dayvonne and Amber are taking me to lunch and then dropping me off at Aleasha,s (from pinnacle Mtn), I'll get to be with her for a little bit and then she will drop me off at the mission home. The Wakolos are taking me out to eat, I'll have my final interview and get ready to head out early tomorrow morning.
Life is not real.
SISTER KING AND ALEASHA
I certainly owe y'all a big THANK YOU! For your emails, letters, packages, support and prayers. I'm incredibly blessed to have the support system that I do.
Although he won't read this, I also wanted to thank President Wakolo who has had a profound impact on me. I feel closer to the Savior when I am with him. I know he is an inspired man, called of God to lead and direct the work here in this mission. I always knew that if I was following President Wakolo's council I was also following God’s. The Wakolo family has made me feel so loved. I have grown from their examples and will miss them so much.
To close out the 18 months worth of emails I want to leave y'all with my testimony. Especially for those who aren't currently associated with the church.
I will never doubt that I have a loving Father in Heaven. I do not have to earn that love, it is simply always there. I know He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue me. I feel of His love. I know He atoned for me. I can't deny the cleansing and enabling power of the Atonement, as it has impacted me every day of the last 18 months. As I have more fully come to understand how to live His doctrine, the Savior has become very real to me. It has truly been a unique and powerful experience to wear His name on my heart every day. I know He restored his church and priesthood back on the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. As I have studied and prayed over the Book of Mormon I've had undeniable witnesses that it is the word of God, and it has brought me closer to the Savior. I know my purpose here on earth is to prepare to meet God, and I do that by aligning myself with the Savior Jesus Christ. I have loved being His missionary.