Hello everyone!!! What a wonderful week!!! We started off the week by helping a Less Active (because of work) sister learn how to do family history. She was SOOO excited!!! She found out her husband who had passed away had not been sealed to his parents!! Woah, that's a pretty deal! I felt really honored to be able to be the person to teach this to her :) now I know why I learned all these things about family history BEFORE my mission :) I think the coolest part might be that she has a son who is less active and a grand-daughter who is a less active and she want to start encouraging both to be temple worthy and have a temple recommend! She is now helping us do missionary work that would be extremely hard for us!! :) So grateful for the Spirit of Elijah!
We had a lesson with a New Investigator named Marisa and it went really well! To preface, she invited us back initially without us having to even ask which is amazing and then during the lesson she was really listening to what we said. I know we are becoming better teachers too because we were able to read scriptures with her and focus EVERYTHING on the Book of Mormon. We are not lying when we say "if the book is true, then Joseph Smith was a Prophet, the Priesthood has been restored, and that Jesus Christ is literally at the head of our church." She agreed to read! Please pray that God will help her feel the Spirit confirm to her that the Book of Mormon is true!
Saturday was wonderful and SO busy! Just the way we like it :) We started off the day going to the temple to do Baptisms in the Temple with Recent Converts to the church. We were able to bring Derek and it was amazing to see the happiness that is brought to him. He is normally a pretty pessimistic person and sarcastic but after the temple it was a complete 180 flip! We had to rush to Lebanon for Roger's baptism shortly after! Remember him?? (Throw back to the days I was in a trio and working 2 area haha) I performed a musical number with another Elder in the mission and we literally practiced 15 minutes before the baptism, meaning we sang it twice and called it good...needless to say, I was pretty stressed about that :) but when focusing on the meaning of the song and just praying for the Spirit to touch the people listening, I felt so much better. Roger's non-member family members who came were in awe of the song, we are truly blessed as Latter-Day Saints. The baptism was beautiful and the Spirit was there! I am so proud of Roger and that decision he made!
We got to visit a less active that was put in a rest home after her stroke in Lebanon that we haven't seen for months too! She was so positive! I am not sure if she remembered us, but we had a very enjoyable time visiting with her :)
Last but not least, we had a full house in church!! Well, kinda a stressful combination though...Mona Lisa came to church (a less-active we have been working with) Soy, Carla and President Carlson. Back story to why this was stressful: Carla hates Soy...and having both of them at church at the same time, for the first time, while having our mission president there...yep, that's pretty stressful. Anyway, all turned out well and President was able to interview Soy so he could write a letter to the First Presidency :) We have also sat with Soy the past 3 days during breakfast so he won't drink coffee. Please pray for him to have strength! Love you all!
Serving with a Smile,
At the Temple :)
Derek's true personality haha
Roger's Baptism!!! It took 2 elders to baptize him!!!
First off, what Indiana lacks in elevation, they make up for in the drastic changes in the weather :) Tuesday: 50 degrees and Sunny
Wednesday afternoon: tons of snow
Thursday: 50 degrees and Sunny :)
We now know why it is so important to be prepared haha
This week we watched The Testaments (LDS movie about Christ appearing to the people in the Americas) with Soy in a member's home, and wow the Spirit was so strong there! I know Jesus Christ appeared to the people in the Americas after he visited the people in Jerusalem! We are continuing to meet with Soy and he is continuing to progress! He is still having a hard time with coffee though so all prayers are appreciated!! We are still discussing Soy's baptism date with President, so more details will come soon!
We had a lesson with this lady named Nene from Nigeria. Her husband has ALS and she is such a strong woman! We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her about all the blessings and the comfort that comes from reading God's word and she agreed to do it! Please pray that she will feel the Spirit as she reads the Book of Mormon!
We went to a Why I Believe Fireside last night, and the Stake President told a very profound story. A four year old asked their parent if they could go speak to their baby brother by their self. The parents were hesitant but agreed and luckily the 4 year old left the door cracked. They listened at the door as the child asked a question to the baby. They asked "Can you tell me about Heaven? I am starting to forget..." How wonderful indeed it is to think that we all came from Heavenly Father's presence to have the ultimate test here on earth. As I was pondering, I thought about my mission. The one common desire among missionaries is that they would have prepared more. I thought about how, in a sense, our life is our mission, away from Heavenly Father, and then asked "will I wish I would have prepared more after I die?" Will we wish we would have been kinder? Done more service? Repented more? Taken our education more seriously? This is our chance. We are given this time on earth to prepare ourselves to meet God. (Alma 34:32) Are we taking this task seriously?
Fun Fact of the week: it takes 40 gallons of maple tree sap to make 1 jar of pure maple syrup (that is why it is so expensive). This member in our ward makes their own maple syrup and showed us how they did it. They tap in to 100s of trees and then boil down the sap until it is a certain temperature and then it is ready to be sealed into jars :) pretty cool right?
A pre-missionary member we have come to lessons with us left us a treat on our door-step after a super exhausting day :)
An "eternal investigator" we work with told us she wants to put church first in her life :D
We were able to contact a referral and they said they would like us to come back and teach them!
Sunday was a great day! A less-active member we have been visiting came to sacrament meeting! Her name is Mona Lisa :) yeah, pretty great right? Best part is that she is an artist and likes to paint :) Soy also came to church and even participated in the Gospel Essentials class that Sister Bitter and I taught :) We also had a short amount of time to tract and out of the 4 doors we knocked on, WE FOUND A NEW INVESTIGATOR! :) His name is Taryn, prayers are greatly appreciated. We went and visited Soy in the evening, and as we are walking in the rest home we get a call from Soy! He has never called us, so that was kinda crazy. We sat with him and he started crying out of gratitude for us helping him, and out of sadness for his 2 daughters that haven't visited him for 2 years. It is so wonderful to see the change that comes in people as they learn about God and Jesus Christ. That was just a very tender moment after a pretty crazy week with him.
Earlier that week, Soy became very concerned when we talked about temples. He had "church" and "temple" in 2 in completely different categories and thought we went to a Buddhist temple. We were pretty stressed for a couple minutes but we cleared things up and now he knows that our temple is God's house :) We also discovered we have to postpone his baptismal date because we need to contact Soy's guardian and make sure everything is okay legally. More updates to come!
It is amazing what listening with love can do. We had a lesson with a lady named Brittany at Starbucks. She is probably one of the nicest people I've met and after talking to her and hearing about all the trials she is going through, I am astounded at her positive nature. She has a 7 year old son that was depressed for a couple months because of some medication he was put on for his ADHD. They had to take him off of that and they took out a loan to put him on this brain balance program to help him cope with it (the program is super expensive). In the mean time, her husband lost his job and now she is the only bread winner for the family, while her husband is working side-jobs until he can find a solid job. Woah. We were able to listen to the Spirit and tell her exactly what she needed to hear at that moment and she sent us a text later that night telling us how she really needed those words that night (it had been a particularly hard day) and that we completely brightened her day :) Listening with love is so powerful friends, try it. You won't be disappointed!