April 17, 2017
Blessings of the priesthood, baptisms, and incredible investigators
Wow, what a long week, but also a very fast week. It feels like forever since last Monday, but also like it just happened. I guess that's about the normal way I feel on Monday, you would think I would be used to it by now. But no, it's still surprising every single week.
Monday:Pretty typical preparation day. We deep cleaned the apartment, washed the car, went grocery shopping, found a cute NC necklace.
Tuesday:We went to Raleigh to get a new car. Brand new. As in, we drove it off the parking lot with 18 miles on it brand new. The most exciting part though was getting a sneak peek at the mission newsletter. Every month the baptisms from the previous month are published and I always look to see if any of my past wards had a baptism. Well, this past month, the Durham 1 sisters had a baptism. It listed the names of the missionaries that taught her, and my name was on there! Anita, someone I had tracted into my third transfer, got baptized!! Anita had been in the process of moving and didn't want to meet with us in the middle of that. So we dropped her for a little bit, but the sisters there found her again and she got baptized!!Exchanges with Sister Ruske! It never stops being fun to get to go on exchanges with her <3 I always love getting to be her companion again, even though it's only for a day. As usual, exchange day ended up being full of miracles. #1- The Pacileo family. This is a part-member family in our ward that I have stopped by a couple times. They have never been home. Until today. They were outside as we were driving to go tract, so we were able to stop and talk to them. We got to share the Easter video with them and get to know them a little bit. #2- Linda and Sister Anderson. We had felt like Sister Anderson would be a good member to bring to Linda's lesson and she was perfect!! They connected really well and Sister Anderson was able to help explain the Book of Mormon to Linda. Plus Brother Anderson served a mission in Taiwan and still speaks some Mandarin, so they are planning to have us over in their home soon for another lesson with Linda. #3- Successful store contacting. Usually trying to talk to people in the store is awkward and not too productive. But we went to Target to talk to people and were able to give out 5 of the Easter cards. We had some really great conversations. And the second miracle of store contacting happened on Friday. We were on a mini exchange (so Sister Ruske and I could go to Christina's baptism) and Sister Smith and Sister O'Meara ran into a man Sister Ruske and I talked to in Target. He said he doesn't believe in coincidences and that he will pray about whether he should meet with us and take the lessons!!
Wednesday:Zone training. All the instructions were really good and I learned a lot. Something I never thought I would say before my mission: I love meetings!! Maybe I just love missionary meetings because I always feel the Spirit and learn a lot. Other than zone training, it was a pretty uneventful day.
Thursday:We did service at the food cupboard and one of the people that works there gave us each a chocolate bunny for Easter :)The whole day, Sister Smith had felt like we needed to stop by an investigator that we hadn't been able to get in contact with. So after dinner we went to go see her, and ended up not seeing her because we got caught up talking to someone else. A little more than a month ago, Sister Wall and I had been tracting (which is how we found that investigator) and met a man named Geoffrey. He is the one who proved to me that my first impressions are often wrong. I had thought he was just going to tell us to go away, but he has read the Book of Mormon and absolutely loves King Benjamin. Geoffrey pulled into his driveway right as we got out of the car so we went to say hi and give him an Easter card. We had a good conversation with him and he asked if he could come and see the church building next weekend and we could give him a lesson at the same time. What. No one ever asks to come to church and get a lesson. He is so cool!!!
Friday:CHRISTINA'S BAPTISM!!!! That is by far the best thing that happened today. Sister Ruske and I went on a mini exchange to go back to Durham for the baptism. After a very stressful few minutes where we thought the baptism would be postponed due to issues with the power, Christina decided to go ahead with the baptism today. Even though there was no light in the bathrooms and there was no hot water. So she got baptized in freezing cold water, had to change back into dry clothes in the dark, and we had to be out of the building by 7 so the energy people could shut off the power. Not an 'ideal' baptism, but the circumstances were not important when compared to the covenant she was able to make with her Heavenly Father. Also, I found out that Lisa (who has moved into the Durham 1 ward since I left) has been going to lessons with the sisters!!! I am so excited for her!! I know that she has a powerful testimony that will bless many as she goes out and shares it with the people who are learning about the restored gospel.
Saturday:We were able to get back up with our investigators Howard and Hope (not related to each other, two separate lessons) and have really great lessons with both of them!
Sunday: EASTER!! Probably my biggest tender mercy/thing I am grateful for from today is the priesthood. During sacrament meeting in our first ward, I started not feeling well. I tried to ignore it but kept feeling worse and worse. So we left the chapel so I could go lie down in an empty classroom. The elders from one of the other wards were right there so I asked them to give me a blessing. I got a blessing and then Sister Smith insisted we go home so I could sleep. I slept for an hour and woke up feeling 100% better. And woke up just in time to get to our second ward. I felt just fine the rest of the day and still feel perfectly healthy today (aside from being hungry as I write this, but that's easy to fix). I have a testimony that the priesthood is real, that Heavenly Father has truly brought back His authority. That priesthood authority has blessed my life many many times. It is what allowed me, and the people I love, to make covenants with Heavenly Father. The priesthood power has healed me when I am sick and has been the source of the greatest comfort I have been given. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints IS the same church that Jesus Christ established. It is the only church that He had bestowed His authority to. I am so incredibly grateful for the restoration of Christ's gospel and the restoration of His church, which included the restoration of His priesthood authority.
Love y'allSister Pyper