May 15, 2017
"Let Your Past Make You Better, Not Bitter"
Monday: Sister Briggs bought us groceries. She took us out for breakfast in the morning and then offered to take us to the store so we could go shopping. And then just paid for our groceries. She is so sweet! We also met this super sweet lady named Inez. She is confused as to why there are so many different churches and why they all teach different things. I was able to testify of the Restoration to her and I know she felt the Spirit touch her heart. As I talked to her, I felt how much Heavenly Father loves her and that made me love her too. Heavenly Father really is aware of everyone and loves us all. (When we called Inez on Wednesday, she had actually read some of the pamphlet we left her! But then when we called again on Friday to see how she was doing, she told us that she had talked to her friends at her church and they told her she didn't need to meet with us again. She decided to agree with them :( It was sad, but I am sure missionaries will find her again in the future and she will pay less attention to what her friends say and more attention to what Heavenly Father tells her)
Tuesday: We found two awesome investigators, Joshua and Orlando. Joshua just got out of jail a few weeks ago and has such sincere desires to turn his life around. He talked about how the Bible has helped him to move past some of the guilt he feels for his past mistakes. Orlando is the stepson of someone else we have been teaching. We went to go see his stepfather, who wasn't home, but Orlando was home and we were able to talk to him about the Plan of Salvation and the power of Christ's Atonement. He also spent some time in jail, but he took that time to read the Bible and build his relationship with Christ. Of course, I highly advocate people not making choices that put them in jail, but I think it is amazing how many people leave with a closer relationship with God and spend their time in jail reading the Bible. Christ's Atonement can change anyone who wants to be better and is willing to repent. No matter what we have done, His Atonement is available to all and covers everything. There is no sin, no pain, no guilt, no regret that He cannot heal if we repent and follow His commandments.
Wednesday: We took Linda on a tour of the church and had the Mandarin elders come too. One of them is the only member in his family and we thought it would be good for Linda to hear how he decided to get baptized and what it was like to be the only member. It was amazing! This elder has a really neat conversion story and has such a strong testimony. It was exactly what Linda needed to hear and I think it helped ease some of her concerns about her family's reaction. We had an amazing lesson with Orlando and his stepfather Reginald. We had met Reginald previously and Orlando just the day before. We had a member come with us and she shared a quote that perfectly answered one of Reginald's questions. Members are so vital to this work! We could not do anything without them and their support! Orlando, Reginald, and Reginald's twin boys were all there and were so interested in learning about the restored gospel!
Thursday: We went tracting with someone who is preparing to go on her mission. It was awesome! We found 2 people who wanted us to come back and teach them more! The first one pulled up to her driveway right as we were standing in it, praying that Heavenly Father would help us find people to teach! It was kind of awkward, but hey, everything I do every day is a little awkward :) I have just learned to embrace it and not feel awkward. If I feel awkward knocking on someone's door, they will feel awkward and not be willing to listen to anything I have to say.
Friday: Mostly we just tried to stop by people and get up with people we haven't seen in a while. A really uneventful day.
Saturday: We had authentic Indian food today! We had a lesson with a Muslim family from southern India and they asked us if we wanted to stay for lunch! We hadn't had enough time to plan in lunch (due to too many appointments 😀) so it was really nice to get food. And it was sooooo good!!! Oh my goodness, JEN!! At about 9:30pm we get a call from the assistants. We had absolutely no idea what they needed, but they told us that they had another set of elders on the line. The other elders had met Jenn and taught her a couple lessons but she just moved into our ward. She has a baptismal date for June 17, they already took her on a tour of the church, and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon! They had set up a lesson for us with her the next day at 4, right after church got out. It was so cool to have someone appear out of nowhere and be interested in the gospel!!
Sunday: MOTHER'S DAY!!!! Of course the highlight was getting to talk to my family ❤❤❤ But even if that hadn't happened it would have been a great day! Our lesson with Jenn went really well! She is genuinely trying to come closer to God and strengthen her relationship with Him. She has such sincere desires to know if this is the true church and is already planning to come to church next week!We also got an amazing referral from the bishop in another ward. he came up to us before church and said that he had a referral that would end up going to us. So apparently we were talking to someone this past week and her neighbor came over and asked who we were. The neighbor told her that we were missionaries and a little about what we do. The second lady's husband is currently in Florida and met someone down there who is a member. The lady called her husband and mentioned us, saying that they should have us over soon. So then the man in Florida was talking to his friend and found out he was LDS. So the member in Florida sent the referral to the bishop in Fuquay, not realizing that the only sisters in the Fuquay area are not in the Fuquay ward. Both the husband and the wife are interested in meeting with us! Now we just have to get in touch with them, get their address, and help them feel the Spirit so that they can get baptized :)
I love this work! There are way too many miracles for it not to be God's work! There is no way two 20-21 year old girls could make all these things happen if Heavenly Father wasn't the one ultimately in charge.
PS I totally stole the title of my email from one of my missionary friends. I have completely run out of creative ideas for email titles, and I felt like this one was perfect for this email. Thank you Sister Thatcher for supplying this weeks email title :)