It's been another great week in Kentucky!! There wasn't any tornadoes this week, but the weather is always changing. One day it's blazing hot and the next it's snowing! So crazy, definitely different from Mesa. I have to say, this has been my most interesting week so far. We've been meeting with a couple named Jessica and Joe. We really thought they were interested in learning more about the gospel, but as we have been meeting with them we came to realize their only intentions of reading the book of Mormon and meeting with us was to find fault in our religion and prove the bible and their religion was the true word of God. We invited Brother Thorn over with us on Friday and I got my first taste of Bible bashing. A straight hour and a half of it actually. I didn't know you could be told you were going to hell in such a loving and nice way hahah. I completely understand why we aren't supposed to participate in bible bashing because it drives the spirit away. But anyways, we didn't do much talking, Brother Thorn and Joe dominated the conversation, and I was just trying to follow along. We are now forbidden to ever go back to their house. I was grateful however to have had this experience because while they were going back and forth with who would be saved in the end and who's religion was right and trying to prove the other wrong, my testimony was strengthened during this time. It may sound crazy but I'm glad I had this experience at the beginning of my mission because I know no one can ever tell me something or give me information that will make me turn away from the Saviors church. I know this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I know He is at the head of the church, and I know it is true.
Therese and Frank came to a baptism with us this week and they loved it! It was such a neat experience for them and I'm so happy they are excited to be baptized! One cool thing that happened was therese asked us what happens when we get the holy ghost, we shared with her what the holy ghost is and how it helps us and guides us in our lives. She was very concerned because she said she doesn't think she's ever felt the holy ghost in her life before. I had a prompting to tell her what the holy ghost feels like. I explained to her it's the feelings in her heart, feelings of love, peace and joy. (Galatians 5: 22-23) I then had a feeling to ask her about the first time she held her child in her arms, and how that felt. It was really neat because she related so much to that experience and started crying and said it's the best feeling in the whole world, nothing compares to it. She then said if that's how the holy ghost feels I would very much like having it. I felt the spirit so strong, and I know i was being impressed at that time to say what therese needed to hear. I love that I am a servant of the Lord speaking in his behalf.
Also, this week we got to meet Austin! We were going to check out a referral we got and the people weren't home and across the street Austin and his mom were out front so we decided to stop and talk with them. I have never met someone so genuine and respectful. He's such an awesome kid and I'm excited we met him. He told us he questions God a lot in his life and if he is actually there. We told him our message is all about how much God loves us and knows each of us personally because he is our loving Heavenly Father. They invited us to come back and share more because they really enjoyed what we were sharing with them. When we went back over Jackie the mom wasn't feeling well so we taught Austin outside in the cold hahaha it was good though. We shared the plan of Salvation with him and he had a ton of questions but it was really good because he told us everything we were teaching him was all making sense now, he said it's like deja vu. Then he got really embarrassed and said I don't want to be too personal with Y'all but I have this brightness in my heart as you have been teaching me. At that moment I felt the spirit so strong and I was so happy to tell Austin that those feelings in his heart was God's way of speaking with him. I actually started to tear up because after we shared this with him he recognized that God is in his life and God is there for him and will answer his prayers. I'm really excited to continue teaching Austin and his family, they are very caring and loving people.
Alright so... I got to eat lots of unusual food this week. I had crawdads, sushi, and lots and lots of shrimp. The sushi and shrimp were bomb, but the crawdads were NASTY! I don't recommend trying that.
Since I'm a newbie, the Elders love to make fun of me and they love to do it in front of the members when we are all at Dinner together. This last dinner we had Elder Jolly found it necessary to tell the members how I had to ask Sister Draper how to turn on the oven... also how I cook Mac and cheese in the microwave. So yes I still do a ton of embarrassing things out here and I'm still getting made fun of haha things never change too much!
I love my area so much, all the members, the people were teaching, my companion are already so dear to my heart. I never knew I could feel so much love for so many people! We truly are all brothers and sisters. I love being able to share this truth everyday and to feel my Saviors love everyday. Something I learned this week during my studies was the answer to one of my investigators questions about why we have to go through hard things. I realized that one of our purposes here on earth is to learn to be like Jesus Christ and follow his example. Jesus Christ's life from the very beginning was never easy. He was born in a stable. He was different, He was mocked, and persecuted, and even rejected by His own people. The Saviors life was never a walk in the park, and if we are to better understand the Savior we will have to go through those hard times as well. I just feel so relieved that we have the Savior and His infinite atonement that can help make those hard times easier and help lift us all up.
I hope everyone had a great Sunday yesterday and will continue to feel the Saviors love throughout the rest of the week! Love you all!!
Sister Lauren Ashlee Ludwig
1. At Dinner with Frank and therese!!
2. Ghetto bathroom pic
3. Sister Draper and me absolutely loving life hahah