It has been raining here non-stop for 3 weeks and it is amazing.
It was 74 degrees and sunny for about 4 hours on Saturday and it was absolutely horrendus. I don't really know how I am going to surive this summer. R.I.P.
On Monday night, we went over to see Danielle and were disappointed as she confessed to us that she didn't feel like she was going to quit smoking, and that she had relapsed. Maybe we were a little disappointed that she would not be able to be baptized on the 21st, but we were most saddened because she seemed to have lost faith again. She told us it was too hard for her to quit the last time she had tried, and that because she had been smoking since she was 10 years old, it was going to take her at least a year to quit. We talked to her about the power of faith and of the priesthood in helping her overcome this, and she felt better by the end of the lesson. Before we left I felt prompted to ask her one more question, because I felt like we hadn't really reached the root of the issue. I asked her, "Why don't you think you can quit smoking in two weeks, even with God right beside you?" and she said "It's not that I don't think I can, it's that I am too afraid to try. I'm afraid that If I quit that fast there won't be a real change of heart and that I will just relapse again." And I was grateful that she had told us that. There was a long silence after that as Sister Chugg and I looked down at the table, thinking, and Danielle spoke up and said, "Are you girls mad at me." and Sister Chugg looked up with tear-filled eyes and said, "No. Maybe a little disappointed, but not mad. Danielle, you might not have the courage to do this, but I do. Sister Sanborn does. And God does." We then addressed her fear with a few scriptures, and told her that we loved her NO matter what, and left for the night. Even though we had received some bad news that night, an overwhelming spirit of peace accompanied us on the way home. We knew things would work out.
The next morning during studies I pulled out "The Answer is the Doctrine" and Sister Chugg and I decided that next, we were going to focus on the Atonement with her. She needed to understand it in her heart before any changed were going to be made in her behavior. We taught her on Wednesday night and she seems to grasp the concept 100%, but doesn't really have the courage to try it out. We Pulled out Alma 7, and we were reading it, and verse 15 seemed to jump out at her. She said, "Wow, it's telling me not to fear... Just like you girls!"
During Weekly Planning, we read the section about Keeping Commitments in PMG, and out of everything I read, the spirit REALLY told me that I needed to be patient with Danielle. Teach her, love her, encourage her, let the Atonement work in her heart by extending commitments.... don't rush her. On Friday we went over again and shared President Monson's talk from this conference and she was complaining again about how easy it was to smoke with all of her friends at her program and I said, "So, does that mean you are choosing the easier wrong?" Her eyes got as wide as saucers and she said quietly. "I... guess so. Wow. I'm glad you said that." I'm grateful for the words of Prophets. Haha, they always say things better than I can. She came to church this Sunday and kept leaning over to me and saying during the talks, " I guess that's like choosing the harder right, isn't it?" She knows what she needs to be doing. I love her so greatly and I have every confidence she can do this. It is nice, because her and I relate on many things and I have felt the spirit confirm to me that it is part of my purpose here in Ellicott City to uplift her and follow the Spirit so she may come closer to Christ.
We also were very VERY blessed to find 4 new investigators this week. Rita and Peter were Headquarter referrals and are a humble family from Africa who live in a tiny home up in North Catonsville. They have been struggling with their faith and have searched for him in their lives, very filled with trial and sorrow. Just a few hours before we showed up, they told us how they had knelt down in Prayer together, holding hands, asking God for forgiveness for doubting him. They felt a spiritual renewal, and who should show up a few hours later but the trusty Sister Missionaries, SOAKED from head to toe from being in the heavy rain. They told us their story and The Lord has prepared these people to receive the Gospel like nobody's business. We have another lesson with them on Friday. We can't wait!
The other two investigators we found were actually last night. We went over to a Former investigator's house and started talking to her, and she opened to us a lot about her religious past, and how she wants to get her children to come to church. We read 3 Nephi 11 with her and her sweet kids, and her 9 year old and 6 year old asked a MILLION questions. It was awesome. The little girl, Cailey, got so excited when we talked about Temples and Eternal Families, and we talked about Baptism and everything. The kids practically begged their mom to take them to church this week. Kids are the best. We are meeting with them tomorrow and we committed them to come to church :)
The work is POPPIN!
One funny story: we were at a member's home last night, and they had another family over that had a lot of little kids. We were talking about the story of the ten lepers, and it was a really awesome lesson. at the end of it, everyone seemed satisfied, except for the 5 year old boy, Jake. He raises his hand very politely with an extremely sober and puzzled look on his face, and I signal for him to speak and he says, (yeah he's five) "I'm sorry, but I'm just not exactly sure how that story could be possible. Leopards do not talk."
hahhahahah we all laughed at that one.
Quote for the week: "Adversity becomes ADVENTURE in the Service of the Lord." -M Russel Ballard :)
LOVE YOU ALL