Date

August 8, 2016

Area

Raleigh North Carolina

Companion

Sister Dye

Week of Champions

Hey family!

Can I just say y'all be lookin' fiiiiiine! Jealous of your sweet tans! All the color I got are red bug bites all over, not quite the same.... haha I'll tell you the story later in the email! Anyway, glad you got to go to San Diego! That is so fun! You went to all the places I went when I was there a couple years ago! Good times.

This week was a week of champions! We worked hard and had a lot of success.

First off- Apex Zone Olympics are going so good. The zone is competing (don't tell President) on passing off all 192 scripture masteries. That's our job as Sister Training Leaders right, to motivate people and lift them up. Competition works wonders. Okay maybe not the best tactic but Elders (and Sister Dye the most competitive one out there) just take it out of control! haha Good out of control though, we will be scriptorians when this is finished!!! It's been way fun.

Highlight of the week was Miranda's baptism!! It was a beautiful day, lots of sweet moments. Her friend Nathan baptized her, and the YSA was fully involved in the baptism program. President Bodhaine came and took care of business like always (he is such a powerful teacher and presence to have.) Miranda even invited one of her friends to the baptism. President Bodhaine gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it and meet with missionaries. We talked with her also and she is SO excited to learn more. Miranda offered to have the lessons in her home. She is already a powerful missionary. I am really proud of her and her efforts. She knew nothing before and is now cherishing the gospel and it's teachings. It is my favorite thing to witness!

We taught our GOLDEN investigator Cody again this week! He ended up staying in Apex for another week before heading to Wilmington, so we got to teach him a few more times. We met in his friend Josh's home, and brought our friend Haley, also from the YSA. Josh and Haley are powerful missionaries. Haley never served a mission, but she is one smart cookie when it comes to the gospel. She's here with an internship at Cisco (student @ BYU!) Josh got off his mission 3 months ago, and also knows so much about everything, it's great. So when Cody asks questions like "What is the church's position on micro and macro evolution" we have someone to look to.

Cody was able to come to Miranda's baptism, and we had a lesson with him right afterwards. He said it was the first baptism her ever witnessed, and couldn't stop talking about the Spirit he felt. He's one of those kids who thinks he's real cool, he's smart, has traveled the world, lives by the beach, you know, but when he talks about the gospel I can just see this change in his countenance and in the short few lessons we've taught him his character has truly changed. He knows what it means to repent and become clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He knows what it means to be a missionary, he is already sharing his beliefs with his friends and family! He knows what it means to serve others and love the scriptures. Cody is just my favorite, what a great kid. I am really proud of him, and I know God is too. I am so sad he is leaving for Wilmington today, but that just means we get to road trip to Wilmington soon for his baptism. :) After Miranda's baptism during our lesson with Cody, Sister Dye and I were a little frazzled with everything. We had so much to do, so many people to talk to, so many questions to answer, it was fun but crazy! So when we finally settled down to have the lesson we were not as prepared as we should have been. Plus we had 2 members from the YSA with us who just got off their missions. No pressure, right. No it was a fun lesson, but I felt bad because we could have made it so much more spiritual. Sister Dye and I were talking about it after and just thinking about how we could have done better. That night I prayed to Heavenly Father that Cody would learn the things he needed to about the temple and families, and that He would make up the rest that we might have forgotten. My prayers were answered the next day during Sacrament meeting when the YSA went up to bear their testimonies. SO many of them were about the power of the temple, and being in the temple with our families one day. Some of the YSA had just received their endowments and shared their experiences. It was unreal how directly my prayers were answered. As I was sitting next to Cody in church I thanked my Heavenly Father for helping Cody learn the things he needed to, and for helping him feel the Spirit. It was such a good meeting!!! I LOVE THE YSA.

You know how sometimes you get worried about people getting up to speak on Fast Sunday? I can honestly say that in the Raleigh YSA I never ever get nervous. These kids are so good, their testimonies are so strong, and they are amazing. I look forward to bringing my investigators and less actives to church on fast sunday because of the examples of the members of the YSA. I am really proud of them, and I feel like they are my brothers and sisters! For real! We are tight. It is the best feeling ever. So sad Summer is almost over and many of them are going back to school. Goodbyes are the worst!

Saturday night we did a "blitz" in the Apex area as a zone. During zone council (ZLs, DLs, and STLs) We were thinking of ways to help a few companionships out with finding new people to teach to get their areas thriving. We decided the zone would meet at the stake center by the temple Saturday night after our dinner appointments, the Apex Elders would give each of us an area to knock, and we'd go for it the rest of the night, then meet back up and get ice cream real fast before heading back to our own areas. Sister Dye and I pull into this complex we were assigned to and say a prayer that God would help us find elect investigators for the Apex Elders. We promised we would give our all! So we get out the car, and I have a super clear prompting to turn to the right, so we start knocking away.... Nobody is really home or interested for the first 2 hours. AND WE WERE BEING EATEN ALIVE BY MOSQUITOES!!! My legs look like I have a disease, just saying. They sent us to a swamp, it's whatever. Anyway, we knew we couldn't give up, not only for the Apex Elders sake, but for the sake of the people we were trying to find! The last door we knock on, this lady and her 14 yr old son answer the door! They gave us bug spray, but then invited us in. They were so interested in the message we have. They had just moved from Italy (there for military). I asked them if they have a religious background, and they said that they pray and read the Bible as a family every day, but don't attend any particular church. Those are the people I like to find. You know they are close to God. The 14 yr old boy DJ has always had deep questions about the gospel. His parents can't always answer them, and so we asked what questions he had that we might be able to answer. We answered all of his questions and he seemed pretty amazed. His mom just looked grateful! We taught them about the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it. DJ the son was beyond excited! He is a brilliant kid, he knows Italian, Mandarin, and is in all upper level classes at school. He wants to be a pilot one day and I told him that's what my brother wanted to be too. I connected with this sweet family that night. They were so fun, and so prepared for the message we had. They had been praying to find a place to worship, and said they think their prayers were answered when we knocked on the door. DJ even mentioned he wants to be a missionary just like us one day at the end of our lesson. My heart burned inside me, knowing and hoping that one day he really would be. All I could answer was that it was the best thing I have ever decided to do.

So that was my week! It was full of miracles big and small. I love the Lord and I love being one of His missionaries!!

-Sister Wilcock




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