Ah :) Hello!
Well... Where to start? This week has been amazing! So many blessings are coming our way, many not in the way we expected, but so wonderful!
I wanted to start by telling you about a member. We are going to call her Sister E... She is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. She has been a part of several previous emails, helping us with lessons and advice, things like that. Well, she and her husband are currently going through a big challenge over an adoption. I won't go into details, but it is a really sad situation that they shouldn't have to be dealing with, but are persevering through anyway. On Wednesday, we were working in Sister E's area and decided that we should stop by to see how she is doing and if she is in need of any service. She was so happy to see us and invited us in to talk with her for a minute. She gave us an update on the situation and we chatted about it for a little while. Even though it is such a horrible situation, she kept saying, "I'm just trying my best to remember that Heavenly Father has a plan, and that it will all work out." Then, even though she is the one who is going through this hard time, turned to us and asked how we were doing. Since she served a mission she knows how hard it is when your teaching pool is small, and all you are doing practically, is finding! We told her that is hasn't been very fun spending the majority of our time knocking on doors, but we are doing our best to stay positive. She told us that she knew exactly how we felt because the majority of her mission, she spent 8 HOURS A DAY tracting.... holy cow. She said it was so hard, but she knows that we can do it. She told us that we should never get down on ourselves because people aren't accepting the gospel, she reminded us that they have their agency. Moral of the story: Sister E gave us a much needed boost of encouragement, and we thought that we were going to visit her to help HER.... The Lord knows us very personally, and knows exactly what we need. :)
Okay, the next amazing blessing is an investigator named Cat! She isn't our investigator, but we have now been to all 3 of the lessons she has received from the Elders in our ward. She has a brother and sister-in-law who are LDS, and she has spent the past few summers in their home. She felt a special spirit, a calmness and sense of peace there and has reached a point in her life where she is desperate to have it for herself. After the first lesson, she expressed a desire to be baptized and since that time has read a good chunk of the Book of Mormon. After she completes the reading assignment the Elders give her, she texts them and asks for another chapter because it has "given her hope about her life".... (REALLY AWESOME). So, this past week she received her 2nd (and 3rd lesson, but I want to tell you about the 2nd) lesson in the home of my Ward Mission Leader. *side note: the Elders have asked us to attend the lessons because Cat told them she would feel more comfortable with girls her age there.* In this lesson, we talked about points from almost every aspect of the gospel because she is SO eager to learn and continue feeling hopeful about her life. Before starting to pray and read her scriptures daily, Cat said she would turn to harmful things when something didn't go as planned in her life. Now she said all she does is say a prayer and she somehow feels better. At one point in the lesson when we were discussing this, she said, "the trials are easier though... like I feel like I've got a little God sidekick with me!" haha :) I can't even begin to express how incredible Cat is! She is experiencing the joy from the gospel because she is sincerely seeking it! She is the epitome of a person who wants a change in their life, and is ready to do whatever it takes to find lasting happiness. She isn't even our investigator, but I feel like I have learned so much from her and I feel so BLESSED to be a part of her conversion process. Ah.... life is good :)
I feel a little repetitive saying this again, but it is so true - I am so blessed!
We are trying really hard to find those who are ready to learn about the gospel and come unto Christ, so we know that it will all work out how the Lord wants it to! I am so happy to be serving a mission... and I am especially happy to be serving a mission in THIS beautiful area, at THIS beautiful time of year, with THIS amazing ward, and with THIS incredible companion. I love you all so much, and I hope you have a fabulous week!
p.s. Pictures!! :) 1 - Last week the missionary website was down, so we sent President Topham hand-written letters and covered the back of the envelope in stickers... hopefully he had as much fun getting it as we did making it! 2 - We were given a thing of whipped cream from a member and Sister Thomas had a little too much fun smashing some in my face, so I had to return the favor :) LOVE YOU!!!