Okay Family - I am sorry I have been so terrible with writing these past weeks!!
There have been SO many miracles since I wrote last, I don't know where to begin! Hmmm.... I'm going to start with a girl named Emily. She is 19 years old and has lived here in Butler her whole life. She has a rare nerve disease and when she was in 9th grade she met a boy in the hospital with the same disease named Jason! He is from Arizona and he just so happens to be a member of the church :) They have stayed in contact the past 5 years since they met, and he has told her quite a bit about the gospel. Jason is now on a service mission and sent us the referral to go visit Emily. She is AMAZING!! The first time we stopped by, her parents let us right in and were so kind! We told her all about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy. This past week we went back with our Relief Society for our second lesson with her and she was already through 1 Nephi 14 and had so many wonderful questions about what certain things meant throughout the chapters she read. Oh my goodness it was so incredible to feel her desire to truly understand what she was reading, and her desire to apply it into her own life!! She has been looking for truth for a long time without really realizing it. When she was in 6th grade her family was attending a non-denomenational church but she asked her parents if they could stop going becuase she didn't feel that they were centered on Christ and she recognized that they weren't truly happy! That church was building a multi-million dollar addition to the building that was not necessary and Emily said that she thought, "there are people starving in our town, and we are building a coffee shop onto our church to make it more convenient to come to church? I knew that couldn't be what God would want." SO COOL!! She is so in tune with the Spirit! Throughout the lesson, she had little questions here and there, but 99% of the lesson was her validating everything we were teaching her with her own previous knowledge. At the end, I had the opportunity to explain baptism and why it is so important to be baptized by the proper authority. I asked her if when she came to know for herself that what we are teaching her is true, if she would follow the example of the Savior and be baptized by that proper authority? Her response was, "yes! I already know it's true." :) The spirit was so strong in that room.
Yay! So do you remember Tiny?? He is married to Jeanette. Well, we have been going over there for many weeks now and teaching them. Jeanette hasn't been to church in years (other than mother's day and sometimes Christmas) and Tiny has no interest in coming to church because of some pre-conceived notions he had about several people in the ward. Usually when we teach them it is extremely hard to stay on track because Jeanette loves to talk, and she loves us(she calls us her kids), so she tell us everything about anything. Well, this past Friday when we went to teach them it went so much smoother. Every time Jeanette tried to talk about something unrelated to the scriptures or the lesson he would say, "babe! They aren't done yet, I wanna hear what they have to say!" haha It was awesome. Tiny listens to the Bible and Book of Mormon on tape almost every day, and his knowledge of the scriptures is definitely developed. So, we decided to talk to them about applying the knowledge that they have gained. Then guess what..... THEY CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY!!!! I was stunned when I walked I was so happy!! I ran over and gave them the biggest hug (for Jeanette) and handshake (for Tiny)! haha Jeanette pulled me aside and started crying as she told me, "Girl I can't get over it. Coming to church, reading his scriptures... I'm just so happy!" :) The gospel is happiness!!! She knows that she needs to set the example for him to follow and if she makes the decision to be active, it will make his decision to be serious about investigating so much easier! Ah! So exciting!!
I know that the gospel is true! There are so many miracles that come from being strictly obedient to all of God's commandments, and He is ready and waiting to reach out whenever we need Him! I love you all so much and I hope you have the opportunity to share the truth that you know with someone this week :)
p.s. Pictures: 1) My beautiful companion and I as we walked to the library to update records. 2) the Snow-missionary we made on our deck, isn't she so cute?? :) 3) Sister larsen with the crazy icicles hanging from the church building - scary!! 4) Me pointing at the possum I ran over with the car... oops! 5) Me with "Grandma Hartman", holding the afghan that she made for me because she worries that I'm always cold (I guess I take after Grandma Nancy)!! She spent 75 hours on it. SO SWEET!! She calls me her "kindred spirit" :) THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!! LOVE YINZ!!