For six weeks Sister Robinson and I have been working our buns off, doing everything we can to make things happen. I have a callous on my right, middle finger knuckle from knocking doors. My knees have bruises from the amount of time I have spent pleading to be led to those who are prepared. My brain is almost mush from gears constantly turning, trying to think of where people are, how to best cross their paths, what to say to grab their attention and help them feel the Spirit. Friday morning I had a fiery fury in me. As we were out knocking doors at 11:00 in the morning I had the strongest desire I have ever had to go out and shout from the rooftops that the true, restored gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. There is no more need to sit and wait in darkness. There is hope. There is Light. Why do you think I come and knock on your doors over and over again? For fun? Because I have nothing better to do? You have no life so I might as well see what you're up to? To be annoying? Maybe, just maybe, what I have to share will make you happier than you can ever imagine and will change your life. That is what I am trying to share with you. Would please sit down and listen?
Sunday morning we arrived at church, hopeful that our investigators would come. Tracy was supposed to come to a baptism Saturday night, but didn't show. Didn't answer our phone calls. Didn't open the door to our incessant knocking. Didn't come to church. It's hard to progress when you don't do anything. So we're looking around, and most of our people are there.
Makayla finally made it again. Her mom won't sign her baptism record, so she has to wait til March to be baptized, but she will drop her off at church. okkkk....
The Julian's are there, looking all trendy and with it.
Jaylyn, our new investigator who is the 9 year old daughter of a fairly recent convert in the ward, was sitting with her mom. She is getting baptized on November 16th. (Tangent: I love teaching little children. The gospel just makes sense to them. They just get it. She told us the Book of Mormon must be true and he must have seen the Father and the Son because Joseph Smith wouldn't lie. When we asked her when she wanted to be baptized (which is a great tactic, by the way, having them put themselves on date) and her response was, "Ummmm not too soon. Maybe tomorrow?" Her mom wants her to wait a few weeks, just 2, to make sure she gets all the lessons and comes to church. Fair enough.)
Look around again, Katelyn, who we haven't seen in forever, shows up with her member friend.
Then during the fast and testimony meeting, Anthony Julian, who has only been active in church for about 6 months, got up and bore his testimony for the first time in his life. There was POWER in that. I had the chills. He talked about how his wife was a great example to him, how he was supposed to give a talk but bailed and the sister missionaries (that's me) had to last-minute take the slot and how tithing and prayer have changed his life. He knows God lives. That was incredible. His two oldest sons are just waiting for him to be ready to baptize them. Baby steps. We are almost there.
At the end of the meeting, we look 2 rows behind us and there is a guy who just moved into the ward and his nonmember girlfriend are there. She came to Sunday School, had tons of questions, and we're meeting with her on Wednesday.
After church the elders in the other ward greet us with a lovely, "We have a referral for you. It's a sweet family." This family, a husband who is a less-active member, and his nonmember wife and 5 of their 6 kids showed up in their ward wanting to come to church to spiritually get themselves in order and to bring their family together. They would love it if missionaries came by their house and met with them!
Then we went and visited Debbie, who is a psychotherapist that we tracted into a few weeks ago and have had a hard time meeting with because of her schedule. The lesson was amazing. She read through the whole Book of Mormon intro and soaked it all in. She was telling us how it was no coincidence that we showed up shortly after the death of her mother, how she was needing to find more spirituality in her life, and when we shared that the gospel is for everyone and that everyone ever will have a chance to hear it, her face changed. She loved it. You could see the light come over her.
Then we met with our miracle family. They want to be baptized. They want the dad to do it. They are so golden.
We ended our night on a spiritual high. An elder in our zone got some bad news from home on Saturday night. His brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly in an accident and because this was going to be his last transfer he made the decision and got it approved to go home early and be with his family during this hard time. He left this morning. We met as a zone at the mission home to have a testimony meeting and to send him off. It was great to hear the testimonies of so many missionaries and President and Sister Weaver. It put a lot of things into perspective for me about life and how great our missions really are. When we met with Debbie she told us about when she saw a missionary going home in the airport and she said he had a glow about him. You could see it and could tell that he had been doing to Lord's work. That was amazing to hear, and I hope that all of us have that glow when we come home.
Earlier in the week I got pretty sick. A weird stomach thing hit me and I was down and out for a while. I finally decided to have some elders give me a blessing. God answers prayers. Not only was I much much better after the blessing, I got specific answers that I needed and I realized that I think God was just waiting for me to ask. He wanted to see if I would use what was available to me for help. I'm glad I did.
There are so many things I am looking forward to. This is going to be a great week. I'm going to learn a lot. Hope you all are learning what you need to. Life is great. So is God. Love you. God speed.