This has been a good week. But a little sad. We are getting a new Mission President tomorrow, so this week has been filled with good-byes and such. I will miss the Gillette's, they were wonderful, but I am excited to see what President and Sister Poulsen are like, and what they decide to change.
So we have to move apartments, they are renovating some, and ours is going to be renovated, so they are moving us into one of the ones that have already been renovated. I am excited! But it stinks because I just barely unpacked. Oh well.
One cool thing that happened this week:
So way back in my first transfer, like my very first week, I took a chat from a man named David. He told me how he was meeting with missionaries, and how he really likes what he has been taught, but that he was scared that he wouldn't be allowed to be a part of the church because he didn't want a family. We were able to talk about it, and he was able to have peace with the issue, and even invited me to his baptism (too bad it was going to be in England). He gave me his contact information and logged off. When I tried to put it into my Online Area Book, another sister had his information which means that I could not input him too as a contact. I was really sad! That meant that I would never be able to hear how everything went, etc. Well this week, my companion said hey, I am going to contact this man (for first contacts, we don't teach together) that was transferred to me (She had taken a chat from him, and he too was in a sister's OAB but the sister transferred him to her). So I was taking care of some other things, and I hear her having a difficult time. She tells me that she is going to add me to the call because she can't understand his accent. So I put on my headset and looked over at the computer to see where he is from, and I see his name and email and it is David! The one I never thought I would hear about. Well come to find out, he wasn't able to keep his baptismal date and is at a standstill. He is ready to just drop everything he has learned, because he still doesn't believe that God exists (he was atheist) and he doesn't see why he needs the gospel in his life. We tried teaching him a bit, but he said that he had to go and that he doesn't think he will keep meeting with missionaries. When we asked him if we could stay in contact with him he didn't want to, but we just decided to be bold and asked him if he would one more time, put all his faith into it, and ask if there is a God. We asked if he would give it one more try. He hesitantly said yes. So we will be calling him this week to find out what happened! But I know that our companionship was inspired, how crazy is it that we both took chats from him but couldn't teach him, and then he got transferred to my companion, and we were put together where we can now teach him? That could only be from God.
Follow up on Tim:
So we called him, and he said that he was able to read the introduction page of the Book of Mormon like we invited him, and he even got to read a little extra! He said that he hasn't read anything that has seemed weird to him, and that he has had peace. We were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation, and even then he said that nothing seems weird to him, and he likes the idea. Well, our goal was to invite him to church, and when we did that, he explained that the local elders had rubbed him the wrong way a little bit. If you remember, Tim is on Dialysis. So when they invited him to go to church and explained what it would be like, he tried to explain how hard it is in the mornings for him being on dialysis, and how some mornings he doesn't even make it out of bed. Well the elders told him that he had to go to all three hours, and he told them he couldn't do that. I am not sure if the elders had a misunderstanding, or maybe Tim did, I don't know but we were able to explain to him that Heavenly Father knows the desires of his heart, and that if He is doing his best to try to attend church and do what Heavenly Father wants to him, then that is all that matters. And if that is going to just 1 hour of church, or if he can't make it out of bed, or if he makes it the 3 hours, it is okay because Heavenly Father understands. He felt a lot better about that and said that if he could get out of bed, that he would go. So our goal was church, but I kept feeling like we should invite him to be baptized on a certain day so we invited him to be baptized on February 22nd. He hesitated, and said that he isn't ready and and some other things, and we explained that we wouldn't let him be baptized without being ready, and that we were here to prepare him and the local elders as well. We also explained the special symbolism of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and having proper authority because he said he had previously been baptized. He felt a lot better afterward, and soft-committed to Feb. 22nd but he said that he would pray about it to see what Heavenly Father wants him to do. The hard part is that he is only available once a week, which isn't too bad, I would just rather follow up more often than that, and to teach him more because he is so prepared. But he is a truck driver, so it is a little hard for him. But I am still so grateful for the chance we have to teach him! He is really special to me, and I wish that I could teach him in person, so maybe I will just go outbound to Seattle! haha Just kidding. But really....maybe I will. That would be pretty cool.
We were also able to teach Toni this week. We followed up on her previous commitments, and she said that she still knows it's all true, she just wants to read and pray more. We taught her about Keeping the Sabbath Day, and church attendance. She took it pretty well, and we had great discussions.She hasn't gone to church because she goes to her own church and doesn't want to confuse her daughter by going to another. She's liked everything that we have taught her except that I said one thing that didn't stick right with her...When we taught the Plan of Salvation, I mentioned that before we came here we picked our family. Well she grew up with a really hard life I will leave it at that, and so she feels sick at the thought of her picking her family. It is hard for her to realize that, but I know she picked them, because if you look at her life now, she has risen to so much of her potential that she could have not done it any other way than having that family. And she was placed there because God loves her. Well, I just apologized and told her to pray about it. She wasn't upset, she just didn't really understand. Well later on in the lesson, my companion asked a really inspired question (too bad I don't remember what it was). It was something along the lines of what more do you need to be doing in your life to receive an ultimate conviction, and to be better in your life? She said, I need to go to church. I was shocked! We had been waiting for that for weeks! She finally realized that she needs to put her faith into action. I am really excited to hear how it went, and she said that she can go to church, and still have time to make it to her church, so everyone's happy. It was a miracle.
My first transfer I got a chat from a girl named Carleigh who attends Duke University. Her question was, how do I know if I should join this church? Well We chatted about it, she gave me her email, we emailed for weeks, met with the institute president and missionaries, and all was good until one time she asked how I gained my conviction of the Gospel. Well, I bore my heart and soul to her in a long email, and I never heard back from her for over an entire transfer...I emailed her 5 times since then. Well at some point with no response, we have to drop them. On Tuesday, I emailed her for the last time, telling her that I respect her decisions and that I didn't want to bother her but that if she was ever interested in learning more, she could reach out at any time, that I would always be there. So I sent it, and dropped her. Well later that night, I get online and she replied! She said that she went out of the country, and that she hadn't been checking her school email. She apologized and said she would send me a more thorough reply. Miracle! I guess I can un-drop her. haha I am so thankful for that. I feel a special connection with her, and I am excited for her to progress.
Well there are many wonderful things that have happened this week, but unfortunately I don't have time for them all. I love the new assignment that we have, and I love my companion.I love my family and all they do for me, I love being a missionary and I love this work. Above all, I love my Savior. I love Jesus Christ, that is why I am here.
I hope you are all doing well, and that you have a great week! Love,