Special guests in Relief Society
Well I guess I will tell you about our investigators!
We've taught Cameron so many in the past week I don't know where to start haha but he went to institute! He really liked it. We were able to teach him Repentance, The Plan of Salvation, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ all of which he understands and agrees with. We had to talk a lot about forgiveness because he has had some people do some pretty bad things to him so he is struggling with forgiving them right now. He is actually on probation right now so we were able to talk to his Elders and discuss that a little. He has to be interviewed and a letter has to be sent to the First Presidency to receive approval to be baptized. Since his probation is pretty long, it will probably be a while before he can be baptized but we are still having faith and hope! He is doing really good though. He went to church on Sunday and met a lot of people, and met my old bishop, that's so wild haha. So now taht he is meeting with local missionaries, we are doing more of a hand-off, they will mainly be the ones teaching him lessons and we will just be calling to follow up with that and see how he is doing and offer help, things like that. It's a little hard to step off the front lines haha but it's the best thing to do. We are excited to see him progress and change, he is becoming a new person!
Do you remember Daniel? I think I told you about him last week. He was with the business people from Las Vegas that we took on a tour. He is 28, not married, and a manager of a company. Well we have taught him several times this week too! He is really golden. He has an awesome relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and has one of the strongest desires to do good that I have ever heard in a person. He used to be in the Army and went through some traumatic things that still haunt him and he has a hard time with temptations. He has heard a lot of false things about Mormons that make him a little anxious to meet with us but he is always honest and always lets us know when he has questions. The first time we talked to him, he said that he has tried out a lot of churches but he hates how people are hypocrites, how they don't practice what they preach and he wants to go to a church with honest people. He said that he doesn't like how the Christian churches he goes to let people drink coffee and tea and alcohol but that he is looking for a church that prohibits things like that and a church that has a good community that he could eventually raise a family in and we were speechless. I was like this is too good to be true! Haha. So we have been able to answer all his questions and concerns and each time he enjoys and agrees with the answers. Last night we taught him a little bit about the Plan of Salvation but it turned into more about the Atonement and some other things. He really opened up about a lot of things. He has such a strong desire to do good! But he is tempted so strongly as well. We told him about what the Brethren say; the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second best time is today. We told him to plant his tree and stop doing those things that are making him miserable. The Savior has already suffered for His sins, so it's useless for him to suffer too! We invited him to be baptized and he said yes. He also accepted to meet with local missionaries, which was a miracle! We don't know the story, but I guess a long time ago his brother was meeting with missionaries and it turned out very badly so he was hesitant about that, but we are glad we are building that relationship of trust. We are excited him to go to a YSA ward on Sunday. He is great. He is so prepared for the Gospel, it's what he has been looking for, he has been trying to quench his thirst, and now he has found the living water!
We took some other tours that referred, one of them, His name is Chad. He was super nice and had a ton of questions. We taught him the Restoration in the North VC and he took a Book of Mormon and referred. We have taught him once and he is supposed to go to church on Sunday but we will see, we are not sure how interested he is, he doesn't really seem willing to change anything so we need to find out his level of commitment. Another person that referred, her name is Kelsey. We took around a huge Flagpole tour group and she had a bunch of really good questions and was the only one that was interested. She had a bunch of good questions at the Christus, and we ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation to everyone. After, she was the only one to refer but she was very hesitant, she hesitantly gave her email. We emailed her but she hasn't responded. I think it is one of those things like if you are going through a cashier line and they're like 'would you like to sign up to learn more about how you can save 10% off your next purchase?' and you're like, 'ssureeee.....here's my email address (you write down your email you have for junk mail).' haha I don't think she will respond but we have faith that she will, if Heavenly Father has helped her be ready, we have faith that He will guide her.
We met this really sweet girl on the square. Her name is Ariana. She was with this guy with all these tattoos, and when we started talking to them he goes, yeah I'm a member and she's my girlfriend, she is not a member so I'm just showing her around and answering her questions about Mormonism. So it turns out he is a returning member who is slowly returning to activity. She has questions, but doesn't want to meet with missionaries. We talked for a while and told her that we could call and teach her more and answer questions for her and she liked that. She is available on Mondays, so we will call her Monday, we are excited! I think it will be good for both of them, they will be able to have a goal to be sealed in the Temple.
I am not sure if I have ever mentioned Dottie but she is a 72 year old lady from New Jersey that we teach! She has a lot of health problems, her spine was replaced in some places with metal, so it is very painful. She should actually be in a nursing home but she refuses to go. She was an inbound call to Sister Gearheart and was really interested in the church, it's what she has been looking for. She had children that passed away when she was younger, so the Plan of Salvation has been a great comfort to her. She struggles with smoking too. It's funny though, every time she talks about it, she says that she hates it and that it is disgusting and she wants to stop but it's so addicting. I thought that was cool, she didn't try to make excuses. Most people aren't like that. She has cut down a lot and hopefully will quit soon. She has had a baptismal date for a while, but because she hasn't been able to go to church and she's been in and out of the hospital, it's had to be pushed back. Well last Sunday, she finally went to church for the first time! A member picked her up. It was really hard for her to be there for 3 hours because of her back. After Sacrament she started to fade but she persevered. She loved it! We are really hoping she will be able to go again this week, even though it is hard for her. Something that was really cool was that we had to teach her a lot about faith and putting for effort when we tried to get her to go to church. We told her how Heavenly Father would bless her for it, and He did! All these cool things happened to her that day, and when we called her, she said that it had just been a wonderful day, and when we were about to get off the phone, she got a call from her granddaughter. She said that she hasn't seen her granddaughter in years, but that she was outside her door and had come to visit. She was so happy! We're excited for her to progress so she can be baptized, she really wants to!
On Sunday, we were coming up the escalator in the NVC when I saw Cesar! He had come to see the Frosts, the Senior couple that baptized him. He was walking into the Square when some people from India stopped him and began to ask him all these questions about the Temple and the LDS religion. He had a huge missionary moment! He might as well have had a tag haha. He answered all their questions and testified and then brought them in and played the Restoration for them. Well he introduced us to them and we taught the lady, Reeta a little about Prophets and talked about the Restoration and the movie she walked. She cried and said she had never felt that before and that she loved what she had seen. She was feeling the Spirit! And we got a member present lesson, sweet! She gave us her email so we could teach her more but she wrote it very sloppily so we can't read it :( We are going to pray and try to discern it but I think we will just need to pray that she comes in contact with local missionaries in her area. She is so prepared!
Do you remember the 3 travelers that I told you about? Cameron was one of them. Well, we saw Hyde, the one with dreadlocks in the NVC when we were on a tour, and when the tour was over, we tried to find him but no luck. We went to go get dinner and found him! He was not in a good state of mind....I will put it that way haha but it was really sad because as we testified of the Gospel and how it will bring him happiness, eternal happiness, not temporary happiness like the choices he was making, he just laughed. We asked him what he thinks this life is all about and where he is going after this life and he said that he wants to rot in a box when he dies for the things that he has done. How sad is that? We told him about the Atonement and how he can change but he doesn't want to. It was really sad. Hopefully when he isn't under any influences, he will be able to be touched by the Spirit and be given the opportunity to get out of the lifestyle he is living.
I am not sure if I ever told you about Erik, but we got his chat months ago. I've tried to get in contact with him but I always miss him because he is very busy with school. Well, it was Memorial day so I thought it would be a perfect time to call since it is a government holiday, and it was! I finally talked to him! He is doing great. He just finished the semester and is trying to get an internship, but he has been going to church and meeting with missionaries and still wants to be baptized. It was great to be able to talk to him! I know that he will be baptized.
We started talking to these three young guys by the map of Jerusalem. They are friends from college and they decided to take a roadtrip out here. Oddly enough, one of them had met up with the other two, after being in Indiana for a week where he met with missionaries, but then left the area and happened to come here. We taught the Restoration and they all were interested. We took them around and two of them referred. The one that met with missionaries seems pretty interested, his name is Sean. We are going to be teaching him this week!
Megan is doing great. She met with local missionaries! She wasn't able to go to church but she will be going this week, and she has been doing missionary work! She's not even baptized yet haha. The more time that passes, the more she feels that this church is true. She has been talking to her friends and family members, and co-workers about the church, answering their questions and testifying to them! She is really struggling with the lack of family support though, her family makes fun of her for what she is doing and that is hard for her but she still knows that it is right. I think it will just take a little more time, but she is having those patterns of light of revelation that is helping her realized the Spirit. She is even bringing a coworker to church on Sunday! We are excited for her to finally go!
A funny story that happened this week...
We were on desk when this sketchy looking guy comes up to the doors. I turned to my companion and said, this looks promising. Well he walked in and just stares at us. We tried to make conversation but he just stared at us and would only answer with like one word. He started saying crazy stuff and spinning in circles. We asked him what we could help with and he was just mumbling. We told some sisters to call security as they walked by and as we were waiting for them to come (I was just laughing at this point), we asked him why he came here. Keep in mind he is still glaring at us with his creepy face at this point. He said in a creepy voice, 'do you really want to know?' So I laughed and said sure. He said, 'Well, I was Adam once. But then Jesus Christ killed me in the Garden of Eden." I was like oh okay, yeah. Security came up at this point and went to shake his hand to be friendly and not scare him but he tried to pull a fast one on security and hit him, but security was too fast. They took him outside and kicked him off the property, it was way funny. Now I have met Jesus, and Adam. I hope Joseph Smith comes next!
Anyway...do you remember Rajiv? He was from my very first week here on Temple Square! I have tried to call him ever since but then he broke his ankle and was too busy. Well he finally picked up. Unfortunately, he decided that Hinduism is for him, and that he doesn't want to learn about the church anymore, he dropped us. It was so sad! But the Spirit will work on him and he will join the church one day.
I just want to end with the coolest story of the week!
We contacted these 3 men down in the NVC. They were here for business, they are pilots. Turns out one of them is a member, and he was showing two of his colleagues around to explain his religion. We asked if they would like us to show them anything or answer questions and they said yes. So we taught them the Restoration! The member, John, was the best member present that I have ever seen. He casually testified so it wasn't too overwhelming and explained things personally to them since he knows them. The spirit was so strong when we taught about Joseph Smith! We even taught half of the Plan of Salvation too. The other two guys are Mac and Craig. Mac belongs to the Dutch Reformed church of South Africa (or something like hat...I didn't really catch that and we don't hear that too often or ever haha) and Craig is Catholic. They were very open and interested in what we shared with them. It was such a good lesson, I don't even know how to explain it, we were all just able to be ourselves (not that we aren't usually ourselves but it was like we had already known each other or something) and the Spirit was very present. It is such a blessing when a member is present. They help their friends feel comfortable and open up and are such a strong 3rd witness that they can trust. Now Mac and Craig understand a little more why John believes what he believes, and why his family is the way that it is. Both Mac and Craig referred and we are way excited to teach them!
Last week for p-day we went on a really long hike. I attached a picture so you can see my companion! It was really hot and it made me think of the pioneers. I don't know how they did it! We also went to a Chinese Restaurant, one of Sister Gearheart's investigators used to work there and gave her a gift certificate. It was so good to finally have some hot and sour soup. And it was a buffet, so we were so full! I was ready to bust, I thought I was going to throw it all up driving home haha but I attached a picture of our 'ready to bust we are so full faces.'
Music and the Spoken Word was insane on Sunday! It was a Memorial Day special, so the music was Patriotic and the band was extra good. You should try and watch a rerun of it!
Also, for Relief Society today, we had some special guests! I don't know their last names, but I am sure you know who they are, especially you dad! Cici, Lolli, and Reeve, three LDS professional golfers came to speak to us. I attached a picture. They are so awesome! They have led a humanitarian effort in Africa for years now, it's called Eyes4Zimbabwae and they help blind children receive cataracts surgery so they can see. They were really sweet. Cici was actually baptized because of the missionary work Reeve and Lolli did on and off of the golf course. It was so cool to see the person she had become because two members did missionary work.
Member missionary work is so powerful! So powerful! If you will go the extra mile to be a missionary to a friend or even a member, Heavenly Father will reward you richly.
Well I think that is about it. Thanks for always reading my novels! I am grateful for the prayers and support that I feel. I love you!