Dearest Family and Friends,
Wow. Another great week in Chamblee, Georgia. Can I just say how much I love it here? It's SOOOO green, and beautiful!! Utah will seem like a complete DESERT when I get home! But seriously, I absolutely love it here. Every day is not perfect if you look at every single thing that went wrong...but, if you focus on why you're here and what you're doing and WHO you're doing it for....every day is like a perfect day at Disneyland....no joke...maybe even Disneyworld! ;)
So, I'm going to explain the subject line. I was thinking back on this week and what I wanted to share, and of course the baptism came to my mind....more on that later, and I realized that we really didn't teach a lot of people, no one is really progressing, and I had no awesome stories to tell. BUT, then I started thinking about what I learned this week. I learned that I need to have faith and trust in my Savior, and Heavenly Father. We had a whole day FULL of amazing appointments. These appointments were CRUCIAL. We had an AMAZING study session together, and we were ready to go out and kill it! Then...all of them cancelled. We thought, What are we doing wrong?? Then we decided to go knocking in this apartment complex. We prayed for a miracle. We knocked 6 doors....5 answered...we got 5 new investigators....holy holy holy holy holy HOLY cow. It was the most AMAZING day of my life. It made me realize that Heavenly Father knows better than we do what needs to happen in our day. Maybe our scheduled appointments that day weren't ready to hear our message? Maybe the people in the apartment complex needed it more that day? Who knows - Heavenly Father. Not me. I'm merely the instrument for HIS work. So, here's how this applies to this Peter Pan quote. I was thinking about how Wendy, John, and Michael really wanted to fly. Peter told them they needed to think happy thoughts, have faith, and trust. They did just that. They did everything in their power to fly, and they BELIEVED. Peter was there with them the whole time...encouraging, reminding them, etc. He let them fall off the bed a couple times, but he was there. Then....he sprinkled some pixie dust, and they flew. They believed they could fly BEFORE the pixie dust...thus why Peter gave them the pixie dust...then they headed to Neverland. I thought about how I needed to trust and have faith that my Savior would help me and provide a way for me on this mission....and He's been with me every step of the way. He's cheering me on, encouraging me, and even letting me "fall off the bed" sometimes. But when the time is right, He sprinkles that "pixie dust" on me, and the work SOARS. I know this analogy is a stretch....and it's a little cheesy, but hey, I was in a Disney mood ;)
Baptism.....It was the BEST!!!! It was a little stressful at first. The church didn't have jumpsuits, so we had to run to another one. Then, the girls showed up 30 minutes late, then we didn't know there was a form to fill our for baptism...so that was stressful. It's our first baptism, no one told us about a form....ahhhh! It was so stressful! BUT, when those two sweet, precious, and pure little girls came out of the dressing room in their white clothes, the spirit flooded the room. We had a beautiful meeting. Elder Taufa baptized them. When those two each came out of the water....they just glowed. They kept saying, "I'm clean, I'm clean. The water was so nice. I wish I could do it again!" It was so sweet. It was by far the best experience I've had so far on my mission. And I cannot wait to have more. To see the light of Christ in their eyes was an inexpressible joy. I thank Heavenly Father every minute for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their baptism. It was incredible.
Investigators....so we didn't teach too much this week, and we actually didn't teach hardly any of our progressing investigators. So I only have 3 people to talk about.
Walter: He is the sweetest man in the world. Hands down. He is always SO kind to us. He hasn't come to church yet...even though he pinkie promised!! What a bum....;) I know he will come eventually. I KNOW it. We surprise visited him, because that always seems to work the best. We had a GREAT lesson with him. We told him that our church was the church for him. He said he only knew a little...he'd only read a little...etc. Then I shared with him the scripture about how by small and simple things are great things come to pass....and that really touched him. I think he has more faith now that our church REALLY can help him. We'll keep trying, and praying!! He also tells me that my Spanish is getting better! Yay! :) All the investigators are slowly talking to me more, and actually looking at me in the lesson. I'm still nodding and smiling 40% of the time because I have NO idea what's going on. BUT, I'm slowly gaining their trust.
Sobida: We've only taught her twice. Me, only once. She doesn't believe in the Book of Mormon, only the Bible. That day, we had actually talked about chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel for District Meeting, so that was a miracle. We were REALLY ready to teach her. I looked her straight in the eye, and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon, and how it can help her. She agreed to read it and pray about it. WHOA!!! I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon really can change lives :)
Lucino: Oh dear. THIS was a tough lesson. We had a "come to Jesus" with him. He's been taught for 3 years....he knows everything, he just won't ACT on anything until.....his dreams tell him to. WHAT??? So, we need to help this man have faith in other means of revelation. So, we read 2 Nephi 32 with him. It was seriously 1 whole hour of us testifying, pleading, inviting him, and everything else you can imagine. It was the most intense lesson I've ever been in. I know he felt something. He agreed to try and ask for real. I asked him if he'd ever asked through prayer if the missionaries' messages were true. He said no. He has never truly prayed. He always waits for a dream. Now, he said he'd try. Wow. We also asked the Elders to talk to him this week as well. We're going to get him! I know it! He's almost ready!
English Class.....so, we teach an English class at our church every THursday night. It's super fun actually! I'm a horrible teacher, but it's still fun :) It's a great way to serve, and it's a great opportunity to get some interaction with the less actives! So, even in America, we teach English lessons :)
Jimmy.....THIS was a cool story. We were leaving English class, and there was this nice man sitting on the couch. He stopped us as we were walking and asked us if we'd seen President Sullivan. He said he was waiting for him because he needed some help. He's from Alabama, and he and his fiancée had been living out of their car for the past 2 weeks. He's been working 2 jobs. A nice family in Stonemountain agreed to take them in to help them get on their feet. He needed some money for gas to get there. My heart just ached for him. There was a part of me that questioned the validity of his situation, but it didn't matter. I was a missionary, and he had come to our church building for help. And we are the kind of people who help. We tracked down our branch president and he agreed to help. We prayed with Jimmy, got his info to refer to the English missionaries, and that was it. What a cool experience. It's those little things throughout the mission that make it SO worth it to be here :)
Well, that is it for this week. I may not have a lot of cool stories (we did have 2 more cockroaches...;) ) but I did learn a lot. I love you all SO much. I hope you have an amazing week! I'm always thinking about you! :)