This week has been so great! :D It has been full of miracles and laughs galore. I love being a missionary!! Yesterday we had what this ward calls a 'cottage meeting.' Susan and Saranna came and it was so fun! It was hosted at Brother and Sister Minch's home! [they are the ones that we have been working with lots and have just barely been coming back to church. They were less active for a good 20 years]. We watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with them. I love that movie. Each time that I watch it, I can't help but shed a tear because the Spirit is so strong! But after the movie, Brother Kennedy (our ward mission leader) asked what people's favorite parts were. Mine is always the part where the people bring the lady who committed adultery to him and he tells them that whoever had no sin among them to cast the first stone. And they all leave, except for him. Because they all sin. And he tells her that he does not condemn her. Our Savior is forgiving. He is the savior of the world. His whole purpose is to forgive. We must never think that he won't forgive us. As long we come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, He will forgive us. He loves us beyond what we can understand. I am so grateful for His atonement and His love.
But, the funny part of the story is when Brother Kennedy asked if anyone saw something new that they had never noticed before.... Susan said "yes! I never noticed the pottery in the scene when Jesus is healing someone." Elder Day [one of the Elders in our ward] looked over at us and started to chuckle. We couldn't help but try to hold back our laughs. I just love them :) They make us laugh so hard. Saranna was very hyper the entire time we were there. And to make it exciting, we had a member there who kept making puns out of everything Saranna said. Sister Minch made the comment about her "fat, stinky cat" and how she didn't want it to come down stairs, and the member said "that would be a 'cat'astrophe!!" Later, Saranna bumped the TV and a picture frame fell and almost hit her. Then the member piped up and said "you almost got framed!!" and Saranna was laughing so hard. Then he told us a joke about how his dog could talk. He asked the dog what was on the tree trunk and it said "bark!" He asked the dog what was on top of the house and it said "roof!" He asked the dog what sand paper felt like and it said "ruff!" Susan was laughing so hard. She could barely eat! It was great fun :D Sister Colton and I were laughing pretty hard too. It was just great.
But!! This week was GREAT!! We have seen so many miracles! We taught Wayne (our investigator set to be baptized on Sept 28th) about the Word of Wisdom. And it was the easiest lesson ever!! We were really nervous because we had no idea if he had any problems with anything, but he took it so well! We asked him if there was anything he thought he might have a problem with and he said, "No, I only have a cup of coffee every once in a while. So that shouldn't be a problem." What?? This never happens!!! Wayne is so prepared. We are so excited for him!! It was a great experience.
Then we had dinner with the George's [members] and Sister George had a friend over for dinner, Linda. She is about 70 years old and is very good friends with the George's. As we had dinner, we had really good conversations, and at the end we offered to have a spiritual thought. We pulled out the Family Proclamation and read the 3 paragraphs where it talks about the Pre-Earth life and about our purpose here. We explained to her that God has a body of flesh and bone, and that we lived with him before, but we could never become like Him without gaining a body. So, he created this world for us to come to and to gain bodies and to learn from our mistakes so that we could return back to him. After explaining this she said "That makes complete sense!" At this point, Sister Colton and I just stared at her in awe and had no idea what to say. We were thinking..."what do we do now?? No one ever says this!!" Eventually, after getting words back, we continued to teach her. At the end, we asked her if she would want to learn more and said said, "Yeah, I would like that!" Again, Sister Colton and I just stared at her in awe for a few seconds. Moral of the story: We found an amazing new investigator that Heavenly Father just placed in our laps. We have return appointments for the next two weeks with her. We were just smiling ear to ear and asking ourselves "what just happened?!" as we got into our car. It was amazing!! The Spirit was so strong. Linda was searching, and when she heard the gospel, it just clicked. Oh man. It was so cool.
Then!! We had a lesson with Mary and Scott. And we were actually able to teach them! You see, people here in Indiana realllllllllly like to talk. And so it was always hard to get them to stay on topic and get through an entire lesson. Mary was always confused with what the Book of Mormon was, she thought that Nephi building the ship was Noah......but! we were able to actually teach her the Restoration from start to finish. And they understand it! They know what the Book or Mormon is! And they understand why we are different. The next morning, She asked us to bring over another copy of the Book of Mormon for her husband Scott to take on the roads while he drives! It was great. They have been reading it. AND THEN! We took Mary on a church tour. And she loved it! We had Sister Bair come with us and she was a great fellowshipper. She used to be Catholic [like Mary] and was able to really connect with her. Mary said that she felt the peace and spirit in the Chapel. AND THEN!!! She came to church! We were sooooooooo excited. After Sacrament Meeting, I asked her how it was and she said that she felt that the speaker was talking just to her. Like he knew just what she needed and was speaking to her. She said she got a little teary-eyed a couple of times. It was so wonderful!! Family and friends, the church is sooo true!! AND THEN!!!!!!!! She came to Sunday School, and guess what the lesson was on???! Tithing. Really? Her first Sunday here and they talk about Tithing. but guess what??! She took it so well! She is already prepared and okay with paying when she is a member. What?! Heavenly Father just knows what these people need. It was so amazing! I can't even explain how wonderful it was.
We had 8 investigators at church yesterday. The Bowers family, Susan and Saranna, and Mary. It was wonderful. Going to church as a missionary is so much different then going before. As a missionary you are all stressed about how they are taking the messages and if they feel the spirit...but it always turns out! They always love it and feel the spirit. The Church is True.
This morning I had a wonderful experience during my personal study. We had a less-active pretty much bible bash us this week. He was throwing scriptures at us every other second from the Bible and not allowing us to talk. The spirit fled and we tried to get out as soon as possible. After leaving, there was a bad spirit with us, and we just felt off. I prayed to Heavenly Father to remove the evil spirit from us and help us to have his peace. And of course, He restored it. But I continued to ponder over the comments and questions that were made. I still held strong in my testimony, but I wanted to understand what he meant better. This morning as I was studying for an investigator, Heavenly Father lead me through a scripture chase all over the scriptures. He showed me the reasons why things were certain ways, He answered all of the questions I had. he truly hears our prayers. Even if they seem small and insignificant, they matter to Him. He loves us!! :D
We had a lesson with Angie and Greg. They were a referral from a Sister Lloyd [who just moved to Arizona]. And it was amazing. We taught them about the restoration, and the spirit was so strong in their home. We bore strong witness of the godhead, of Joseph Smith, and of the Book of Mormon. Angie was very attentive and would ask questions and ponder. But throughout the lesson, Greg did not keep as much eye-contact or seem as interested. But as we bore our testimonies, you could see the spirit touch his heart. At the end he told us that at first he was a little hesitant. But he said "I know that you girls truly know that this is true. You can see it in your eyes." We told him that we wouldn't be out here if we didn't know it was true. No one can deny a true and heart felt testimony. And let me tell ya, If I didn't know that this church was true, I would have been home MONTHS ago. But I know that this is the only true church on the earth. This is the only way back to our Heavenly Father. We are the only church with the Authority from God to make things "count" or "transfer over" when we pass from this life.
It has been a wonderful week!! I love this gospel. I feel so honored to be a representative of my Savior at this time. I know I have much to overcome and do, but with the Savior, all things are possible. If you ever doubt something about the church, don't be afraid to ask our Father in Heaven, and then go search. Search in the scriptures, search in your heart. He WILL answer you. I can promise you that as a representative of Jesus Christ. He hears your prayers. He loves you. He has always answered my prayers and concerns. You matter to Him.
I love you all!! Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers.
All my love,