Hola amigos! <--------------- (in honor of Cinco De Mayo!)
Oh man. This week was kind of all over the place. To be honest I'm not even sure it happened.... But we have a lot to talk about, so lets chat.
So here's to news. We find out THIS VERY WEEK if one of us is leaving the great town of Norwood. I have been operating under the assumption that it was my time to go... but you seriously never know. I have been here almost 6 months and I honestly can't believe it's been that long. I was feeling kind of bummed because... well we haven't seen that many converts since I've been here. So naturally Satan tries to discourage. But then I was thinking about all the lives that have been changed, ESPECIALLY our recent converts and less-active members, and I felt pretty good about that. Like just this week...
1. S. We saw him and he told us that he had read almost all of 2 Nephi. I'm serious this kid is cruisin' through the Book of Mormon, which is so so sweet. He really understands it too and asks very intelligent questions about what's going on. So when we were talking with him, we asked him if he had seen a difference in his life since he had started reading the Book of Mormon. (Keep in mind we haven't really taught him anything BESIDES the Book of Mormon) and he said "Well, to be honest with you guys, I was into some pretty rough stuff before I met you. And seriously ever since I started reading the Book of Mormon, I haven't wanted any part of it and I've stayed completely away!" Dude, how awesome is that? My testimony of the power of The Book of Mormon is continuously being strengthened. It amazes me the power that one book has to change lives. IT'S SO TRUE!
2. P. Remember how we picked P up as a new investigator last week? Well, this week we went to teach her about the restoration. We had introduced it to her and had just finished saying that she would "want to make changes in her life to bring her closer to God, and be baptized..." and she goes "Oh, I've already been baptized into your church."
"I'm sorry.... WHAT?"
"Seriously P this is like the 5th time we have sat down and talked with you and you JUST NOW feel like you should let us know you are really secretly a less-active member of our church."
Crazy. So now we are working on re-activating her. I seriously don't know how we keep finding all the less-actives left and right. We think our new tracting approach should be "Hi, we are the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are you or anyone you know secretly a member of our church?" There could be a lot of success from that. But hey, Paulette is doing good! She is especially stoked to read the Book of Mormon (remember how cool and powerful that book is?)
3. A. We went to teach A this week and she had a surprise for us. You may recall a couple of weeks ago the story I shared about her asking me how I knew Heavenly Father loved me. Well, I asked her the question back and she told me that she didn't know. Well this week when we went over she had a list of 12 specific ways that she knew that Heavenly Father loved and knew her. It was such a sweet moment as she shared her list with us. Especially since one of the 12 reasons on the list was, "He sends missionaries to help me." that really made me feel happy. I really feel like I was sent here to strengthen . Like I said earlier, its easy to get discouraged when every investigator you have, who you think is going to be solid and get baptized, doesn't make it. But then, I think about how intensely I've seen people's lives change, especially theirs, and I know I was sent to Potsdam for a reason.
And the 'gators
the few that we still have are doing pretty good. I mean, here's the run down...
1. D. Still solid. still out of town :(
2. A and J. Doing really good so far! We taught them the Plan of Salvation and they really liked it and felt like it answered a lot of their questions!
3. C. We hadn't been able to get a hold of C and he had bailed on church which was kind of disappointing. So we decided to drop by and see if we could catch him at home. Turns out that Saturday night his tooth/face was really hurting so he went to the ER. Bad news, his tooth got infected and the infection had spread to his whole face. So they kept him in the hospital until Sunday afternoon (that's a decent reason to miss church), then on the way home from the hospital he dropped him phone in a puddle so he hasn't had a phone. It's crazy how hard Satan works to try and keep people from doing the right thing! Jokes on you Satan. So we are still working with him and have a ton of faith and hope in him!
4. N & J. We haven't been able to see in a really long time. We called them this week to see if we could stop by and they told us that "they would never be baptized into our church" because they don't want to get married. Ugh!!. But we are going to see them this week and hopefully we can figure things out!
5. A. Still doing good. :)
Bah!! We will find more people soon!
And then one more thing about the Book of Mormon.
I'm realizing now as I am typing this how much Heavenly Father has been strengthening my faith in the Book of Mormon recently. I had the coolest two experiences this week that involve that book. The first happened Friday night. We went down to Utica Thursday and Friday for a meeting and while we were down there I found out that one of my favorite missionaries was going home early because of health problems. I felt super sad for her and was feeling a little discouraged myself. I can't even describe it. But I was sitting on my bed just talking with Heavenly Father and letting Him know how I was feeling about the matter when I got a prompting to open my Book of Mormon. I did, and this was the scripture I read,
"Blessed art thou [Sister Langford]; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God for the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you." -Alma 8:15
I had never had such a powerful and direct answer given to me through the scriptures. I was amazed. You guys, Heavenly Father really does talk to us through the scriptures!
So then during church yesterday, I was trying to get direction as to what I should do to be better this week. Again, I felt compelled to open the scriptures and this was my answer,
"Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." - 2 Nephi 32:3
It was such a direct answer. I had asked specifically "what I should do." Then Heavenly Father answered me saying "The words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
So moral of the story, when in doubt, ask Heavenly Father, then open your Book of Mormon and He will seriously answer you!
Ok. I will now leave you with some quotes...
"Don't go all Taylor Swift on me!"- A
"There ain't no free lunch." -President Wirthlin
"There are some missionaries who don't know how to handle failure, but some of you don't know how to handle success!" -President Wirthlin (he has a lot of faith in us haha)
"When I was a new missionary, I would see the Zone Leaders and I thought 'Ah! Zone gods!" - Elder
Well, adios my friends!