Can I just tell you how much I love being a missionary? I really do! It's a deeper feeling than just being happy. It's a feeling that comes from serving the Lord, and in my case, serving Him from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I go to bed at night. It's a feeling of true JOY! Yeah, sometimes it's frustrating. Sometimes people don't answer their door when you set up a really good appointment. Sometimes you get angry when you meet a crazy anti who tries to tell you everything you believe (I wanted to bible bash this guy so bad. Good thing my companion ended the conversation rather quickly). Sometimes you get disappointed because you want so much for people but they don't want it enough for themselves. I'm humbled as I say this because I realize I've only been in the mission field for 2 weeks and I know there is a lot more ahead! Even though every moment of missionary work isn't fun, I find sincere joy in doing the Lord's work. I love having just one purpose- to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We had a great week! We were able to meet with many less actives (people who are members of our church but haven't been in awhile) and get inside of their home. There was one lady we visited and I felt prompted to share John 14:27 from the Bible, a scripture about peace from the Savior, and she said it was exactly what she needed. I enjoy being able to share scriptures and pray with them, and being able to leave the Spirit of love in their home. There was another lady we felt like we should take a birthday card to and she greeted us at the door with tears streaming down her face. It had not been a good day and she was so happy to know that we had been thinking of her. AH! These little things. The little things are what make the biggest difference.
Last week I mentioned one of our investigators Lorraine who we committed to a date for baptism. We are still working with her! We are really trying to teach simply and as slowly as we can so she understands everything. Unfortunately she didn't make it to church yesterday but we aren't giving up hope!
Let me tell you about one of our other investigators. His name is Larry. All my church people from Ensley- Larry is just like Stanley and Wilma! Mid 60s, black guy, says the most hilarious things, been coming to church since the missionaries found him in February. He loves it! Still working on his desire to be baptized. We have been challenging him to read just 3 verses from the Book of Mormon each day and he finally did last week. But guess what... instead of reading just 3 verses, he read 7! See, the scriptures are just that good. When you feel the peace and calmness that comes from reading, you just want to keep going.
On Saturday we went and taught Larry a review of the first lesson, the Restoration and Joseph Smith. His wife Linda sat in on this lesson for the very first time and it was perfect! I got to teach the part about the First Vision (where God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith). The Spirit was SO strong. I don't think I have felt the Spirit testify to me of the truthfulness of the Restoration that strong before. Larry told me the way I talked made him want to cry and pay all his tithes right then and there haha. We had a good discussion about how God answers prayers and the way you feel when you know something is true. It was awesome! My testimony of the gospel, the same gospel that Jesus Christ established when He was here, gets stronger each time I testify of it. I know Joseph Smith was called by God to restore His church. I know it because of the feeling I get inside my heart- a feeling of warmth, love, peace, and calmness- a feeling I can't deny because I know it's right!
We had a few service opportunities this week so that was fun. We helped Larry fix his pool cover and we went to a nursing home to visit a lady who hasn't been to church since she's gotten older. We also saw a lady who was the mother of a guy named Jerry we randomly met on the street. We asked if we could do anything for him and he asked us to visit his mother in the nursing home, so we did! I really enjoy doing those small, yet so significant, acts of service. This week we're going to help a lady who has a disabled husband set up their Christmas decorations. I'm excited!
I was reading Helaman 5 in the Book of Mormon during personal study this week and I came across a verse that struck me in a different way than it ever had before. Helaman 5:12 "And now, my sons remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his might winds... when all his hail and mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you... because of the rock upon which ye are built... a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall". I love that last part. If we build our foundation on Christ, we can't fall! We won't fail! Yes, life will be hard, but we can make it. This scripture took on new meaning to me because I realized it was advice that Helaman was giving to his sons Nephi and Lehi before they went out as missionaries. He promises his sons that if they build their foundation in their conviction and testimony of the Savior, they will have the power to withstand temptation. So true! I must hold true to the foundation I developed all throughout my childhood, my knowledge of this gospel.
I know that as we continue to strengthen our foundations in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we will be strong against the adversary, which tries so hard to pull us down any way he can. Christ is our rock and our anchor in this crazy world. I am so grateful to have that foundation and to strengthen it each day on my mission, through scripture study, prayer, and simply sharing what I believe. The Lord blesses us for finding strength in Him!
Thank you for the constant support. I feel your prayers each day! I love you all and I miss each one of you! Have a wonderful week!