This week has been great! There have been a lot of things happening in our area. First, I want to start off with the best news!! Barbra is getting baptized on the 10! We're excited for her! It's amazing to see the change which has transformed her in the past week. The Gospel truly changes people and helps them through all of the struggles and pains. She's a lot happier and is more at peace. She really resonates with how much service the church gives because she is a strong believer in giving service. She's a very charitable person and she said she must have been in our faith longer than she thought. I love seeing the change true repentance and faith in Jesus Christ have in a person. I love every minute of it. We're planning on going to the Visitor's Center tonight with her. :) I'll hopefully get to see Kelsey (Sister Hamstead) again. Barbra didn't come to church yesterday because of a miscommunication with her ride. She thought she had missed her ride and then decided to go on a walk. They barely missed each other. Her phone is also not working and either was her son's, so it was a bit of a mess.
We were asked late night if we could teach the Relief Society in one of our wards. We accepted it because we thought it was the right thing to do...even though we had no time to prepare with proselyting until 9 and then planning afterwards and then church right at 8 in the morning. Somehow we pulled it off. I don't think people really understand how busy we are. We talked about President Monson's last conference talk, Obedience Brings Blessings. I loved the talk in conference and I was happy to teach about it. It was apparent to me how important inspired questions are and how they just kept on coming to me. I've been trying to work on not thinking about what I'm going to say next and to just completely rely on the Lord all the time when I teach. It really takes a lot of work! A former investigator came to church this past, Glenda. We have been trying to get into contact with her for a couple of months. She's been sick and asked for a priesthood blessing from her neighbors who she knows well. She didn't end up staying for all three hours, but we're hoping we"ll be able to meet with her again soon!
We also gained two new investigators this past week. Nick and Antonio. Nick's uncle and his family converted to our church several years ago. Nick has taken the lessons in California. They are Catholic and when we went to go to the lesson we had no idea Nick and Antonio lived in the same house. We had talked to them separately on the street on different nights. Antonio is Nick's Godfather and is letting Nick stay there while he gets on his feet again. It's amazing how the Lord works. I remember biking past Antonio while we were going to another appointment. I didn't see them until we had already biked past and my brain had registered there were people (it was at night and they were sitting in the dark). I told myself I would talk to them on our way out and hoped they were still there. I remember Heavenly Father saying go talk to them. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't listen to the prompting right away when I did see them. After we went to our appointment they were still sitting outside! Even though Antonio was not at our appointment last Sunday, we ran into them again this week. We talked to Nick and Antonio and Nick said he was comfortable in his church and he wasn't looking to convert. He has felt things when he went to our church in California, but he's worried about leaving his culture. He doesn't agree with the baptism of little children and he prays just like we do (I'm assuming he picked that up from listening to the missionaries before). When we talked to him about prophets he said he felt the chills. We testified to him and he set up an appointment for the next night. Unfortunately they were not there because they were running errands. I really hope they do rely on the witness of the Spirit they have felt. I know it was not a coincidence we "ran" into him and Antonio on separate days. We have been trying to set up another appointment. We're praying and hoping! We have the faith!!
This week we were not able to meet with Julie and Johnny. :( They had too much going on with Julie's daughter coming home and school starting today for them. They also did not come to church which was a bummer even though they said they were planning on it. We have an appointment set up for this Wednesday. We're hoping to also start teaching her daughter. She has gone to church before with the neighbors who invited them to take the lessons from us.
One of our investigator's, Kim, invited us to her Bible study she hosts at her house. We definitely were not sure what to expect. We had already set expectations of that we were not there to argue and if it did come to that, we would have to leave. We brought a couple with us, where he converted six years ago, and they were very helpful. The Spirit was there and they had a lot of good questions. There ended up being four of them there plus the four of us. They all accepted Book of Mormons and the Restoration pamphlet at the end. Only God knows what will become of this exchange. We're trying to discern if Kim is really interested or not. She's the one who had been taking the lessons last year when the Elders still covered the area. We will see this coming week.
This week I've been reminded of the brother of Jared's experience with prayer. I love the lessons we learn from him of faith and how to pray. This is in Ether chapter 2. The brother of Jared after he makes the barges sees three problems- no light, air, or any way to steer. When he recognizes this, his first instinct is to inquire of the Lord. The Lord tells him how to solve the problem with no air- we can apply this to our own lives with sometimes the Lord will give us the answers to our prayers. The Lord then asks the brother of Jared what he would have Him do about having no light. The Lord sometimes asks us to come with a solution to the problem and then to ask Him if it's His will. Lastly the Lord asks the brother of Jared to just trust in Him. He will guide the ship to the promised land. The Lord sometimes asks us to have 100% trust in Him. The last solution to me seems to be the hardest. We have to give our lives completely over to Him because He knows better than we do. He does have a plan of each of us and we do have a purpose here on this Earth. He loves us so much so He does want to help us to do what is best for us. We may not think it's the best thing for us here and now, but with hindsight I can promise it will be better. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I'm so grateful for His eternal perspective.