Friday, August 2, 2013

Monday, July 15th, 2013 - We Won the Lottery!

Transfers were this week! We got a house and a car! Yippee! We feel like high-rollers. :) We moved into the Elders house. It was way gross. We were just there the first night and by the morning we couldn't stand how dirty it was. We ended up spending the day deep cleaning the house so it was livable. We have evidence- before and after pictures. I'll have to send them next week since the other sisters have them on their cameras.

This week was kind of a crazy one. One of our wards split and one of the elder's wards, so they made a third one. The sisters we're living with took the new ward, so we're still down to just two wards, with two of our investigators given to the Elders. We're now having to really start from ground zero with both of our wards. We have hardly any potential and former investigators in both of our wards. I'm excited for the challenge of building up these wards since both of them are relatively newly created wards. Barbra and David came to church yesterday. It was the meeting where they were announcing the ward splits. Barbra said she felt the spirit, which was great to hear! Johnny and Julie said they weren't coming to church late Sunday night. We stopped by after church to see them and to set up another appointment. Johnny said the real reason why they didn't come was because he was a little apprehensive about going. We had tried to set up a church tour this past week before Sunday, but they didn't have time. We set up a church tour for this Wednesday and they seemed excited and grateful. Julie also said that she had been reading the Book of Mormon and that she feels good about it. Johnny hasn't read it yet, but he promised us he would read by Wednesday. They're progressing!!!

The lesson with Julie and Johnny went very well this past Wednesday. We recapped part of the Restoration and then we watched The Restoration video. We then invited them to be baptized. They said they would have to discuss it as a couple and then they would get back to us. They did say this is something they want to be a part of their lives. Johnny hasn't ever been to church or read the Bible, so this is a big step for him. He's slowly changing his habits. We just love them!!

We also taught Barbra this week and invited her to be baptized. She said she needed to think about it, but at least we're starting to have regular meetings. It's been difficult to have lessons with her since she's living with her daughter and her daughter's husband who don't like us to come by. We're hoping to have a single sister who would be willing to have a roommate because it's been hard on Barbra to live there. At least we get to keep her as an investigator! She's so ready to accept the Gospel and the blessings it's going to, and is, giving her. She's been slowly, but surely progressing.

We also taught this week one of our investigators, Hayden, who is 9. His dad, who is less-active, wants him to wait to be baptized until he knows more about the Gospel. This was the first time that I had really met Hayden since I've been here. His mom is active and is trying to have the kids be active. Hayden wants to be baptized, but his dad is holding him back. There are a lot of issues with the family unfortunately. We had to give him up to the Elders though with the split. We also have to give David up. At least we can come to their baptisms if they get baptized!

Sydney did not get baptized this past Saturday. :( Her dad said he would like her to wait until she's more mature to make a grown up decision to be baptized. It was a sad day to hear the news when she told us! She wants to be baptized so bad! She said she's going to talk with her dad again this week and tell him exactly why she wants to be baptized. We are all praying for her that her dad's heart will be softened. She could be baptized any day if she wanted to.
I have learned this week that even if something is a righteous choice, it doesn't always mean it's God's will. This was a hard lesson to really go through with Sydney. When we fasted, I had no doubt that she would be baptized. I was just going to rely on faith and do everything we could possibly do and then let the Lord handle it. I still do have the faith and I do know everything is according to the Lord's time and will. It's just hard to remember that people to have their agency and to completely trust in the Lord. He knows. I have to just continue forward and to just do my best and then let the Lord take care of the rest.

I can't believe I'm half way done with my mission. I've had so many people remind me this week. Boy, does time fly by. The Gilbert Mission is also a very young mission. I'm know one of the senior sisters in the mission. I think I'm the 4th oldest of the sisters. Crazy how all of the sisters who were older than me and in the other missions.

Today I was reading in Alma 34 when Amulek is preaching to the poor Zormonites telling them about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love how simply he explains the need for the Atonement of Christ. Christ had to fulfill the demands of justice while it was so merciful that he did perform the Atonement. I love reading the Book of Mormon while looking for the Atonement. I've come to more fully realize how merciful and how much the Atonement really encompasses. I learn more and more each day from reading the scriptures every day. They truly are written for our day by prophets who were called of God to write down the words of the Lord. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. It helps guide and direct me through out the day. I find myself using the passages I had read that morning with the people I meet and just reflecting on what I had read. It gives me the boost I need to go throughout the day.

Sister Collins