This week we were able to have dinner and Family Home Evening at one of the part-member families house in one of our wards. The non-member husband comes to church every and has taken the missionary lessons twice. In the past years during football season he wouldn't come to church because he would be watching all of the games. This year it's amazing to see him at church during the season. We are not currently teaching him right now since we are waiting to see if he wants to take the lessons again. They are an amazing family and we love them so much! We can tell his heart has been softening and we hope for the best in the near future! The ward he's in has been catching the missionary spirit more and more which is really exciting to hear.
We were also able to teach Brad three times this week. One of the lessons was at our Ward Mission Leader's house for a BBQ. We were late to it because right after we had gotten done with our dinner with the Stake President we saw his next door neighbor across the street. We went over to go talk with him. As we were talking with him, he started to tell us about his daughter who put herself in drug rehab just the other day and his struggles with her. We were able to have a powerful lesson right there on his driveway. Carlos accepted a Book of Mormon, a Finding Faith in Christ DVD, and our pass-a-long card with our number on it. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and that we could check up on him. We weren't able to set up an exact return appointment there, but we told our Stake President and he's going to continue fellowshipping Carlos.
So back to Brad. It was really nice to talk with Brad in a more casual setting and he seemed a lot more comfortable talking with us. He's starting to really like coming to church and developing friendships with the ward members. Two days later we were able to meet with him again. They only had 15 minutes to give us so we talked about prophets and Jesus Christ's ministry (because we had to start over at the very beginning a week ago because our teaching record from the Elder's before was very misleading...). At the end we invited him to be baptized. He said he wanted to, but he is living with his fiance (who was just recently less-active and is coming back to church). They have their wedding date set for next June and they're planning on being married in Hawaii. He can't be baptized until either he moves out or they get married. So at this time they are not ready to make either decision. We knew this was a problem, but it was nice to hear it from him. We invited them to pray about their decision and assured them we would still be there for them and would continue teaching Brad. He has progressed so much since we started teaching him. He has started to pray and is recognizing the answers to his prayers. It's going to be a slow process teaching him because he doesn't really have any religious background, which is fine. At least we're getting them to come to church every week now instead of every other week! By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. We love teaching them.
We went over to one of our potential investigator's homes we had never tried to go by before. When we got there she was outside! We started to talk with her and she wanted us to come in right away. Nikki's very friendly and it turns out her dad is Mormon, but he hasn't been actively going to church since he got married to his wife, who is Catholic. Her brother, who she was really close to, had died earlier this year when he was only 19. She has had a really hard time with his passing. Nikki and her husband are Agnostic and just had their first child. We had a very good conversation about the Plan of Salvation. She's open to an extent and she believes a lot what we believe. She's a very spiritual person. While we were in the lesson, I kept on praying to know what she needed to hear. At the end of our conversation I had the impression we needed to give her a Book of Mormon. I didn't have a Book of Mormon in my purse though at the moment. At this point, Sister Huefner was giving her President Monson's General Conference talk to look up on lds.org from this past conference. She was very receptive to looking this talk up and said maybe this was the reason why we needed to stop by her house that day. She said before we came she had actually been pondering about our religion and missing her brother. I was trying to figure out how I could weave in asking her if she wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon in our conversation while we gravitated towards the door. The chance to ask her never came. As we were walking to the car, I had the distinct impression again we needed to give her the Book of Mormon. We got to the car and I said to Sister Huefner, I feel like we need to give her the Book of Mormon. She said she had been feeling the same way. I got the Book of Mormon out and we prayed about what we should mark for her to read. I kept on flipping to Moroni 7 and 8, we both felt good about it and we marked Moroni 7. I wrote a short testimony about the Book of Mormon on a mormon.org card and we went back to her house. We knocked on the door and she seemed a little surprised to see us again so quickly. I simply handed her the Book of Mormon and said we had both felt impressed we needed to give her this book. This is the source of true peace and comfort because it is the word of God. She said thank you and was really excited to read it since she hadn't received a Book of Mormon before. We don't know if she's read it yet, but I just hope it's given her peace and comfort and has helped her at this time.
This week we had two Fall Festivals to go to. One of them we were only able to stay for 10 minutes because we had appointments. Also it wasn't put on by the ward, but the community. So it was really big and we hardly saw anyone we recognized in the short time we were there. The other ward's Fall Festival was a lot of fun. We were able to meet a lot of people in the ward and also their friends they had brought. This one lady, Julie, came to the activity because a girl in the ward cut her hair and mentioned the Fall Festival. It turns out she just moved here from Nebraska (Sister Huefner's neighborhood) two weeks ago. She's been Internet dating one of the members in our ward who's just recently started to come back to church. We were able to meet her and she was so sweet. She started by asking us if Mormons ate chocolate and wore make-up. We assured her we can do both and she felt more comfortable. She then asked us some more questions about what we believe in and we were able to teach her a little bit right there under the pavilion while the circuit breaker kept on shutting off. She was so excited to talk with us because she said she has been searching for a church. She had told the lady who cut her hair she wanted to join our church and how does she go about doing it? Miracles! She trying to find a house in our area and a job since she's living with her daughter out of our area. Also the family who has been coming back to church, Montana and Mike, were the D.J.s at the party and their entire family came. It was great to see some of the less-actives at the party feel comfortable. We had someone ask us if being missionaries was our costume or if we were really missionaries. Fun times, fun times.
Yesterday a member brought one of her friends to church, Jill. She had given us Jill as a referral two weeks ago and we hadn't been able to catch her at home. It was amazing that she came to church. She really seemed to love it and felt the Spirit. We had to run out of Relief Society early since we had an appointment with Brad so we weren't able to see when she wanted to set up an appointment since she had expressed to her friend she would be interested. We're hoping we can contact her tonight.
I'm so excited for the Gilbert Open House. We're having a training with members about how we are going to work together to bring people to Christ through the Open House. We're going to be presenting a 15 minute video presentation to the member's friends who want to learn about the Temple. The mission has made a DVD with four, four minute, videos on it about Temples. They are great videos and I can't wait to start sharing them with everyone! It will be a great tool for finding people who want something more. Having the Gilbert Open House in January just doesn't seem real yet. Excitement on excitement! I know how much the Temple has blessed my life. I feel God's love in His Holy House. I feel closer to Him and I receive answers to prayers more often in the Temple. I know my family is sealed together for eternity and how much comfort this knowledge brings me. The Gospel gives me answers to the questions of my soul. I know God answers my prayers every day. I see the miracles which are happening around me. I feel His love and I am grateful for the knowledge I have.
We found a random fridge outside one night. We couldn't resist taking a picture by it. :)
Montana and Mike
We were able to go to the Temple this week!
Recent Converts in one of our ward- We love them!