Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 73: Count Your Blessings!!!

Elle on her balcony in Oak Harbor wearing her
Christmas sweater.
What a great week we were able to have. I can't begin to even tell you of all of the blessings that we have received this last week. Heavenly Father is blessing the Ward of Oak Harbor 1st and also us missionaries who are lucky to be able to serve him.

Tuesday we had interviews and needless to say I asked President Wilding for an extension and he told me no. I told him that he should probably pray about it before he makes any decisions. He said that he doesn't need to pray about this one to know the answer. To make a long story short after a 20 minute conversation it isn't happening. Right before we all left I thought that I would ask him one more time to pray about it and he laughed and said I already did and the answer is still no.......bummer! I am not going to drop this one. The answer might change if I pray hard enough.

We got two new investigators this last week. The first one is Sandy, Sandy is 76 years old and still working hard. She has some Word of Wisdom issues that she is going to have to work on but her faith in Jesus Christ is amazing. She says that all that she needs to do is have faith in her Savior and that everything is going to work out. I had met her before Thanksgiving  but nothing had worked out for us to go over there. Wednesday we were finally able to go to her apartment and catch her at home. At fi​r​st she didn't want us to come in she said that she was busy. We told her that we were sharing a message about our Savior and testified of ​H​im​, the spirit changed her mind and she let us in. We learned that she has had a difficult life and has had her share of trials​, but that her faith in Jesus Christ is what has kept her going. We were able to testify to her that it is through Jesus Christ that we are saved. Used some of the how to begin​..​ teaching points and then we taught the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She LOVED it! She said that she knew all of this to be true and that it only make since. We at the end were able to share a little of the Book of Mormon with her and she asked if we would read some of it to her because she was unable to read the small print. So we did and she appeared to be at peace. We asked her how she felt and she said that she was able to think again and that she was at peace. We told her that that was the spirit testifying to her that the things that we were sharing were true. After we had pointed that out she said that she wanted to be baptized so that she could strengthen her faith in Jesus Christ! WHAT! ARE YOU KIDDING! Heavenly Father is to​o​ good to us. We put her on date for February because of the smoking and coffee. What is even crazier is that a member of our​ ward​ lives in her apartment complex and they know each other and have talked a couple of times. Perfect fellowship, I think that we def​initely ​have some work cut out for us but she wants this. She wants to read the Book of Mormon, she wants to be baptized and is willing to do what it takes!

Sister Lindsay and Elle in their Matching Christmas sweaters.
The ward party was a lot of fun! Sister Lindsay and I bought matching sweaters and so we wore them to the party and they were a hit. It makes it nice that we are such cool people already....the sweaters are just extra! Hahaha just kidding.

Aaron and Jordan are doing great. Aaron is reading 'A Marvelous Work and a Wonder' again. He has done what he can to sign up for an LDS account... and we learned all of this right before sacrament meeting started. Jordan ordered another triple combination because she misplaced hers in their move. They are scheduled to be baptized on January 7th!  They are AMAZING!! I am honored that I have the opportunity to be able to teach them! They have taught me so much and after our lesson yesterday he kind of bore his testimony without formally doing it and the​n​ ended by saying, "You could say that we are gaining a strong testimony of all of these things." Yep they are awesome.

The view from Elle's apartment on the snow in Oak Harbor.
It snowed again and I was praying really hard that it would stop and melt. Don't get me wrong, I love the snow and I love playing in it and driving in it but not as a missionary. Its time for it to just stop and never come back again. Lucky for us the half an inch that does come melts before we even go outside! With the half inch that we got all of our meetings on Sunday were canceled.......? I don't think I will ever understand.

Then yesterday we got our other new investigator Cheree. She is the wife of a member who is a LA (less active) but he thinks that he is no longer apart of the Church. Michael who is the husband of Cheree got baptized some time ago and did it for his ex-wife, and didn't really do it for himself. He had been fully active for those three years and held the Melchizedek Priesthood. He said that he never really gained a testimony for himself but he wanted for him and his wife to be together forever, and this is what made her happy. I think that at one point he had a testimony but that it might have been too "hard" and so it was just easier to quit. Bishop Somes of the Penn Cove ward is really good friends with them and he and his wife have been working with them for awhile. Cheree and Michael are going through some difficult times and after hearing about the church for so long Cheree wants it to be apart of their life. So we went to the Somes house for dinner and that is where we met them and it was all Cheree could do not to jump up and down because of her excitement. Because she wanted to jump up and down I wanted to jump up and down! So after dinner we presented to them and did some How to Begin Teaching and then taught them the Restoration. By the end Cheree was in tears saying that this is what she wants. She said that they need this apart of their life. Cheree want Michael to want it too, it was the COOLEST thing to see the spirit working in that room. The spirit was so strong!! We were addressing all of his concerns and I felt inspired to ask Cheree how she felt and what she was thinking. In her tender voice she said, "I want this." Then we just sat in silence for a little while, then Brother and Sister Somes bore their testimonies and answered some questions from a parent and a spouse point of view.

We will be seeing them Tuesday and I know that this is going to bless them so much. Cheree wants it and is willing to do what it takes to have it. Michael, as we talk and as he remembers what the spirit feels like his heart will be softened.

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I was studying about repentance this morning and I was reading in Alma 36 and Alma the younger is sharing his conversion story with his son Helaman. In vs. 6-28 He says, "...I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God; but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way.... I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more....but I was racked with eternal torment for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins. And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart:...behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; ...and I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me."

Alma the younger was able to have a change of heart and so can all of us. Including those that are suborn.

I am so grateful for this Gospel and the peace and joy that comes from being obedient and keeping the commandments!

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!


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