Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Read the Book of Mormon!" (October 16, 2017)

This has been the most INCREDIBLE week. I am so grateful to be a missionary. 
First off, amazing transfer news, HERMANA HANSON AND I ARE BOTH STAYING IN LAKEVILLE!!!!!! We are so excited, this will be our third transfer together, so we're going eternal. She is my first companion that I've had for more than one transfer, but we are having such a good time here in Lakeville we were freaking out when we got the news. Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting our branch president announced I was leaving, so I already said goodbye to everyone, haha. But I am so happy to be staying. I have really fallen in love with so many of the people here, and I was not ready to say goodbye yet. We are also seeing so many miracles and so much progression, we are so happy about all the things that going on. 

OH MY! FRIENDS. GUESS WHAT?! George came to church!! This has been twelve weeks in the making. I can't remember how much I've told you about all this, but George has come on a long path. So rewind, we have been having a hard time because no one is coming to church. We are teaching a lot of solid people right now, but everyone seems to have work on Sundays and can't make it. This week we felt inspired to start praying that we would find someone this week who wouldn't have work on Sunday who could come to church with us this week. George has not been keeping any commitments, and we haven't been visiting him very frequently to kind of give him a break and let him evaluate what he really wanted. On Friday we felt prompted to go visit him though. We sang "A Child's Prayer" for him, and read from the Book of Mormon. And he told us "There's something I need to tell you, I've been afraid to come to church" And he opened up to us about some of his concerns. It was so great, because we have been trying to figure out what has been stopping him from coming, and we were able to help him overcome some misconceptions, and help him understand why church is so important. On Saturday morning, we brought Hno Rey and Hno Rosalina with us, because they were going to give him a ride on Sunday. And we visited Geroge, and he told them "I've decided I'm going to church on Sunday" And he met the members. 

THEN YESTERDAY HE CAME TO CHURCH. And he stayed for all three hours. Plus a baptism we had afterwards, and the food we had. He got along well with all the members. We didn't even have to introduce him, all of our members were so friendly. His mom is a member who used to come to our branch, she can't come to church because of health problems, but he was so touched that everyone remembered her and loved her so much. He was crying through all of sacrament meeting. After everything when we asked him how he liked it and how he felt he said "I should have come a long time ago" And he can't wait to come back! The whole thing truly was a miracle from start to finish. 

Manuel got baptized yesterday! He turned 8 on wednesday, so it wasn't a convert baptism, but for some reason we planned everything for it. But it went really well. Manuel is the cutest, and when we visited them earlier in the week, he was so excited and just a little nervous to be getting baptized. He had asked his older brother, Diego, to give a talk. Diego just turned twelve, and he said no at first, but he realized how important it was to Manuel and that he was the example and priesthood holder in their family, and he gave a talk about baptism, and it was incredible. He bore his testimony about his baptism, and how he has come to understand it better over the past 4 years. There was a beautiful spirit there and they are an incredible family. 

We have just seen so many miracles. We were trying to visit a less-active and his wife we have been having such a hard time getting into see because their apartment is a lock-out and we don't have their phone number, and the call box isn't connected to their actual phone number. So it's basically impossible to get in. We felt really strongly that we should stop by, and we went and there was no one coming in or out, but we said a prayer sign for help to get in. And after 5 minutes, the wife herself came to the door because she was just getting home. It was crazy, and just another testament that God is always watching out for us. Wow, I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel so much. Yesterday we were talking to Manuel after his baptism, and he asked "Is it fun to go knock on doors? I think it sounds fun!" And I told him "It is SO fun, because you get to meet and talk to so many amazing people each and every day." And it's really true. Sometimes people can be rude, and often times aren't interested in our message, but it's still so amazing to just talk to people every day and that is our only job right now. 

This week I have gained a new appreciation for the Book of Mormon. I finished reading the New Testament this week, and I am so grateful for the knowledge and clarity that we gain through the Book of Mormon and revelation through modern-day prophets. There really are so many things we can't begin to understand about Christ and his gospel without those precious truths that have been restored. I invite all of you to take some time this week to read in it! 

Thank you for all the love and support!

Following prophetic counsel, READ THE BOOK OF MORMON

 So you know those turkeys I was talking about?
They're just roaming everywhere? We got pictures

Getting ready to go find the elect!

Manuel's baptism! Isn't he just the cutest??

We got to play at Mission President's Fireside last night!
Elder Holmes and Sister Benson sang and I accompanied them.
It's this mission-wide event we have every month
where converts share their testimonies and their conversion stories,
 and we invite investigators and less-actives and members, and it's really cool :)

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