I have learned so much this week, where to even start.
We have met so many amazing people. One man, Ben, we started talking to when we were getting gas. Turns out he's really interested in religion, and he has already read the whole Book of Mormon, what are the odds? We invited him to pray about it, and he is totally open to having missionaries come over to his house in Prior Lake so we were able to refer him to the missionaries there. Open your mouth and it shall be filled!
This week we met Don. He was a potential in our area book, and we both really wanted to go try to see him. We had already stopped by a couple times with no luck, but on Friday, we were going to go see him and he was oustide his house breaking ice off his driveway. So we jumped out of the car and ran over to go talk to him. (We love it when people are outside because then they can't close the door, we can usually get a few good minutes of talking to them). Well we ended up talking to Don for over an hour. He is in his seventies, and he loves family history. He knows all about familysearch and all the other programs, and loves doing family history and discovering more about his ancestors. His wife passed away last year, and it was her passion, so he has picked it up to carry on her legacy. We had a good time talking to him about family history, and we wanted to transition into the restoration and the plan of salvation. He told us he had a Mormon friend in college, and that he already has a copy of the Book of Mormon, and it seemed like he was going to tell us he wasn't interested in hearing more of our message. My mind was frantically racing of what to say to this man to help him open up a little more and to give us an opportunity to testify. Then the Holy Ghost immediately brought to my mind to ask "Do you have any questions about what you already know about our church we could help answer?" I KNOW that was inspired, because he began to ask questions that testified about the restoration. He asked us about how churches change over time saying "for example, I know that my church isn't perfect, because we don't have the authority that Jesus Christ established on the earth." And we talked about the apostasy and the restoration of truth. He told us sometimes when he is doing family history he feels guided to certain people, like he is receiving help from somewhere to do the work and find the people he needs to find. And we were able to testify about the Holy Ghost. He asked about what we think about what happens to people who don't have the chance to hear about Jesus Christ while in this life, and we were able to testify that that is exactly why we do family history, and teach him about the Plan of Salvation. That God gives all his children a chance, and all will have the chance to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. He talked about his wife, and how he prays for her, and his children pray for her, and his grandchildren pray for her, and sometimes he feels like she is guiding him in certain ways, and still helping with their family history. And we were able to testify of eternal families, and that he and his wife can be together forever, because of the great plan of our God. And he was crying and we were crying, and it was the most amazing lesson I've ever had on someones driveway. He was still kind of reluctant to make any commitments, but he was willing to pray to know if what we taught was true. I cannot wait to go back and teach him again. Please, please, pray for Don that he will pray and feel the spirit.
I have been learning a lot and been very humbled this week by the way church leadership works. We have attended many stake meetings and ward councils the past few weeks, and been working with the other missionaries, and I have been so impressed by two things about church leadership: 1. The perfect organization, 2. It is always done out of love.
It is just so impressive that the church is run by ordinary people doing extraordinary things because we are on the errand of the Lord. And every council, whenever another person or another need is discussed, I am in complete awe of the love that is genuinely felt towards that individual or necessity.
This last week of the month our zone has been working really, really hard to meet our goals because we got off to kind of a slow start with transfers in the middle of the month. This last week we realized we were really far away, so this week we have been giving it all we've got. We needed 46 new investigators, which was more than we had found the rest of the month, but yesterday when the numbers came in we found 47 new people this past week! We had a zone fast because we needed something like 25 people to come to church, which was a big stretch, and we ended up having 27 people come to church. Setting inspired goals and working hard to achieve them works! And it has been such an exciting week because we have all been so excited about trying to reach our goals and seen many mighty miracles.
My mission has given me a huge testimony of goal setting and planning, because without a goal, you don't get anywhere. I was reading a talk by President Monson, with a couple of good quotes.
"The road to anywhere is the road to nowhere...We have been provided divine attributes to guide our destiny. We entered mortality not to float with the moving currents of life, but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve."
Which lead to another quote by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
"God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream. In short, He can't if you don't believe."
And I just thought that was so powerful. God wants us to dream. He wants us to have goals and to change the world, but we need to have the faith and we need to work for it, and when we do, He will provide the way. How grateful I am for the wonderful chance to be here and to have the wonderful experience of life.
Thank you all for the love and support! Missionary work is so amazing, and I'm so grateful for every single day, because they are going by faster and faster. Have a wonderful week!!