Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Week 60 - October 10, 2016
Wow, what an amazing week we had here in Cherry Hill! Last Monday, it was absolutely sad to hear about Robbie, but in a few weeks I should be attending his funeral. We had to drive into Philly to get our car checked up on and so while we were in Philly, I had the great opportunity to go visit a few people who I worked with. I saw Kevin and Kayla, the two 17 and 15-year-olds we baptized and then the rest of the family. I was so happy to hear that Kevin and Kayla have both been attending church regularly and going to early morning seminary. Awesome! I went to see Arlene Paul, a lady we helped reactivate in the church. She has gone to church basically every single week the past year and has read the entire Book of Mormon and in the middle of it again now - and if you knew Arlene, you know it is a huge stretch for her to do that. Proud of her. I got to see Mike, one of the recent converts who we worked with, love that man so much. He's sadly falling back into his old habits, which is sad, but he will come around!
This week here in Cherry Hill, we taught the most lessons both of us have had in our mission - 40! We definitely worked hard and saw so many miracles and were definitely blessed. We had six of our incredible investigators come to church and four of those have a baptismal date. Jack and Beena should be baptized this coming Sunday - please pray for them. They both have testimonies, but you all know how the adversary works!
So many incredible lessons that were taught and Spirit was felt, but yesterday as we were working so hard to meet our goal of 40, we went and had an unplanned lesson with that lady we gave the $20 a while back. We hadn't seen her for about two weeks, and when we knocked on her door, she was just in tears and so happy to see us. She had been going through such a hard time with her family. Her kids we taught brought the Book of Mormon to their pastor and he ripped it up and said that we weren't Christian and that we didn't believe in Christ. The kids are now trying to anti her mother into not talking to us and anyways a ton of other bad things are happening to her. She told us that her phone has been off and that she has wanted and waited for us to come by for some time (she lives far and we just haven't had time to get up there) and anyways, we talked about having joy and what joy even is. I quoted something I learned the other day about what joy is and how we achieve it -- "A condition of great happiness coming from righteous living... A full joy will come only through Jesus Christ." We then read all about keeping the commandments and how in Mosiah Chapter 2:41 it says: "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." After all that was said and done, we had the most incredible member with us who is just the most humble man, baptized three years ago. Brother Szary. He bore his testimony and the room was just lit up with the Spirit. She started to say that we are God's angels sent from above to save her, what a nice lady! Haha. Incredible.
I was able to give a talk in Sacrament meeting this week. I had about two hours to prepare - it was on "Conversion." I think I went really well. I told the conversion stories of Paul and Alma and then discussed the conversion story of Rosa and, of course, mentioned many other things - I'll be sure to attach it on another email if you're interested in reading it.
I went on a great exchange with Elder Winstanley. He's such a stud. He serves as an assistant up in Broomall. We had a great time, had an amazing talk about life and missionaries and testimonies, loved it and definitely learned a lot. Oh, and got to play some ball in the morning. He likes to think he crossed my ankles up, but we tied one to one. Pretty cool though that night one of his recent converts Facebooked videod him and told him he is preparing to serve a mission - pride and joy hearing one of the people you've worked with is going to serve the Lord. I'm excited, I really hope Kevin, Kayla, Destiny, Gabe, Josue, decide to serve missions when their time comes around.
This week we had Zone training which Elder Lake and I were in charge of. It went really well. We asked the question of what was the most powerful and spiritual lessons you've had on your mission and why? (Training was on the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion) and we went around the room and shared a few. I felt I should share the story of Brother Martinez back in Maryland. He had two unbaptized children and was inactive. When I first met him, all the missionaries quit on him saying he wouldn't progress, he wouldn't come back, he wouldn't he, wouldn't he wouldn't. When I met him, I knew that within the time I was given here, I could help. I remember starting off and he said he was unworthy to come to church, baptize his children, or do anything and he just wanted to quit. We loved him and assured him he could do it. His first step was coffee, he drank massive amounts of coffee daily. We made a schedule/calendar for him and over the next four weeks he got off of coffee and was clean, made it out to church once - one day, however, a month and a half or so maybe even 2 maybe 3 idk, time blends in, we came over and he was in the back of his truck drinking. As I came around, he quickly tried to hide it and so I just sat down next to him and basically told him, "You can try hide things from people here but no way can you hide it from God." The next 40 minutes we just listened to him, loved him, encouraged him - there was no opening prayer, there was no closing prayer, we didn't use our scriptures - we just loved him. Weeks later, he would baptize both of his children after becoming sober, and now is an active member. I bore my testimony about how if we truly just love others the way God loves us and have faith that others can change - miracles will happen. We will see our lives change, our companion's lives change and the people we work with change.
On Saturday, I was asked to speak on the Holy Ghost at an 8 year old's baptism. She was so cute all dressed in white, what a sweet girl. I'm not sure why they asked me to speak, but it was nice of them and I talked about how the Holy Ghost is the ultimate comforter. He will always be with us if we diligently seek Him. I've definitely been so thankful for the numerous promptings and comfort I have received and felt over the course of my mission. I definitely have felt Him more as I have read the scriptures. I've grown to love them so much and find myself in them as much as I can.
What a fantastic week - spiritual experiences, miracles you name it!
I love you all, thank you for your support. God bless.