Sister Ferrin and Sister Rokovitz at the Nashville Temple.
Emad got baptized last Sunday. Want to know something funny? I took everyone to Roma's for lunch after the temple. While we were waiting for our food.... guess who walks in to teach Emad? Sister Jarvis and her trainee!!! I jumped up and hugged her so fast and screamed and she was so confused as to why we were there!! We all talked and laughed and caught up and I got to call Cha on their phone and talk to her for a second. It was such a good day!
Ok, updates on the people we're teaching - Breanna and Holly... Breanna moved in with her boyfriend and we got in contact with her this week through Facebook. She still seems interested...so we'll see what happens. Kate was sick so we haven't seen her. Holly - SHE HAS A BAPTISM DATE FOR THE 23RD OF MARCH!!!! HOO-RAH!!!! We had an awesome lesson with her about the Plan of Salvation and then we committed her to baptism! But that's not all.... We went and saw Larry afterwards too. I don't know if I've told you about him. He is the cousin of Brother Fulgham, a member in our ward. They were best friends growing up. They lost contact for about 30 years! Then Larry moved back up here to Illinois by Brother Fulgham and we taught him the plan of salvation as well and committed him to baptism too!!! MARCH 16TH!!! Brother Fulgham will get to baptize his best friend. Precious! He had tears in his eyes at the end of the lesson. They remind me of the Fox and the Hound. "When you're the best of friends, having so much fun together." Haha I told them that and they both started laughing! Ok that's still not all.... Cathy. We taught her the restoration yesterday. At the end I suggested a video, which was awesome! And then we committed her to baptism too! March 23rd - 3 BAPTISM DATES IN 2 DAYS!!!! Miracles I tell you! Miracles! The ward here had 6 people baptized last year. We're going to beat that. Oh man, it's been good!
Also this week we had a crazy storm! It was on Thursday. The wind was going crazy and there was thunder and lightning and rain. The sirens were going off and we were getting texts from members and zone leaders to get inside. We made a fortress! We ran around gathering food and books and clothes and games and pillows and mattresses and threw it all in the bathroom, occasionally checking the weather outside. The lightning looked like a strobe light! Apparently the storm stretched all the way down to Nashville too. It's crazy. We sat in our padded tub for over 2 hours. Talk about cramped legs. It was scary. But we were prepared - Haha. And then we had to lug everything out of the bathroom after it was over.
In our bathroom fortress during the storm.
Let me tell you about a couple of the miracles that happened this week. This happened Monday night: The whole 45 minutes I was preparing for bed I could smell the strong stench of smoke from our new neighbors seeping through the walls of our bedroom and penetrating my nose. It was strong. As I sat on my bed minutes before 10:30 p.m. I thought, "Maybe Heavenly Father could take the smell away." As I got down on my knees, I thanked my Father in Heaven for the blessings of the day. I then told Him about the smell and how much it bothered me. I asked if my nose could be plugged up or the walls would be thickened so I wouldn't have to smell it. I would rather deal with a stuffed nose than the smell of the smoke. I told Heavenly Father I believed it was possible and I believed myself when I said that! It was an incredible feeling! I would do anything for that smell to be gone! I said my whole prayer with my nose inside my shirt. As I said Amen, the dryer buzzed that my clothes were done. I took one last deep breath inside my shirt and then left the room. I stopped the dryer and returned to climb in bed.... the stench was gone... I smiled. I was amazed! It was gone!!! I smiled so big!!! I got in bed and just laid there wide awake! A miracle had just been performed right in my very bedroom! As I awoke the next morning the odor had still vanished. I didn't know how it was possible, but I practically jumped out of bed to thank my Father in Heaven! He heard my prayer! Ever since then I haven't been able to smell it. I might get a whiff of it every now and then... but.. then I remember the miracle and the smell fades!
Amazing right?! Well it gets even better.... I had a dream that night too. This is the dream:
The dream started with a church. My church from home. I was in the church. The room was full so a group of people, including me, went upstairs and sat on metal benches. My friends and my companion were there but I didn't recognize their faces. Next thing I know we were all back downstairs behind all the church benches in what was supposed to be the gym, but it was more like a grassy field. I was behind everyone. They were all running and gathering around someone. I was walking slowly to see who it was. I was standing on my tippy toes and thought I should be running too. I broke into a light jog and then I finally saw. It was Christ! The group was gathered around Him. Some were dressed in white clothes, some in white jumpsuits. A man on the other side of Christ was in jeans and a blue hoodie. Christ was smiling and looking at everyone. I got pulled up right in front of Christ. He smiled at me and held His hands out, palms down. I saw the scars and reached up and touched them. He turned His hands over... scars. I held them and began to weep. It was a happy cry though. He held my hands tight and I just felt Him comfort me. We were walking back to go upstairs and Christ walked with the group, calmly next to me. Everyone was looking at me as we walked. I was still sobbing. Christ was real, He was THEE Christ! Christ stopped at the base of the stairs while I and the group kept moving. I looked back. Christ looked at me smiling. I sat down, in awe that I had just seen the Christ.
I found 2 pictures that stopped me in my tracks. They look like Christ. I know Christ. I saw Him. I saw Him and He knows me. He is so real to me now! I can't stop thinking about Him. All I desire lately is to be with Him. I just want to be with Him all the time!! It was the best experience of my mission. I told Sister Ferrin and our faces were soaked with tears at the end. And then... I realized... Heavenly Father answered my prayers. In the MTC and first week in the mission field when I was doubting, I kept praying to know Christ and to have a dream or experience to just see Him and to know. Heavenly Father granted my wish. He did. When it was right. When I needed it. It's truly amazing.
This week I'm studying self-mastery because it relates a lot to obedience. I read 2 great talks today! "The Power of Self-Mastery" by James E. Faust, and "You Can Do It Now" by President Uchtdorf.
Lastly.... I almost made it to the end of my 40 day fast. I started cracking and making to-do lists and writing in my journal at meals. I made it farther though. I've done it 4 times and this is the farthest I've made it! So, in order to practice self-mastery I have to do it again. So I'll make another list with the help of Heavenly Father and I'll do it all this time! ALL! I'm excited!
I've been so excited to tell you about my week! I just couldn't hardly wait! I love you so much! So much! I miss you a ton! But time is flying! Have a great week!