So with all of the miracles this week, I have come to realize how true this gospel is. It's so plain and clear that I just don't understand how people don't get it. As I've been turned down and had the door slammed in my face this week it just breaks my heart that people are so hard hearted and won't even open their hearts to just hear us out. But these are the times my testimony becomes unwavering. I've realized the importance of the Book of Mormon this week. I'm trying to complete the challenge to finish the whole book by tomorrow that President Andersen challenged us to. I've been reading so much that it's just become alive! I love the whole book! I have 66 pages left. I'm going to finish.
Elder Evans in Foxcroft messaged me and told me Cathy had a baptism date for Saturday. She has to quit smoking and she messaged me yesterday and said "I can't quit smoking!" So I'm working with her online to quit. We're taking it one day at a time. I'm going to surprise her by going to her baptism but she won't know I'm coming. It's going to be awesome. It's been pushed back to next Saturday so hopefully she'll make it.
Ok now about the week! I'm so excited to tell you!
On Monday we taught Amanda the plan of salvation and she loved it. She is still set right now for baptism except she didn't come to church yesterday and she hasn't responded to our text. We're supposed to meet with her tonight. I hope she still can. Last time she was so excited to learn about the commandments. So we're excited to teach her. She's so golden! Also, that night for FHE we played capture the flag outside. I was raised by my Father so I found it necessary to cheat and cut through the building. One of our YSA's saw us inside and got so mad that we were cheating. He walked off mad and started walking home. So we went to Sonic for shakes and decided to buy him one and find him since he lives close to us. We found him and it was so hard to have the charity to just forget it even though I wanted to give him a piece of my mind! He was so thankful for it and said he felt forgotten and alone and he had been praying just to know that he was loved. He said that was an answer to his prayer. I felt so much better after. It was humbling because I did not want to do that for him. But we did and it made the world of difference. He is such a great member missionary too.
Tuesday we had seen some apartments we wanted to tract, but when we actually went there that day, all the windows were broken and boarded up and cars were dented... not a good place to be. There was just a dark feeling there. We left so fast! And also a cop in the parking lot with lights on is just not a good sign.
We taught Gwen that night. We taught the law of Chastity and we were really nervous for it actually. We went through the whole lesson and asked at the end if she would live the law of chastity and she flat out said no. First time that's ever happened. I was shocked and didn't know what to do! It was so awkward. We left so devastated.... I remember driving home that night just so torn down! And then I saw fireworks! Heavenly Father knows I love fireworks and so it was just a sweet little tender mercy that He gave me to say "Hey I'm still here. I love you."
Wednesday we had Zone meeting and it was really good. I played my musical number and I hadn't played it since Sacrament meeting in the Foxcroft ward in Illinois. It went well! I had a headache though because one wild sister kept banging on my head and pretend-choking me and stuff. We tried to do some finding that day but it was a rough day. In institute they talked about how those in the Spirit World are being taught the gospel right now. I asked Austin what he thought about that and he said it's still all so new. I hope we can help him prepare his family names right now so they're ready to go when he gets a temple recommend.
For Thursday, this is where the miracle of Richard starts. He is a Lutheran street minister here. He's been taught for a while and he is a bible basher. He just wouldn't open his heart and he would not read the Book of Mormon. Well, we met to ask him about good service opportunities. At the end he said "maybe I should give the Book of Mormon another try." Sister Lefevor told him he should read it. He came to FHE that night with headphones on and said "I'm in chapter 3. This stuff is amazing!" He has been listening to it online! It was so cool to see the immediate change it brought within him! We also taught Calvin on Thursday. He was a referral from the Fort Campbell sisters. He is religious and he said he's been baptized. We re-taught the restoration and really focused on baptism and the priesthood. We committed him to baptism on August 2nd. He said he didn't know if he could be ready by then. We testified that he could and he agreed. And when he did, he was smiling so much! I realized that he was able to commit because when we testified that he could be ready, we meant it. I KNEW he could be ready and I often struggle with seeing the vision of others ready so fast. It was so cool!
Friday was my 10 month mark! It's just getting more real and more fast. Ten months. That's double digits and that means I only have 8 months left. When I think of that I almost want to cry. I often picture the day I come home and how great it's going to be. Yeah, that day will be in the airport to see you after so long... but the days after that will just be normal life... school work and boring. I don't want to come home ever. I want to serve until the Savior comes again!!! I want to be found working my hardest when He comes again. I know I can still work hard at home, but the spirit is different with the tag on. I recently decided to wear my tag 24/7... to bed and all because it's the only time I'll get to wear it. So I'm going to while I can.
We also secured an apartment on Friday! It's farther away and not the one we thought we would get. But it is 2 bed, 2 1/2 bath which is so much better. The rooms won't fit our beds but Sister Johnson in the office suggested going "orphan style" and put all the beds in the living room! I was against it at first but it's the only time I'll have that opportunity and it will be fun. She's in the process of getting it. So we'll move at the end of this week or sometime next week.
We also met with Richard again on Friday. He told us he knows the Book of Mormon is true but didn't think he could be Mormon and he said he definitely couldn't be a missionary in a white shirt and tie. At the end he said "I'm going to pray and ask how Joseph Smith saw God." I said "Maybe you should ask IF he did."
Saturday - Oh boy. This day has a lot of stuff. We met with Jhari and Asia and took a member with us. We did the restoration and they loved it! We re-set their baptism dates for August 23rd and they are so stoked! They really are prepared!
We met a few nice people tracting. Hopefully they will become investigators! We tracted one complex and the first 16 doors didn't answer or they literally slammed the door. It was rough. We were so hot and sweaty. We finally met someone nice who listened. He protested a little when we gave him the pamphlet. He said "Jesus is black..." He said we could come back so hopefully his heart will be softened.
When we got home for dinner, we just both crashed on the cold tile floor for 15 minutes. We had really been out working hard. Those moments are the greatest. When you literally collapse from exhaustion! I love it. That's when I feel like Heavenly Father is proud of me!
One of our YSA's had brought 3 non members to FHE Thursday night and they all agreed to meet Saturday. Well, two other members heard about it and showed up too. So we taught 3 non members with 3 members there. Most stressful lesson ever! Steven, the one who our member really thought would benefit from the gospel, was the most interested. He accepted a Book of Mormon and a baptism date. He was so focused during the restoration video. Eli was semi interested. He didn't commit to baptism because he wants to learn more. But he took a Book of Mormon. Abraham was fine and then after the video he was so closed off! He wouldn't take a Book of Mormon and he didn't say anything after that.... But it was still cool!
We also taught Dae. I don't know if I talked about her last week. We tracted into her. We went back to teach the restoration and she said she really will try to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. She is married so we'll have to hand her off to the other sister missionaries. But surprisingly she said if she knows it's true, she'll get baptized.
We also taught Gwen...... It was weird. We did the commandments and Keep the Sabbath day holy. She agreed with everything... then I just broke down into pure testimony that she was missing out on so many blessings and that Heavenly Father wants to answer her but maybe breaking the law of chastity is blocking that answer. We then had to explain that she could not be baptized if she did not keep it. She sunk. You could see it. Leaving was hard. She said she would come to church and she didn't. We stopped by last night and she was home but she didn't answer. We're so worried about her. Please pray for her! That night was devastating... But Richard made our night right as we were praying before bed. He texted us the following night saying "I'm ready. I want to do a mission trip for 2 years" WHAT?!
On Sunday Richard came to church and we discussed that he had to do some other things before a mission. He actually ended up saying "I'm ready. Baptism August 9." Ok pause. This is the kind of person that all the Clarksville missionaries know about and he is the trial of every missionary's faith. He was standing in the foyer at church telling all our investigators with a smile on his face how amazing the Book of Mormon was and how much it makes a difference and that it's true. He told us he understands Ezekiel's prophecy with the two sticks becoming one. He holds us his phone with the scriptures app and said "prophecy fulfilled!" NO ONE EVER THOUGHT IN A MILLION YEARS THAT RICHARD WOULD BE BAPTIZED!!!!! This is the biggest miracle of all of Clarksville!!!!! We are still blown away by it! He's posted 3 times about the Book of Mormon and it's so cool to see how powerful that book really is! I can't wrap my mind around it!!!
We also stopped by Jeff and Miranda. She's going to work on morning prayers right now to work on becoming active. I'm so happy she's showing progress! Her countenance is changing!
Ok so I've killed you this whole email. You want to know about transfers don't you? Ok I'll tell you. Sister Lefevor is getting transferred. NO!!!!!!! We've been so sad!!!! She's going to Shelbyville with Sister Leible and I'm getting Sister Frampton. Both of our new companions look like our past companions. Sister Frampton looks like Sister Ferrin hahahaha.
The church is so true and no other place offers greater happiness and blessings. It's incredible and Heavenly Father loves us each so much!!! I wish people could see that! That's why I'm here. That's why I won't quit. And that's why I'm going to be the crazy returned missionary who goes around teaching the gospel to everyone I meet.
Anyways. It's been a good week. Your example has paid off! I love you!
My Book of Mormon Story Challenge (From Facebook)
After being completely soaked from our water war. I really am soaked to the skin.
Cheetos Puffs contest. I won! I stuffed 18 Cheetos Puffs in my mouth. The things we do on p-day.