I just can't wait. I have to tell you about Roni! MIRACLE! So we were teaching Austin around 1:00 pm and I saw a car pull up. It was them!!! But they eventually pulled out. We were setting up photos and everything and then I was going to do a couple practice rounds of the tour. Well as we were hanging up photos she calls, and says "We're here!" I FLIPPED OUT!!! She arrived an hour early! I hadn't written my testimony in the Book of Mormon or wrapped it! The sisters were coming with the gift bag. So I went out and met her and she had a huge smile on! She hugged me SO tight! Thanks for that one - Mommy hugs. She said, "Alex only wants to shake your hand if you wash the frog pee off." (Amber caught a frog recently and it peed on her) Hahahaa so they come in and sit down for a minute... Alex looked shy. Roni immediately asked "So what's all this?" We said "We'll show you!" We went to the primary room and talked about families and what you do each Sunday with the kids. We then went to the gym and they walked in and out... haha right past the photos where we were going to talk about prophets. But that's ok. I felt like they needed to rush through it as fast as possible. We went to the Relief Society room and had the chairs set up facing the open font. She walked in and said "Wow!" She sat down and we talked about baptism and Christ's baptism. She loved it so much. She just kept saying wow! Next was the Young Women room where we talked about Joseph Smith and the first vision. She was telling me about how she's seen me change and she teared up. I then told her about the first vision and quoted it and I teared up and bore my testimony of the power of the priesthood and the Book of Mormon. Lastly we went to the chapel. She walked in and her breath was taken away. She was just in awe. She said. "I felt this good feeling in all the other rooms but it's stronger in here." I said "That's the spirit." She said "Can I sit down for a minute and soak it in?" We all figured out they had jumped back an hour traveling here. So that's why she was rushing, but once we got to the chapel we had more time. She sat in the chapel for an hour. That's where we all talked about our different beliefs. I played 2 piano songs for her (I made them up on the spot ) and then I talked to her while Sister Frampton talked to Alex. She told me how much she's seen me change. She said my inner beauty just shines and I glow with the spirit! She bought a really cute necklace for me that says "work in progress". All of her comments made me really think, "yeah the spirit is stronger in here and it does feel amazing." We went to dinner and had a blast talking and laughing. Alex really softened up by the end of the tour. The restaurant was wonderful! I had fun taking pictures and sending them and seeing you and Lisa! Afterwards, she spoiled me with Indiana meat and t-shirts and cinnamon rolls. And she said "Alex even bought you a present." It was cheddar and caramel Indiana popcorn. Alex opened up and Sister Frampton was able to give him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it! I gave Roni a bag and she was so surprised to get a gift. In it was a Restoration DVD, an Articles of Faith card, and a Book of Mormon with my testimony and the testimonies of all the YSA's. But here's the cool part. She messaged me Friday and ASKED for a Book of Mormon!!!!!!!! She said she would treasure it and she would read it. She had tears in her eyes. It was so special. And now after so many years she got to see our church, feel the spirit, and receive a copy of the Book of Mormon. Oh goodness. Biggest miracle of my life! She's totally going to love the Book of Mormon! I told her it was my most prized possession and I treasure it above everything else. I know she appreciated it and I know she'll read it. Ah, it was incredible! I could say a lot more too but that's all the really important stuff. It was just unbelievable. They were going to stay and come to church Sunday actually, but then they thought they should head home.
The delicious cheesecake I ordered after dinner!
Roni, Alex and me with our gifts from each other.
The sweet necklace that Roni gave me.
Ok so cool miracle that happened a couple weeks ago. We were at the car dealership getting our car checked and we were waiting and I was reading the Book of Mormon to try to catch up for the challenge and a worker came to re-stock the fridge of water and asked me what I was reading. I was able to tell her about it and give her a copy and she was so thrilled! Just simple things like that open up so many teaching opportunities. It felt so good. And that day I had prayed for a teaching opportunity outside of our regular work and that I would recognize it. It was a very clear answer to my prayer.
Ok so about this week-
Monday we had a water fight for FHE and before, Richard had bought Sister Lefevor a goodbye cake and it was HUGE! I smeared a tiny bit of frosting on her face and she coated my whole face and hair in it! It got in my ears and up my nose! Thank goodness for the water. It washed it mostly out.
Cake faces - Sister LeFevor and me.
FHE water fight.
Tuesday was transfer meeting and it was good. I was standing there talking and Elder Tagaloa passes me and says "Oh hey, you're playing piano today." Haha I had to practice quick and I even got brave and added in a little bit during the song. I couldn't help but smile so much when they were all standing at the end singing Called to Serve with all their heart and I played that song with my whole soul! I loved it!
Playing the piano at transfer meeting.
I love my new companion, Sister Frampton! I'm so excited to be serving with her! I felt so at peace with transfers. I miss Sister Lefevor like crazy but I've just felt so good about this. She grew up in Hawaii and moved to Utah a few years ago. She is just filled with the spirit. She is so sweet and funny and full of great ideas for the YSA. We really do work together pretty well. I have a feeling it's going to be a great transfer. She has 3 brothers all younger than her. One is leaving on a mission next month to Chile and the other 2 are 15 year old twins. She has been out for 8 months. I love her! On the way home we were SQUOOSHED!!! We had 6 people in a car with 2 sets of luggage! It was crazy! We got to go to Sweet Cece's for free frozen yogurt that day too! Made my whole day!
Me with my new companion, Sister Frampton, at Sweet Cece's
Wednesday we had district meeting and I was just feeling the spirit. I think Elder Christiansen will do a good job as district leader. I was so excited for the transfer and to set goals and become better. We saw Gwen again and talked about the law of Moses, how it's been fulfilled. Sister Frampton is loaded with answers. Gwen had a list of questions and we were able to use the scriptures to answer them and bring her back to Christ. It's so cool to see how those scriptures just confound everything that's confusing or false. It must be the word of God right? We knocked on Caleb's door and he just watched us through the peephole for like 4 minutes. I kept staring back at him and knocking. He never answered. So I want to go back and stay till he answers because if his car is there, he is. That night was full of drama. Austin got back with a girl who broke his heart. Oh, it's Lexi. I've talked about her before. Everyone was so worried. She got kicked out of her boyfriend/fake husband's house and then after the night with Austin, she went back to that guy.
Thursday - this day was a long day.... We didn't do a lot of teaching. Although I did have miracles on Facebook. Richard's girlfriend added me and messaged me to learn more. MY FIRST ONLINE INVESTIGATOR!!!! She's actually really sweet and interested in what we know. I've been teaching her ever since and it shocked Richard. But he thinks it is good. We had volleyball that night and Jhari and Asia came! We showed them around the church and also Steven and Eli came and Richard was there. Richard mostly stayed out in the hall and asked the elders questions he already knows the answers to. It was rough... but 5 non-members at volleyball!!! That is really good!
Friday Roni messaged me asking for a Book of Mormon and I was just blown away. It was so cool. We had weekly planning and we came up with transfer goals for ourselves and the companionship. It's going to be good. We also made a really good plan on how to contact the less active's in the area and how to get the YSA's involved on Facebook with our investigators as well. It's going to take a lot of work but it will be good. And we're so excited to move into our new apartment to set up our space for this all the time. I'm so excited! We taught Calvin and showed him the Restoration DVD. He loved it. He said he can't come to church on Sunday but he is coming to Institute (which I hope he likes because I get bored super fast). We had dinner with Andrea and her daughters. Andrea is excommunicated and comes to the YSA. She is an excellent cook and we are just waiting for the OK from our bishop to teach her. When we pulled up, 7 little black kids swarmed us and became our friends. Haha they are so cute!
We also met with Richard! He admitted he knew the Book of Mormon was true and that he just doesn't want to get mocked. We showed him a video about how Christ had the same things happen and how he did it alone. He then posted this on Facebook after our lesson: Question to all you Christians out there. How do you know if the Book of Mormon is true or false? You can't go by research on the internet. You have to read it and find out for yourself. Pray before reading it. Ask God if it is true. You have to read it with an open mind and open heart. You will feel so much happier. Cause God wrote it. God don't quit speaking to us. God speaks to me each and everyday. Y'all can mock me all you want to. Jesus went through Hell for us. So I can go through Hell too. ~ Amazing right?! And he also posted this: Well all I can say, God is using me to change the world to good. It's a never ending battle. But God gives me my strength. I told this guy named Eric about the Book of Mormon. I said dude you should so read the Book of Mormon. It will change your life. Like it did mine. I got a maybe from him. But I believe he will read it. ~ Richard is back on track!
Saturday was fun. We taught Austin and he's not with Lexi anymore. Then Roni came and you know that story. It was amazing! We lastly met with Richard and taught him the Plan of Salvation. He was being difficult, just like always. He knows it's true. I think the thing he really struggles to understand is the priesthood. But it will happen. I went to bed so happy that night. I can't believe Roni came. It went so fast. But it was so great and wonderful!
Sunday we were combined with the family ward to support a YSA who was giving his mission farewell talk. They had no pianist and were going to play audio hymns over the speaker, but then everyone started pointing to me. I ran up there and miraculously played all 4 hymns. One I had never heard before. I pondered on how far I've come. If I was asked to do that 4 years ago, or even 2 years ago up at school, I would have shaken and got a migraine and felt sick. Now I put complete trust in the Lord that I can do ANYTHING! I can play hymns last minute. I can do them without a ton of mistakes and without shaking or getting a migraine. It's so cool how Heavenly Father has even transformed my talents. We had no investigators come to church. That's the worst as a missionary. You just hope so bad they will come and no one comes. We did have a less active there though and it was unexpected! I'm so happy! We have to work hard to keep her now. We also saw Aaron real quick, and Tre told us he isn't interested. Bummer. Oh and we went to see Sara who wasn't home but the black kids were there from Andrea's neighbor's house. They swarmed our car and asked if we had anything for them. So I gave them all Jesus Cards. Haha They melted my heart! I love them!
I was reading yesterday in the Pearl of Great Price and even though I was just reading about the creation, I learned so many new things. It's cool to see how God can expand your knowledge on such a simple subject... yet it's so complex. It's one of the first basic things we're taught and I'm still learning about it! Crazy!!! I have just come to love the scriptures so much. Like so much that I can't stand to have anyone not know about them. This last week I've thought a lot about the gospel. How can people not want it? How can people not put in the effort to have it in their lives fully? It bugs me so badly! People just don't know what they're missing. When I get home, I'm doing less active work with the ward. I'm going to help find those lost ones and bring them back because this gospel is NOT something to miss out on. I just wish everyone could see it. That would be the greatest.
I just want you to know that the gospel is changing me. Incredibly. If I get home and study the scriptures for 4-5 hours of my free time... just let me. Haha I'm going to be weird like that. I have seen the literal transforming power of the atonement. It's crazy how it works! Now I understand why the Book of Mormon prophets and missionaries went to such great lengths to share the gospel. I want to be that way too. I want to do it all the time, even when I get home! And I'm probably going to drag you with me to do it too. Haha so get ready! I love this gospel more than anything else. I love my Father in Heaven and I know He cares about me. I know Christ is my Savior. And I can say I KNOW that, as compared to the beginning of my mission when I didn't even know if He was real. I know He is and I know His atonement covers everything.
I just had the best week. I have been full of happiness and gratitude for all the blessings I have. This is the greatest time ever! I never want it to end! July is almost over..... Mind. Blowing. AH! Haha Well this is huge and I spent a long time on it. I love you so much! Have a great week!