This last week, while seemingly less fulfilling at times was a very good week and I have been thankful to participate in it.
Number 1: Lydia was baptized by her father Ross. Ross was so excited and a few times surrounding this experience he came to tears because of how happy he was. After the baptism, our ward mission leader Brother Blackhurst, me and Elder Matthews were talking to him and he told us how glad he was we had helped him and for the things that have been happening for him in their family. We also just found out that the other couple that has been living with them, (who is also family, Lydia's mom's brother) aren't married, but in preparation for both of the men to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood they will be married in July. It is so amazing to see the power of the Gospel in this family's life. The Grandma was also excited and sent Lydia her own quad, and the book the Holy Ghost is like a Blanket! Which Corey Egbert, my cousin illustrated, I read it to the kids and told them my cousin drew the pictures and also saw his picture in the back. I also pointed out how similar the baby and the Mom seemed to look to his own wife and baby. We told them a little bit more of the plan of salvation, and they are looking forward to going to the temple in a year. And the cool thing is that I can go with them!!
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Number2:We had a zone meeting on Friday and our zone leaders are great. They did a role play of how we can and should invite people to be baptized in the first lesson. It was cool and the spirit was very strong. Everyone was touched in that zone meeting and we got to try it out for ourselves in real life. (and I'll talk about it in a second)
Number3: We did a big zone service project in the community with about 200 youth of the North stake (which we are not a part of, but is part of our zone. So we were more leaders in helping the youth in their stuff, but we did it along side them. We were helping with the deacon and beehive aged kids and it was great to see how eventually we got a group of youth who were following us and working as we worked. They were diligent and they seemed to enjoy what they were doing, they often just needed direction, but as they received it, they got right on it.
The picture will be on the next email.
Number4: Sunday, Elder Matthews confirmed Lydia. It was awesome. Lydia was so excited.
Number5: was more of a hard experience, not just for us but for Shannon as well. Shannon came to church to meet with the Elder's quorum President and was there a couple hours before church started (the second ward starts at 1, the 18th ward starts at 9 so we were there, just with the 18th ward) she was there about 11 for that appointment. We gave her a tour around the church. But she felt like she needed to go home for some reason. Why, I don't know but I didn't want her to go. I knew if we let her go she wouldn't come back, not because she didn't want to but because Satan is working hard against her. She is about to find amazing joy. Also interesting to note that as she has been praying to know what church to go to, she has started feeling uncomfortable at her other church and feeling like she doesn't want to be there. So she was being directed. But after she left our church she got a call from her Mom, who unloaded a bunch of stuff on her. She told her that if Shannon went to the Mormon church she would disown her and that the money she has been saving for Shannon's kids she would spend. Shannon was broken down into tears and she told her daughter that they wouldn't be coming to our church. We went by her house not too long after church, and she wasn't home, but her daughter was outside playing close by in the creek and she told us some of what happened. But she is still alright with us coming over, so we can help her to receive the strength she needs. It is hard to see that someone would be willing to disown their child over the decision of what church to go to. We love her and hope the best for her and have faith in God's plan for her.
Number 6: Last night we finally met someone who I have been trying to contact since I got to this area. Their names are Stan and Misty and they were taught by the missionaries a year ago. They weren't dropped, they just could never find the time to meet with them. We finally met them and I could go into detail, but this is long already. We knocked and they let us in even though they were in the middle of "interviewing" this kid to go out on a date with their daughter. Misty (the mom) went outside and continued to talk to him (they told us later he was uncomfortable with us there) but we talked to Stan, the dad, and essentially did how to begin teaching from chapter 10 of preach my gospel. and then jumped into the lesson with the pamphlets. By The Way! Those pamphlets are amazing and inspired. Read them and try teaching the lessons using only the pictures, no scriptures. Super inspired. We taught them the restoration and told him in the beginning that if the spirit prompted us to, we would invite him to be baptized. He told us he had been baptized in the past and we told him he would understand why we want him to be baptized again. He also told us his wife would have a hard time with it as well, she is a catholic that is not active, but very loyal so he was concerned about her. but she came in for parts of the lesson and she was there for the first vision part. He described how he felt and we told him that he was feeling the spirit and not too long after we invited them to be baptized. On the 23rd of May. She said yes first, and he looked at her stunned, and he said, if she is gonna say yes, then I have to. She felt the spirit in that short period of time and then as we explained the Book of Mormon they told us that they hadn't had it explained to them like that yet, and it made so much more sense. They were excited to start reading and want to come to church. The pattern that our Mission President showed to the zone leaders is very inspired and we got to see the power of it for ourselves. It is amazing to see and I am going to make a point to practice it in our district meeting on Friday. Teach about it and then bear testimony and practice it for ourselves. The work is indescribable. It is The Lord's work. And I know that. I love you all and talk to you later.