Hello sweet friends and family! Happy new year! I hope that everyone is enjoying 2016 so far! I just can't believe it's here already! This last year was the very best year of my not so long life. I have learned and experienced more than I thought possible, and I'm so excited to continue that for the rest of my life.
Everyone here goes bananas for New Years with fireworks. There was traffic everywhere on Thursday from people going to the different firework stands around. It was pretty exciting. I just thought I'd throw that in there. It's awesome down here.
This week was MIRACULOUS. I'll go ahead and tell you why! (This might be long...)
-our investigator KJ is still progressing so well! We had to change his baptism date tobecause of his work schedule, but he is still so set on it and we are so excited for him. The other day we were talking about obedience and following the prophet, and we asked what his thoughts were. He said, "I think it's really simple. It isn't rocket science. We just need to follow what they say." He has such a simple and logical but powerful faith! He accepts everything we share with him, and is more than willing to live it.
-our other investigator Becky has a baptism date now as well! We had talked to her about praying for herself about what day to be baptized, and as we went over to a lesson on Saturday we were wanting to bring that up. We didn't have to, she did. She said that she had prayed about it, and now she has a date set for! It was awesome! We taught her the Restoration again with a member there and it was a very powerful lesson. There is nothing better than being able to testify of the Prophet Joseph and of the full gospel of Jesus Christ being restored. I love it.
-on Wednesday we had MLC. We talked a lot about the doctrine of Christ and how our purpose really is to "teach repentance and baptize converts." We talked about how Preach My Gospel answers every questions or concern an investigator has, and we talked a lot about change in the mission and the church. It really strengthened my testimony of standing by the prophet and the brethren no matter what. I know that they are men called of God, and I have already made the decision that I will go and do what they tell us. How blessed we are to have a prophet of the Lord on the earth today.
-on Wednesday night we went to go visit a recent convert/less active member that we haven't been able to see for a while. He and his family have been having a hard time lately, and he answered and invited us in! We were so thrilled. Then comes the miracle. His family hadn't really been interested while he was being taught. But as soon as we came in, they ALL gathered around the dinner table to hear what we had to say. We shared with them A Savior is Born and the Spirit was so present and led us through the rest. We were able to testify of where our loved ones go when they pass on, and I wish you could have seen the comfort it brought them. That family is prepared right now and their experiences have allowed them to open more. We taught them again the other night, and the mom wants to be baptized! Never doubt that the Lord loves you or answers yours prayers. I see it every single day that He absolutely does.
-this week we have also been doing lots of less active work, and it has been amazing! People are coming back and getting the fellowship they need, and their lights are growing. It's a privilege to be able to see the change in people.
I know this is really long, but I want to end with two more thoughts:
First, this week I have been studying in Lesson 1 of Preach My Gospel, the Restoration, especially the section "The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith". I want all of you to know, that I know without a single doubt, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, the head of this dispensation. The fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to this earth again through him, and he was and is God's chosen vessel. The ordinances of salvation are available to us today because of this restoration, and I am forever grateful for that.
And last, I want to share the last verse of hymn 85, 'How Firm a Foundation'. We sang this at MLC last week, and President Slaughter had us stand up after and recite the last two lines together. This sums up very well my testimony of this gospel:
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
I love y'all dearly and hope you have a wonderful week!
PS here's a picture of my zone after service on Tuesday.