I wish I could adequately describe my favorite moments of the week, but I’ve surrendered to the fact that it’s impossible to get my point across the way I feel it in my heart. I have had another incredible week serving the Lord here in London! This week has been a lot better than the past couple of weeks. Some exciting news and updates from last weeks letter... John Reis wants to get baptized! We were able to go over on Tuesday night and give him his Portuguese Book of Mormon. Words cannot describe the excitement he had. He immediately opened it up and began to read from it! It was so exciting just to watch him. I then realized and gained such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it is truly a gift in our lives. It is such an amazing tool that we can use daily to bring us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We were able to teach John about what the Book of Mormon is, where it came from, and I got to bear my personal testimony of the blessings and promises I have received while reading from it. I can testify that it is another testament of Jesus Christ. What a blessing it is to have it so we can read from it every day and build a stronger foundation of the truthfulness of the gospel. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God and through time, patience, and prayer... he received the power to translate the golden plates from God. The Book of Mormon can be applied to us in the Latter Days and can strengthen us as Saints to fight the worldly battles we face every day that Satan throws at us. We are a part of God's army and we are on the winning team. So let us choose the right and fight the fight!
On Wednesday, Sister Shurtliff and I were able to go eat at a members home and teach them a lesson. With much prayer and thought for what we should teach I received an answer...to use the gospel pamphlets. The pamphlets are such a great tool to use. We have practiced in our District Meetings in the past how to contact on the street with short lessons using these. We decided to use it for this dinner lesson. We taught the Restoration using the pamphlet to the Cortez family and had such an amazing lesson. Sister Cortez even cried while I recited Joseph Smith's first vision. After the lesson we invited them to use these pamphlets and share the gospel with people they know would be interested in hearing more about our church. They realized how simple teaching the gospel is and thanked us for showing them!
|Zone training with President & Sister Clayton|
I shared this idea and experience with our district leaders and they immediately shared it with the zone leaders. This idea was then brought up during our Zone Training soon after. Everyone thought it was a great idea! The biggest surprise was when President Clayton leaned over to me during our Zone Training and said what a great idea it was. Yes... President Clayton, he just wanted to visit our zone and stop by! It was one of the most powerful meetings that I have ever sat in so far on my mission. Now he is going to share this idea with the entire mission: share with the members through the pamphlets--it gives the members confidence and shows them how simple it is. It also gives us as missionaries so many blessings to receive referrals from the members.
I got on my knees and thanked Heavenly Father for this revelation and idea for us to use. It has been such an incredible testimony builder of how we can receive divine revelation from our Father in Heaven. He loves each of his children so much and wants what is best for us. He answers our prayers. It's not always immediate, but I know it's in His time. He knows what is best and I am truly so grateful for prayer in my life.
On Thursday, Sister Shurtliff and I were able to teach a man named Bob. He has been taught by missionaries in the past but wasn't as interested. Shortly after he got in a car accident and was sent to the hospital. While in the hospital he talked to his member friend and said he needed to change his life and realized that maybe he needs to hear what the missionaries had to say. So Sister Shurtliff and I, a couple of weeks ago, went and visited him and we were finally able to teach him. We taught him the Plan of Salvation which he thought was really interesting and said that he wanted to ponder and think about what we have taught. All I can do is be patient now and to not force or push the Spirit. I know that it's hard to be patient sometimes but when we do, we will be tremendously blessed. I hope and pray that he calls us back to hear more sometime soon!
So now back to John Reis. We taught him the first lesson of the Restoration on Friday and it went well! He is just the sweetest old guy and I just love him to pieces! He loved the pictures we showed him and I will never forget the picture he connected with the most, Christ holding the little Lamb in his arms. I introduced the lesson by showing him this picture and said, "What do you see in this picture John?" He said, "I see Jesus Christ holding a baby Lamb." I then asked him, "How does this picture make you feel John?" Silence. He looked and looked for about a minute, holding the picture in his hand. He then said, "It's beautiful. So beautiful. I cannot describe how I feel... Words cannot express." I then explained that "Christ is holding this little Lamb in His arms and we are sometimes referred to in the scriptures as 'sheep' and He is our 'Shepard'. He loves us so much and holds us near and close to His heart and wants us to return to our Father in Heaven." The lesson we shared with John was so spiritual! It went so well that he wants to be baptized! We have set a baptismal date for September 28th. AH! He laughed and said, "It's never too late to change!" That is so true! We are teaching him tonight and cannot wait!
We taught the Easton's on Saturday about the Word of Wisdom. Sister Shurtliff said that it was one of the most powerful Word of Wisdom lessons that she has ever been a part of. We love and care about the Easton's so much and taught a really simple and powerful lesson. They said that they really wanted to change after the lesson…. agency. We don't have control of their decision but all we can do is have faith and pray for them daily. We will see what happens with them!
Overall, last week was truly a week of strengthening my testimony even more in the gospel. I am truly so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission. It has been the best thing I have ever done and I would trade nothing in the world for this experience. I have learned that we are children of light. In 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 8 it reads, "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation." We are part of His army and we are on the winning side :) Let us continue to shine our light. "Remember that your Heavenly Father knows all about you--your strengths and your weaknesses. He knows perfectly who you are, but He also knows who you can become. And with that knowledge, He has placed you here, now--at the exact place and time in which you can do the most good with the talents and gifts He has given you." (Elder Craig Christensen)
I invite all of you to pick a Christlike attribute in Preach my Gospel and learn about it. Strive to live it. Grow with it. It has helped me so much in my life right now as a missionary and have had some of the coolest experiences. I promise that if you'll do this, you'll become more like Christ.
Until next time...