This week has been amazing! I am truly so grateful to be serving a mission in Canada. I love it here!! I love the people, the diversity, and to be an instrument in spreading the gospel.
Here in Oshawa, the missionaries get together every other Saturday and help out in the St. Vincent Kitchen doing service. It's a place where people pay for their dinner, buy a ticket, and come in to sit down someplace where it is warm and get fed good food. I loved every minute of it! I helped serve tables, wearing a little apron and hairnet, bringing food from the back of the kitchen. I met so many people who would just grab my hand and tell me 'thank you'. It was such a humbling experience and such an amazing opportunity to be able to help others. I had some men tell me "you just glow" and that "I am the happiest person that they have met". I was then able to bear my testimony to them that "There is a Heavenly Father who knows us individually and loves us. I know my divine potential and that is what I am here to do as a missionary in Canada. To preach about the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ." The spirit was so strong. I taught them as I served them food, it was the BEST!
One particular experience was when I taught a table full of men who were wondering what organization was serving them today. I smiled and said proudly, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." They began to ask questions that they thought would throw me off guard and make me stumble... But I didn't. They got a new insight about the church and found it really interesting. As the 'worldly questions' dwindled they began to ask me, "So you mentioned prayer... Do you believe that he really hears us?" I then taught them that "YES! He hears our prayers and he wants to hear from all of his children daily. He loves us so much..." I then bore my testimony about prayer and even taught several of them how to pray. I knew that the spirit prompted me to teach them this short lesson. I invited them all to pray that night and they all agreed! They were so grateful. It really made me realize that something so simple, such as prayer, is so impactful and important in our daily lives. When we build a strong testimony of the simple doctrines, we create the strongest testimony. " Remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation..." (Helaman 5:12)
Johan is doing great! He has cut down on coffee and smoking by half so far than what he did before. He came to church yesterday and loved it! He is doing well! We will just keep teaching him and doing our best to teach him with what he needs, that is, whatever the spirit tells us J
Now to some exciting news! We have two new investigators and they are awesome! The first is Rana, she is from Iraq! She is a mother of 3 children: Zuzu, Lulu, and Medo. We ran into her while she was outside watching her kids play last week. We stopped and talked to her about service and how we would be happy to rake her leaves for her, and we did! She was so impressed that two young girls would just offer service and invited us back to come teach her. We taught her the restoration and she loved it! It was really hard because of her background and knowledge, but it was so powerful. We talked to her a lot about Jesus Christ. When I showed her the picture of Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and when he hung on the cross on Calvary she began to cry saying that she felt something warm inside her heart. We told her that was the spirit! She said it was so sad to see him on the cross, but she gained a love for Jesus Christ instantly. It was amazing! We than began teaching about Joseph Smith's first vision and his experiences, she couldn't help but smile! She thought it was amazing and loved it! We will be teaching her again sometime this week. She even went as far to set a baptismal date for November 15th!! We hope and pray all goes well while we teach her and hope to teach her husband, Sam next time.
The second investigator is Tara! Tara is 32 years old and was a former investigator years and years ago. Last week I felt prompted just to call people that were in this building that missionaries had met before. We left messages for them and Tara got back with us! She's the only one I remember while calling, leaving messages, because she was so bubbly and happy with her voice mail! She said after she heard the voice mail she knew she needed to return our call. So she called us last night and asked if we could come teach her as soon as possible, that night! We ran over and taught her a lesson and it went so well! She doesn't have much background with the bible and loves learning about different religions. When we started talking about Jesus Christ she said that it all makes sense and that it just feels right and wants to be apart of it! She got in a major car accident after taking lessons from the Elders a year ago and she knew that she was meant to still be here on Earth! Even though she lost 20% of her short-term memory, she still remembers all of the lessons! We have her write notes during our lessons and she loves it! She is amazing. She was so close to baptism last time and thinks she might be ready now. She is just struggling with some Word of Wisdom issues but we will help her with that! We will be teaching her at least two times this week and are so excited.
I felt I should share a short message about Preach My Gospel. I have learned that it's a tool that's not just for missionaries but it's for everyone in the church! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a missionary church. As members, we share the gospel everyday! Whether it be by your example, testimony, and spirit that you share with others, you are sharing the gospel. The front cover says "Preach MY Gospel"... It's Christ's gospel. We are so blessed to be apart of his gospel and have the chance to share it with those who are in need of it or don't even know about it. I would invite each of you to pull out your Preach My Gospel books and learn from it! One particular thing I love is the Christlike Attributes in Chapter 6. Pick one that stands out to you. Write it down and then read about it! Study the scriptures that go along with the teachings of it! Then write down what you can do to develop that Christlike attribute where you can see it then strive to live it. I can promise that you'll see a difference in your life as you become more like Christ and strive to be more like him in everything you do everyday!
I love the gospel. It's the anchor in my life that keeps me in place when I am being tossed and turned about in the 'worldly sea'.
Fall is here and will be gone soon! The weather is changing and winter is almost here! Thanks for all your love and prayers.
Until next time...