What a glorious week in Brantford! It is truly a place of miracles, and I just love being a missionary in this area. There is never a dull moment in the day and we are always so busy! We taught 21 lessons this past week (less-actives and investigators) and are helping each of them become reactivated and prepare for baptism. My new companion is Sister Mandla, she is from Australia and she is just a powerhouse! She is a professional singer who will perform on Broadway and has just the sweetest spirit J Sister Mandla has 17 more weeks left on her mission. I will only be with her for 5 more weeks! Her last 2 transfers she will be training (that's what President Clayton is having all of the people in leadership do, train their last 2 transfers of their mission... It wouldn't be smart to be a Sister Training leader for the rest of your mission! So, I will most likely do what she did, be a sister training leader for 6 months and train the last 3. I am grateful to learn so many things from her this transfer and refine myself as a missionary to whom Heavenly Father wants me to become.
To begin, I want to tell you about a man named Mike Slade. Mike was found about 3 months ago by the sisters, and we had a lesson with him this week, it was so powerful! Mike is 23 years old and is amazing. We taught him and he is so excited to be baptized! APRIL 12th is the big day J and His last day to smoke is today!! We set a goal to stop on his birthday and we called him last night and were just singing to him and motivating him. He is amazing. Mike is prepared for the gospel in his life and I am so excited to continue to teach him and to help prepare to be baptized!
Next is David Heaney. His brother (who was distant) was a member, but committed suicide last year... soo sad. He told us his story and my heart just goes out to him. He then bore the strongest testimony of how he feels that his brother has led him to the church and he wants to do all he can. He just got over having a 'on & off' seizure episode that lasted about 2 weeks. He is doing a lot better now and we can finally start teaching him! We had a powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon and he said his brother would be so proud of him for doing all that he is. We felt his brother's presence and he just wept. We sat in silence for about 2 minutes, It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it again. I can testify that death is not the end! Our loved ones are not too far and are always close to us. They are nearby and some are waiting for us to help them. What an amazing experience and testimony builder. Brother Heaney is preparing to be baptized sometime in April (he is thinking of April 19th), but we will have to see depending on his health. I know that Heavenly Father truly does love each of his children... He loves YOU!
We were teaching another investigator, Melinda, at a community home and were teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. While we were teaching, one by one, people were entering into the gathering room where we were. Just before we started, I invited a man named Anthony to join us! J He sat in, and then another... and another!! So we had three people sit in on the conversation with Melinda! It was so great! We are going back to meet two of them. Melinda is doing okay, she is a single mother and is only 21 and really struggles. But, she really loved the Plan of Salvation. It brought her so much peace. You could really see it on her face as we talked about Jesus Christ's Atonement and the purpose of our life here on earth. During the middle of the lesson, she asked, "Wait, is there more after we die? Will I be with Christ again someday?" I was able to smile at her and say, "Yes Melinda. Death is not the end... Your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want you to come back to them someday. They love you Melinda..." She then began to tear up and smile. What a beautiful moment that was.
There were lots of tears of joy this week with the people we taught, but also a lot of laughs as well J First off, I want you to picture this man that we met: Tattoos all up and down his arm, eyebrows pierced, shaved head, really baggy pants and long jewelry, and smokes. One day he was walking down the sidewalk with his huge dog with a spiked collar. He was stopped and talked to by sister missionaries last week, so they left us his information. We went by and he showed us his pet alligator, venomous snake and spiders, and a poisonous giant centipede! His name is Aaron Drake. Yes, I know, "What is Sister Robb doing?" Well, teaching the gospel! He is actually a really awesome guy and we are going to teach him soon J Deep down inside he does have a soft heart! I just know it. After walking out of his home, I couldn't help but stop smiling and I said to Sister Mandla, "You know Aaron is a pretty cool child of God." We laughed and laughed.
We had such an amazing week! From meeting new people in a new area, to the women's session, to singing at a baptismal service yesterday, and having a super packed schedule. I am so grateful for the experiences in which I am having! I am so excited to be serving in Brantford J There are so many people here that we are teaching in which we invited them to be baptized and lots of them said yes! Less-actives who we are visiting who are starting to come back to church and being able to help them come back by strengthening their faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.
I am so excited to be part of an amazing fireside that we are putting together on April 12th: The Life and Light of Jesus Christ and Resurrection. It will be a compilation of music, scripture, and bible videos into an amazing event celebrating Jesus Christ's life. We get to walk with Christ more than 2,000 years ago and see his life from birth till he was resurrected. There will be a light of Christ that no one has ever felt or seen before. I am so excited for this huge event in which we are helping with. It has been put on a couple of times across Ontario and is now being put on in Brantford. The spirit has a way of touching so many through music and this will be one of those really neat productions!
I am so excited for conference this week. What a privilege it is that we get to hear our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson speak. He truly is a living prophet! I am SO excited! HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE! J #BecauseHeLIVES
Until next time...