It is really Monday again? I feel like it was just Monday. I guess time flies by when you're busy. This week did not go according to the plans we made and prayed over. BUT! We still experienced some very sweet miracles and despite what we wanted we know that the Lord was helping us this week to execute his plan. And it was HOT! I have a beautiful tan!
Had ANOTHER amazing lesson with Charlene& Raymond with the Austin's. We taught the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ. They learn really well from the pamphlets. They just read it and teach themselves what it says. If they have questions we'll answer them and we'll also clarify things and provide examples and share personal experiences. They really comprehended what the Gospel is and they are taking what they learned very serious. We invited them to start living what they had just learned. Raymond was a bit hesitant. He explained that he wanted to be in it 100% or not at all. That's when Brother Austin began to testify about how happy living the gospel makes him and his wife (Charlene & Raymond always tell us how happy they are together) and the Spirit was so strong. The Spirit bore witness to him that he needed to live this. After that powerful testimony, Brother Austin asked Raymond if he knew this was all true. Raymond responded that he knew it was true the moment we first began teaching them. They know this is true! They just need more encouragement to read the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony for themselves that the book is true. They're such a great couple, but we're really struggling to help them to understand the importance of doing what we ask them to do. They have lives but they have made lots of excuses for not seeing us this week so we have to push their baptism back :'( It's not what we wanted, but it is what needs to happen. I know that as we exercise our faith, the Lord's plan for them will play out. We'll keep being diligent with them and we will do all we can so that the Lord can help us and be worthy to be guided by the Spirit.
I learned a very valuable lesson about the Atonement yesterday during the sacrament. We had been waiting in anticipation for Raymond and Charlene to come to church. They said they would and we trusted them. Well, they did not show up and I was really disappointed. The feeling I had was something that I had never experienced before. During the administration of the sacrament I felt I needed to read the Book of Mormon. I opened it and was guided to Mosiah 14 (one of my all time favorite chapters). Verses 3-4 really made an impression on me. They say "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." The word sorrow really stood out to me so I looked up the meaning of the word in the dictionary. It means "a feeling of deep distress caused by loss, disappointment or other misfortune suffered by oneself or others." I realized that I was feeling sorrow, real sorrow. I was disappointed by the lack of effort shown by our investigators when they said they would do things. I was truly sad deep down. That's when the Spirit enlightened my mind and comforted me. The Savior has experienced that sorrow. He's a man of sorrows! There's no one else who knows sorrow better than him. As I continued to ponder, a relieving feeling came as I read this line: "He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows..." I felt the healing aspect of the Atonement. It was amazing! I felt the sorrow that I was feeling carried away. The Spirit also told me that as I remained diligent and faithful and prayed earnestly that all would work out for our investigators. There is not an aspect of our lives that the Atonement cannot touch to make whole. "And with his stripes we are healed (v.5)" and it is true.
We found another amazing investigator in Adobe Villa. He's the boyfriend of a member and he's been coming to church with her for the past 3 months. He's been wanted to learn from the missionaries for a long time so we got to teach him! I'm not sure why the elders before didn't teach him because he is AMAZING! His name is John Taylor. We taught the first lesson and at the end we invited him to pray and ask God to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We were thinking that he would pray when he got home but NO! He got down on his knees right there and began to pray. Needless to say we were in shock, but in a good way. After a very heartfelt and sincere prayer we asked him how he felt. He said that he didn't really feel any different but he knew that God would answer his prayers through studying the Book of Mormon, praying, taking lessons with us, and going to church. It was really amazing to see his testimony of prayer. We also invited him to be baptized. He doesn't want to rush into the font but being baptized is in his plans. He's praying about a date. We're praying for July! But June would be good too :) He came to church with us on Sunday and our ward mission leader bore an amazing testimony about Joseph Smith along with 2 or 3 other members. Later we were talking with our WML and he told us he didn't know why but he felt that his testimony was meant for John. Sister Hamberger and I freaked out and the Spirit told us that these testimonies along with some other things were an answer to that prayer offered during our lesson. Crazy stuff! He's great and is eager to learn!
We've received quite a few referrals in the past week (all in the Adobe Villa ward) and we hope to find more people to teach. People are just coming out of the wood work here! I love it! We did have one of family of investigators move out on Saturday. It was really sad, but they're going to be living in a better place rather than the 2nd most ghetto apartment complex in Mesa. We pray for them constantly and we hope that they can find a more stable place to live so they can more fully learn and accept the gospel. It was a bittersweet day.
I also can't believe that it's June. May did not exist. Well, I am going to make sure that June exists and counts! I can't wait for the miracles that lie ahead! We also get to go the temple this week with President and Sister Jenkins. I am so excited! It feels like a lifetime since I last went even though it was only a month ago. Pray for miracles to happen in your areas and have the faith that the Lord is leading and guiding your every footstep to reach out and find the "one."
|I thought it was HOT!!|
|I thought wrong!!!!!|
|Welcome to zone sports! This is what we were greeted with as we went and played chair soccer. Only elders . . . . . .|
|Bring it on summer!!|