What an amazing and incredible week. Miracles are truly happening in the ward and in the work. Elder S., Elder Sw., and I are having a blast. We are happy and busy, trying to keep track of everyone and run the area as efficiently as we can. We met our goal of 30 lessons this week, seeing so many, many miracles along the way.
One of the first miracles came as we were on splits. I went with our assistant ward mission leader to go see a less-active young woman we have been working with named "M." On the way there, I received an odd impression to go see another less-active young man, "A," with whom we have been working. I asked our assistant ward mission leader to turn around so that we could go see "A." We knocked on his door several times but he didn't answer. Somewhat puzzled, we walked down the stairs and started back towards the car. A young couple emerged from a laundry room we were walking by, so we paused to talk to them. We ended up teaching the about the Restoration of the gospel to the couple and leaving a Book of Mormon with them. More striking, though, was that man's admission that he had prayed a couple days before for a sign from God and that he believes meeting us was it. So clearly we're like "So, when you getting baptized?" and he replied "
Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllll lllllllllll, it's gotta be true before all that" and we say "Well then it's a good thing it really is true" and so on. And all because of a still small voice. . .So that was pretty rockin'.
The second miracle was of even greater magnitude. W, is a Brazilian exchange student who has gone up and down and in and out with missionaries over the course of the last four months. He recently returned from a trip around the United States. On the trip he met a Brazilian woman who spoke out against the Church and essentially convinced him not to be baptized. We went in prepared and spent the better part of 30 minutes bearing testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, me in the best Portuguese I could muster, feeble and halting as it was. Afterwards we invited him to kneel with us and pray to know right then if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He did so. We waited. And waited. And he finally looked up and said, "I feel nothing." We invited him to be baptized. He said, "No." We walked away from the lesson heartbroken. What more was there to do? That all occurred on Tuesday. Then, on Saturday, we texted to ask if he needed a ride to church. His response set us all cheering and high fiving. "I know the Church is true. I want to prepare to be baptized on the 25th of January."
And ohhhhhhhhhhhh the joy. Answers to prayers, indeed!
Oh, we also helped two people successfully get off smoking in a week!! They're coming back really well.
And then there was the Book of Mormon rescue. Sigh. Ok, so let us be clear. This was not on purpose but Elder S. totally left a Book of Mormon on top of the car by accident and it flew off into the road. He felt badly about it. So two days later, during lunch, we saw a ruffled mess in the middle of the road. We conferred. We decided. Elder S. drove like a champ. The book was snatched. The word of God was retrieved. It's torn and battered, but it's still true. We checked.
Phoenix is the best place ever. Pretty sure I never want to leave.
And now for my preaching to you. 'Cause like what else would I do with my life? haha
The Atonement. is. real. I've learned a lot about covenants and about names and the Atonement and how they're all interwoven. How we partake of the Atonement through covenants and by living those covenants we take upon ourselves Christ's NAME and therefore His character so that He can take upon Himself our names and the stain that is attached to them, that through His perfection we may be made clean and be called by His name in the last day. I would recommend Alma 5 (in the Book of Mormon) to your consideration. Prayer, as well. Whatsoever we ask in the name of Christ, which implies His character and will, and pray in the mind of Christ, will be given to us. We don't DESERVE to have prayers answered, but He DOES answer them. And He is praying for you. So chin up and walk a little further into the mist that ye may behold the Light, which Light He is.
It's all real. It's all true. Why don't you see and if you do see, why don't you live it? Those who trifle with eternity will be but a trifle in the scheme of eternity.
I've been out on my mission for 6 months. It's already been 6 months. Now THAT is ridiculous. It flies.
Well, much love to you all. Be good. Be happy. Choose the right. Keep your covenants.