September 8, 2014
We took this picture during weekly planning. Weekly planning is such an awesome experience. We get to spend three hours every week with the Lord, planning how to help his children in the coming week. It’s always a revelatory experience (and usually a yummy one… popcorn is our favorite weekly planning treat). We pray, plan, color, and dance (to hymns, and always during our breaks). It’s one of my favorite parts of the week.
Greetings! Wow, it sounds like a lot has happened this week! Dad, I know you’ll do wonderfully in your new calling. It’s interesting that the Lord prompted me last week about it. I was in the middle of studies, and the thought “randomly” popped into my head that a new stake presidency was being called. My guess was Scott Rodgers as president (score!). It sounds like it was a really touching experience. Thanks for telling me all about it. I remember how you have always told me that whom the Lord calls, he qualifies. That’s definitely given me a lot of comfort as a missionary, and I know it’s true for you too. You’ll be able to love and serve so many people. Liz, you didn’t react at all to the news?! Come on, you were on the stand and everything! I was hoping for something a little more exciting.
Earlier this week, we got a head quarter referral, which was awesome. Head quarter referrals are people who put in their information on mormon.org and request a Book of Mormon. They are people who actually WANT us to come talk to them! How wonderful is that! On Thursday, we walked to the address of our head quarter referral to deliver the Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment. We rang the doorbell of the apartment complex and when the door opened, we saw this lady with huge eyes and crazy glasses. She took one look at us and exclaimed, “Oh! Mormons! COME IN.” We don’t usually have that affect on people out here. Normally, they shut the door or run away, so you can imagine that Sister Taylor and I were pretty excited. Her name is Stacy, and she is probably one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. She is extremely intellectual and loves learning about different religions. She was raised Christian, joined a witch coven once, converted to Judaism, says she has psychic capabilities, works a chef, and is now interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! She’d picked up a book written by Hebrew scholars who had proved that the Book of Mormon was historically true and real, and is interested in actually reading the book itself. She knows a lot about Joseph Smith, the Lamanites and Nephites, and all about the history of the Church. The best part is that she is genuinely searching for the truth. She wants to know the Lord’s will for her, and she is determined to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if this is true.
On Friday, we went up to Sandyston to teach S____ and his family! The bishop’s wife and 10 year old daughter came with us, and she has already become fast friends with S______ girls! They are inviting his two daughters to Activity Days this week, and hopefully they’ll be able to come to church on Sunday. It is SO hard to get people to church here, because most people don’t have a car. However, we have one member family in Sandyston, so they might be able to take our investigators to church. We had a decent lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we invited S______ to be baptized. And guess what! He said YES! (insert joyful jumping, dancing, and cheering). His baptism date is October 4th, and we are so happy for him and his family. His daughters were off playing with the bishop’s daughter, so we didn’t get to invite them to be baptized. It’s okay though, because we are going back this week, and they love reading the Book of Mormon with their Dad and will most likely join him. S______ is trying so hard to bring his family together and let the Lord lead them in the right direction. The gospel really does have the power to bless and change families! Honestly, this is the Lord’s work. There is no way Sister Taylor or I have anything to do with it! The Spirit is what brings people to the gospel, not us. It is the real teacher.