HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best dad in the world!!!! I love you so much and am so blessed to be your daughter. Party hardy for me. Everyone spoil him extra for me.
Okay so this week we were very blessed and I have a couple favorite stories to share. Let's begin with Brianna. One of the evenings we were in an area that we aren't able to get up to very often so we were excited to be there and check up on some people. We were "trollin" (no I didn't forget an s- comp joke...) down the street and first of all there was a huge herd of WILD TURKEYS! It was hilarious and we loved every minute of trying to catch those things. But more importantly, there was this girl heading towards us, walking her dog. As soon as I saw her I just knew we were there for her. We approached her and started a casual convo (complimented her cute puppy and such) and quickly transitioned into her religious background and we were able to teach about the great apostasy and the Restoration. She was almost in tears and said "THIS is what I have been waiting for".. "This just makes so much sense"..."I have always thought there was something more than the Bible". She gladly accepted a BOM and committed to read and pray. We were beyond happy and were about to set a return appointment.. She almost burst into tears and explained that her husband wouldn't be okay with that but she is really interested and wants to learn more... We were praying and trying to discern how to best go about the situation when her husband Stewart shows up and drags her away. I will never forget the look in her eyes as she was leaving and just thanking us SO much for bringing this into her life. We have been praying for Briana since and have no way of getting ahold of her but know that she WILL accept the restored gospel one day. The Lord is preparing our brothers and sisters for His message.
Another huge experience this past week involved Sister Crump. (CUTEST old less active lady that Sister Stewart and I used to visit often). We have been trying hard to get in touch with her and started getting really nervous because her phone would just ring and ring.. She is 93 by the way. I had been really worried for quite awhile and so we asked our ward mission leader to check into it and he told us that he just got an email regarding her and it made it sound like she had passed. I was heartbroken!! I love that woman! It was really, really testing my faith about the Plan of Salvation. We found out a couple days later that she hadn't passed but had fallen and was stranded for 2 days with no help.. We were able to visit her in the assisted living that she was taken to and the Spirit was so incredibly strong as we visited her. I feel VERY strongly that we are called to help prepare her for specific missionaries in the spirit world. She has never been active but her husband passed along time ago and was very active. I can feel him rooting for her!
We had an awesome lesson with Wendy, one of our Ecuadorian friends. She loves the message we share and she referred missionaries to visit her family back in Ecuador. We were able to show her the temple where she is from and she LOVED it and wants to prepare for that. She shows an incredible faith in our Savior. We are also still teaching Jessica, who is not a member but her husband that is deployed is a member. She is super willing to meet and was planning on coming to church until she got called into work :( We also saw some miracles in Ogden (a little town about 15 minutes away that we can't go to very often) and were led to some very prepared people. We met a male version of Apryl! His name was Forrest and he was SO ENTHUSIASTIC about life. He loved what we shared and the elders are going to start teaching him. It made me miss Apryl a ton but she still calls and updates us all the time. She always cries and says how much she misses her babies!! We are also teaching these two older girls, Jessica and Raven. They claim to be "earth based" and were AMAZED after learning the Plan of Salvation. Both of them had so many a-ha moments and it fit perfectly with their beliefs just had more to add and was so clear.
"Pres. David O. Mckay once said something like this: "The greatest battles you will ever fight will be within the silent chambers of your heart." That is the battleground between what you want and what the Lord wants. If you surrender, if the Lord wins, you win also. If you win, if your will prevails, you and the Lord both lose. The only way to win is to lose. Lose yourself in the Lord's work, and you will win beyond your wildest imaginations, for "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (1 Cor. 2:9)"
I know that we can not even comprehend all that the Lord has in store for us if we just align our will with His. I love this gospel with all of my heart! I am so grateful to be a missionary at this incredible and exciting time.
Love you all,