Hello!First, I just want to acknowledge the tragedy that happened in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Mission, which is where my cousin, Sister Talbot, is serving (she was not involved). Sister Johnson and I are very sad to here of the loss of Sister Wells. We both have a testimony of the gospel and Eternal families. We know she is with our Heavenly Father again and that she will be reunited with her loved ones. Please keep the Wells family in your prayers as well as the 3 other Sisters and their families who were involved.
We had quite a few amazing experiences this week! I will try to describe all of them for you :)
"Hello this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, how may I help you?"
"Hey I just had some missionaries come to my house, and I wish they would've pushed harder for a return appointment, because I want to learn from them."
OKAY I WAS JUST LIKE WHAAAT. So cool, this guy is so golden. Anyway. We got his info, and turns out it was our zone leaders he had met. We gave the info to the elders and they said when they met him we wasn't interested. The spirit worked on him! It was so crazy to think that if we wouldn't have forgotten the books at the church, no one would've been there to answer the phone! Also, if that sassy kid wouldn't have talked to us, we probably would've left the church before he called. It was so amazing to look back and see how Heavenly Father was leading us and we didn't even know it.
Another cool experience, yesterday it snowed a lot. We decided to put shovels in our car and shovel drive ways when we had extra time. Cool. That night we never had extra time. We went to our favorite members, the Koth's house, for dinner. One of the boys is going through a lot right now with some recovery. He sometimes gets really rude and doesn't want to read scriptures with us. Last night he sat in for the lesson a little, but then went outside. We both felt like we needed to go out and talk to him. When we went out he was shoveling the driveway. So we got out our shovels and started shoveling with him. We got to talk to him more and he really opened up to us and we made a game plan to help him. He told us that he loved us and that he was very grateful for us. It was one of the most amazing experiences ever. We are so excited to help him apply the Atonement in his life and be better. What made it even better was that yesterday morning Sister Johnson was freaking out because next month we will have been out 6 months. She was freaking out because she has only seen one baptism, and so have I. I told her not to measure her success by the number of baptisms, but by how she changes lives. Being able to help him that night was a testimony of that and even though we aren't baptizing him (because he already has) doesn't mean that we can't change his life. It was such a spirit filled night!
One thing that I have learned this week it that you really can't JUST be a good person to receive all the blessings Heavenly Father has to offer us. We all have to change and become more Christlike. We have to make covenants or promises with our Father in Heaven through baptism and the Temple. We can't let ourselves become comfortable with who and where we are. The Atonement is all about changing and being better than we were the day before. When we apply the Doctrine of Christ into our lives we will see that change. We will be closer to our Heavenly Father. We will be more like Christ. We will be happier. I encourage all of you to pray and ask our loving Heavenly Father what your next step is. What He wants you to do next. When you receive your answer, don't deny it if it seems too hard or scary. Just go for it. Heavenly Father is going to help you succeed, you just need to have faith and patience. I have been able to receive many "next steps" on my mission, and it's been amazing to see the progression over the past 5 months. Start the change now, and you won't regret it.
Ahhh I am just loving it here so much! We are seeing so many miracles and are having so much fun. I love you all! The church is so true.