This week was so amazing. We have a less active who is 17. He is on his road to recovery from OxyContin and Marijuana. He started using them when he was only 15 years old. He also began smoking and chewing tobacco. His parents are also going through a divorce and his older brother is an alcoholic. When I first got to Montgomery, he wouldn't even talk to us. We read the Book of Mormon with the family during the week, and he would rarely join us. One day when we were reading a talk with them about the Atonement, he left to go smoke. It had snowed that day so he was shoveling the driveway while smoking. That day Sister Johnson and I felt prompted to put our snow shovels in the trunk of our car, now we know why. We took out the shovels and began working with him. We asked him questions, a lot of questions, about what he was going through. He opened up to us a lot. We bore powerful testimony of the Atonement. We encouraged him to go talk to the Bishop, and we also bore testimony of the Priesthood. He told us that he felt the spirit and he knew that we were sent to help him. Since then we have been able to build a much stronger relationship with him. He also joins our lessons and even contributes. When we got to the stop smoking lesson, we decided to teach it to him. He LOVED it. He loved being able to crush all of his cigarettes, which he had bought just that morning. We left him with many commitments and he was very excited to quit smoking. Sadly, the next day he did smoke, as well as the next day. We were going to see an investigator, and we felt prompted to go to see the less active. We pulled up to his house and he came outside right when we pulled up. He said he was just about to call us and that he had a panic attack, and that it wasn't a good time to quit smoking. He smokes and chews to curve his cravings for OxyContin and Marijuana. So cutting that out made the cravings even worse and caused the anxiety. We were very sad, but we encouraged him to smoke less each day. We committed him to give himself a limit on how many times he will smoke in a day. He set a goal of 4 the other day...usually he smokes about 10...he is so amazing. That day he stayed under 4. Even when he doubted he would be able to quit cold turkey, he was able to show himself he can do it slowly. We are so proud of him and his whole family. They have changed so much more since I got here about 4 weeks ago :)
There was another Less Active that was really sad to visit. She said that she takes the Sacrament at her church. We didn't say anything about it really, but she doesn't understand the Priesthood or Restoration. You really can't just take the Sacrament anywhere. It was really heartbreaking to see that she didn't want to come back to church and she thinks she is fine where she is. She got really uncomfortable when we were there, which just proves that she felt the spirit and she knows that she isn't where she is supposed to be. It's kind of funny how the spirit can work that way.
Sister Johnson and I do this thing where we think of all the places we should go, and we give them numbers. Then we say a prayer, and we hold up the number of fingers of the place we think that we should go. It's really fun and awesome because we usually hold up the same amount of fingers. REVELATION! We both felt we needed to go and see a less active family. We have stopped by before but usually they aren't home. This time they were! We asked if they needed any help around the house, and they let us do their dishes ;) woohoo! She really opened up to us about why she has a hard time going to church. It's a sad story, she went to go get her wisdom teeth out, and when they gave her the shot it hit a nerve, and now she lost half of her ability to taste. The reason that relates to church is because the dentist who did that is in the ward, and never apologized for it or checked to see if she was okay. It seems like a really dumb reason, but just imagine not being able to taste food anymore and the person who did it doesn't even care. I would be pretty upset. We talked to her about the Sabbath day, and she talked like she was going to come, but then she didn't :(
This week has been really focused on Less Actives, and it has been awesome to be able to strengthen and help them come back to church and build their testimonies stronger :)
Guess what! I let Sister Johnson CUT MY BANGS last night. They actually look really good! (Don't worry Mom!)
I love you all!
P.S. It's almost my birthday (March 12) ;)
P.S.S. I've almost been out FOR 6 MONTHS.