Monday, August 16, 2010

9 Aug 2010

We had a great week last week, but not much time in our area. We are averaging 1.5-2.5 nights in our area in a week because of our VC schedule, so we are very busy during the time we do have trying to see all of our investigators while finding new ones as well. I'm grateful for all the help that the Lord is giving us. I have seen tons of miracles this week (but what is new on the mission!) First of all, our zone leaders challenged the zone to have each companionship set 2 baptismal dates last week for this month. We got the challenge with only 4 sundays left in the month, 3 for someone to come to church and 1 for their confirmation so we worked hard to get people to church. There is one family, Carlos and Mirna, and their kids that I had actually taught in my last area. Carlos grew up in the church so he always says he's Mormon, even though he was never baptized. They were investigating in the Liahona 3rd ward and then moved to Liahona 4th right before I got there. We taught them for a while thinking he was less-active, until we found out he had never been baptized, but then they moved into Ellsworth and here I am again! He had had a date for July 24th, but never went to church. We felt like he was one that is ready for baptism, we just needed to get him to go to church. We saw him on Thursday and committed him for baptism for the 28th of August. We were very bold about the importance of going to church. He often doesn't work during the week and then Saturday and Sunday he gets offered work so he takes it. We shared the scripture in D&C which says "I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say but when ye do not what I say ye have no promise." We told him that when he went to church the Lord would be obligated to help him find work, but if he didn't go to church, then the Lord wouldn't be obligated to help him. He committed to come and we prayed all week that he would. We had to serve in the VC on Sunday morning so were late to church and when we peeked in to priesthood meeting our Ward Mission Leader gave us a big thumbs up and mouthed "he's here!" We were soooo excited that he was at church! What a miracle! But the miracles continue. We were searching and searching trying to find who was the other person prepared for baptism. Carlos had brought 2 of his sons with him to church so we both thought that the 10 year old was the other one ready (the 16 year old slept through most of church...) We had an appt with them later in the evening so we were going to talk to him there, but then they called and said they would be home in time! Almost all of our appts fell through and so while we kept looking and trying, we couldn't find the person and felt it was still Eric. We had a meeting at 8:00 at night with all the Ward Mission Leaders of the wards in our building to plan an open house so when we got there at 8, we thought that was the end of our night and we wouldn't reach our goal. However, the meeting got out at 8:30. We realized that that would give us just enough time to run by Carlos's house to see if he was home yet. He was! So we were able to talk to him and his son and invite Eric to get baptized with his dad. It was the miracle we wanted after the trial of our faith. The whole day we knew that there was someone else ready for baptism, we just needed to show our faith and keep believing even when we couldn't find them. I am so excited for this family and know that Eric will provide a great help to keep his dad going to church.
I also had an awesome VC miracle. Sis. Dewitt and I were assigned to the Art Exhibit at the last hour of the night when 2 men came in. I was by the entrance so they just asked me about what the art exhibit was. I introduced it a little and then the looked through it and I didn't talk to them until they were through. I asked about their favorite pieces and we talked about the art until one of them interuppted and said to his friend "now I just have to ask, are these girls in their service time or mission or whatever?" His friend answered yes and then Jerome (the one who isn't a member) explained that he wasn't Mormon but his friend was. His friend told us that he had joined last November. We talked a little bit about the difference between sisters and elders and Jerome told us about his familiarity with the church, which wasn't too much, more with members than the actual church. Then he exclaimed "you ladies don't know what kind of day I've had and how you've made it a lot better." I testified of the Spirit of the temple and then felt prompted to testify of families and how when our earthly family fails us we have God as a perfect Father. He told me that that was exactly what had made his day hard, was problems with his family. Then his friend shared how he had felt prompted to invite him down to the VC tonight. Jerome talked about the peace he felt at the VC. I told him that there was a way for him to have that peace always, to be able to hang up the phone after a stressful conversation with a relative and immediately feel that peace in his home, and then I invited him to have the missionaries teach him more about how. He said "you know what, I'm sold, I'd really like that." And right as I got his information we heard over the PA system "The Visitor's Center is now closed. Thank you for coming and please come again." A top box at 9:00 pm! It was so wonderful to see how the Lord really prepares so many people for the gospel. Both of these miracles were answers to unspoken prayers of mine. With transfers there were a few people that, seeing that the missionaries had changed, didn't seem as interested in the gospel and even though I know it isn't me and that I am called to this area, I could help feeling bad and wishing I knew how to connect with them sooner. That's when we set a date with Carlos and since I had taught him before, I realized how well the Lord knows us and how he calls us and puts us in places to touch certain people. With the top box, earlier in the week we had a very slow day at the VC and hardly anyone came in. I was in the exhibit for an hour without a single person coming in and I realized how hard it is to remember you are a missionary and not get discouraged when you are sitting in an art exhibit and not feeling like you are doing any missionary work. Then Jerome came in a few days later and the Lord was able to remind me of the great call I have and how powerful of a tool is the Spirit of the temple and the VC.

I love being a missionary and I love seeing all the miracles the Lord has prepared for this area.
Please pray for Carlos especially so that he can keep coming to church and prepare for his baptism!

Desde Mesa, con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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