Yes, I did get all the letters finally!! I'm mailing one to Duck and Bean. So probably like Wednesday or Thursday they should get it. But yeah! Thanks for all the letters! They're great. This week was pretty good. Some days are slower than others but that's normal. We saw lots of people and helping them to progress towards their Savior. Oh my goodness...Glad to hear all is normal. I know I'm not missing too much! HAH!
We met with Austin a few times this week!! All is well with him! We have all the logistics figured out for his baptism this week so that will be amazing! We still have a ton to teach him because he picked a date only a couple weeks away! But! That's all good because he is a sponge and just soaks everything in. He is living back home now. He didn't have anywhere else to go because he can't live at his girlfriends house, where he was before for obvious reasons. So he isn't telling his parents he is getting baptized because that's the reason they kicked him out in the first place.. So he's just not telling them anything. Thank goodness he is 18... But yeah. Just pray for him. He has a lot of money he has to earn. He got foot surgery and his parents are making him pay it off since "he wants to be an adult now"... He also just needs to keep feeling like this is all worth it. He is being dragged through a lot.
We finally met with Melanie!!! Ah! It was such a great lesson!!! So powerful!! We talked with her about her life. She was having a hard time because she is planning her sisters big party and broke up with her boyfriend. She read the introduction to the Book of Mormon and as she did she realize she didn't know anything about her religion so she wanted to know what was right. We helped her recognize the spirit and she was really touched by that. She said that as we were there we made the time go fast and made her have the desire to read the Book of Mormon and find the truth for herself. We asked her why she thought that. She said it must be God tell her that this was the right path. After explaining that she was feeling the Holy Ghost, she just said "wow...." we were just sitting there soaking it in!!!! She had perfect responses to the scriptures and the gospel art pictures!! It was an inspired lesson!!! SOOO amazing!!! In the middle of the lesson, she was talking and I did a no no... When I prayed with Melanie and Sister Seely- I was like "Father, help me know what to say. I have no idea what to say.." The thought immediately came "just listen". Then she asked about us being born into the church - but if we still had to come to know for ourselves. So I kinda shared my story and bore such powerful testimony that I know FOR A FACT that it's true and that this is what her Father in Heaven wants for her! It has never been that powerful before! EVER!! She was blown away by the spirit. And I was too!! She accepted the soft baptism invitation! O my goodness!! Best lesson ever!!!! We had been thinking about dropping her... So glad we didn't!!! we literally just witnessed her gain a testimony that it was true! How unreal is that! Coolest moment this far!
So with Ron! It was great too!! We did set his date back to September 8th because he wasn't quite ready for his month so it's definitely a good thing. He had really be struggling with a lot of things, specifically depression. And he kinda told us that he is just having a really hard time. So after he had expressed himself, the spirit prompted me to call him to repentance. I told him that Heavenly Father and his Savior loved him so much. They want is best for him. I told him that by repenting, he will feel the relief and the peace that he was so desperately looking for. I don't remember all of what I said to him. But I remember the spirit that was there and the power that I felt and that I could see in it his face.. This big macho mechanic had tears in his eyes. We all just sat there basking in the spirit. Then we just went over the steps of repentance and he said they really hit home this time reading them through. It was just so cool to see the spirit work in him and touch him so deeply. Such a privilege to teach the Heavenly Fathers children and testify of His love and His plan for them!!
MaryAnn is no longer progressing... She turned us away the other day. They had been in the hospital so that's understandable. But she isn't reading or praying therefore she is regressing... Then with Carlos we are probably going to drop him soon. He has decided going to the gym is more effective than religion right now. He said that church was super boring.. He isn't progressing at all either. So ya know, just the typical missionary stuff. Most of a missionaries job is planting seeds. That's just how it works. It's such a blessing when you are able to reap those seeds that have been planted!!
Something cool Sister Seely and I had brought to our attention this week was an epiphany for following up. So ya know when somebody asks you to do something and you just totally forget about it. Then when you see them next they ask you how that went. And you feel bad cuz you didn't do it. Well, that guilt will drive you to act. Because you felt bad that you didn't do that thing, you most likely find time to get it done. We had that experience this week. Our new 'gators Dan and Abby are kinda hippies. And they enjoy drawing random stuff. So they wanted us to try drawing a self portrait with our eyes closed. We totally spaced it until we saw them again. Then that night we did it because we felt bad that we hadn't done it... Funny how that works! Following up is ESSENTIAL in missionary work!
We visited this less actives house that was right on the river. We stood out there and it was the most peaceful place I think I've ever been.. (Besides the temple.) As I stood there, I couldn't even take it all in. The river gently rolling down stream, fishing boats buzzing back up the river headed towards home. The thick green trees on the other side standing tall and looking as if they had been painted stoke by stroke. The breeze blowing just enough to feel on your face. Caught the scent of the musty river and the newly picked peaches we held by our side. The sky slowly growing darker and the bats starting to fly over head. I slowly felt like I was becoming part of the scene, almost like I was melting into it. I felt nature enveloping me into itself and I found myself free falling into it. Ah... I wanna live on the river so bad!! There is nothing to describe the beauty of the scene itself, but more so of the feeling attached to it. Probably the most beautiful place I have been in nature. Man... It was getting dark so the pictures I took wouldn't do it justice. Well, no picture would so bummer for y'all! Haha!! But I will try to take some when it's lighter outside.
Something pretty cool. So Sister Chambers, she is a lesser-ish active and her granddaughter was in town. She didn't really have exposure to the church. So we would talk to her about Heavenly Father and how He loves her and is always there for her. She didn't really believe us and felt super uncomfortable when she felt the spirit. But she found out while she was here that her parents are getting divorced. So that is going to be really hard on her. I'm not able to relate to her that way because I have no idea what that's like (thank goodness...) but Sister Seely does. Her parents got divorced while she has been out here. So she was able to relate to her and testify to her that she can pray to Heavenly Father any time. Especially when it's hard and while she is at home dealing with everything there. It was super powerful.
Oh!! Something crazy that happened! I never thought I would be walking into an AA(Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting.. Hahaha but I did really enjoy it. Ron invited us but he didn't even show up.. Those people are so humble. It was quite the experience. It was cool though because we got to talk to a lady named Sherry and had a lesson with her. And yes.. We did teach her in front of a Pentecostal church.. (Mission bucket list.. CHECK!!) Haha. She asked us though so I guess that's more okay, haha but yeah!! So that was awesome! There were just some really cool people. And really, the world needs the things they teach in AA. Super cool!
Welp!! That's that for this week guys! I love you guys a ton and I appreciate all you do! Oh.. And it would be fantastic if you guys could write me before like 9:15ish. Because we usually go to the school to get wifi (which is right across from our house) that way I can read your emails before I go to bed! And for friends and stuff, if possible, it's great to get them during the week. Then I have a lot more time to respond. I can read and write them in my free time, I just can't send them until P-day. 'preciate Ch'all!!
Love you guys!!