Winter never ends! Here at least, once you are used to a new level of cold, it decides to get colder... some lady was telling us there are more white Easters here than there are white Christmases. It had better not be.
This week was really awesome. Things just went well, we had the Spirit guiding us, and miracles occurred. Here's one- and to me, this is just proof that God loves His missionaries, and truly knows our hearts. And stomachs. We were fasting Saturday for our investigator R, who was in Florida to discuss her decision to be baptized with her family face to face. Because of their bitter anti-Mormon sentiments, we wanted to help her in any way we could and so we decided to fast. Saturday was really cold, and wet, and we were hungry, and a little grumpy. So we had to focus on why we were doing it and what our true motivations were, and just go out and do our best with our best attitudes. This was even tougher when our dinner appointment bailed on us about an hour before. This, however, gave us time to contact a returning member's referral for her parents. We offered to shovel out their driveway and sidewalk, charming them immensely, and then they invited us in for dinner! Yeah! And we were able to share the message of the Restoration with them, and have a future visit set up as well! So we were super blessed!
Another benefit of the fast, which I didn't realize until later, was with our investigator R. I had been kind of double tasking this fast for two people, because R is just a great guy who is not progressing at all. And we had been unable to discover his "iceberg," what was keeping him from fully accepting the Gospel. Our lesson with R went really bad. There was a contentious Spirit in the family even before we got there, and he was just kind of short with us the whole time. So we were bummed. It wasn't until we were reviewing the lesson in the car afterwards that we realized R had opened up about his root concern! So our fast did help! Now that we know his big concern, we can start to treat it! And I totally would have missed how a lame lesson was a blessing, had not my mind been opened by the fast. Just my thoughts this week. Sometimes you don't figure our how a fast, or a really heartfelt prayer, is answered until later.
Another miracle: J, our investigator, is getting baptized March 7th. She had her interview and passed! She is so excited about the church, and she loves her Book of Mormon. She met with the missionaries for the first time in November, because she was dating S. At first, she was really only interested in the church because of him, but it is just so crazy to see what has changed. Now she loves the church, the gospel, and quit coffee and smoking completely! She is already in Alma Chapter 5, and she has marked up and highlighted and studied the scriptures. She is a really awesome lady. We went to Warren on Sunday to meet her parents and we had a really good dinner! And afterwards, shared an awesome lesson with the parents, J was bearing her testimony the whole time and the Spirit was really strong. The parents accepted a Book of Mormon and have committed to truly study it. So that was great! J is the one who insists we need to have bow ties, so I'll be wearing one to her baptism.
So this week was full of miracles and some funny stories… Elder B and Elder R were in a lesson this week with some new investigators, teaching the Restoration, and out of the blue, the lady they’re teaching just goes, "You know who I hate? Mormons!" The elders are like "Uhh..." And she continues, "You know, I really despise them. Knocking on your door and telling you how to live your life!" So at this point, Elder R decides it’s better to just put things on the table. "Well, not to make it awkward, but we are Mormons." It got awkward. To make a long story short, she had us confused with some other faith. But still... not quite sure how that all works. How'd she not know?
Another one... this guy was giving a talk about how the Lord is with us, opened up to 2 Kings to share a scripture about how there's a bunch of angels surrounding Elisha even though he's surrounded by an angry army. But he read the wrong one, about a guy getting trodden down outside of the city gate. Kind of ruined the mood. But another talk, about how we must develop patience, was really good! Sometimes you gotta be patient! That is what I’ve learned on my mission.