Monday, October 20, 2014

Change that only the Gospel can bring.


Hi! It’s been a great week, and let me tell you why.

So, we are working with a new investigator. We found him because we have been teaching his family. His brother is serving a mission right now and when he left he was the only member of his family. Since then two of his older sisters have been baptized but his mom is a member of another church (and even holds the priesthood in her church....o.0...) and wasn't progressing much as an investigator. My companion wanted to drop her, but I wanted to teach her atleast once before making that decision. So we went and we both got the distinct impression that if we dropped her now, she would never accept. And that we needed to keep visiting this family. So, we went back. and....found E. When we got there he was drunk, but my companion has no fear and we started to talk to him. He invited us in and as we talked he told us about how he was the ¨black¨sheep of the family, the one that everyone knew as ´´the drunk´´ and that he`d been that way for 15 years. When his brother left on his mission, he left crying and begging his brother to change. It really affected him. We promised him that he COULD change, and if he really wanted to we would come back and teach him how he could, but that he had to be sober. We set up the appointment for the next day, and he promised us he`d be there, sober. As he offered the closing prayer, he started to sob. It was a really powerful moment. But we weren't sure if he was going to remember because well, he was drunk. :P But anyways we went back the next day and he was sitting there, waiting for us. Completely sober and humbled. And he remembered everything. Long story short, we have taught him every day for the past week and a half. He has reached 1 Nephi 14 in his personal scripture study. And is praying every night. The first weekend, he fell. And went out and got drunk and drugged with his friends. We got to his house to teach him and found him that way and talked pretty forcefully with him. We went back the next day and he was really embarrassed. We said we were there to help him, but he had to put in his part. We read Alma 5 together and put small goals together. His first goal was to not go out with his friends this last weekend. He said that while we are there teaching him, or when he is reading the book of Mormon it is easy to resist temptation but then he leaves his house and it gets ten times harder. This last weekend was the first ¨test¨ and on Saturday night we went and had family night with him and his family. We ate popcorn, chips, and pizza, drank Inca Kola and watched the Testaments. And...he did it! He made it through this whole weekend without leaving. He was excited to come to church, but chickened out at the last moment because he is afraid about what all the members are going to say about him. Oh well. Next obstacle to overcome :) It’s been so cool for several reasons. First, his mom has been sitting in on every lesson and has opened us so much. Second, our convert of less than a month, Ricardo, overcame the exact same problem before his baptism and has come to three of the lessons with us this week, and to the family night. His testimony and friendship is helping so much. He is changing, little by little. After the first few lessons he took out his earrings. And his entire countenance is changing. He accepted a baptism date for November! It’s so awesome to have front row seats to his change. I love being able to see this perspective because I know his brother is working hard in his mission and praying for his family, because we are seeing the miracles occur here at home. It’s SO COOL! The Gospel has the power to change lives!

It was a fun week for my companion and I. We have been working so hard. We talked a lot as a zone this past week about contacting. When we contact in the streets and strive to have 100 contacts each week it brings the spirit of missionary work so strong. So we have been focusing on that and its true! This week we had 35 lessons, 101 contacts :) And we have found SO MANY PEOPLE. I swear they are coming out of the woodwork. We have so many new investigators and references. I always joke that I work better with less actives than investigators, I just seem to have better luck with them, but it’s true! Right after we`d decided to strive harder for contacts (especially to families) we walked outside and the first family we saw, we contacted....and turns out they are inactive members. We were like, Hi! We`re missionaries from the church....etc.... and they were like, hey! we were baptized there several years ago! But when they moved they`d lost contact with the church. So...we've been visiting them and they came to church yesterday for the first time in years :)
Yesterday at church was so great. It was the first time we`d had church in 2 weeks, and so many people came! The Elders and us were sitting kind of at the back, and we just watched in wonder, and kept looking over with silly grins at each other as we watched as less active, after less active, investigator, after investigator, and recent convert walked in. We made a list of everyone that came and it had about 30 names. We were so so so happy. Members that hadn't come in years were there. Such a happy feeling :) Yay!

I know I had more I wanted to tell you, but I have already written a ton. :) I hope you are all feeling better! I am feeling a lot better this week. Also! It’s been so sunny, and hot. I love it :)

Well. I guess I`ll end. Have a wonderful week everybody! The church is true!

Hermana Shelton

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