HELLO! What a week it's been. Lots of great things going on here.
Wednesday! We had our return appointment with Richard! We found him street contacting and didn't even teach him anything, but he just asked if we could come over and talk to him more later that week. So Wednesday we went back and he told us that in 2004 he had met missionaries and said that at that time he wasn't ready to learn about or accept the gospel message, but he feels like now God has led him to the gospel again and is giving him another chance to accept it. WHAT. He's so cool and just so prepared. We saw him Friday, too, but I'll write about that in a minute. A few weeks ago we went to dinner at this less active/part member family's home and we asked them if we could come back and teach them more of the lessons and they said yes! So Wednesday night we went back and it was only Kelsey (the non-member), but HEY! She fed us dinner. Sausage, french fries, and broccoli. An odd combo, but in her own words, "the ultimate bachelorette meal". Haha, she's too funny. We then helped her to paint some built in cabinets that she's making. She's kind of a boss. They're out of town this week, but we're so excited to keep building a relationship with them and to hopefully see them progress! :)
Thursday! Thursday was great. We saw CAYLA! Ahh, my heart. She's the best. Last week in our lessons she just kept emphasizing how she really felt a need to go to church that Sunday. We told her that she needed to act on that prompting and she was super excited to come, but didn't end up coming. So when we went on Thursday she said, "I regret it so bad!! I'm going for all three hours this Sunday to make up for it!!" I believe the Lord was preparing her to come this Sunday cause the lessons given were PERFECT for her. But anyway, our lesson was really great. We read the scriptures with her and I don't know why sometimes I think I underestimate the power of the Book of Mormon, but it was fantastic and we helped her to see that if she's going to do this that it's going to have to be a family thing. That's why we do what we do in the gospel. So we can have eternal families! That night we had a super bomb Restoration lesson with a LA lady and her daughter. Sister S testified of the importance of church and shared all sorts of experiences from her mission and we committed them to come to church on Sunday and they didn't come. So that was a bummer.
Friday! Friday was busy, busy! We had back to back appointments all day and we were just living that missionary dream. We saw Richard again and brought Sister Mangum. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and his mind was blown! He had so many questions that we addressed and answered during the lesson. The spirit was such a powerful witness that these things are true. He said the closing prayer and got kind of emotional. Which I did not expect, but he was very excited to come to church and bring his 11 year old son, too!! We saw Cayla again and I'll tell you, God is truly mindful of us because we were so busy that we didn't have to time to have lunch so by the time we got to Cayla's we were starving! So we get there and she opens the door. The first thing she says is, "Hey! I just made homemade meatloaf, do you want some??" BLESSED. Haha, so we proceeded to have the best meatloaf ever and then had a great lesson with her. She knows this is true. She knows that she's happiest when she's living the gospel. She was asking us why it's getting harder to be obedient and we told her it's because November 6th in getting closer and the adversary does not want her to join God's team! So she's making lots of progress and is just really excited to be baptized.
We had an appointment set up with Victoria and her fam and tried numerous times to contact her to confirm, but nothing. So we weren't sure if she was going to be there or not. To preface this, I have a confession to make. I might possibly be addicted to cheese curds... I haven't had any since coming to GB, but that's mostly cause my companion is gluten and dairy intolerant. So I caved into temptation and headed straight to A&W cause their cheese curds are pretty decent. And that must have been divine inspiration because on our way out who pulls up to the gas station right next to us? Victoria! So we were able to confirm our appointment and it was such a tender mercy! So that day I learned that sometimes the Lord speaks through cheese curd cravings :)
why get a picture of your name-tag on the beach when you could get a pic of it on some cheese curds?
Saturday! So in our ward there are a lot of Hmong members and the Moua's invited all the missionaries over for a "celebration" of some sort. I don't know Hmong, but I do know that I ate some dang good egg-rolls and some sketchy tapioca pudding drink. Then we went back to Jessica's to teach her the Plan of Salvation with Sister Taylor! Remember how I said she was an odd one? Well, let's just say she went a little crazy on us. It was an interesting meeting, that's for sure. Then we drove a million miles out to De Pere to go to a church service with M & M! They're the cutest and they were kind of shocked we came, but also really excited to see us. They said they had been "researching" the church more and have lots of questions. I sure hope by "researching" they meant, "reading the Book of Mormon"... we'll see when we go over there this week, I guess! Then the GB2 English and Hmong elders had a baptism so we went there and I gave a spur of the moment Restoration lesson while everyone was getting dried off and changed. I love how excited Bishop Willmott is about missionary work. He has set the ward goal high and we are going to for sure reach it and hopefully exceed it!!
Sunday! Our day began at 7 am for our missionary correlation meeting. Then church, Nick and Cayla (together!!), boundary change meeting, dinner at the Willmott's, Mariah and Daylin, and then home! Like I said, Cayla and Nick were both there for our lesson. Holla! Nick has kind of been hot and cold and so we just had to ask him straight up if he wants to meet and he said yes. There were three witnesses!! Plus all three members of the Godhead, so that makes six. SIX witnesses and so we're just really pleased about his desire to work towards and eternal family :)
Yesterday there was a young man from our ward who gave his farewell talk and at the end of the meeting we all sang "Called to Serve." I was just sitting there and the second verse just really caught my attention this time.
"Called to know the richness of his blessing--
Sons and daughters, children of a King--
Glad of heart, his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring".
As I have served Him for the past however many months it's been, I have truly come to know the richness that the gospel blessings bring. It's incredible the amount of joy that has come into my life while serving as a full time missionary!! I have many mixed emotions about the coming months ahead, but I know that when my calling as a full time missionary ends, I will still be "called to serve!" Because the invitation to invite all to come unto Him is an invitation that extends beyond these 18 months into the eternities. Seriously. We'll still be preachin' the gospel in the Spirit World!
I love you lots and kudos to you if you made it to the end of this uber long email! CTR and have a super rad week!
I promise. We do other things than eat. haha!
the view from our ford fusion