First of all, I love that every teenage girl in Texas has a crush on Joe. HA!
This was a super good week, and we're set up to have another STELLAR week this week. First of all, best story ever about how I'm a terrible trainer and threw Sister Williams under the bus. So we met this guy Christian on the street, talked to him about the plan of salvation- turns out he also believes in the pre-mortal existence and agreed to meet with us. So we get to the church, along with a member we're bringing to the lesson, and sit there for 30 minutes. No show and he doesn't answer his phone. Finally we send him a text and HUZZAH! he answered saying he came and the doors he tried were locked so he left. We tell him we're still there and he comes back- showing up at the same time as Ashleagh and the member we were bringing to her appointment. Thankfully both members were girls, so we went on splits. We were teaching Ashleagh about the Sabbath Day with an object lesson Sister Williams had never seen and I'd only vaguely explained it so I went and taught Ashley and she went to teach Christian about the plan of salvation. An hour later we both finished and met back up, she tells me Christian has a baptismal date for August and I'm all excited for her, but she keeps giving me the strangest looks of terror so finally we send everyone on their way and drop the members off at home, and go park somewhere that I can hear the full story from her. Someday you'll have to hear it from here, but these were the highlights....
- "I AM LITERALLY A BABBLING FOOL!" She said she rambled on about everything and definitely taught a lesson, not a person.
-The member she was teaching with didn't say a word, except when she bore her testimony about something they hadn't taught yet and when she said she never read the book of mormon because she was busy.
-She committed him for baptism and he said he didn't know why but he really wanted to, so she was obedient and did a calendar with him like she knows President Scott has asked us to, but we've only done one with each other once and haven't role played it since her first week here so she literally told him "I know this seems ridiculous, and I don't know why we do this, but we're going to make a calendar." Then as she goes through and puts the things on it we generally do, she kept asking "What do you think would help you prepare to be baptized?" And he kept saying "I literally have no idea."
-She committed him to be baptized on a Tuesday on accident.
-She committed him to read the book of mormon before realizing she hadn't explained what it was or given him one, and she didn't have one with her.
-She said when he said he'd be baptized, she knew she was supposed to promise blessings so she said "I can promise that will bring you SO many blessings."
SO FUNNY! She was dying, she was so frustrated because she's usually a fantastic teacher but she said she had no idea how to teach entirely on her own. But it just goes to show 1) she's is a rocking missionary who can commit someone to be baptized on the first lesson even when her trainer has clearly not taught her anything, and 2) no matter how much we fall short of something, this is the Lord's work and he makes up for our inadequacies. The Spirit teaches people, not us, so even when we fail to be perfect teachers those we teach will learn the truthfulness of the gospel. So Christian is working towards baptism, we're seeing him again tonight!
Ashleagh is also doing really well, she's being baptized into the YSA ward this Sunday! We're really excited, she's being baptized along with a girl the YSA Elders have been teaching. It's funny how we keep finding all these YSA people (Ashleagh, her boyfriend, and Christian) so we're teaching all these people that we technically aren't the missionaries for. We did officially pass Josh, Ashleagh's boyfriend, over to the YSA because he lives in the same city as them, and we may end up passing over Christian as well but Ashleagh we're the one's teaching. It's hard when the YSA Elders technically cover our entire stake, so we find people in our area that are also their area.
And Jeff continues to be the world's most perfect investigator. He came to church this week, which was a tri-ward conference because they dissolved a ward and made 3 into 2 wards (every area I serve in has major boundary changes!) and afterwards he told us how much he LOVED it. I was sitting there worrying he found it weird, and he said he thinks it's amazing people are told to move wards and they just do it. Of course you love that Jeff, you love EVERYTHING about the church and the gospel! Sister Williams and I feel obsolete teaching him because he does not need us, he studies on his own and eats everything up. Best comment ever from him on the Book of Mormon- "I loved it, but then I got to Nefi 2" (we love the way he pronounces the books!) "and Nefi just starts bantering on about fire and brimstone! Really, it was depressing. I skipped it and read the Book of Mormon, since the book is named after it so I figured it had to be good. It was." HA! Love him. And he gave us another entire pie and a thing of ice cream.
So at the conference this Sunday, one of the counselors of the stake presidency gave the best talk. He said "In a meeting like this in olden days, it would go more like this: 'This half of the room, follow Bishop Walcer and go to Bowmanville, and take some lumber because the chapel isn't completed yet. Oh, except you two, prepare to serve a mission in Russia. This half of the room, stay here in Oshawa, except go out this week and find people to fill the seats vacated by those going to Bowmanville.' Brothers and Sisters, I am serious about that last line. That is the purpose of these changes. We're creating a position of strength in these wards so you can go out and find those who are supposed to be in this room with us, so we can meet again and redivide these wards into 4, or 6, or 8. That is the vision the Lord has for you." AMAZING! I could have high-fived him. That night we had a dinner with a member who talked about how it reminded her of in the Book of Mormon when the people gather together to protect from the Gaddiantion robbers- the Lord will never leave us to struggle, but he gathers us to higher grounds to find safety and strength from the adversary, and draw others in with us. After dinner we taught the plan of salvation to their family and committed their kids to invite friends to church, and the parents took us over to meet one of their neighbors. MAN I wish more members did that! It was so casual, so simple, not uncomfortable at all! We explained our purpose, talked about his beliefs, invited him to meet with us and learn more. He said no but if he was interested he'd talk to them about it. Everyone left happy. Why do members not introduce us to more people? Why did I never introduce anyone to missionaries? Next time missionaries come to dinner, either invite someone to dinner or take them to a neighbor after! It makes your day, the missionaries day, and the neighbor's day.
Oops, that turned into a member missionary rant. Oh well, not taking it back haha!
I hope y'all are having another good week. Erin, good luck with the rest of work. Stick it out as long as you can, you'll appreciate it at school! Good luck with the job hunt Dad and enjoy living life on stand-by Mom :) talk to you all in a week! Love you!