Dear Friends and Family,
On Friday we finally got to see K again! We also met her daughter C, and was able to invite her to be taught as well! K was as friendly and excited as ever, and we scheduled a return appointment for Sunday afternoon. They are all such sweethearts, I know they have been prepared!
We also saw Sister G again, and when she found out transfers are coming up pretty soon she was super upset because she doesn’t want either of us to leave! She even asked us when we could go to dinner before transfers. We figured out a day and she is taking us to eat this week! Man, I love that lady!
That night we had dinner at The S’s house with J. It was so awesome to be with him the night before the baptism because he was so solid, he wasn’t jittery in the slightest! He has seen the blessings of the Gospel in his life already, and he is going to be such an amazing addition to this Ward.
J was baptized at 10:00 am Saturday morning J
You guys, Saturday was such an amazing day. We were standing at our door ready to head out to the church at 9:00 am when I looked down at my phone to see a missed call from J. The night before I had had a dream that he decided not to get baptized and when I saw that missed call panic flooded my heart, this was the one situation in which it was NOT cool to be psychic, but we called him back anyway, and it turns out he was just already at the church and wondering where everyone else was!!! You know it’s a solid baptism when the first person who shows up to it is the person getting baptized.
The baptism itself was so much fun, the Ward came out in full force to support J, and two of the elders who have taught him in the past, Elder A and Elder W, were able to attend the baptism. Elder W was actually part of the first companionship that taught J, and to see him enter the waters of baptism a year later was so cool for him. Both of the elders acted as witnesses and the spirit was so strong, as Brother M performed the ordinance! I am so blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful miracle. J is going to be the biggest blessing to the Lakeland Ward.
After the baptism festivities were over we went and saw J again after a long time to check and see if he had read any of what we gave him. He said that he has, but didn’t seem super interested in discussing it, so I don’t know. While we were over there though, we had a HORRIFYING experience in which one of Js’ other neighbors came over. I could tell the guy was a creep from the moment he showed up. He started talking about weird stuff like how we are all God, and Jesus Christ was never meant to be worshiped, then out of the blue he looks at me and goes “you know you’d look pretty sexy in a different outfit” that was followed by a string of extremely vulgar things that I will not repeat here. I was stunned, I’ve never had anyone talk to me like that, but especially not as a missionary!! It was super horrifying and J did nothing to make the situation better, so I don’t think we will be going over there again.
Later that afternoon we had to head to the church because that evening was the 40th Mission Reunion, and Sister M and I received the prestigious honor from The AP’s of getting everyone attending the reunion to wear a name tag. The reunion was so amazing though. We had missionaries who had served in the mission anywhere from 40 years ago to 6 months ago! And the building was full of converts whose lives had been changed by those same missionaries. It was such a blessing to be there and partake of the spirit that filled the chapel that night.
Sunday morning J was confirmed a member of the church! B and L were also at church that morning and L even wanted to bear her testimony! When she told us this we were pretty stunned because the last thing she had told us about her belief system was that she wasn’t really sure she even believed in God, but apparently this week she had been praying pretty hard for a new job that would suit her much better than the jobs she has been doing, and right after she prayed one day, she got on Craigslist and there was the job she had been praying for! She sent in her resume and they called her back not even an hour later, and hired her without even interviewing her! They stayed for all three hours of church, and L sat by us in Relief Society. I think she is really opening up to us, and with this awesome testimony building experience I think she is ready to take lessons from the missionaries and get baptized.
That evening we had a lesson with R. When we got over there our other neighbor, B, was in their apartment and he stayed for the lesson. We had gone in planning to re-teach The Restoration, but right after the prayer I called an audible and started teaching the third lesson, The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m sure Sister M was very confused, but she went along with it, and I am so glad we were able to teach that lesson. The third lesson is all about faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. After I got through repentance, R thanked us and said what we had just taught was extremely pertinent to B’s situation. B then looked at R and asked if He had rigged this lesson and told us what we needed to teach, because the last two sentences we said at the end of repentance were the answer to a prayer and hit the nail on the head concerning all his issues. It was SUCH a powerful experience, and the spirit was so strong. Then, S came in and started listening, and S never listens when we teach R! She even shared some powerful spiritual experiences in her life, and both S and B are going to come to the lesson when we teach R tonight. How crazy and amazing is that?!
I am so thankful for the spirit, for its consistent loving guidance, and the opportunity I have to bring it into other people’s homes and help it to bless their lives.
Sister Hannah Thomas