WEEK FIFTY-SIX: WEEK OF FAITH!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

The way to describe this week: humbling and miraculous! The Lord really helped us see the huge treasure Searcy contains as long as we diligently seek to dig it out through our efforts and, most importantly, following the Spirit. The miracles witnessed were nothing like raising the dead or anything…..though we did resurrect our phone after I accidentally threw the phone across the sidewalk after a June bug flew at my face….so scratch that, haha.

We decided to make this our “week of faith” where we go out with everything we’ve got, coupled with lots of faith and beginning with a fast. We desired to try to hit the standard of excellence (avg. goals in a mission of lessons and such to have in a week). There was and continues to be some serious power that comes from the Lord, because the miracles poured in. Faith brings blessings!

Miracle 1–So right now one of our investigators is G. She is on fire!! We met with her three times this week, twice with members. Two of the times we came over, we walked in to her reading the Book of Mormon!! Just the other day she read over 6 chapters and almost to 2nd Nephi. You can tell she is experiencing the thirsting and hungering after righteousness, and her desire is sincere. What a difference it is to see that in someone. During a comp study, I felt like we needed to teach her about fasting in order to help her progress in receiving her answer. We taught her on Friday with Sister R (more on her in a bit), a sister in the ward, and they connected soooo well! We had been praying to find the right member for her and the Lord answered that prayer!

Before we jumped into the lesson, G really opened up about her life being on a farm, working hard, being a CNA and nurse, and her love for people. It really helped us bring joy and a different, wonderful spirit into the lesson. We invited her to fast by being willing to study more (can’t go without food due to health) and begin with prayer. She readily accepted. She came to church yesterday and soo many of the ward members expressed how happy they were to see her, shaking her hand and hugging her. Sister R gave her the biggest hug when she walked in. I know G will be baptized and will receive her answer that this is the truth. I love her sooo much and desire greatly for her to feel the joy of this gospel!!

So sister R is probably one of my favorite members among the many I love here. She and her husband do the housing inspections in the mission but they are also in our ward. She and her husband always get in these little arguments and they’re freakin’ great. One day after one of them, she looked at us and said, “One day you girls will be married and I want you to know (looks annoyingly towards her husband)….choose VERY wisely!” Hahaha I love her! I love grumpy old people! We also saw two recent converts with her and she is so loving to everyone.

Miracle 2–On Tuesday, we felt like we needed to go by the B’s who are returning members. They have the cutest kids with really curly hair! We couldn’t see them right away due to things going on but said we could come a couple days later. When we came back, they welcomed us in and introduced us to their friend, K, who just moved in with them a couple days before (the day we tried to go see them!). She came from Missouri and is our age. We talked a little bit about S B’s conversion and how the Book of Mormon changed her life. We ended up showing this video called a Book of Mormon story, about this bishop from London who tells about the Book of Mormon and parts of it that changed his perspective. K stayed really focused on the video. Afterwards we offered her a Book of Mormon and Bible and she accepted. S B said we could come back Tuesday for a lesson with the both of them!!

Miracle 3–K has returned!! So she is super solid and wants to be baptized. The last lesson we had with her was when I first arrived here in Searcy. Right after that lesson, she disappeared off the face of the planet. She didn’t answer her door, texts, etc. So a few days ago, we dropped her. However, we were by her apartment complex, visiting a returning member, when I felt like we should knock on her door. We did and no one answered. Then the prompting came to call. The phone rang and rang and then she picked up. We both were caught off guard! She said we could come by Saturday. When we did, we walked up towards her apartment and this boy outside said she left with someone. Disappointed we walked back. A prompting came to wait for a few minutes. As we sat there contemplating what to do next, K drove up with her friend to her apartment. Turns out sicknesses and difficulties at work, prevented her from being home. She apologized several times for not responding. We got to have a lesson with her, and she told us a specific date she wanted to be done smoking by in July!!

Miracle 4–we reviewed our numbers for this week, having not looked at them all week. We saw we hit every single category but dates. We asked ourselves who we should set a date with. The first person that came to mind was K M. This was a huge surprise. A (11) and her mom are converts, but K is kind of grumpy and not interested. He did not see why the priesthood was necessary. He said he never received answers from God. However, over the past couple days, he has increased listening to the Book of Mormon in his truck–he is a truck driver. When we went to their house, we felt we needed to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and invite him to be baptized. We had tried before going over baptism, but this time we made an emphasis on priesthood and the gift of the Holy Ghost. His heart is being softened. Right when we walked in, he opened the door for us, quickly turned off the TV, and sat ready to listen. This surprised us. We began the lesson and he participated in parts. When we talked about the Holy Ghost and his ability to have it with him always, his facial expression kind of softened. You could tell he was going through a humbling process. As we finished the lesson, we invited him to make a goal of baptism by July 2nd. He simply said, that would be fine. We were both like WHAT?! On the inside that is. He then opened up to express some of his concerns of the date, due to losing a son in July, and he did not understand what we had to do to get into heaven. So we will be teaching plan of salvation next time we come. Afterwards, his wife S walked us out. She said he had been reading and praying for his answers, even though has been kind of pride filled about it (giving up old ways). Once we got in the car, we both just burst into joy and excitement!! And we realized later that night, we hit above our standard of excellence:)

Miracle…..there is too many for this email. So I will just stop there or else I will be creating my own version of 17 Miracles. haha! But this really taught me the power of faith and relying on our Savior. The moment we would put our faith in His plans, the Spirit poured out and unexpected blessings came. Through our Savior and His Atonement, He helps us reach beyond our standards of excellence in this life. He doesn’t want us to live merely average, good lives, though they are good…..He wants us to reach potential beyond what we see. The one common denominator throughout all these miracles is the Book of Mormon.

In our district meeting Tuesday, Elder G instructed on using the Book of Mormon, especially the section of Preach My Gospel on how it helps people draw nearer to God. This quote I love is found in it– President Gordon B. Hinckley declared: “Those who have read [The Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power. … Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read The Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts … the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” (“The Power of the Book of Mormon). I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and will bring any man closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The spirit will fill your life and guide you down the path of eternal life. We really had an amazing week! We did tons of service this week at thrift shops and they had TONS of donations so they kept us busy!! We tried on lots of weird stuff and took loads of pictures!! We became really close and our teaching and companionship became so unified.

Like one night a couple weeks ago, we both woke up and got down and said our personal prayers together. After we both finished, we looked at the clock and saw it was 2 in the morning!! We did not get lots of sleep this week but what is new, haha. Just as President Wakolo says, “Sleep is for the weak!” But like all good things must come to an end sadly. I just found out that I am getting transferred to the Memphis, Tennessee side to serve in Walnut Grove!!! We cover two units, a family Ward, and a YSA branch. I am so sad to leave Searcy. It’s hard for me to even explain, but this is going to be an amazing new adventure! I leave Searcy Thursday for Walnut Grove, so the next time y’all hear from me I’ll be in Memphis!

Other great things from the week:

-Mission Leadership Counsel in North Little Rock: Great instruction from AP’s and President! Our mission is amazing!!

-And then had a post dinner at Chuys: Tex Mex restaurant with K S. So other miracle: Her mom came with her to pick us up from MLC. She is not active and not super interested, but invited us over to lunch sometime this week.

-Great dinner with bishop W’s family! Their younger daughter is like a mini rock star and we totally jammed together. It was so cute and fun 🙂

-Did a musical number with Elder P (He is a famous Rock Star in the Philippines.) in sacrament meeting. We sang the song “Come unto Christ.” (A video of our practice the night before is attached.)

I hope all of you have an amazing week! The invitation we are giving to members here is to read all the Book of Mormon before General Conference. I love you all and I love this work!!

Love. Love, love,

Sister Thomas

Searcy District Pic

Searcy District

Chuy's

 Chuy’s Tex Mex!

Thrift Store service2

Service in a thrift store

Silly Pics with Fisher3

Silly Pictures with Sister F

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