Hello Family & Friends!!!
This week has been interesting- it was nothing short of amazing and unbelievable until yesterday, when it became a little more difficult. Maybe I’ll start with the hard part about this week and then write about all the happy stuff so that it ends on a positive note. The issue is that the sad part of this week is tied to so many of the happy parts of this week, I’ll just have to tell you the whole story. It will be an interesting experience for you to read since I’ve said all of this, so whilst reading the miracles at the beginning of the story, you will be filled with an uneasy feeling concerning the story’s impending doom. Okay, so it’s not that bad, but it felt that bad yesterday morning!! Haha.
In preparation for T’s baptism this coming Saturday, we decided to see her every day this week. It was amazing, and we had a member with us almost every time. We had some of the most powerful, spiritual experiences of my whole mission with T this week. One lesson we taught about Temples & Family History, and going into the lesson we didn’t expect anything major, but the doctrine of baptisms for the dead resonated so strongly so her, and she opened up about some awful and tragic life experiences that have really taken a toll on her, but that are now driving her so hard to seek change. I honestly have never been in a lesson where the Spirit was that strong. It is the closest the Spirit has ever been to having a physical presence for me. It went so far beyond a warm feeling in my chest. The feeling in the room physically changed. I almost can’t explain it.
Then, at the end of the lesson, we asked her to say the closing prayer. T always says beautiful prayers, but this time took the cake. At one point during the prayer she inhaled sharply and suddenly, and it was like the Spirit hit all three of us in the chest, and in the same moment we all burst into tears. We came out of the prayer and went straight into a hug! It was amazing. She wants to badly to change, and to break herself and her children out of the terrible cycle that is found in so many families here in Memphis. She was completely set for baptism on the 30th, and then…Sunday morning came. She was so ready and excited for church Saturday night, and then Sunday morning she decided to go in to work. I was so upset! I had tears in my eyes as I went downstairs to tell the B’s (the members we live with), that she would not need a ride to church. Thankfully, living with the B’s is exactly like having parents, so they lovingly talked with us and lifted our spirits with words of encouragement and love. They truly are miracles!!
Church was hard without T, but the P family, minus L, made it to church this Sunday! They are a less active family that we have been working with. They are super quirky and fun, and we have been teaching their 9-year-old daughter, W, who isn’t baptized yet. We haven’t been able to meet L, the mom, at all, but have had some great lessons with Brother P and the other kids! I did however, through my highly developed observation skills (nosiness), figure out that she loves Grey Gardens & The Smiths, two things that I love! I told Brother P, and he told her, so now she wants to meet me this Saturday! #Miracles. It’s so cool, because absolutely no sisters have even been able to meet Sister P! It just goes to show that each of us is called for the person that we are 🙂
We found an amazing new investigator this week. His name is C and he is a police officer for the city of Memphis. He is a man of great faith, and he is constantly sharing his testimony of Christ with people on the streets. Being a cop in Memphis is not an easy thing right now, but he is so thankful for the opportunity he has to be an example of a follower of Christ throughout the city on a daily basis. We taught him the Restoration and he really liked it, and is reading the Book of Mormon! Heavenly Father is preparing people everywhere.
This week has been so much fun, seriously. Sister H & I get along so well, and we are already such good friends! S (my bff/other half/twin) came back from college this week, moved her records into the YSA branch, and has already come out teaching with us once, which was such a beautiful reunion!! We also spent some great evenings having dinner with members, and I have got to tell y’all just how much I love this ward. It has been so exciting to see how prepared they are to do missionary work. T isn’t even baptized yet, and last night we got a call from her newly called Home Teachers asking how they could help out!
Heavenly Father is so good at the little things. Here’s a little things story: This week was HOT, like 114 degrees’ heat index hot, and one day I forgot a hair tie. This is a disastrous mistake to make. All day I was DYING, and then we decided to make a stop at the church to use the bathroom. Before we went in I checked my bag one more time for a hair tie and found nothing, so then we went in. When I walked into the bathroom, I set my bag on the counter, and there was nothing else there. Then, when I came out of the stall to wash my hands, there was a hair tie sitting on the counter that wasn’t there before! Not only that, but it was the extra big kind that I have to use because I have so much hair! It was a miracle! Like I said, I am so thankful for the little things.
I have seen so many tender mercies lately, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for them. I have been thinking a lot about how much the earth truly is an evidence of our Heavenly Father’s love. All He had to do was make a place for us to live. He didn’t have to make it beautiful, but He did. I see so much evidence of God in seashells and butterflies and curly hair and babies’ laughs. It’s all around us, and more importantly, it’s all FOR us. All of this, all of creation, is for us. For us to come here and have joy! To learn and love and live. He created this beautiful world where we can feel His love on a daily basis, and where we can find love in and from and with others Where we can have families and pets and jobs, and look forward excitedly to an eternal future. Heavenly Father is love. Perfect love.
Anyway, I really love y’all, and I am so thankful for everything!
The F’s took us to dinner and to get Sno cones Saturday night! We went to this place called Jerry’s Sno cones that is a Memphis landmark! The Sno cone was great, and behind the building they have this “Before I Die wall,” where people write things that they want to do before they die. I wrote that I want to “live out loud” which encompasses the idea for me that I can’t waste this life! I have to do important things and see amazing places and find joy everywhere!