Dear family and friends,
Como vai esta semana?!
We've had SUCH a good week here in Coffeyville! Also, missionary work is hard. Yup. Those two pretty much cover it.
So, this week Gabi got baptized! Gabi is one of the first people we contacted when we got to Coffeyville. She's 15, and the Elders have been teaching her Grandpa for years. They had tried to teach her, but she wasn't really interested at the time. But they gave us her adderess and told us to try stopping by, so that's what we did! For whatever reason, she was ready. The Lord had prepared her, and she was excited and willing to meet with us. She started coming to church and young women's activities, and we met with her a couple of times a week. She definitely has a long way to go--she's only stayed for all three hours of church once, and struggles with her Book of Mormon reading--but who of us doesn't have room to grow? Regardless, she has given me some GRAY HAIR. Holy cow. I have never been this worried in my life as I have been as a missionary. (Side note: Sister Cook and I were talking about how nice it was not to have to worry about school, or picking a major, or anything...and then she said, "Yup, just the salvation of souls." No pressure, right?) But Gabi is willing to change and to keep trying, and we're so proud of her! Her baptism came up so fast, and it was kind of crazy to plan everything. But it was such a special moment, and the Spirit was so present. I'm so grateful to have been here to see that!
The next day was one of our favorites! It was just busy, and everything a mission was, but we got to the end of the day and realized that we had reached our daily goal for lessons taught--and we hadn't even known! We had thought we were one short. Usually, if we get 5 lessons in a day, that's really good for this mission. But we had made a goal for 7, and...we did it!!! It was awesome. We had also spent a couple of hours earlier that day doing service for a member of the ward--the lady who gave us the scarves a couple weeks ago! We helped with the renovations in her store. And sweat to death. But we decided we were DEFINITELY blessed for doing service!
That same day, we also had a lesson with a family we've been teaching. It's a single mom and her two boys that a member invited to be taught, and they are doing so great. We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and came in with the goal of inviting them to set a baptismal date. We had invited her after our first lesson, and she said that she would as she came to know it was true, so we had a pretty good idea that she would say yes, so before we went we prayed about a date. The lesson went great--it is so good to teach in member's homes, and with the fellowship of members there! And when the moment was right and the Spirit was there, we invited Karen to be baptized...and she said yes! She started off just nodding, a little hestitantly at first, and then more certain. "Yes," she said. "Yes, I will!"
It was the most beautiful moment! The Spirit swooped in so strongly, and we all just sat there for a minute, enjoying it. Then we set a date, and continued on in the lesson a little. Then, we talked about the ordinance of baptism, and why the Savior was baptized. Sister Cook started saying, "As a personal representative of Jesus Christ, I know that if the Savior were here He would want you to--"
My mind started thinking. What would the Savior want me to tell them? And again, I felt the Spirit encircling me in such great power, and I felt love. I knew that the Savior would want them to feel of His love for them!
Sister Cook finished her sentence saying that He would want them to come unto Him, and be baptized. We talked afterwards, and she said she felt the same thing I did. I feel so privileged to have tasted of that love He has for all of us. "Come unto me," is the invitation we read time and time again in the scriptures. His gospel is a message of love! He loves us, He wants to bless us and help us. We need only come to Him.
Then of course, Sunday was broadcast day. I don't think I can tell you how excited Sister Cook and I were! And what wonderful instruction we recieved! I hope that all of you were able to prayerfully receive their messages, and think about what it means to you. Members are KEY to missionary work, and I'm so excited to see what happens as all of the members of the church make sharing the gospel a priority in their lives! One of my favorite parts was the music video they shared for "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go." It was the whole thing in a nutshell! Go about your day as I know you always do, looking for opportunities to serve and invite. And then let the missionaries in that! Share out of a love for those around you, and don't hold back! Get to know the missionaries in your ward, and help all those you know to do the same. Please. Member missionary work is great, but a lot of the time it's only planting seeds until you involve the missionaries! It takes a really special person to seek out the gospel on their own initative. They need to be invited to act! So invite the missionaries over for dinner, and make sure it's never just your own family there. It can be as simple as, "Hey, we're having the missionaries over and we're going to make (insert delicious food). Do you want to come?" Share, share, share!!
I am SO EXCITED to hear that Sister Wilcox is in your ward!! That makes me feel great--I've been thinking a lot about missionary work in the Parkway ward the last few weeks, and it's so good to hear that it's in good hands! I know that she'll do everything the Lord needs her to. You can trust her. :) So please take advantage of that, and start inviting EVERYONE you can think of to learn more. Devin, you gave Tim a Book of Mormon--that's so awesome! Follow up on that!! Invite him over to meet Sister Wilcox and her companion. Oh, and volunteer your house to have investigators taught in. That is invaluable, and it's hard to get members who are willing sometimes. But I know as you open your homes to the missionaries, you will be blessed. This is the work of the Lord. This is the work of salvation!!
I hope each of you caught how important this was to our Prophet and other church leaders. The Lord is hastening His work, and He needs each of us at our best! There is no greater time to be a missionary--and that doesn't just mean for me. I want each of you to make an effort to get involved, and be a part of this! And for my family--you already are. I'm so proud to be a part of this family, and to be raised by such incredible examples. As President Shumway always says, "We're so good. Why aren't we better?"
Eu amo voces para sempre :)
|Lost and a little scared|
|Lost in a cornfield|
Oops, I forgot to explain the other pictures. We were super late heading home last night after the Broadcast because we were meeting with the Elders and Brother Dimond (our ward mission leader). Then we had to pick something up from the Elder's place, and they tried to tell us how to get home...and we think they may have just been being mean, because we literally ended up in the middle of a cornfield! The road digressed gradually, and it went from being lined with corn to driving over corn to being in a field. Whaaaat?! It was waaay past curfew by then, and we were a little freaked out...but it was also kind of hilarious, so we took pictures. Haha