Hello Family! I hope you all had a wonderful memorial day. Sorry I did not email yesterday. The library was closed for memorial day. But here I am now. So it's all chill. But not really because it is stinkin' hot here. I don't know if I can do this weather, these people say its only going to get worse! It's not too bad until you start walking or you do any form of physical....anything then your dead. But people keep saying that it will get to the point where you don't even want to step outside, because the moment you do, you are soaking wet. yikes. Not sure how I feel about that yet. But I did Tonga right? It can't be to much worse than slaving away in that hot heat. Although I don't remember ever feeling to hot, because I was having so much fun! Maybe that's what this experience will be like!!
Wow. This past week has been seriously incredible. Seriously the Lord works in such mysterious ways! This past Friday we had the most spiritual and amazing lessons I have had while I have been out. The Kyenzel family are amazing people. But they have been visiting with missionaries for a year, because they love us and love the spirit that we bring. But we just haven't been able to really get through to them. So we followed the counsel of our Zone Leaders and took members to their lesson. Duh. I don't know why that is so hard to do sometimes. But EVERY time we bring members to a lesson. We come out of the lesson knowing that it all went right! And that is exactly what happened with this family.
We took the Griffith's to a lesson with us and we knew we needed to start being more bold in our declaration that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's kingdom established here on earth, and that the saving ordinances are found only through it, and the Griffiths are pretty bold. So we felt good about this. The lesson started off on a rough foot. We were talking and then we were getting off subject yatta yatta. Then it took a turn for the better. I brought up that in the past we had asked them to be baptized, they gave their reasons for saying no. Then I just started bearing testimony about how much we love them, and that we are not just wanting them to join our church so we can count them in our congregation. But we are asking them to make and keep these commitments and covenants because we love them, and we know that this is exactly what our Father in Heaven wants for them. Then Sister Sims gives a powerful testimony about how she loves them as well and her conversion story. Then Sister Martinez starts testifying that this church is true, and then she mimicked the words of Elder Holland in this past general conference. She didn't say exactly this but something along these lines:
"I am more certain that those keys have been restored and that those ordinances are once again available through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than I am certain I stand before you at this pulpit and you sit before me in this conference."
The Spirit was so strong no one could deny that the Holy Ghost was flooding that room!! And then Bro. Griffith pointed out to them that what they are feeling right now is the Holy Ghost and said that they can always have that with them. And although they did not commit to be baptized. I know that gave them something to think long and hard about. And if they are not baptized now, they will be later. There was no denying that this is Jesus Christ's church established on the earth once more after that lesson. It was incredible! I hope when we meet with them tomorrow they will bring that up. And we can have another amazing lesson.
Well then two of our investigators Sarah and Seth told us that they have been wanting to come to church for the past like 4 weeks. So when they said they were coming this time, we were just like okay that's awesome we are so stoked....Not really expecting them to. BUT THEY DID!!! The spirit worked in her and got to to get up and go. She got over all of her fears and finally came, and she loved it so much, and her son Seth said he wanted to come back. He also said he really wants a suit because he likes how the young men look in our ward haha so we are on the hunt for a cheap suit at the moment :) This Sunday was amazing! The spirit was so strong the whole day.
Last night we had a lesson with Sarah. And She just had found out earlier that day that her Great Uncle started the LDS church in Belle, MO. And she told us that she sat on her couch and cried because she knew that she had found the church that she could call home now. She is so in tune with the spirit it amazes me. She is in all honesty one of the funniest most spiritual people I know. But I kept getting the impression that we needed to invite her to baptism again. But last time we did it blew up in our faces and she was like "my God is your God, I have already been baptized I am already saved". She was sweet about it, but she did not see the need to be baptized. So we were scared. Sister Martinez kinda looked at me and the spirit was all like "you are going to do this whether you like it or not". Sister Martinez asks her what she thinks the next step is after she has found out that this church is where she is supposed to be. And Sarah says "well to learn more I guess". And then we started talking about that and then her baptism into the baptist church, and then it just came out. That this church is where God's authority to baptize is found. And we invited her to be baptized, and to our surprise she said yes! And we set a date! She says she needs to keep learning and she will need to think about it and will have a definite answer the next time we meet. But her heart was softened and she realized we want this for her because we loved her! Getting your investigators to church and introducing them to other members so they can see we all care, and we all love one another and not in a fake way, but in a true Christ-like way. That's what she needed to see. And that's what softened her heart!
I am so grateful to be a part of this work. And to have God grant just a portion of what he feels for these people unto me so that they can feel that it is true is seriously amazing. I am so blessed beyond belief. I am grateful to have the opportunity to sacrifice this time in my life, because I know how worth it it is to come out here and have those moments with people where they truly feel God loves them, and this church is the answer to whatever they were or were not looking for. It is an incredible experience. I am grateful to have know joined countless others who have for generations sacrificed so much to be true disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As members of the Lord’s Church we should be willing to sacrifice all things for the Lord. Joseph Smith said:
“a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.”
In the eternal perspective, the blessings obtained by sacrifice are greater than ANYTHING that is given up here on earth. I know that to be true more than anything.
I love you all so much! I am so proud of you all and the amazing decision you make each day to be disciples of Jesus Christ. To stand by what you believe and to treat everyone the way Jesus Christ would treat them if he was here on earth!
Keep up the good work. Stay strong. And always remember who you are, and who you are destined to become!