How is everyone?! Thank you for the emails! I look forward to reading them each week. They are a bright spot and definitely a blessing to hear each update and testimony. This week has been an up-and-down week but mostly up of course :)
Last week we ended up getting a feast for lunch on Tuesday after I wrote you. The sister in our ward from Chile gave us bread, soup, sandwiches, and dessert! A huge bag! Holy cow it was so good! We also got to teach a few other lessons before going to dinner at Burger in the Square...One of the famous burger places in Roanoke. As you can see the highlights of Tuesday were food :) But we also got to teach some less-active members in the area which was wonderful.
Wednesday and Thursday are a bit of blur...We went and visited less-actives, members, and non-members in our area trying to introduce Sister Nisse and to give her experience teaching. It was a whirlwind, but we continued to get referrals and got to meet some great people. We were able to get into homes of people that I haven't met in the 8 weeks I've been here!
Friday was our downer day. (still good! but just a downer) We started off at our zone conference feeling pumped up to share gospel and ready to see miracles, and right after, our lesson for that night cancelled...then we had one of the referrals who had been interested, call and tell us to not come anymore. She was apparenly "content" with her religion (after talking to her husband). We did get to do some service at the Eagle Project instead of the lesson which was a huge upside to our day and we truly knew that our faith was being tested.
Saturday was the day we got to see the witness after the trial of our faith. I woke up and knew it was going to be a fantastic day! We were driving to one of our lessons and on the way met up with one of our less-active members that we are working with. We weren't planning on seeing him that day, but he was really wanting us to come by. We ended up having a break in our schedule so we stopped by and apparently his neighbor's house burned to the ground the night before and she was in it! He and his wife were having a difficult time because she was a dear friend and that morning, Sister Nisse and I had recently been studying about the Plan of Salvation. We were able to share a message with them and the spirit was felt so strongly. We knew that Heavenly Father needed us to be there at that time to help comfort them. We hope that we were able to bring them peace at this time. We then went and visited a lady in our ward who is inactive and she told us that on Sunday (which was the first time she'd come since I was there) she felt something during the testimony meeting and knew that she needed to quit smoking! She stopped cold turkey! She was at church on Sunday and is doing well! I'm so excited for her! Miracle! We also got to go visit an investigator because the main road was closed and she was alone and told us that it would have been her 50th wedding anniversary! We felt again guided to the right place at the right time. We then taught a few other lessons that day and ended the night at Alan and Benita's house and they are truly some of the biggest hearts in the world. They bought us jackets! Mom! You don't have to send mine out anymore! What a huge blessing! I can't believe their kindness. Wow!
On Sunday our investigator that had cancelled on us came to church! She even stayed for Gospel Principles and that was a huge blessing! We then went and visited another investigator in the area and she told us that she started reading the Book of Mormon! Yay! What a fantastic day! We ended the night at our Chilean sister's house for dinner (yes, she signed up to feed us again!) and we had a great evening with her. We sang Spanish songs and had a Chilean feast! So good! We realized that we had received a referral for a Spanish family in the area from Mexico and she said she would love to have them in her home! Wow! The Lord works in mysterious ways! If we can begin teaching this family in her home, not only will they learn the gospel, but she and her family will be strengthened as well! Wow! I'm so excited to see what happens!
As you can see we have had many miracles and blessings. There were struggles along the way, but if we stay faithful and diligent in our efforts, the Lord will lift us the rest of the way. D&C 123:17. Is becoming more and more my favorite scripture. I love this work. I love being a missionary. I love this gospel. I love my family! I testify that Heavenly Father is aware of each of us and answers our prayers. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is evidence that the true church has been restored to the Earth. I know that we come closer to our Heavenly Father as we read, ponder, and pray about the message contained in the Book of Mormon. Our family is forever!
I love you all so much! Have the best week ever!
Picture 1 - The huge cinnamon roll from Sister Alarcon
Picture 2 - The view from my morning run...the picture doesn't do it justice.
Picture 3 - Me! Sorry for not sending more of the area. I'm going to do better. Love you!