What a beautiful week! Miracles are everywhere! Prayers are answered! This gospel is true!!!
Let me tell you a little why I know all the above our true...
First of all, when we got here (Sister Kitto and I), we spent hours and hours learning the area and figuring out just what had been happening before we got here. What we knew was that we had 5 investigators, a bunch of former investigators, a few potential investigators, and less-active members, and of course the members (who we didn't know). It was a little stressful figuring out where our area was, who we could talk to, and what needed to be done, but where there is a will, there is a way!
On Tuesday, we went to contact some former investigators and we met this sweet lady named, Nancy Fox. Her husband died about 5 years ago and had been meeting with the missionaries before his death. She welcomed us in and kept on saying that she knew God had a plan for her. We told her that we know He does and were excited to share it with her. She said that we were welcome back anytime and that she would love to learn more. Yay! We then went to meet with a less-active lady in the ward...who was a bit crazy! We were in her dark apartment and feeling a little scared because of what she was telling us about her neighbors, but it was amazing as we begin to share a message from the scriptures how her apartment changed and the spirit grew. She turned on a light, pulled out her Book of Mormon, and her heart began to soften. It is amazing how powerful the Book of Mormon is. It is amazing how strong prayer can change our lives. We left feeling that we had lifted her spirits and helped bring light into her life. I know we alone couldn't have done that.
Wednesday, we went to give a practice lesson to a family in the ward and they gave us 7 referrals! That is unheard of! (Hint: if you want the missionaries to love you, tell them the names of your neighbors and tell them they can stop by) :) If they are good missionaries, they will contact them quickly and report back to you of how many are being baptized because of what you did! Easy right? Look at all you can do just by being an example and saying a name! Pray for your neighbors, get to know them, bring them cookies, invite them to dinner! It's a snap! haha Also, we got to do a lot of tracting in the snow! It was absolutely gorgeous!!! We live and work in a fantastic area. There are poorer areas, but overall gorgeous! The snow was just perfect!
Thursday we had a lovely Thanksgiving. We didn't do any tracting because people wouldn't want us to knock on Thanksgiving, but we started off with dinner at the Payne's house where we had ribs, turkey, and everything else Thanksgiving should have. :) The Payne's had a tradition where they would eat their favorite foods on Thanksgiving instead of the traditional and it was delicious! We then hurried over to the Cotrell family's dinner. They are my favorite family in the mission so far. They've already signed up to have us come over on Christmas and to Skype with you! You will get to meet them! They have 5 kids and are rockstars! I absolutely have bonded with them and feel like they are family. They fed us another traditional dinner on Thanksgiving and had invited a younger couple to dinner. The Cotrell family is from Georgia and I'm so grateful they are here. Their oldest daughter is a Senior and is absolutely gorgeous. They then have another beautiful daughter who is 16, a 14 year old son, 12 year old son, and 10 year old daughter. The sons remind me of a younger version of Mason and Brigham...so naturally awesome. :) We then decided to write thank you notes for our mission president and bishop. The mission president is in our area and we didn't think he'd be home, but we knocked for fun on the door and he answered!!! He welcomed us in and told us we were inspired to come because he wanted our advice on a certain situation. We got to talk to him for a bit and then we shared a message with him and he gave us 2 names to contact! A referral from the mission president! Awesome! We had a closing prayer and were on our way home...This will be remembered as one of my favorite Thanksgivings. Thanksgiving with the mission president...the only thing that would have made that better would have been to have my family there! :)
Friday was the beginning of our miracle weekend. We went and contacted some less-active people in the area, and then at about 7 we were on our way to contact another less-active when we got there and knew that there was something else that needed to be done. We said a prayer to find an elect person in that area and then got out of the car to start knocking doors. Sister Kitto pointed at a random door and said, "That one, let's start there." We hesitantly went up and knocked because it had no porch light on, but we could see someone was home. We then heard a quiet, "Come in." come from inside and as I tried to open the locked door we both giggled to ourselves how awkward we were. We then saw the door swing open and a woman in about her 40s was standing there. She said she was on the way to the hospital when Sister Kitto then said, "Can we say a prayer with you?" She welcomed us in and we sat down to talk and introduce ourselves. She told us how she'd been trying to get her life in order and had been looking for a church. We told her a little about the Book of Mormon and read a bit from it and she grabbed her heart and said that it felt like healing! She felt warm and at peace! Her friend then came to take her to the library, we said a quick prayer, were invited back, and left a Book of Mormon on her table.
Saturday night we came back and she said that she doesn't usually open the door, but felt the need. She knew that she needed to listen to what we had to say and was wanting it and ready for it. Everything we'd say, she would say she believed and felt to be true...She had even begun reading the Book of Mormon without being asked and said that it helped calm her down. She's got a few emotional issues that we don't understand completely, but she was yearning for me. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! She wants it and is so elect!
We then came back Sunday night and met her son who goes to Marshall University and he said he would support her with whatever she wants. We set her on date to be baptized on theand she said that she knows she wants this and is ready for this now. We taught her about the Restoration and a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and tomorrow we are going to give her a tour of the church building so that she feels comfortable coming this next week, that is the only reason she didn't come on Sunday. She got too nervous. She is so elect though and a sweetheart! Sister Kitto and I both know that we were here for her. She is exactly what we were praying for and an answer to our prayer. Every time we meet with her, we feel like it isn't real and begin looking for a camera haha She soaks everything in and is begging for more! She already believes everything we teach but didn't know there was a church that had all she believed. We are so grateful to have found her at this time and how much our Heavenly Father has prepared her. Her name is Lisa and I know that she is our Christmas miracle. Wow! I get chills just thinking about it!
We also had an experience meeting with this less-active lady this week as we were walking out of her apartment, we met 2 other people who told us to come back and teach them. People are everywhere! We just had to get out of our comfort zone and talk! Heavenly Father definitely guided our conversations and helped the spirit teach each person. The spirit was tangible in Lisa's lessons and she even stood up one time and said, "It is so warm in this room, I feel so good!" She said that every time we come, she feels such peace and wants that with her always. We promised her that she would when she received the gift of the Holy Ghost and continued to live worthy of it! Wow...I could talk forever! But sadly I have to go. I'm so grateful that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. This gospel changes lives and answers every question! The church is true! I get to be a missionary everyday! Although there are funny moments and awkward moments as a missionary, there are so many good ones that make it worth it! Miracles are everywhere! Pray for them and look for them! I love you all! Have a great week!
P.S. Thank you for the packages, letters, and love! I love you all so much! Time to go bowling with the zone! Wish me luck! :)
Sister Kitto and I about to tract in the snow
Tracting in the rain! (It came before the snow)