I really do love my mission!
Last Fast Sunday, our whole mission participated in a fast for everyone in our mission to be able to find new investigators and progress them to baptism. This week, President Cottle shared with us some of the stories he heard and received as a result of this fast. Here's one of the miracles I saw from this fast:
A few months ago, a member of our ward gave us a referral to this old man who he did some work for, who the member said cried when he heard about the Plan of Salvation. So we have been trying to go over and teach him a little more about what the member had said, but we never had caught him at home, or when he had a free moment until last Friday. Unfortunately he wasn't really interested, but we did leave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and told him we might try later. As we were walking back to the car, we saw a young teenage girl across the street who was watching us, and had been since we arrived. Sister Dietz said she wanted to go talk to her, so we went over and asked her if she wanted a picture of Jesus, she said yes, but then told us to hold on a minute, and she ran in to go tell her mother that we were there. The mother comes out about a minute later, and we tell her who we are and that we have a message for her from Jesus. She invites us in, and introduces us to her 3 children. One of her friends walks into the room, and the mom introduces her too, but it turns out we already know her because she is the best friend of the girl who just got baptized and we had met her the week prior. This was super unexpected because when we first met her, she was all the way on the other side of our area. Small world.. Anyway, we start talking about the baptism, and she asks us where our church is so we give her a card. We end up teaching the Restoration, but though the whole of it, the mom keeps telling her children that they have to pay attention because they were going to go to church that Sunday and she didn't want them to be confused. At the end of the lesson, we asked her and her family and the friend to pray about the things we taught and ask God if it was true. The mom looked at us and with a smile said, oh, I already know it is. I guess we looked a little confused, because she then added that she always prays about people who are coming to talk to her, either to sell things or to talk about religion, and God told her that we were messengers from Him. Crazy! That was pretty awesome and we are excited to go teach them again later in the week:) Unfortunately, they did not come to church, but we will try to get them there next week.
Those people that we meet randomly are sometimes the ones Heavenly Father has prepared the most for them to choose to receive the truths of the restored gospel. I really do love meeting them and sharing with them my testimony of Jesus Christ and our His and Our Father's love for us:)
We also had a baptism on Saturday of this 8 year-old kid we have been teaching. His name is Joey. It was technically a child-of-record baptism, so it wasn't a convert or anything, but the rest of his family, including his siblings, mom and grandparents are all converts so that was really awesome. He has been so excited to be baptized for months! His grandfather requested that we teach him the lessons that they were taught so that he can have a better understanding of what he needs to know when he is baptized. So we taught him all the lessons before being baptized. Last Sunday though he actually got up and bore his testimony on the Holy Ghost and how it helped in him class know what the answer was to a question he really truly did not know. It was the sweetest thing ever and it made me cry! He has been so great for his family, because they are all less-active, except for his grandparents, who they currently live with. The older sister ended up giving the talk for baptism, and they were all there for most of the lessons, as well as for the baptism. This family has gone through some really rough things this summer, but Joey's testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, as well as his effort in reading his scriptures every single day, praying all the time, and going to church for all three hours has really blessed his family to be closer together and even a little happier than they were at the beginning of the summer when I met them.
Love you lots!
Your favorite child:)
PS. Sister Cottle loves that she has had both Ben and I as her missionaries. She asks me all the time how he's doing:) and tells me all the time that she can definitely tell we are related by the Spirit we both have. I thought that was cool.
PSS. Favorite thing about Georgia is the rims on peoples cars. It seriously is super funny how much money is spent here on rims. There is even a place where you can rent rims for a day to put on your car. Rent-a-rims. Seriously though, there are some super crazy ones..
I do have a cool recipe you should make, its for this really good cornbread, but I forgot it at home.. I will send it to you though and you should try it. Its super good, and it isn't dry like most peoples corn bread here. (its not deep fried either)