Wow..I'm not sure even where to begin...BEST WEEK EVER!
So it started earlier this week when we visited the Grande's the part member family whose father always says (regarding the gospel), "IT'S JUST NOT ME!" They haven't let missionaries in for 20 years but guess what?!?! The Lord has softened their hearts because they let Sister Tupuna and I in and we have been working with them! Well this past week we had an amazing feed with them (the top notch gourmet, it was awesome) and one of the most amazing lessons following! Doug (the non member father) and his wife are in their 60's and are just some really special people! Well after Tea we began our lesson and talked with Doug openly about everything, I don't have time to explain it all but what was really special was towards the end when my companion was able to share her story of how the atonement has effected her life (she was Less active, on the wrong path for a while- and I share that because she is the greatest now, so strong and so converted to the Lord....it shows how much the atonement of Jesus Christ can change us!) After her sharing her testimony I also shared how the atonement allows us to change beyond our own ability (ex: "it's just not me" "I'm never going to change, it's just not in me" doesn't have to stay that way forever!) Well we finished and Doug says to us, with tears in his eyes, "Well girls, your pretty convincing!" haha we had to laugh cause it's not us, it is all the spirit but he COMMITTED TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON (For the first time!) It was one of the most powerful lessons, and is one I will never forget! Because I have seen how much the gospel has blessed our family i want it so badly for them...they need it so they can be together forever! Please pray for Doug as he reads the Book of Mormon. (ps Doug and his wife Rhonda said they are coming to America for my wedding and I told him dad, that you would take him out fishing haha- they are so crack up and lovely! I can't wait for you to meet them!)
So another really sweet experience we had this week was with Bishops friends Adelle and Allister! We were able to have two really good lessons with them! one in particular was really special, it was Saturday night when we went to just has a simple lesson on the doctrine of keeping the Sabbath day holy. well we finished "in the name of Jesus Christ, amen" when Allister asked us, "how do you know when you have been forgiven?". We opened up to Alma 36 and read about how Alma (the violest of sinners) felt after he had repented! As we read it the spirit was so strong! It led to one of the most sacred experiences I have had on my mission of talking about repentance! Adelle said she felt really weighed down for the past 8 years of something she had done in the past...we told her she didn't need to tell us what she had done when she asked if she could tell us...but then she said she felt that is was the second time heavenly Father had told her to, and she felt like it was part of her healing process so we allowed her to...but what was cool was even before she told us what it was, the spirit told me and told me what i needed to say and bear testimony of! As soon as she told us about it we were able to bear testimony of the healing and cleansing power of the atonement! Serious sins are not easy to work through, but it is possible! I am so grateful for our loving Heavenly Father who provided the atonement for us so that we can be relieved from those heavy trials and guilty feelings, and move forward! That joy brings me to tears:)
This past week after MLC we were able to go to the temple for an endowment session and then AFTERWARDS to join Natalie and Phill (recent converts) in Baptisms for the dead! The endowment video...oh.my.goodness! It makes me cry so much...it makes me love the Savior and Heavenly Father so much more and makes me want to please them more fully with the way I live and carry myself! I was again reminded of the power that comes through prayer when we realize the reality and closeness of God and Jesus Christ! I love the temple and the peace there, it is not comparable to anything else! As my companion and I finished we went and joined Natalie and Phill! (Side story that is really neat, Natalie went through a really sticky divorce and has had some really strong angry feelings against her ex-husband ever since.) Well after the temple she told us that all those angry feelings towards her ex were taken away from her at the temple and haven't come back (even though she is headed to court today). She said she just closes her eyes and pictures herself at the temple, and reads the Book of Mormon heaps and feels so much peace! I am so grateful she has had such positive experiences! She is wonderful! And Phill...grand-dad (what we call him, and so does everyone else) is just great! he has been a member 3 weeks and has been to the temple 3 times, been home teaching, etc. he is a great example! I love him!
Last thing I want to quickly explain before my time is up, is the experience we had on Wednesday with the member Kip and his mate Adam (21 yr.). Last week we invited Adam to read the book of Mormon and pray about it to see if it's true and then to pray about baptism. Well this past week when we saw him again, we had a chapel tour and at the end finished in the actual chapel (which by the way is the greatest place to have a lesson- in the VERY room we partake of the sacrament). As we talked about the sacrament and the Savior the spirit was so strong and he told us more about reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and how this past week he couldn't put it down...he knows it is true! He then committed to be baptized on July 26th!!! He also so told us that when he came he had a lot of questions but that just as we shared what we did, we answered all of them! We know it wasn't us, but the Lord working through the spirit! We are so excited for him! He came to church yesterday and loved it, and he has the greatest fellowship from the members, because they are already his friends! I have never seen the members share so many of their friends with us before, it's such a blessing to see it and it truly is making miracles happen!
The Lord is the head of this church and is the maker of these miracles! It is HIS almighty hand which controls this work and each of our lives! I love HIM and I love representing Jesus Christ! I love you guys!
I'm not sure if you remember me telling you about the LA family who I was feeling really impatient about, and ready to give up on in Kwinana...and then Nicolle's words remained in my head about LOVING God's children...and then the Lord granted me a portion of his love which helped us keep working with them...Well by the time I left they were coming back into activity and had grown heaps but still weren't quite ready to get their son baptized, to the point where we couldn't even focus on that yet...well this past week I got a picture in the mission newsletter...THE SON GOT BAPTISED BY THE DAD!!!! apparently they are doing really really well and are a whole new family now! I love seeing people grow "here a little and there a little". Thanks to Nicolle for that one day where her words of love stuck with me and allowed us to not give up on them!