Monday, September 14, 2015

46 - The Foundation of Testimony

Again, I already know I won't be able to cover everything that happened, between all that happen this week and what happened last week. Just not enough time!
The weather is getting nice!

But first, the weather.
What a tender mercy! OH it has been sooooo nice! 
All this week!

Milkyway Milkshakes!
We went and got ice cream at Milkyway on P-day, a place that is closed during the winter. 

Poor Sister Burt always wanted to go there, but it was closed. 

But since it's open, it must mean spring is finally here! 

Plus the fact that it's been in the 60s and 70s all week during the day.

We even did our weekly planning at the park! It's been SOOOO nice! We've been needing to tan our skin a little bit. And we rode our bikes for the first time in months yesterday to our dinner appointment and... about a mile on a bike with a little bit of hilly roads when you don't ever ride bikes ever... man! I had to walk some of it. 
I was super fatigued during and after dinner. And we still had to ride back home. But it was okay. 
We made it. It's good for us.

And because of the weather we had two lessons in particular (one with a less active guy and one with just Henry) that could not have happened if it was too cold outside, because they were with men and we didn't have another female with us (so we met outside). Thank you weather for being so nice so that is was way more convenient to obey mission rules!

Moon Moth
And also, more butterfly house happenings because I have awesome pictures.

Moths, everywhere! A new moth emerged, an african moon moth. 

And then the altas moth is hanging out now on the back of a big leaf.
Atlas Moth

The "Social" Butterfly.   :-)

So there was this one butterfly at the beginning that being super social and it was super cute, flying around me and landing on me, flying and landing, over and over, and then it took off somewhere else. Got a cute picture and everything.

But. This butterfly was starting to be a little too social. It was looooving this guy's hair and ears and forhead. He was so patient!

But we began to notice...

The sicko! 

It was doing weird things with its abdomen.

It was toooooootally laying eggs in everyone's hair!



We kept swatting at it after that. 

There was at one point a butterfly that was nice because it wasn't trying to lay eggs on me just hangin out on my finger.

And then this other stinkin butterly just wouldn't leave me alone! 

Nor Sister Stephens! "Get outa here!"

But as for missionary work!

We made contact with a lot of less actives on the ward list this week. Some are planning on moving and not interested in coming back to church at all. Some said times that work better for us to come back. Some are very closed. One is moving and is still willing to meet us, she even called us back. And one less active that we just had our first lesson with yesterday still has a testimony, reads from the Book of Mormon occasionally, though is married to someone who is Lutheran and he has subjected investigating other churches and has brought up the Mormon church but she won't hear of it. The member who was with us invited him to church and he said, "I might just take you up on that someday." We also reminded him about general conference and he said, "you know, that's something I can do, just plug in the headphones and listen to it myself and it wouldn't raise the stress levels in the house." When moved upon by the holy ghost, we will go back there and see if we can't have a lesson with his wife present.

I don't think there has been a week yet this transfer that there hasn't been a member come out with us that I haven't ever gone teaching with before. We don't have anyone lined up for this week unfortunately- we usually do have someone lined up in advance- but we will continue tomorrow to call people and get new people coming out with us. 

We did resolve one person's concern on Sunday about coming with us to a teaching appointment. She just didn't want to bring her kids. But our investigators have a little one, and knowing that, she's willing to bring her kids. 

Resolving concerns one individual at a time!

Man, I don't have a lot of time to tell this ginormous story!

Otherwise Satan seeketh to turn their hearts away from the truth, that they become blinded and understand not the things which are prepared for them, (D&C 78:10).

Henry texted us this week telling us Elizabeth is starting to have doubts about the church. It seems like being sick and missing out on lessons was starting to catch up to her. Satan is really creeping in...

He told us that her concerns were basically that she doesn't hear us talk about the Lord's prayer or the Apostle's Creed and those are things she still believes in. And she's uncomfortable about tithing. She hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon.

The first lesson we read the last half of James 2. aka, the "faith without works is dead" schpeal. Because man, they need to come to church! The lesson was pretty well recieved. Elizabeth discounted her concerns. She came to the conclusion that she was just not feeling good when she had those thought. Though I did notice that she was on edge more than she has been in lessons and it made me sad to see.

Second lesson, we were actually on exchanges, so Sister Stephens wasn't there, it was Sister Manning. it was also Henry's birthday, yay! It was a really interesting lesson- miracles happen on exchanges. Ryan has been reading from the Book of Mormon, just random passages, and he sees a pattern of "Do this or else" that really bothers him. We addressed his concerns as best as possible, and then. GUESS WHAT!? RYAN SAID THE CLOSING PRAYER!!!! AAAHHH!!!

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to learn more about The Book of Mormon. And for helping us grow in faith of your word. .........In your name, amen."

He sat there for a minute after, because he was kind of having a panic attack, but after he regained his ability to speak words, he said, "Ok, that wasn't as bad as I thought."

AH! Henry! HE PRAYED! And I wish I had time to go into more detail.

Sister Stephens was extatic when she found out. We texted them on Saturday reminding them to be ready for church and Henry texted that Elizabeth wasn't going to come... that she prayed about it and was uncomfortable about it.

Long story short we went over and had a lesson with just Henry and man, he just want to be the best husband and father possible. And he SAID THE PRAYER AGAIN! And basically prayed that Elizabeth would come around and that their family would be able to be raised all in the church!

And then, HENRY CAME TO CHURCH! And this time, we had to get photographic evidence.

It's kind of awkward but funny that Henry is perfectly covering Jesus Christ's picture. Henry is very Christ-like, but haha, yeah.

But the moral of this story! The Book of Mormon is the foundation of testimony! If you continue to read it, you will grow in your faith. If you stop, you will falter. So read the Book of Mormon!

P.S. I got to play a trombone for the first time on my mission! We were at a dinner appointment and the kid in fifth grade pulled out his trombone and showed us a song his was practicing that they were performing in a concert coming up. And it's his dad's trombone that he's learning on. And he does very well- the tones of the notes are clear and precise, and why is this my exact story in my learning how to play the trombone! So awesome! I looked at the Hymn book on the piano and played a few songs, including "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "The Star Spangled Banner" at the kids request, and "Be Still, My Soul." It felt like home. It was very therapeutic.

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