Ha! Sis. D cracks me up, I'm in for a Jamaican butt kickin' when I get back there. Definitely my Jamaican momma.
I've always had a hard time with timing. I just want things to happen in my time SO bad- which is selfish and honestly kinda dumb because its not my time out here, it's the Lords. You're right. Who knows when she will be ready. It's like the H family in Junction. Countless missionaries since D was baptized tried to teach the family and they just weren't ready and for some reason when we asked if we could teach them the "seeds" had started sprouting and eventually just took off. Yoda said it best: "Patience young padawan learner". Speaking of patience, we had the COOLEST experience this week and I'm so excited I can't wait any longer in the email to tell you about it.
So I think I already told you about Sis. B. She is married to Bro. B and has been coming to church for 20 years (since they've been married) but isn't a member. Bro. B is extremely successful and totally a self made man that made it in construction back in the 70's and 80's in Cali, Seattle, and Australia.They are an extremely nice couple. Elder Worley and I have been nervous all week, really the past two weeks, because this may be Sis. B's only shot and taking lessons from the missionaries and we really really don't want to horse this one. If we mess this up, there goes their shot of an eternal marriage, I know Bro. B has been waiting for her to come around for 20 years- there is a lot weighing on this. So last week we called her and asked if we could come by and visit, she said of course, she was going to cook for us and it was gonna be great. She had expressed to Bro. B and President F that she knew the church was true and she knew she needed to be baptized. We were really lost as to how we are going to approach the dinner, how we will get our foot in the door, and even if she will accept our invitation to be taught. For about a month we've felt it necessary to fast once a week, and the last two weeks were completely dedicated to Sis. B, fasting that the Lord would prepare a way for us to teach her. Dinner time rolls around and we head over to the B's, and from the time we pulled into the driveway to the time we left was an absolutely flawless display of the Lords awareness of our situation. We were eating, Bro. B told us his life story as did Sis. B, how they met, the whole nine yards, conversation was great. Not an awkward moment throughout the entirety of the visit. Even better, Bro. B threw us a bone and whips out his missionary flannel board and accompanying memorized discussions that he used back in the 70's when he was a stake missionary. It lead right into talking about how missionary work is so much different, Preach My Gospel, the way lessons are compared to back then, and the question "Sis., have you ever taken the missionary lessons?" was natural and perfect. I think she knew that question was coming by the look on her face, but what proceeded in the following 30 minutes was an absolute manifestation of the Spirit. She laid EVERYTHING out on the table. With tears streaming down her face, she told us her concerns, fears, issues she has that she feels she can't overcome, she bore her testimony that she knows Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true and that she knows with all her heart the church is true. She wants SO badly to join the church because she does know its true, but she doesn't want to join just to join... MUSIC to our ears. People who join the church without a testimony or having a spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true don't stay active, or at least are active and church and not the gospel. The Spirit was working so hard on her hard, you could feel it. Elder Worley and I hardly had to say a word. She talked, we listened, and the Spirit testified. We assured her that we don't just teach 5 lessons and baptized people, that this experience is all about her time frame and spiritual progress. Bro. B is completely supportive of her decisions, hasn't pushed her at all to join the church in the 20 years they've been married... and now is our chance :) Why its Elder Worley and I that are out here at this time to teach her, we don't have the slightest idea, but I am so thankful for fasting and prayer. The Lord truly knows the desires of our heart and answers prayers. We are set up to teach her on Wednesday, then they are headed off island for two weeks so we will catch up after that.
Things are looking up! We still don't have many investigators, did some finding this week (not as much as we anticipated though) and found a couple potentials. M gets back this week! When she left we gave her a map of how to get to the LA Temple visitors center and we wrote a letter to the Director so give her a copy of the Book of Mormon in Tagalog and give her a tour of the visitors center. She said they would have lots of time and she would love to visit. Can't wait to follow up with her on that!
T and J are doing well, all stars. Both have come out of their shell quite a bit which makes it fun. G is doing well also- since her baptism she's been schedule the Sunday morning shift every week but once :/ She hasn't been to church in three weeks. Her testimony is rock solid, we visit her twice a week still but we are going to need to address that concern. She totally understands she needs to be at church so its not a matter of teaching her the importance of it, she knows full well and is so mad at her manager for giving her those shifts. Going to need some divine intervention for sure.
Thanks for the workout routine. Hitting the gym is more of a way to get us up and out of bed rather and stay fit than get huge. We realize how pointless it would be to put so much effort into it, since really that's not why we are here. Little changes make a huge difference, and then adapting those little changes into habits.
The thing that scares me the most about going home is the line "Oh Jackson, you haven't changed a bit." No no no, not what I want. Maybe on the surface my sense of humor or personality won't be altered much, I'm not going to be this completely new, different guy. But if I went home unchanged my mission would be pointless. It goes back to that Third missionary and fourth missionary. The third missionary does good on his mission but goes home unchanged. The fourth missionary does good and has let the Lord change his heart. I realize to how much it really doesn't matter what people think haha I don't remember where I heard it, must've been a talk or something, but if you look and Christ's mission on Earth, the only thing He wanted to do was please his Father. If we take on that same mind set of "All I want to do is please my Heavenly Father", life would be so much better.
Your bike trip sounds like a hoot!! Oh man, take lots and lots of pictures! Which bike is pops taking? My guess is the Guzzi. Fun fun fun!! :)
Well I love you! Have a fun week, kick the garden in the carrots, that is so cool you saw A, if you see him again shoot him my email, eh? I love you!! I love you I love you I love you!