Friday, March 21, 2014
A Visit From An Apostle
This week has been full of greatness:
Fred was baptized on Thursday! He was the Zone Leaders' investigator but I was the one that found Fred back in January. It was the first week Sister Merrill and I had been here in Manchester when we decided to go to a different area to do some street contacting and we needed a bus to get there. One the bus I met Fred and we had a great conversation that led to me sharing about the message of the restoration. At his baptism, Fred bore his testimony and shared how he had started his search for the truth and began fasting and praying to find an answer. Not too long after that, he had met me on the bus and I shared about Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith and invited him to church. He was determined to go to church and continue his search. As he came to church and started meeting with the Elders he was able to come to know that this gospel is true. I didn't know I had been an answer to his prayer until he mentioned it in his testimony. I am so grateful and humbled that Heavenly Father trusted me to find him, to give him an answer to his fasting and praying, and to show him the way to the blessings of the restored gospel.
As for our dated investigator, Stephanie, she passed her baptismal interview and her baptism will be on Wednesday. She has made so much progress and has overcome so much trial and tribulation to get to where she is now. In one of our lessons with her this week we shared a scripture with her from D&C 58: 2-4 that talks about how after tribulation comes the blessings.
After much tribulation, Stephanie has been able to witness a multitude of blessings; She was had interviews from a nursing internship and is that much closer to getting the career she desires so much, her best friend that has been dealing with depression finally went to the doctors to get help in treating her condition, and so much more that I currently can't think of. She offered the opening prayer during our lesson the other day which is huge because when we first starting meeting with her she was uncomfortable doing so and here she is volunteering herself to pray now. Her mother took her shopping this week to help her have a more modest wardrobe because her mom has said that the clothes that she has won't be appropriate after she is baptized. Bear in mind, her mom is not a member. Being able to teach Stephanie has blessed my life. I love her so much and I am so excited for her baptism and the blessings that will follow for her.
Stephanie's birthday was last Monday. She texted that she didn't really get to do anything special and so we went to the rescue. We surprised her at her house with her favorite cake and a birthday card. We ''kidnapped'' and blindfolded her and a member of the YSA was able to give us a lift to the new building where everyone was for FHE. When we got to the top floor we unblindfolded her and everyone jumped out and surprised her and we started singing happy birthday to her. She loved it. I am so grateful that the members took care of her the rest of the night and helped her celebrate her birthday.
Sunday was monumental for many reasons. One, Sister Merrill and I taught a P.I with a member of the Seventy and our Ward Mission Leader. He is now a new investigator and he attended the dedication. Two, 5 nonmembers from our own efforts came to dedication. There might have been more we were not aware of. Three, we surpassed our dedication attendance goal of 400 and 570 people were there with a large majority being nonmembers! Wow. Our investigator, Jia Hui, said she felt peace during the dedication. Excited to see how she will progress now after this special and rare experience.
Elder Christofferson is such a funny and tender hearted man. He came to visit each room on every floor in the building before the meeting started. I am sure Christ would have done the same. Our investigator Stephanie told us after the dedication that as Elder Christofferson was leaving, he complimented her on her newly bought modest outfit and told her ''nice dress!'' haha. That will be something she will always remember- an Apostle of the Lord who liked her bright pink outfit.
Missionary work is hard but it is so rewarding. My mission is helping to grow in so many ways. I know that our Savior lives and that he can give us his strength in our trials. His gospel has been restored to the earth and by living by its principles we will be blessed and receive greater happiness and joy.