I am staying in the Man YSA with Sister Merrill! I love it here.
I am so grateful to be staying here in the Manchester YSA for at least one more transfer. Better yet, I am grateful I still get to serve with Sister Merrill by my side. What a blessing! There are so many great things waiting to happen here in the YSA. They want the membership of the ward to double by December so it looks like we got our work cut out but we are ready to meet the challenge as we continue to work besides the members.
One of our most progressing investigators, Wilbur, is making great progress. We saw him twice this past week and the first lesson of the week kind of ended on a sour note. We followed up on his reading of the Book of Mormon and he had read all the way up to 1 Nephi 4. He had some questions, mostly factual, about the Book of Mormon. He made a comment during the lesson saying that ''if only there was more evidence then he could believe''. We quickly turned our scriptures to Alma 32:21 and simply explained that what he was saying was not the true definition of faith. From this lesson it also seemed like Wilbur wasn't reading the Book of Mormon with the right intent either but was rather seeking to disprove it was wrong. At the end of the lesson I boldly invited him to free up his schedule on Sunday so he could attend church with us. His response was that if God wanted him at church God would make it happen. In other words, he still won't commit to coming to church yet. Patience.. We left that lesson and I was just so frustrated with him. We were trying to show him the way to finding the truth for himself and he just wasn't putting in enough of his own effort. I was ready to rebuke him in the following lesson of the week.
The day of our next appointment with him though, I was praying really hard during personal study that Heavenly Father would lead me to a scripture we could share with Wilbur that would help him the most. Well, the windows of Heaven opened up and poured out so much spiritual inspiration that I definitely did not have room enough to receive (I think I finally have experienced what that scripture in Malachi means). The scripture I was lead to was Alma 32. I was hesitant to accept this as an answer at first because it is such a cliché and typical scripture. But honestly, this scripture is just so applicable to so many people and so many situations. My eyes went straight to verse 17 and 18:
''Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it.''
From reading those verses onward, there was no doubt in my mind that this scripture was meant for Wilbur. If need be, we would start at those verses so that he would be set straight. We read with him in Alma 32 that day and it was perfect. At the beginning of the lesson we followed up with him to see if he read Moroni 10: 3-5 like we had asked him the day before. He told us he had so we discerned that there actually was no need to rebuke him through verse 17 and 18 and we began at verse 21. We asked what ''fruits'' he was hoping learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would bear and he answered that he hopes it will bear the fruit that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Now we are getting some where!
Sadly, Wilbur just sent us a text saying he doesn't want to meet with us and waste our time (noooo!) :( We will try to resolve what ever his concern is and hopefully get him to meet with us again. I still have hope he will attend at least one session of General Conference. We are actually facing a lot of difficulty keeping our investigators because they all seem to be dropping us. Sigh.. I guess we need to find the more prepared.
So great news about Stephanie! She is already becoming a great missionary. She got some of the invitations to the Chinese Easter activity and she told us before the weekend that she has some Chinese students that just recently moved into her neighbourhood (woah..what?!) and that she had invited them to the activity. Her Chinese neighbours unfortunately weren't able to come since they all happened to get called into work the day of the activity (nothing but the adversary getting in the way) but we are planning to call by them some time this week with Stephanie :)
Stephanie has also updated us on her mom. Her mom is currently further along in the Book of Mormon than Stephanie herself is. Stephanie's mom also went with to church on Sunday to her grandmother's ward. I have great faith that she will be baptised soon :)
The Chinese Activity was a great success even though the coach ran extremely behind schedule. It was great seeing the members of the YSA bonding with the Chinese investigators and recent converts. The testimony meeting at the end was powerful but I think all of the missionaries agree that next time a short and sweet one will be even more powerful.
Last night as we watched the Women's broadcast I received some words of comfort as Elder Eyring shared that when he was a little boy, his mom saw his potential but not even she could have seen the potential his Heavenly Father saw in him. I have come to know this is true for all of us. Only our Heavenly Father and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, know who we truly are and who we can become. They know us better than even those closest to us or even ourselves may think we know of ourselves. They see the whole iceberg when everyone else can only see what is on the surface.
That being said, I hope I can live up the potential Heavenly Father sees in me. Through my Patriarchal blessing and my setting apart blessing, I know He has plans for me. I hope the rest of you will seek to know the potential Heavenly Father knows you have and that you will strive to become who He knows you can be and who you need to be.
I am excited for General Conference and I am looking forward to receiving personal revelation. I invite you all to prepare a list of questions you have and take them to General Conference. Most importantly, write them down. You will be amazed that there will be talks that seem like they were written specifically for you.
Love you all!