Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Better than Christmas

We've had a very good week. We saw a couple really big, very unexpected miracles this week involving a few less active members in our ward. The first started on Tuesday when we went to visit a less active member. We've visited her quite a bit since I've been here, and she's never shown any sign of wanting to come back, in fact she once told us that she felt we were wasting our time by coming to see her. So I wasn't feeling very optimistic about going to see her, but we had some time and we were in the area so we stopped by. And she started talking about why she doesn't come to church, but then also said that she felt like she should come back. Which absolutely shocked me. We invited her to scripture study the next night, and she actually showed up! And then she called us on Thursday and asked if we'd like to come over for lunch. It was crazy. I don't know what happened, but she's made a total change. We had a really good discussion with her on Thursday and then she came to church with her two little boys on Sunday (her husband is a nonmember and not interested in church at all). She was an hour late, but she still came. I think she's noticed that there's something missing in her life and I'm so glad she's recognizing she can fill that void by becoming more active in the church. I think things will continue to go really well with her. Because she's willing to act, which is really refreshing. I don't think I've ever seen someone make so much progress in one week.

We also had another less active family at church this Sunday. They're a younger family, and we've been trying to get them back to church for a long time. We stopped by their house on Friday night and talked with the mom; she told us her conversion story which was really neat. They are one of those families that have testimonies, but let other things get in the way of coming to church, normally their excuse is that they've had a super busy week and so they just need a day to sleep in. But the mom's been telling us for awhile that she knows they need to come back to church and so yesterday they actually did it! They were late as well, so we didn't see them or the other member until after sacrament meeting. I was so excited when we walked out into the foyer and saw them both there. It was better than Christmas. 

Smile for the Camera: Sister Bell and Sister Rudy

While we've had a lot of success this week, it hasn't really been showing in our numbers, since working with less actives doesn't really count for much. Sister Bell has been getting a little frustrated with that, and I can understand why. We put just as much work into the less actives as we do investigators. We visit them, we teach them, we invite them to keep commitments, we pray for them, we go through this whole emotional roller coaster while trying to get them back to church. And when they come it's so exciting. I really can't imagine that it feels much different to watch an investigator be baptized than it did to see these members at church on Sunday. But it doesn't count for much when we're reporting our numbers. We're seeing success, just not in the form of baptisms, which is kind of how success is measured in the mission field. But that's ok. Our purpose is to bring souls to Christ, whether that's through baptizing or reactivating, it's still the same great work. So even though next Zone Training Meeting we're going to have to stand up and report 0 baptisms for September, I know we still had a successful month. 

The elders are still doing really well, they had two investigators at church again, and one of them is going to be baptized this Saturday, so we're really excited for them. 

It's finally starting to cool off, almost to the point where we'll need to wear a jacket in the evenings. I'm really excited for fall weather here. I think it's going to be really nice. 

We had zone conference this Friday, which was so good. I love President Holm, he's amazing. And it was good to see everyone, all the other missionaries. Sister Clemons, who was in my district at the MTC, is now in my zone, which has been really great, I love having the chance to talk with her. I can't believe next week we'll have been out for four months! 

Sister Bell and a picnic dinner without a park

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