We just told him that the only way his concerns were going to be addressed was if he prayed to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if he read the Book of Mormon. He's said he'll still meet with us, but only once every other week. Sister Rowley and I were both really rattled after that lesson. I knew that we had done everything we could, and that he was exercising his agency, and I knew that what he had said about our church was absolutely, completely false, but I just couldn't stop thinking about it. It just kept running through my mind again and again. The same thing was happening to Sister Rowley. Along with what happened with him, another investigator hasn't been responding to our texts or calls, which is very unlike him, so that had us worried too.
On Tuesday at DDM, our district leader, Elder Proctor, had encouraged us to ask our bishop to give each of us a blessing, to receive guidance on how to move the work forward in our area. So we asked our bishop for a blessing, and he did that Thursday night at his house. He and his wife both served missions, and they're both amazing. It was good to talk with them about their missions, especially Sister Jones, about the good and the hard times they had. Sister Jones just kept telling us about all the blessings that she's received for serving, that she didn't recognize until she's come home. And the blessings Bishop gave us were really amazing. They were exactly what each of us needed to hear. It was a reminder to me that our Heavenly Father is more aware than I am of what I need, and what my investigators need. I am here to serve others, that's why I came on a mission, but in the process I'm also supposed to grow and change myself. And as I grow and change I'll be better able to help others.
Friday and Saturday we had an exchange. Sister Paxman, one of our Sister Training Leaders, came out with us. It was a really good exchange. We had a great lesson with one of the active members and her less active sister. The sister is really trying to get her life back on track, and the member's been going through a lot of challenges as well, but it was cool to see the sister talk about how she's getting inspiration from seeing her sister, who's always been a good person, go through hard things and still be so faithful. It was a very hopeful lesson; I think we all just felt a lot of peace that the Atonement is there and that it works.
We also had stake conference this weekend, which was good. An investigator came to the Sunday session and liked it. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom on Saturday, and she's willing to give it a try. I think that's going to be a challenge for her. She smokes, and tea is big in her family. But I think once she gets a stronger testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet, she'll be able to do it. We're pushing her baptism to February 15, so she'll be really ready for it.
Also, I think this was the best moment of the week, when we went over the baptism interview questions with another investigator, and we asked her if she believed Joseph Smith was a prophet she said, "Absolutely yes"! Now the only thing keeping her from being baptized is the law of chastity, and she knows she needs to live it. So now we're praying she'll be able to find a job so she can move out and get her own place.
I got the family recipe book yesterday, and I am very excited to make some of the recipes today. I loved getting the pictures too. It's crazy, everyone is grown up. But I'm so lucky to be on a mission, especially at such an amazing time, when God is hastening his work and all these changes are happening in missionary work. There are moments that are discouraging, and times when I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything, but those moments don't happen very often, and when they do they're always followed by some kind of miracle that reminds me how blessed I am to be here. I just love being a missionary so much. I'm so excited for the next 10 months. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, it's simple and it's true, and it is for everyone.
I hope y'all have a wonderful week!