Monday, February 24, 2014

Time's A Crazy Thing

Well, Sister Rowley has been transferred. I was very sad to see her go. It's interesting I thought I wouldn't ever be as sad to lose a companion as I was when I left Sister Bell, but I was equally as sad to lose Sister Rowley. We really have become like sisters in the past few months. 

My new companion is Sister McNeece. She's 21, from Springville,Utah and she came out the same transfer as Sister Bell and Sister Rowley. I don't know what it is about that transfer, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm destined to be companions with all the sisters that came out at that time. They're all wonderful, so I'm not complaining, but it's going to be rough trying to get to all their homecoming talks. Sister McNeece came from Spartanburg, and her area was a lot like my first area. It's kind of like I get to relive my experience coming here through her. Every time she says something like "I can't believe how many houses there are here!" or "It doesn't take twenty minutes to drive to our next appointment?" it takes me right back to what I was feeling three months ago. 

A lot of exciting things have happened this week. An investigator was interviewed for her baptism yesterday, and everything went well, so she should be baptized this Saturday! I'm so excited for her. She's made so many changes and overcome so many fears to get to this point. I have to admit, I was a little doubtful that she would ever get to this point. I thought she had too many things she wouldn't be willing to change, especially coming to church and quitting smoking. But she's done so well. Plus, she's reading the Book of Mormon faster than anybody I've ever known. She's already halfway through Helaman. And yesterday on the phone she asked about coming out teaching with us. She's just so amazing and she's going to be an awesome member. I think it's also a tender mercy that she's getting baptized on my nine month mark. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the halfway point of my mission. 

It's crazy how fast time has gone by. I can't believe I'm halfway done, that after this week I'm on the downhill side of my mission. Ah! I don't want to think about it. 

We've also started teaching the niece of one of the members in our ward. The family is amazing; she is a ward missionary who comes out with us every Thursday night, and he is the Sunday School President. They're both converts, and they have two teenage kids. Their niece came to live with them about a month ago.  She's been coming to church and going to seminary and mutual, and she's really interested in joining the church. Her dad is a Baptist preacher, so her family is pretty opposed to her learning about our church, but she's really interested. She's still not sure about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but she's so sweet and really open to finding out for herself if this is all true. And it's great because her aunt and uncle were both in her position once so they can relate to her. 

A lot of our investigators have been really hard to get a hold of the past couple weeks, so we're trying to work on getting back in contact and teaching them regularly. We still haven't been able to talk to one of them at all. We did have a great lesson with another last night. Sister McNeece was really bold with him and asked him some very inspired questions. He told us he knows he needs to read more from the Book of Mormon on his own, but he's not getting much inspiration out of reading it, and he's super busy so he hasn't been reading a lot lately. But he recommited to read a lot when he's off from work next week. And we went back and read 2 Nephi 33 with him, which seemed to really hit him. The nice thing about him is that he is doing all this for the right reasons, and he is determined to search until he gets an answer, whether that's yes or no.

I just worry that he's waiting for too big of an answer, because he has had some incredible experiences in the past, but his answer about this may not come in the same way. I know he feels the spirit when we read, but he knows he's going to have to give up his coffee and cigarettes once he knows this is true and he really doesn't want to do that. We've tried to get him to try and quit now, promising him that it will help him get an answer, but he just says something about how you don't pick out a mansion before you win the lottery. I was wondering if Dad would be willing to write him about how he gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon, because I think our investigator trusts people who are converts more than lifetime members. 

It makes being a missionary so much easier because I have such a supportive family, so thank you all for everything you do for me.  I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you and I miss you, but I am so thankful to be a missionary. 

The parking lot as ice rink.

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