The first was with a former investigator that we decided to call last Saturday. I don't know why, but ever since Sister McNeece and I have been companions every single Saturday is like an eternity, none of our plans every work out and we end up going through every single person we can think of by 2:00. It's like Heavenly Father is testing our diligence. Anyway, on one such Saturday we decided to just call this guy and he answered and agreed to have us come over, so we did. And he's a minister at a Church of Christ, and he absolutely does not think the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He believes in the Bible, and that all that we need to know God and get back to him is in the Bible. That first lesson we had with him was bordering on an argument/bible bashing, but since both of us were trying to be respectful it never boiled over. He invited us back, not because he thinks we might be right, but just because he wants to understand our beliefs better. I'll admit, I kind of felt like we'd be wasting our time to come back, but Sister McNeece felt like it was a good idea, so I just trusted her.
We decided we'd talk about the Plan of Salvation, we left him the pamphlet to read and when we went back last Monday, he had read it and had a list of questions he wanted us to answer. We only covered about half of them, but amazingly we concluded at the end of the lesson that most of our beliefs are the same. It was shockingly non-confrontational. And the best part about the whole lesson was that in answer to his questions we basically just gave him a couple scriptures, or asked a question and he figured the rest out on his own. He taught himself more than we taught him. Which is the best way for investigators to learn. I know the Spirit was in that lesson and was teaching and testifying to him, even if he doesn't believe that you can know the truth by "feeling" something. We're teaching him more tonight, it will be an interesting lesson. We're going over the last half of the plan of salvation. We want to teach it as simply and clearly as possible, so we've been practicing a lot.
The other really amazing lesson was with a less active member from England, and she's very good friends with the Relief Society President. In the past, I've always gotten the impression that she's well aware of what we believe and just have no interest or need for church. But this last time we were there we got talking about the plan of salvation, and I realized that she actually knows or remembers very little about what we believe, but she's really interested in learning about it again. She told us that she feels something is missing in her life, that she's happy but not truly happy. It really surprised me to hear her say that, but it also made me really excited, because she recognizes that there's something else out there for her, and she's ready to look for it. She told us she wants us to start studying the Book of Mormon with her, which we'll probably start doing in another week, once she gets back from her son's graduation. After the lesson, she walked us outside and we all just stood in her driveway for a minute, looking up at the stars, and it was just such a spiritual moment, one of those moments where I wouldn't want to be anywhere else on Earth. I think we were all feeling how close God is, and how much He loves us. It's moments like that that make missionary work worth it; they may not happen very frequently, but when they do they make all the hard times worth it.
Our new member is still progressing so well. She's getting ready to go on the ward temple trip and do baptisms for the dead. She brought this big binder with her to church on Sunday, full of family records and information, so one of the sisters in the ward could help her get some family names ready. It reminded me of one of the things Brother Cluxton told her as he was confirming her, that she had been chosen as the one to introduce the gospel to her family. It's exciting to see her doing so well and really becoming a part of the ward. I was a little worried when she was baptized because she didn't, doesn't still, really comprehend the whole one true church concept. And as I prayed about it, I felt that it was right for her to be baptized, and that her conversion was going to continue throughout her life, as she was a part of the church. And that promise is being fulfilled.
Summer is here, it's nice and humid outside. I keep getting this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to be transferred to the middle of the state next, which is supposed to be the hottest. I'm praying that I'm wrong.
Thanks for sending me the news on my new mission president. They look very fun, and I'm excited to meet them, but I'm really going to miss President and Sister Holm. They're just amazing, it's going to be a big adjustment to see them go.