This week has been the craziest week ever! So much happened.
So last Monday, we went over to David's, not quite sure what to expect. He had texted us that he didn't want to get baptized for a while, and wasn't going to come to church for a while either. But he still wanted us to come by. Hermana McBride and I didn't really know what to expect. We went by, and David told us about some family issues that had occurred, and how angry he was at one of his family members for doing what they did. He did not really know how to deal with it. He said he wanted to hold off on everything until it all figured itself out. We took Ruby with us. She is preparing to go on a mission soon, and is so great to take to lessons. David talked about how he wasn't going to go to church so he could figure stuff out. Ruby told him in the past when she has been stressed about situations and thinks not going to church will fix it all, she soon finds out that it does the opposite. We testified of the importance of going to church--of the support system it can be, but most importantly of the strength that comes from worthily partaking of the sacrament. David understood, and said he would think about it. He said he would still read the Book of Mormon, and still wanted us to come and teach him. *phew* we thought we had lost him.
We also had great lesson with Bobby, one of our other investigators. It was kind of a funny situation. We called him earlier in the day to see when we could go over and teach him. He sounded confused, and asked if we had received his text. .. uh.. no, we had not. (Which wasn't a surprise. sometimes our phones don't want to work right) He said we could come over later that evening.
So we go over, and he again asks us if we got his message. Again, we said no. So he pulls out his phone and looks at it, and shows it to us. (it was at an angle where I couldn't see it very well, but Hermana McBride could) He then realizes he hadn't pushed "send". (Sister McBride saw it, but I didn't. more on that in a minute)
Then, he said he had read "The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith", which is what we had assigned him. He said he read it a couple times, but did not understand it all, and asked if we could read it together. We did, and it was a great, spirit-filled lesson. He is more excited to continue reading in the Book of Mormon, and for us to continue coming over.
Fast-forward to that night. We are writing in our journals, and Hermana McBride asks me if I saw the text Bobby meant to send us. I told her I hadn't. She then tells me what it said, "Ms McBride, I read the chapter you assigned, and I don't think I can continue practicing the Mormon faith anymore...." We had a good laugh about that. I guess something changed his mind during the lesson.
So, as I have mentioned before, we cover quite a large area that includes a bunch of little towns. One of them is Dale. This week, I FINALLY got to go there! Happy day! I have been here for about a month, and finally made it there. We had planned to go a couple times, but then the floods decided to come. (Dale is all dirt roads, so that was x-nayed.) and then, we had it planned again, and we had exchanges, where I left to work with Sister Leiter in Austin. But last night, we were able to go. I LOVE Dale. It is so awesome, and the people we met are really nice, and want us to come back. We contacted a referral we have had for a while, and she said she was busy at the moment, but said she wanted us to come back when her 16 year old pregnant daughter was home. You go lady!
Yesterday, we had a regional conference, and got to hear from Elder Lynn G. Robbins, Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, Sister Linda S. Reeves, and Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Their talks were all so wonderful, and have inspired me to make some changes in my life--that will affect both now in the mission and when I return home.
My favorite was from Elder Corbridge. He quoted the scriptures when Christ, after some of his followers had left, asked his disciples, "will ye also go away?" Peter responded, "to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life".
He gave us 4 principle questions to help us avoid deception in life:
1. Is there a God who is my Father?
2. Is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Redeemer of the World?
3. Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God?
4. Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the Lord's Kingdom on the earth?
As we answer these questions, all other questions we have either become answered or become irrelevant.
Like Nephi, I can say, "I know in whom I have trusted." I know there is a God who is my Father. I know He loves me, and sent His Son, Jesus Christ to the world to save me from my sins. Jesus Christ is my Redeemer. I know God and His Son appeared to Joseph Smith, showing to all that the Heavens are opened, and that God still speaks. I know He has called prophets since Joseph Smith, and that they will guide us back to Him. "Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray." (PMG) I also know that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is indeed the Lord's kingdom here on the earth. I know it. I will not go away from the truth that has so much blessed my life and the life of my family. I also know that each of you, if you have not already, can receive this testimony for yourselves. Our great invitation as missionaries is for others to ask God, so as to receive an answer for yourself.
I love you all so much. I pray that you have a week full of miracles and experiences that will confirm these truths to you.