I hope all is going well in your different areas around the world. I am still here in Montana and am so excited to write to you today!
I've enjoyed all your emails and letters. Thank you again for all your prayers, love, and support. It means the world to me.
It's been a great week. We met this girl named Dayna Jones who is probably about my age. She has a strong testimony of the church, but she has had some things happen in her life that have simply gotten her out of the groove of being active in the church. She wants her boyfriend to take the lessons and we are seeing them both this week! It's amazing how the Lord surprises you when you least expect it. We have been trying to contact Sister Jones for months! I'm glad we stayed diligent in that.
We also continued to teach Sister Hughes this week. She has committed to read the Book of Mormon. She downloaded it onto her phone, so she says she might actually read it! I'm grateful that the Church has kept up with technology because it helps SO much in missionary work!! Her son, Kyle, downloaded the children's version of the Book of Mormon onto his tablet, and that's what he reads.
We saw them both on Wednesday, right before Scouts. Sister Frost was so bold and persuasive, and by the end of us being there, Kyle and Sister Hughes were committed to coming to scouts with us and we had a ride on its way! It all worked out perfectly because we were supposed to be at the church at 7 anyways for a lesson with this man who was supposed to meet us there. We never got a hold of him, and he never showed up, so we were able to walk around the church with Sister Hughes and look at the pictures and chat with her a bit. As soon as we started to walk around the church, we hadn't even pointed out any pictures on the walls yet, and she saw the one of Christ standing at the door knocking, and she said, "Wow." So we were able to talk to her for a minute about it. It's incredible the message that paintings portray, and I love that you can feel the Spirit even just looking at a painting of Christ.
Tuesday was filled with lots of trying, and not much talking. None of the appointments happened, and we weren't having much success contacting. We had dinner that night with the Dalton's, and right afterwards, Sister Frost said, "Let's try Kurt." Kurt lives ten feet from the Dalton's, and he is the husband of a less-active lady named Jennifer. We met Jennifer and Kurt probably in December. Jennifer has been gone for a couple months receiving radiation in Washington. We stop by every so often to see what we can do for Kurt and what the news is with Jennifer, but he hasn't been home the last few weeks we have tried him. Well guess who answers?! Jennifer! She seemed to be doing well and said she would let us come and teach Kurt (even though he has declined before), and that she didn't care that he wasn't interested in listening. She wants to come to church and she was glad we stopped by. It was amazing. She is out of town again this week, but I'll let you know what happens when we see her again. I'm so grateful Sister Frost felt to knock on Kurt's door, and I believe it was so we could reconnect with them and ultimately bring them closer to Christ through the gospel covenants.
Tuesday night ended on a bang. We decided to stop by at Alex and Jacob's at about 8:45pm to see how they were doing and set up a time to teach them. We went in and they invited us to sit, but we knew we didn't have much time, so we just stayed standing. Then Alex says, "Will you teach us something? Please sit down, and you can give us a lesson!" We have been praying for their hearts to soften. They had voiced previously that they are not ready to make any commitments, but they want to keep having lessons and things; they have said they are simply too busy to get fully involved into the church right now. We have felt the need to keep teaching them, so we have, but they are so busy, so it has been a couple weeks since we have really been able to teach them anything. Anyways, it was wonderful. We had a great discussion about God's love, the Atonement, and how it does not matter the sins they have made in the past- they can change and move past their past and become new through Christ.
Whenever I teach about this, it always makes me think about how that really works- the Atonement. It is incredible. I don't fully understand it, and I am sure that my whole life I will be understanding it more piece by piece, but I do know that Christ suffered for each one of us, and that, because He did, we can become perfect one day. Without the Atonement we could not progress in this life or after. I am grateful for the Atonement because it means so much for me and others- for Alex and Jacob it means that their past is their past. They can learn from it, but they don't have to live in it. They can become new. And for Jacob and anyone else who is not a member of the church, it starts with baptism. Christ was baptized to be the example for us-to show us what we need to do. And our sins are washed away when we are baptized. What a blessing, not to mention receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost!
2 Nephi 31 talks about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and I have been focusing on verse 13 this week- "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism- yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to His word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost. Yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel." I feel like there should be an exclamation point at the end of that! When we make that commitment to the Lord through baptism, he blesses us with the gift of the Holy Ghost, who can be our guide through life and comfort us. I have felt the comfort of the Holy Ghost and I am so grateful for Him. For anyone who is reading this is who is not baptized, I invited you to consider it. Meet with the missionaries and listen with your heart to what they teach. You will feel the Holy Ghost. What a blessing it is to have the gospel here on the earth today, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I am so grateful for it.
I love you guys! I hope that you love this next week! Sister Frost and I are going to be working hard and looking for those who are prepared to accept the invitations we give to them! I know that even those people who say no have still been changed by receiving the invite to have the gospel in their lives.