Monday, August 12, 2013

"Started from the bottom now we here". This week, I quickly learned the definition of the "pride cycle". So on Monday, Sister Smith and I were walking to less active homes, and we prayed that we would find people to teach on the way. We walked by so many people, but were too scared to talk to them because we were worried what they would think of us. How pathetic does that sound? So finally, we took a step back and evaluated ourselves. It was 8:30, and we had taught no lessons, because we were being babies. We thought, " who cares what people think of us, this isn't about us. This is about The Lord." As we were walking back to our car, it was getting dark. And we prayed that we might have one more chance to teach someone. Right after we prayed, we found someone to teach. Her name is Karen, and she was suuuper drunk. But that's okay, because she cried to us about her brother's death, and we taught her the plan of salvation. Tuesday we decided we were going to go up to everyone, and introduce ourselves. And that's exactly what we did. 
We are teaching this boy named Lorenzo, and we couldn't find his house. We called him but there was no answer. We were so discouraged because he is a "golden investigator". So me and Sister Smith both felt we should go to the library, and work on our map of the ward boundaries. While we were at the library, I saw this man at a computer on facebook. I had the strongest impression to go give him a card. I thought "okay, this is my chance to prove to The Lord I'm not afraid of what other people think." I wrote down our phone number on the card, and walked up and introduced myself to him. We handed him the card, and he told us he just moved here from West Africa, and his name is Stephen. That was our conversation, and we walked away thinking that would be the end of that. As we were walking out, we got a text from Lorenzo, explaining that his phone died, and wondered if we could meet with him and his family right then. We went to meet with him and his cousin named Ron. They had so many questions about the church. Lorenzo has sickle cell anemia, and has been shot 6 times, and stabbed 3. He is a living and walking miracle. He still has a hard time believing in God, because he hasn't felt him in his life. We taught them the restoration, and about prayer, and invited them to be baptized. They said they would pray about it, and would be baptized if God told them to!
Later that night, we got a text from Stephen!!! The man at the library! He said that he looked at the sight, and was confused, and would like to meet with us. We met with him the next day, and we brought a member with us. (Quick testimony on member present lessons... they are SO POWERFUL). He told us how he investigated the website, and he had so many questions for us! Everything we said to him, we could see the spirit testifying to him. He told us how he felt so good about everything we were saying, and that these were questions he has had for a long time. He said he has been searching for a church such as ours, and he has spent so much money on books, trying to investigate religions and find answers, but we just answered everything for him. He told us that when we went up to him in the library, he would've normally snubbed us away, but surprised himself by listening. After we left, something was telling him to go to the website. When he went on the website and saw the word "Christianity" he knew he needed to meet with us. Stephen has been being prepared for this special message for a while, he just hasn't realized it :) He even told us he would meet with on on Friday night, because he isn't going to party anymore, because he said "things are changing". :) He even came to church this Sunday! It's so amazing to see the power of the spirit in conversion. 
So if our first appointment would've worked out with Lorenzo, we wouldn't have gone to the library, and wouldn't have met Stephen. It's amazing how things always seem to work out, when you're being guided by the Lord. 
Tuesday and Thursday were the most successful days I've had on my mission yet. We taught so many lessons, found 5 new investigators,  And I was so prideful, because I knew I was doing awesome! I thanked the Lord many times a day, but forgot to rely on him. Thursday things started going downhill.  But Friday was an absolute joke. We had 6 SUPER SOLID appointments... in which all but 1 cancelled. We tried almost every less active in our area, and noone was home. We felt so lost and confused at what was going on. Same thing happened on Saturday, our appointments cancelled, and noone was home. These passed few days have been some of the hardest days on my mission yet. I felt so lost and so discouraged, and especially so alone. I felt The Lord wasn't with me at all. Saturday night I prayed and begged The Lord to help me. I hated feeling like I had no guidance! Then the thought came to my mind, "just wait till you take the sacrament". 
When I took the sacrament Sunday morning, it was probably the most spiritual experience I've ever had. I have always taken that sacrament for granted, but this time I truly thought about what the Savior did for me. And I thought about my baptismal covenant I had made. And how if I always remembered the Lord, I would always have his spirit to be with me. I felt so refreshed after I took the sacrament, and I immediately felt him in my life again. Not that The Lord wasn't there for me, because I know He was. He just wanted me to remember that.   
I'm grateful for this week and the opportunity that I had to be humbled. I am so grateful for The Lord and the tender mercies he shows us everyday! 
I super duper love my compaion. She is so amazing! She is my best friend and I couldn't get through this without her. 
So also, college football season is about to start. I'm super nervous because people are going to get grumpy and not want to listen to the gospel at all! I feel bad for my friends serving in Omaha... since noone will ever answer their door once the games are on... But yeah. Also, I found out some weird laws in Iowa. One is you can't kiss a girl in public if you have a mustache. and the other is, you can't kiss a girl for more than 5 minutes in public. ahahah soooo crazy. Anywho. Love you all!

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