September 24, 2013
It’s been raining for 3 days straight here. Luckily we have the car. But we’re giving it up tomorrow so…..pray for us.
So… stories this week. The missionaries hold a free English class at the church every week. There’s like 2 people who come. But it’s a good service. Anyways. Last week, one of the regular students [Ana] came with her stepson, Jairo. He talked to the other Hermanas and gave them his address and requested to meet with the missionaries because….here’s the kicker….he’s a member. He’s been inactive for like 30 years, but he was baptized when he was 16 in Colombia and ACTUALLYSERVEDAMISSION. He was a missionary. Yep. Better believe we called him right up. We got to meet him on Tuesday night this week, as well as his mom Dianeth, who is not a member herself but most of her children were baptized LDS. Jairo kept telling us, “ustedes son angelitas.” And Dianeth was so sweet and just loves us already. We went over the very next day to talk with her and Jairo happened to be there as well! We explained the LdM and she firmly said, “si, voy a leerlo.” It was so good to see Jairo remembering his testimony and missionary teaching skills as he helped us teach his mother and testify of the truth in that Book. She was absolutely entranced by the book and I can’t wait to see what happens!
On Thursday night we got a call from an investigator. I’ve learned to dread those, as they tend to mean a cancelled appointment or worse…a breakup. We picked up the phone and I answered. Our sweet investigator Sonya [a single mom whose husband died 8 years ago but has so much faith and is trying so hard to follow Christ so she can raise her sons well] told us she was in church on Sunday and felt guilty about what her pastor was saying. She told us that she no longer wanted to meet with us or study from the Book of Mormon. Oh man. Worst. But I was not going to let her go that easily. “Well is it okay if we still come visit you tonight?” I tried. “Well…..I’m leaving on a walk right now I don’t know if I’ll be home.” “It won’t be til a little later. We’ll just try to stop by.” [Hey. Sometimes being a missionary means being a little pushy.] “Well okay…but I’m not going to read the booooook.” She said, almost tauntingly. “Okayyyyy, We’ll seeeee….” I said back. Two can play that game.
As we drove to her house, a massive rainstorm hit. Like literally buckets falling from the sky. Well perfect, she won’t be on her walk. So we booked it up to her house, splashing in puddles and going from completely dry to completely soaked in about 7 seconds. Welcome to Florida.
Luckily, she let us right in. It didn’t take long for us to start talking about what she had told us earlier. “I just feel like I need to be more active in my church.” she told us. “Just like what you two are doing.” I was praying so hard. I had no clue what to say to her, how to convince her to give the Book of Mormon a second chance. “You know Sonya, our purpose is to help people strengthen their faith in Christ. And nothing has done that more for me than the Book of Mormon. I was thinking about you and a story that’s in this Book came to mind.” And I, for some reason, turned to the story of Alma the Younger. What. Why…
I had no clue what I was doing. But I started to read. And then it hit me. I needed to focus on Alma the Elder….and his efforts as a father. I explained that Alma the Younger was making bad decisions, but because of the prayers, example, teachings, and faith of his father, he knew how to change his ways and turn to Christ. “You are setting that example for both of your sons. Even if they are not making good decisions right now, they see your example and they will remember that when they have trials in their lives.
We can learn lessons like these in the Book of Mormon. Different stories that apply to us different ways than what we find in the Bible. But the doctrine is the same. I hope you will continue to let us come over and teach you more because this Book has brought so much happiness and peace in our lives.” She paused. And thought for a minute. “…..Yes. I will.” We gave her Alma 32 to read on her cruise that she’s leaving on this week and she said about the Book of Mormon, “I have the seed, but now I just need to water it!” I’m so grateful that we have the Spirit to teach for us!
I am so grateful to be in this area with these amazing people. I honestly couldn’t ask for better. The work is beginning to pick up and we’re really seeing so many blessings and miracles. Missionary work is the best work in the world. In no other job do you get to see so many miracles or work so closely with Heavenly Father. It’s absolutely amazing.
Love you all so much!