This week was pretty flip-floppy; but in a good way!
Things started out looking pretty sketchy for a few of our investigators, but we kept the faith, knowing that God prepares a way for those who are faithful, and things turned out really well this week!
We got to see lots of Gabriel again- he's legit the best. He's getting baptized this Saturday!! Haha he told me that I could tell everyone that I helped convert a Mexican gangster. He also used to be a tattoo artist and he did my name all fancy for me :) He's really progressing super well and I am so happy for him. The highlight of my week was probably being able to bear testimony to both Karie and Gabriel about eternal families. Nothing in the whole world beats telling someone that they can be with those that they love literally forever. I am so blessed to be able to have this knowledge in my life. Because of Christ, everything that is unfair about life can be made right. All losses can and will be recovered, and death has no sting! I will never be able to repay my Redeemer for His sacrifice that carries me day by day.
We have had a hard time meeting with some of our investigators that are having a hard time progressing... and that's probably why they're having a hard time.... if only they could see that! However, we did have the chance to meet with our investigators with baptismal dates quite a bit! I love seeing their hunger to obtain more of God's word! They want to meet with us as often as they can, it's definitely keeping us busy!
We also had the opportunity to have Zone Conference this past week and, as always, it was crazy inspiring! We talked a pretty good deal about the priesthood POWER. We, as missionaries, are the ONLY ones in our area who have been given the power and calling to preach the gospel. That's a great responsibility! I want so badly for people to understand that power and authority! Sister Sherksnas and I are going to work on how we can better help people understand that by taking time in our personal study to better familiarize ourselves with it, and in companionship study to practice teaching our lessons with a focus on the priesthood. Everything comes together so easily when you recognize the need for authority from God, I know I wouldn't want to do anything he didn't want me to... definitely not worth that wrath that would come later haha.
After zone conference, we also got to set a baptismal date with 2 young investigators of ours names
d Mandy and Kerry! They are sisters and Mandy is 12 and Kerry is 10. They are very sweet and their Mom is a member, but not their step dad... so it's been hard to meet with them often. I really felt the spirit in this lesson we had with them and I finally recognized their understanding! Each person is unique and different, and so we have to teach at their pace. I was missing the mark on that one for a while. In this lesson, it finally all came together :) I forget who said it, but someone of importance in the church said, you have to teach not so plainly that people will just understand, but so that they cannot misunderstand. I love that and it is so true!
We have been busy getting Karie and Gabriel ready for their baptisms! Karie will be baptized on the 25th, and Gabriel on the 18th! We have been planning the speakers, and the songs, and it's so fun. I love it!
We actually got to attend a baptism with Karie on Saturday, it was so good to feel the spirit there, and I can see that Karie is really getting excited for her baptism! Afterwards, we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration with her. The spirit was so strong in testifying of the divine call Joseph had as a Prophet of God. He is another man that I will never be able to thank enough for all that he did for me, and for the rest of God's children. I know without a shadow of a doubt that he was exactly as he said he was; a prophet, seer, and revelator.
Later that day, we also got to meet with Jenny, and we picked her up as a new investigator! She is a friend of one of our recent converts, Mirian. She is 13 and very nice. She has a belief in God and wants to follow him. She agreed to work towards a baptismal date in April! We are so happy for her, and happy to be a part pf her journey back to her Heavenly Father!
On Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak in church with Sister Sherknas and our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Stoughton. It was a 'missionary Sunday', and I think it went really well! I spoke about developing the faith to find, and how we need to go out and find those people that Heavenly Father is preparing in our areas. I have a testimony that God is preparing people in every country, in every city, on every street. We need to invite! The invitation we extend may not be the one that gets them into the waters of baptism, but it will be a stepping stone on their path. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said when he came and spoke to us; we do not have the right to decide who is ready and who is not, we simply invite everyone.
I love this work and I love this Gospel, and the truths in unfolds to me every single day!
The church is true!
|All Dressed in California!|
|lots of cops - as per usual - on Beach Blvd.|
|Beautiful SoCal sunset|