Another busy week with lots of new investigators! There really can be miracles when you believe! We found another 4 investigators so we have about... 17 right now. It's getting pretty hard to meet with all of them regularly. We went on splits for the first time this week with the ward mission leader’s wife and one of the counselors in the Relief Society. I was kinda nervous at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quick. We actually had the chance to go out with 6 members this week, it was really great! We had 2 young women come with us to a lesson with Alisa, then Brother Phillips came to one of Gabe's lessons, then Sister Stoughton and Sister Smith on splits, then Hunter Ravsten came to another lesson with Gabe. It was really a great time, I could see the people we were teaching benefiting from the testimonies of those that they can connect with more. Sometimes we don't really seem like "real people." Members do. But it was also a blessing to see the members benefit! Rachel Ravsten went home after Alisa's lesson and told her dad, (the bishop) that she wants to go on a mission!
On Wednesday, Sister Shersknas and I got a call from Sister Fanoga, a lady in our ward. Someone had passed away and we were needed for an emergency musical number. It was a blessing to be able to go and serve in maybe the best way I know how. The three of us sang an a cappella "How Great Thou Art," it sounded especially good because it was in small church with great acoustics and stained glass, so that helped! I also forgot to mention that I sang in church a few weeks ago and I was asked to do so again next week. I'm eternally thankful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with something I get to use to bring people peace, comfort, and the spirit!
This week we received a referral to go see Alfred, a single Dad and amputee. I went to see him on splits and heard his story. He has had it really hard since a workplace accident in 2004. Since then he has lost his leg and his wife left him... but through all this he came to know his Saviour. He has a very strong faith in God and is excited to learn more about His plan! I often forget just how good I have it. At the end of every day, Sister Sherksnas and I try to do a companionship "gratitude prayer" just to say thanks to God for all the good He has given us!
Saturday was very busy and we picked up 3 new investigators! Hamilton was a potential we had in our records. We went to visit him and he was very nice to us. He said he would love it if we came back to share more of our message. Then we got a text from a former investigator named Toan. Sometimes he just randomly texts us stuff he reads in the bible; he had some questions for us this time so we were able to meet up with him and talk about the Atonement and Resurrection. Then we went to see another former investigator named Shirley. She had run into the YSA elders the day before and had expressed her desire to return to church, so they promptly texted us and told us to stop by. She has also had a very interesting life. She's from Boston/New York so she's got a cool accent though haha.
On Sunday, Brother Okouchi spoke in Sacrament meeting about how we (people) are always trying to get rid of our problems, to lighten our load, not realizing that it is often those burdens that help us to progress, learn, and grow. It's no wonder that there are so many people who are humbled enough to receive the Gospel only after having endured many trials. I am grateful for the trials God sends me, I know he sends them for my good. I hope I can be like Paul taking glory in my afflictions and persecutions! I know that doing so only makes me stronger, not weak.
We also had 5 new members move into our ward just last week! And they are even all different families. We got to meet with one of them, Sacha, and her son, Isaiah. She is very sweet, super beautiful, a single mom; we are very excited to have her with us in the Beach ward.
Sunday night we got to study some Preach my Gospel with the Phillips family and extend a challenge for them to invite 2 non-members to a community service activity that our stake in involved with. They are very good at completing our challenges, they both have a great talent for missionary work and so we are doing our best to help them do that!
I love this work, especially when we are able to get members involved! The Church is true!