Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Miracles in Weymouth

Such a crazy week! Here's an update on our investigators:
Steve and Olha: are coming to church regularly, and Steve has quit smoking (three weeks thus far!) We're so proud, and Olha has been reading the Book of Mormon in Russian. I feel like she is progressing very slowly, but progressing nonetheless.
Shirley: is on date for the 14th, but she's definitely got some concerns we need to clear up. Authority needs to be made plain, as it does for the Fijiians.
And Cheri, who is learning how to stay in tune with the Spirit and who loved the Plan of Salvation, especially since Melanie came with us. I love it. She committed to a soft, and we're excited for her to come to church next week.
We picked up ten new investigators this week (our district's goal was 12) and had a whole mass of crazy times, including the most frightening teach I've ever been in. The lady is less-active, and the elders were teaching a gay lodger of hers named Mike. He was not interested in whether God was there or not (his past was one of adultery with the rector's wife?), and Fiona went off about how the church had criticized and condemned her (she's smoking, drinking, taking morphine during church?), her mad little eyes bulging in cold fury. The Spirit was so far gone that I was legitimately concerned for our safety. When she came back downstairs, catheter bag a-swinging, she brandished an orange piece of paper at us and declared that it was the email that was the reason for all her problems with the church and that she wanted us to read it. I said loudly, "No. That's not our stewardship." (She said it was disgusting and pornographic, and I have no doubt that it was.) Housley got up, announced that we had to run, prayed, and pushed me out the door, Fiona talking all the way about how the people in Weymouth were part of the great and abominable church...we got out and RAN down the sidewalk. It took ages to shake off the jitters from having the Spirit totally leave the room.
But contrast that with teaching Cheri, who loves the Book of Mormon and wants to quit smoking (we have said nothing about the Word of Wisdom) and has felt the Spirit's presence and absence and wants to be baptized when it is confirmed to her as truth. Such a sweet spirit in her home...she even loves the color white :)
In other fun things this week:
-We knocked into the home of a ninety-year-old woman, who had no idea what was going on, and when Housley tried to sit on the couch, there was a stuffed cat (alive once?) with sharp teeth and something that looked very much like blood running down the front.
-Sister Housley got asked out by a new investigator, who just got out of prison.
-We're looking to do another exchange next week, on Monday (I won't email til Thursday)
-Coolest new investigator? Wanda. She's Inuit, from Canada, and just moved. She's looking for a church to baptize her children, because "they need to get baptized." :) We're hoping they're over eight, but we'll see.
Anyways, still learning lots from the basics. When people apostatize, it means they're not reading, praying, studying the scriptures, and following the prophet. We have to do those things to function as members. We have a member who may no longer attend because she feels laughed at and excluded--it just means she's not reading and praying and doing those things she needs to do. Primary is not a place for children, it is for adults. Doctrines are teachings that are fundamental to our salvation, and going into "deep doctrine" without those fundamentals is foolish. Everything hinges on whether Joseph Smith was truly a prophet--that's why we teach the Restoration first, before anything else. Pray. Ask. If you're struggling with some question or whatever, don't hide it and fuss--just pray and ask. If it doesn't come right away, keep at it. He'll answer you in His own time. As missionaries, people always say, no, you won't convert me. We're not trying to. This is about you and the Lord. Pray. Find out now.
It's so refreshing to be teaching the basics. The Gospel is simple: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. Repeat. How to stay strong? Obey, pray, study, follow the prophet. Everything else is an appendage to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaches us how to apply it more fully, but this is the framework. Do these things, and you will never go astray.
Thanks so much for the fan mail! Go out and fill others' lives with the Spirit. Open your mouths. Be an instrument in the Lord's hands so that you can recieve so much more joy in the life to come ;)
Love from,
Sister Willard

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