|Us with 5 year old Ashlee. She and her family are learning about the gospel. She has 6 older siblings!|
|Sister Ward saving Mike's (a recent convert) dog from running away|
|What a blessing to have a temple so close by!|
This week was very rough for me, but Saturday topped it all. So let me tell you about it.
Saturday morning Sister Ward and I got to go to a very special temple sealing. It was for the Bush family. They joined the church around 20 years ago but went inactive for a very long time. About a year ago, Sister Ward went to their house and challenged Brother Bush to go back to church, and he did. She worked with their family, helped him quit smoking, and just two days ago they were sealed in the temple for all eternity. It was such a beautiful thing. It was so wonderful to see what missionary work really is all about and what each missionary can do for a whole family and future generations.
|The Bush's sealing. It was amazing!|
Then Saturday night was our first baptism!! Our lovely friend Paige was baptized. I led the music, and the guy who played the piano played the hymns with so much Spirit! As soon as he started playing "I Believe in Christ" the Spirit hit me like a wall. It filled my heart completely. And while I was leading the music, Nancy walked in with a few girls from her singles branch. I was SO happy to see her. It meant so much to me. I just wanted to cry right then and there as soon as I saw her. It was like having a little bit of everyone in our family there. It was like having Grandma Allen there, and Cebre there, and you there, and everyone. It meant the world to me that she came and it gave me so much comfort and love and I was so happy. And then Paige was baptized. What an amazing blessing. It was so neat to witness her making her first covenants with God. While she was getting dressed, Sister Ward and I taught the Restoration to the people there. I just cried and cried and cried and the Spirit was so strong and it was such a neat experience. In that moment the restoration felt more real to me than ever before. It was just so cool!!
|At Paige's baptism|
|After Paige's baptism, we went out for frozen yogurt|
I'm really excited for Jody and her family to get baptized. They have such wonderful testimonies. It's coming up so soon!
So here's a miracle. Sister Ward and I have been teaching this 18 year old girl named Rachael. Sister Ward worked with her before the last time she was in Eastgate, but she fell away from learning about the gospel. And it's been quite a struggle teaching her because she is just so attached to worldly things and temporal views. The last time we met with her was a couple of weeks ago, and when we talked to her about a certain subject she flat out told us, "I am not going to get baptized. Not any time soon." So we tried thinking of different ways to teach Rachael, ways that would really help her understand that the gospel is wonderful and perfect for her. We decided to have her study the lessons and teach them to us (she's already learned all of them before). We went over yesterday, but she hadn't done what we asked her to do, so we were just going to make it a really quick visit, give her more instruction, and then leave. But on Saturday we received some wonderful advice from a former mission president that is in our ward--he told us that when we ask certain questions like "Why don't you want to come to church?" He told us to ask, "What else?" Five times.
This came across both mine and Sister Ward's minds. When we asked Rachael, "What is holding you back from being baptized?" she gave us a little answer. And so we continued to ask, "What else?" And finally we asked her so many times, she opened up, and we got down to the real reasons. We talked to her for quite a while, and she just explained how unhappy she was, and it just felt like a sad conversation, but we always brought it back to the gospel. And so we talked more and more about why the gospel is going to help her. Truthfully, I didn't think it was going anywhere, because I felt like whatever we were saying to her, she just rejected. But while Sister Ward was talking, in the middle of her sentence, Rachael interrupted and said, "Does somebody have a white dress I could borrow?" We both just went silent. And Sister Ward asked, "Do you want to get baptized?" And Rachael said, "Yes!"
I was amazed. Holy smokes, I mean what the heck?!?!! Where did that even come from??!? One week she did NOT want to get baptized and was no where near feeling like it's what she wanted, and then BOOM she does! The Spirit was there, and it was able to fill her with so much happiness. And then I was able to feel it too. And even though we were sitting outside, and there were lots of scary bees flying around, and I was sneezing left and right (Oh, by the way, I think I have allergies now.) the Spirit was there and Rachael wanted to get baptized! And so she is now on date for June 1st. What a miracle!
|Our third companion, Layla!|
Sister Ward and I drove home the other day after another miracle had occurred singing, "Miracles happen once in a while...when you belieeeeeeve" from The Princess Diaries. It was so fun. And it's so true! Miracles really do happen!! And I love them.
Happy marriage to Violet and Erik!!! I wish I could have been there. Seems as though I've been missing a lot of family gatherings lately. I guess that's because I'm busy gathering families here.
Thank you for all of the prayers, I think they're what are keeping me sane. I love you all!!!
|Sister Ward & I <3|
|A little blurry, but this is our investigator, Liz!|
|Sister Ward's future business! :)|
|Sister Ward is gorgeous, it's only fair that I put up a good one of her after I sent you so many silly ones.|
|Correlation meetings are REALLY getting out of hand. Everyone blocks everyone in. There's no need for lines in the parking lot anymore. :]|