Man, was this week tough.
Monday we had FHE with the Pope family! They are crazy. For the activity, we cut up the Restoration pamphlet and had them piece everything together based off of their memory! It was awesome to see them attempt to work together. Afterwards, we sang "I am a Child of God" to them. They were actually quiet! They are so special.
Yesterday it was Elli's birthday and they even came to church! Eli, his girlfriend Cindy, Ryan, Carissa, Nicolas, and Krissy-- all of them!
For Eli's birthday, we put together of package for him-- a touque, some candy, some pass along missionary temple cards, a tabbed Book of Mormon, some Lamanite posters (no, they were not from the walls of our apartment...), our testimonies, and a missionary planner-- we are convinced it was the best gift EVER... We think he thinks so, too.
This week, we saw Brother Grandpa Rosarlio again. It was bittersweet. We went and finished teaching him the Resoration. At the end, he expressed to us how happy the things we've shared with him make him. He wishes he had known these things when he was younger. He told us he wants to be baptized, but the only problem is, he feels that, because his wife is sick, that she wouldn't understand and that his decision would create hard feelings between them and their kids. We bore our testimonies and told him that God would take care of his wife. As we were inviting him to be baptized, his wife comes in and tells us our time was up and that we needed to leave. She told us to never come back and expressed how sick she feels. It was so sad! Brother Grandpa Rosarlio told us to come back in the summer when we could sit outside and talk with him.
NO I didn't cry about it...
We also had lunch with an elderly lady in our ward. She is so sweet! She doesn't even understand how celestial she is. As we shared our spiritual thought with her, she expressed how inadequate she feels. We just grabbed her hands and told her how good she is. We told her that Heavenly Father is so proud of her and that He loves her. It was SUCH a blessing to literally feel the spirit rushing through us in behalf of her.
I love that feeling.
We also met the neighbor of a member we had dinner with! Her name is Connie and she is so prepared! She is old and Christian and plays the piano and is just looking for a church to be apart of. What a sweet lady, she is! We are just so excited to share our special message with her.
We have been meeting with Kerry a lot lately, too! She is special. She is working toward baptism next month! We talked to her about how we are each blessed with spiritual gifts. We also brought Sister Davies, and at the end of the lesson Sister Davies got choked up while telling Kerry about how she has seen such a change in her over the years and how beautiful it is to see the light of the gospel change people. Man, did Kerry need that!
Sister Davies also came with us to our lesson with Diana, the one whose door we knocked on when she was at a really low point in her life. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and it was so different for her, but she knows that God is pointing the way for her because we came at just the right time, and so she knows she needs to listen and pray about it. She is sooooo receptive and special. Sister Davies choked up during the lesson with her, too, as she bore her testimony of the Atonement.
How wonderful is she?!
How wonderful is she?!
We also saw Todd! He told us about how missionaries in the past were pressuring him to get baptized in like a week of inviting him and he was totallyyyyy turned off by that, but we are working with him and he is really liking everything! He is moving along!
Oh, and the other night we got a media referral and we texted him and he totally wants to learn more about God and even gave us his two friends' numbers because they are going through a hard time and feels they could use some upliftment. How cool?!
So a few weeks ago, Sister Raymant wanted to be super celestial and buy this homeless man food. So we give him a sandwhich and our card and then that's it, off we go. Well, he calls us Saturday morning just BAWLING, telling us how much he just wants to turn his life around. So we go with some members to visit him and turns out he has some mental illnesses, but he came to church! He now resides downtown, so we'll be passing him off to those missionaries, but it was awesome to see him there.
Last night, we had dinner with Brother Davies and his girlfriend Sister Tarr-- THEY ARE THE CUTEST THINGS TO EVER WALK THE MOUNTAIN OF HAMILTON. So cute! He has 3 kids and she has none, but they are so getting married one day. His daughter, Emma, is 18, less-active, and just so darling! Apparently she doesn't come downstairs when missionaries come over, but she totally hung out with us! #socooleh
Before dinner ^, we met with Lisa and her boyfriend Ron. So one day, we had some time before an appointment, so we prayed about an area, went there, found Lisa, had been in touch with her back and forth for a few weeks, and FINALLY yesterday she told us we could come by! So we talk with her and her boyfriend a little about what we do. She comes from an Italian, Catholic family, and he comes from an un-affectionate, German, non-religious home. We told him we wanted to invite him to do something: to have an open mind and be willing to act.
I realized that to help these people, we have to give them AND HIM, our all. Everything we have to offer, and more. It's not about doing the bare minimum we can and then just letting God take care of the rest, but it's about giving these people all of our attention and prayers and love and time and everything, and then pleading with God to bless them and soften their hearts and prepare them. When we give our all, that's when miracles will be wrought.
"We do not preach and teach in order to 'bring people into the church' or to increase the membership of the church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives... We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this." -Elder Dallin H. OaksI know that this is true. I love this work with all my heart.