Hope you all had a great week and a good halloween! I loved all the pictures! We had an awesome week this week and like always i learned a lot! We finally got back in touch with our investigators Tom and Chris cuz Toms mom died and they went out of town for awhile... we had such an amazing lesson with them and just had to lay it all out on the table for them. I cant even explain to ya'll how much i love that little family of theirs. I seriously would never be able to put it into words... and i will honestly do and give whatever it takes to get them to the waters of baptism... and not because it is what i want but because it is what the lord wants and i want this more than anything for them cuz i know how amazing of people they are and how much not only the gospel can help them but how much they can contribute to being wonderful members of this church. i think the hardest thing for me right now is that they know it is true... especially chris. But i can definitely see it in toms eyes.. he just feels like after 65 years of being catholic and living his life one way that it is basically too late to change his religion and the way he lives. but i can testify that it is never too late for anyone.... i cant testify to you all that i have seen a complete 360 change in that family especially tom. i have never seen anyone light up so much when talking about the temple and living with our families for eternity. i have never seen anyone who has lived 65 years of his life saying reapeated and recited prayers change his ways and begin to have a conversation with god and even kneel down at the end of our lessons and offer the most heartfelt and sincere prayer. I never thought after meeting Chris that the gospel could touch her heart in a way that i have never seen. She knows it is true. Everyone is on a different path getting to that point and her and tom are definitely on different paths. You can know and tell someone knows it is true when they kneel down and pour out their heart to god with tears streaming down her cheeks and the spirit coming into the room with an overwhelming feeling of joy. i have never felt or experienced anything like helping come to and recognize the testimony they once had in the pre-earth life. I cant even explain the joy it has brought into my life and continues to bring.
I learned a very valuable lesson yesterday in church... we were supposed to have a lot of investigators there and all of them we were about 90% sure they would all be there... and when only one of them showed up my heart was just broken. i sat there just having my own little pity party about how many didnt show up and how bad i felt for myself until the spirit taught me a very valuable lesson. During the sacrament the spirit whispered to me "what about the one?" i got so caught up in thinking about the people who werent there instead of the one who was. And what a miracle that was! We havent had a single investigator at church until yesterday and how blessed was that one person for putting forth that effort to come. I got so caught up in myself and forgot to see the bigger picture. The Lord takes the time to focus on each of us individually. he is always going after the "one" and how grateful i am to have a loving heavenly father and savior jesus christ who love each of us so much that they are aware of every persons individual needs and desires. They hear all of our prayers and every single prayer that is said is always answered in the lords way and in the way that is best. As a representative of Jesus Christ i am here in Virginia to find the "one" to focus on the "one" because one person can make a ginormous difference. That was a huge lesson to me of how important it is to go after and focus on the "one".. no matter who i am teaching, talking to, or whatever i may be doing i will focus on the "one" despite any distractions or things going on around me. As Christ would focus on the one, i invite you all to do so as well. Do as he would do.
Obviously the Lord had a lot to teach me yesterday haha and someone said something really interesting they said "love people for where they are now, not where you want them to be" i love that. It applies to everyone... not just missionary work. I know that as we love people for who they are right that that love we show toward them will get them to where they need to be. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in the things we wish people would do better, or how we wish the people around us would act better but i know that charity never faileth. As we are kind, patient, loving, and tolerant towards others and their actions and love them despite the things they do that that love wont ever fail them. No matter how long it takes or how much lovin we have to do i know that love will help beyond any criticism or any judgments we may have towards others and i know that the lord has a plan for everyone and that as a missionary here in virginia, if i do my part in loving the people and loving my investigators that they will eventually get to where they need to be whether or not it is when i am here or not. I just learned that sometimes all we can do is love. It is the most important thing. Love will never let us down. It is what our heavnely father gives to us... infinite love and i know that he has never let ANYONE down.
Im so grateful to be here. i know this church is true without a doubt and i'm so grateful to be helping people find out for themselves! There is no greater work! And nothing brings more joy than seeing that fire start to burn in someone elses eyes! I love ya'll so much!!! XOXO