We've been doing a lot of finding and contacting but not getting a lot of investigators lately. I've been praying for the opportunity to teach more lessons, whether the people ended up accepting the message or not. This weekend Heavenly Father answered my prayers. We went back to a family we were going to teach but they had to reschedule. It was raining but of course that was not going to stop us. We knocked some doors. At about the third door we got the "Who is it?" We answer 2-3 times and they finally open the door. The gentleman invites us right in, past the company, into the kitchen and sits us down to at the table discuss what we believe. What? --my thoughts exactly!--
Brandon has changed his life around this past year and is very open to listening to us. Sister Peatross caught me off gaurd and simply states that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same church Jesus Christ set up when he was on the earth. And it pops into my head "and we know that's a big claim but we are here to share with you how you can know that for yourself." And from there it snowballed into the most spiritual experiences of my mission.
As we shared the first vision with him he was so engrossed, literally on the edge of his seat. And when we asked what he felt as we shared it he said "Just a good feeling" (pointing to his heart) "I don't know. I can't really put it into words. I just put myself in his shoes." As we continued we asked him how we can help him specifically to know this is true and for him. Brandon told us that "in school no matter how much the teacher talked, it just went in one ear and out the other. I do much better when I have something to read." Well, yeah! We can help you there. That's what The Book of Mormon is for!
My favorite part! Testifying of the Book of Mormon. We explained what it was and what it meant if it is true. I shared how it was one of the very first books I've ever reread. That hit him because he is an obvoius avid reader and he commented that "it's gotta be a good book to reread it." My comment was "why wouldn't you want more words from God? Who are we to limit what He shares with us?" We invite him to be baptized (he is seriously considering) and go to write down his info and--"It's so crazy you came here tonight because I don't even live here!" What? Yes, jokes on me. I got to teach a lesson (what I prayed for) and the 2nd ward sisters now have an amazingly prepared investigator who lives 2 minutes away from them.
But the joke doesn't end there. Heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So why not let the events of Saturday repeat themselves Sunday night? We felt we needed to see some specific people last night further down south and so we went but they were all gone or sick and couldn't see us. All of a sudden "We need to go to Spartanburg. I have no idea who we need to see but there's somewhere we need to be." It was getting late and we weren't going to have much time but okay. On the highway up "We need to turn. Turn, again. Let's park down here." A house with a moving truck blocking the doorway. We need to go there. A gentleman comes out a bit startled as we were about to knock. He's a deacon in a baptist church and has been feeling like God has more in store for him but doesn't know what. Inspired question after inspired question. He has been wondering where we lived before we came to earth, how the stars and world were created. He has also researched Mormons a little and ran across the name "Thomas S. Monson" in his studies. Another amazing discussion and where do you live? DeJavu. Two minues from the 2nd ward sisters in the other direction. Again, the 2nd ward sisters have another amazingly prepared investigator and I received an answer to my prayer to teach lessons. Heavenly Father and his sense of humor...gotta love it.
Sister Peatross and I haven't wiped the smiles off our faces for the past two days :)
These experiences are not reserved only for "the missionaries." There are people waiting for you to go out of your way, to listen to the promptings of the spirit, to talk with them, to invite them. They are there. They are waiting for you.
Thank you all for you support and prayers. I love y'all and hope you are having your own growing experiences can recongnize the many ways in which Heavenly Father answers prayers...not always in the time or way we would hope :)
Can't wait for the best New Year,
P.S. I would love to hear from everyone about their own experiences of following the spirit. Thanks! P.P.S. I invite y'all to go out of your way to talk and visit with those who don't come to church often or at all. They are some of the most amazing people I've met. HAPPY 2014!