Wow time is flying and things have been progressing really well here. We now have 3 investigators with dates for BAPTISM! It is so cool to see all the growth in this area since I got here in September! We have been really blessed.
So cool news with Susie! She has been working on quitting coffee right, so we went over the other day... and she had thrown her coffee pot outside in the trash! She quit! It was so exciting. The biggest miracle ever. And she decided she wants to get baptized on November 22nd! She is just so solid it is crazy. We walked in and her two daughters were listening to primary songs while they were doing homework.... I mean honestly solid. Oh and her daughter said "Mom, can I have a God themed birthday party? I just love him." probably the cutest thing I have ever heard haha. We are really excited about her.
Things are also going really well with Stephen! He set a baptismal date for January 24th... which is the same day I fly home... so if I am still in the area (which is unlikely but still) it will be the 23rd! So my last night would be a baptism. That would probably be the best last day ever. It is really fun to teach him because he is so open and willing to learn. He came to stake conference on saturday and really liked that too. It is just nice to have people who really want to learn and who like to learn too!
And our other investigator Sam is doing great! Still set to get baptized November 30th! The whole family is doing super good. I just love them so much. They are the dream mission family. They make us feel so loved and at home and she cooks us good food every week and they need us and we need them and it is just perfect. I will be really depressed when I have to say goodbye to them. We had an awesome lesson about the power of prayer and scripture study. We talked a lot about how Heavenly Father has blessings that He wants to give us, but we have to ask Him. Sometimes I forget that Heavenly Father loves me and misses me and just wants me to be happy, and He just wants me to pray and do what He asks so I can be happy. Funny how simple it is but how easy it is to forget. I just left their house really happy! I wrote in my journal "I love the Graves. I love the spirit they have and their humility and their desire to help us and to help themselves. They inspire me so much. Man things are good and Heavenly Father is the best." So that sums that up!
On Friday last week I was on exchanges with a sister named Sister Newrean, and I went to her area which was Burton/Middlefield. We got to see lots and lots of old people so I was right at home! There was this one old lady who didn't say anything like the whole time.. then all the sudden she goes "Jensen. Jensen. Jensen. I know you from somewhere. I know you." .. I still can't decide if it was cool or creepy.... then she tried to say something else but couldn't talk.. so maybe she is stalking me, who knows?
Another old lady we saw pulled out this weird instrument called the melodica or something.. I will send a picture.. and started playing it and I literally almost died laughing. It was hysterical.
We also got to see this guy named Brother Pitts! He is in his early 20s, and he lives at a special house for people with slight mental health issues. He is probably the nicest kid in the world though. We get there and he said "I just love the Book of Mormon and when I read it I feel so happy and I just want to tell everyone about it but I am scared they will get mad but I just love it." it was so sweet. Then we were talking about the Gospel and The Holy Ghost and he said "The Holy Ghost is the happiness giver." Amen to that.
So Saturday I was having a pretty rough day. We didn't get to go to our area and we didn't really get to accomplish much and for some reason I was just feeling really down and felt like, even though I know my mission has blessed me so much I can't even comprehend it, sometimes I feel like I am not helping anyone but myself. And I didn't come here to just help myself. So I was just feeling bad and I just prayed that I would be able to feel and know that I am here for a reason and that what I am doing matters... and man was my prayer answered. Saturday night was the first session of stake conference... and I got to see SO MANY people from my past areas. And it was literally what saved me. I got to see all my favorite families (and it was really cool because sometimes I think that they have probably forgotten about me/ just don't care anymore since I am not there) but they were SO excited and I was so excited and it just made me so happy. There were multiple people who said they miss me and that the ward misses me and that they wish I could come back. They were able to tell me about how important the work I did while I was there, and how much of a difference it made. And it was amazing because I didn't even realize that I did anything significant.. but they all acted like I had made the biggest difference. Total answer to my prayer. People I didn't even know very well came and told me how much the ward misses me. It just made me so grateful! I have met so many incredible people and seeing all of them made me realize how amazing my mission has been. I have friendships that will last forever and have experienced things that will forever change my life. And I had no clue that I even grew to love people so much until I saw them again. It is insane. And Sister Baker (who I was working with a year ago) even brought me a freshly baked treat! People are so nice!
But it was the biggest tender mercy from Heavenly Father. It made me so happy and helped me really realize that I am here for a reason and I have made a difference, even if it takes 6 months or 7 years or eternity to see it. My mission president's wife said something that I really loved. She said "As missionaries we are showing the Lord that we love Him, that we trust Him, and that we have faith that we will be blessed for sacrificing and serving Him even if we don't understand how or why things happen." And that is how I feel. I don't understand most of what happens or why things don't happen and sometimes I even wonder what I am doing here... but I have complete faith that Heavenly Father loves me and that I am here for a reason. And I know He will bless me. I am receiving way more than I am sacrificing, and I have faith everything is for a reason.
And then after stake conference we got to go... SING WITH THE NUNS AGAIN. And yep it was even more intense than last time. And okay can I just say I am not like totally musically stupid.. but these are hard songs and they get all worked up.. and have you ever seen a big group of stressed out singing Nuns? It is interesting that is all I will say. Let's pray I get transferred before the performance of I might end up getting hurt. Also the director's name is Aubrey. And he is a guy. So that's that.
And then yesterday we had a good day at Kirtland! I took this tour that was this oldies (they literally couldn't walk it took like 6 years to get anywhere) and 3 of the 4 weren't members.. and they mostly wanted to know the history of stuff, which is never quite as fun.. but I did have a really cool experience. So at one point we have a really old copy of The Book of Mormon, and I was telling them about it and basically I just told them how much The Book of Mormon means to me, and one guy turned to the lady and said to her "Do you see how her eyes light up when she talks about that book. She must love it" and then I told them that nothing has brought me greater peace or made such an impact on my life as The Book of Mormon has.. and the guy said "I can tell. I can see it in your eyes." That was basically the highlight of my day. Sorry I am so over-obsessive with The Book of Mormon I just love it.
And that was basically my week. Things are moving right along and people are doing great! It is just really awesome to see so much progress.. pray it keeps it up!
I love you and appreciate all you do for me. Have a good week!