Monday, September 30, 2013

Mama Rika Missionary Update (2nd to last update!)

Traveling in a northern southerly direction.

This is the "road" the gps told them to take.

He got a kick out of the sign.
This week has definitely been a week of miracles. We'll begin at the beginning.
  We had an appointment with C. C was our only real hope left for a baptism before the end of the month. We felt the promise of the Lord that it could happen before the end of the month if we worked hard and had the faith to produce miracles. In order for C to be baptized, we would have had to teach him every day that week, and we still needed to set up a baptismal interview. Things weren't looking so good.
However, we pressed forward with faith, and went to our appointment with C. Well, his family was over, and we couldn't meet with him then. We were a little disappointed, but we realized that it still could be done before Saturday if we really pushed for it.
We didn't have an appointment with C, so we just stopped by. Unfortunately C was sicker than he had been in weeks, and he didn't really get much out of the lesson we had prepared. Mostly we just ended up talking with him. He gets few visitors, so it's awfully nice for him when he can just have someone to talk to. In C was more or less embodied our last hope. And with the quality (or lack thereof) of that lesson, we knew for sure that he couldn't be baptized that week, and it wasn't really looking like any week soon either.

Somehow though, coming out of that lesson, I still felt at peace about the whole thing. I felt that even if there would be no baptism for us in the month of September, we had done many great things here for the branch as a whole. I knew that God was pleased with our efforts regardless of the results that ensued.
We had a few other families that we needed to stop by and see that evening. Each lesson went well, but we were late in getting to our dinner/lesson appointment with K and T.   K is not a member, but his wife, T has been a member all her life. They came to church this past week, and K told us he wanted to meet with us. He'd been to the Washington D.C. temple visitors center a week before we met with him.
After getting dinner and sitting down, almost immediately K started peppering us with questions:
"How does tithing work?"
"How does fasting work?"
"What do I need to do in order to get to the temple to be sealed to my wife?"
"What is baptism?"
"What steps do I need to take to go down this path?"
"What is the word of wisdom? I can get rid of my mountain dew if that would be better"
"What is the Priesthood?"
We couldn't really pump out answers quick enough to fill his insatiable desire to learn. It was amazing. He was so ready to listen and so eager to learn.
President A, our branch president, showed up around 7pm. T had invited him over to give Ka blessing. Pres. A sat in a bit for our part of the lesson. We invited K to be baptized which he readily accepted. Honestly he was so fired up about the temple that it was more like "Oh, and by the way, there's this baptismal ordinance that you'll need to take care of before you can go to the temple."
He accepted a baptismal date of the upcoming Monday, September 30th. Which was 6 days away. I was a little wary in asking him, not knowing what His, or Pres. A's reaction would be. But, to my surprise, both were enthusiastic about the idea.
President A had to take off a little early, so after he left, we immediately delved into the Restoration lesson. He was just eating it up. Most of the time he did the talking, and was telling us what he already knew about the restoration.

After we polished up that lesson, we answered his questions, and set up an appointment for the following afternoon.
We went home rejoicing in the Lord's many blessing he poured out to us. We immediately called President PItt, and let him know of the miracle that just happened. We called the zone Leaders, and our district leader and let them know about it. We called the ward mission leader and he was ecstatic. We were just phone calling fools that night.

Wednesday rolls around. And we called Ch P and asked if she and her husband could come and help with the lesson we would teach later that day. She readily agreed, and bursted into tears (they are related somehow, cousins of some sort)  when we told her that he was going to be baptized next week. She insisted on calling my mom (which ended up being a story in and of itself), and we met up later that afternoon.
We went to go see K around 2pm. He more or less taught us the Plan of Salvation lesson, I was impressed with his knowledge of the plan as a whole. We basically just told him that he was correct, and used a few scriptures to add to the testimony of its truth.
Bro. and Sis. P showed up  a little bit after we started into the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. They rode over on Bro. P's Harley. It was a great entrance I thought. Anyway, Bro. P bore a powerful testimony of his conversion to the Gospel. He was married to Sis. P for 27 years before he decided to join to the church. It's was hard to watch a tough man start to cry like that.
We realized that we had been there long enough, and took off while the P stayed and chatted a while.
We finished up teaching all the commandment lesson (that's an ordeal in and of itself) He didn't have any hold ups, so we set up for a baptismal interview that Sunday evening up in New Martinsville. (about an hour away)
We met with some of the other branch members Friday evening. They were having an Emergency prep class. you could really see the excitement in their eyes as we told them about the miracles of the past few days. They haven't seen a baptism here in over a year. We talked to our elders quorum president, Bro. Foley, and he had a referral for us which I'll go into more detail later in this letter. Her name is Chr
We had a busy day, we contacted about 5 referrals. We also made a lot of phone calls and visits to get the Baptism all set up and ready. We ended having to move the day to Tuesday October 1st. Just one day later due to some conflicting schedules. It is interesting though to note that K will be baptized exactly 2 weeks from the day he went to the visitor's center at the temple.
Sunday was pretty awesome. We had church, and immediately after we did a 5th Sunday dinner. After church, we drove up to New Martinsville and Kevin was interviewed by our district leader. It went really well. He was cleared for baptism, and Tuesday October 1st will be the day.
Since New Martinsville is so close to the Ohio border, we took a quick jaunt over the Ohio river just so that I can say that I've been to Ohio.
When we got back, we got a text from the Fo family telling us that we were to meet with the M's with them that evening at 7pm. Chr wanted to be baptized.
We showed up and found out that she'd taken all the missionary lessons in Clarksburg, understood all of them pretty well, and had been going to church for over 3 years. After talking with her for a while, we said, "it seems like you just want to get baptized." and she responded in the affirmative. We whipped out the calendar, and decided on the 13th of October. She is super ready for it.

It's been a week of miracles, who would've thought we would've had such success just poured out upon us. Miracles happen when we are willing to give our all. I know that now.

Love ya!

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