Hello again! I hope everything is going well at home. :) Did you all have a good week? I just love hearing from everyone- it makes my whole week! Thank you so much for keeping our investigators in your prayers- it means so much to me!
So this week has been one with many ups and downs.
We started out good- teaching lots of people, meeting with members, having investigators come to activities, Awesome!
Sister Johnston was having a hard time deciding how to do her essay for pharmacy school, so we fasted for her on Tuesday. It was a good bonding experience, of sorts. We had a nice feast of chicken tacos afterward.
The Boyces came to visit- that was so awesome! It wasn't upsetting at all- it was nice to see familiar faces. :) We did talk for about 10 minutes and it was really nice. They had a couple of friends with them and their last name was Pulsipher- don't worry, we're related! They came form Zera Pulsipher's brother, Daniel. Super cool connection! :)
We had specialized training with President and Sister Johansen and it was so good! They talked alot about obedience. Not just following the rules-obedience, but PERFECT obedience. Obedience brings blessing, but perfect obedience brings miracles. It was good because it caused us to look at how we are living and make sure that we are following every rule perfectly. They also talked about the tree of life and the fruit that Lehi ate. We all know that it represents the love of God, but what does that mean? How has He showed His love? Through the Atonement! So they talked about what it means to partake of the fruit and how special it truly is. I just love learning about the Atonement and trying to apply it more and more into my life. It truly is incredible! We could study it every day of our lives and still never fully understand its infinite capacity. Oh man- it gives me the chills!!! God love us so much! :)
We had some really good teaches with Ugo and Collins on the Plan of Salvation. They both had awesome spiritual experiences during the teaches. Sad part is, I think we will have to push their baptismal dates back because we are not able to meet with them as often as we should.
Good and bad with our baptismal candidates. I'll start with the bad- we lost 2 this week. Rachel wouldn't answer our calls for 3 days, then on Wednesday, she text us and told us that it wasn't working out for her. Sad. :,( We lost Charlie on Wednesday too. His story is a little different. Wednesday morning, during our studies, I got a text from him that said that he wanted to get to know me better... Bad news. We explained that that could never happen, but that we would love to continue to help him, but we neer heard back from him... I felt really bad about Rachel, but not so much about Charlie- that's just awkward.... Good news- we got 2 more baptismal dates to replace them and these 2 are even more golden!
Javid- He is originally from Afghanistan. He didn't like being a muslim, so he was baptized into Christianity and now wants to find the truth. He told us that he felt led to meet with us! He has a date for the 15.
Ephraim- He is from... I actually don't know where he is from. We met him on the street on Saturday and invited him to church. He came and the program was actually about the Book of Mormon, so it was perfect! He asked me after where he could find that book, so we met with him, gave him a copy and set a date for baptism! He loves it already! :)
So we are teaching this other guy that Sister Johnston met on the street. His name is Jacek.He is from Poland. She said that when she met with him, he was swearing like a sailor, saying that religion was .... bad... Ha ha! But for some odd reason, he came to meet with us. We had a good first teach. He came to church yesterday, and after, he met with us at the center. We invited him to be baptized, but he didn't feel ready to make that kind of commitment. Funny part- He actually didn't want to leave the center because he felt so good here. (He had been here for 2 hours!) We explained that it was the Spirit and that if he got baptized, he could have that feeling all the time. It was so cool! I see good things coming from him! :)
We had an awesome opportunity to help a young nonmember family move. We were invited by her member neighbors to help ;) We are so gonna teach her and her family! It was cool because Norwegians DO NOT hug, but she totally hugged us before we left! Good sign... :)
Well that's the good stuff, now I'll tell you the not so good...
So we had a dinner appointment with a memberthis week. Her name is Tatiana and she is from Russian. I lke her. :) So she always cooks dinner for the 30+ single adult institute on Tuesday nights. Well on Tuesday, she made a fish salad. (I know that doesn't sound like important info, but just wait.) We went to her home on wednesday and she had made fish soup... So I was like, "Ok, I can do this... I ate fish last week- I have the gift of tongues" Well then she proceded to tell us that it was the leftover fish from institute, and that all that was left was the fishheads! Oh man!!!! I was like, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME???" She continued telling us how difficult it was to pull all the meat out from around the bones, so if we found any, we could just spit them out on a plate. Shoot me now! I was ill! It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I was holding back gags... Barf! Worst food experience yet. Period.
I probably had the hardest couple of days since I've been out on my mission. Studying about pride and praying for humility is a sure way to knock you down flat. It makes you realize how dependant you are on Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. It makes you appreciate small things, like prayer, repentance, and the Sacrament. Anything to get us closer to the Spirit. It's a refining process. Getting broken down in order to be rebuilt into something better... over and over again until all the kinks are worked out and we are perfect. I have a LONG way to go! So I guess that isn't all bad. There is a lot of good with it, with becoming a better person, with learning and growing. I am so grateful for the Atonement, because it is through its cleansing power that we can improve and become more like Christ!
Well that's all the bad. Ha ha ha! Oh family, You're the best! I love you so much. You are always in my prayers!!! Have a great week!
Lots and lots of love,
Sister Jessica Taylor