I love you all so very much! It sounds like you all had a good week. :) I absolutely love reading your emails and I am so grateful for you letters!
So this week has been a good one. We have been meeting a lot of cool people and we have also had a lot of time to contact. It has been Sister Johnston and my goal to build up our area before Sister Ray, my new companion, gets here on Wednesday. Hopefully it works! (I guess we will find out!) There are three things I want to tell you about:
1. Ugo didn't get baptized. He was worried about being able to keep all the commandments for the rest of his life and so we decided to give him 2 weeks to decide if it's really what he wants and is able to do. Hopefully, he will be able to really feel the Spirit as he keeps the commandments and receives the blessings promised! If all goes well, he will be baptized on Nov 19. (Can you believe that is only 2 weeks away??? Time is flying!)
2. Oh my goodness! This is so cool! We were out contacting the other night (well it was only about 4, but it was really dark like at 7 or 8) and we had said that we were going to talk to every person we past. When we first got out on the street, there weren't too many people out, but then I saw this guy and went up to talk to him. I couldn't really see what he looked like at first- it was very dark- so as I got closer, I saw that he had piercings all over his face and tatoos everywhere. I mean, he didn't just have an eyebrow piercing and a nose piercing, but he had 2 nose, an eyebrow, his ears, and his whole bottom lip was covered in rings. He looked like a skeleton! I regeret my first thought, but it was this guy is never gonna say yes... but it was too late to turn back, so I had to continue with the contact. Much to our surprise, he spoke english, was from Germany, and wanted to learn more about the Book of Mormon. And so we took Alex (that's his name) to the center and taught him the Restoration. He had many good question and the Spirit was definitely there. As we taught him, it was very hard to not look at his piercings and tatoos, but as we were with him longer, I started to imagine how he would look as the Gospel began changing him- lots of holes and old body art, but someone who really took the Atonement and let it change them. This is a prime example of the fact that you cannot judge a book by it's cover. Even though he looks very different than me, I know he is a child of God and that God loves him just as much as he loves me. :) This guy is super cool! He's a keeper! :)
3. So last email, I talked a little bit about how we are studying the Atonement a lot. Well, we have noticed this super cool pattern as we teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all know it, but it is something that I, for one, have taken advantage of. It is the 5 simple steps of faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. The thing we have noticed that is super powerful is faith unto repentance. Every single time we teach faith and repentance, the Spirit is so strong. For example, we taught this guy named James, from Sudan, the other day and we were teaching him this lesson. We shared a scripture in Alma 7:11-15 and talked about Jesus and what He did for us, why He did it, and then how we can use what He did. The second we made the transition in the lesson between faith and repentance, James stopped us and said that he was feeling something unlike anything he had ever felt before and that it was very very good. We explained that it was the Spirit testifying to him that what we were saying was true, then we bore testimony of Jesus Christ. It was incredible! The fact that we can gain forgiveness for our sins through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most amazing thing to me. It is the remedy for any problem. I read in Preach my gospel that repentance is what heals us spiritually. It is sad that the word repentance often puts such a bad taste in people's mouths when it is the very means that we are able to come closer to God! No change in attitude, behavior, or character is possible without the Atonement, and repentance is the means that we accomplish. Man! I love this gospel so much! I love sharing it! I love the opportunity I have to change-to be better through the power of the Atonement and the process of repentance! GREATEST BLESSING EVER!!! :)
Well, I just spilled my guts... I hope you enjoyed it. :) I love you all so very much and I miss you too! Have a great week and we will talk to you in 1 more!
Lots of love,
Sister Jessica Taylor