Hey everyone! I want to go about this email a little differently. Elder Merrill gave me this idea, just like a lot of his good ideas, and we’ll see how it goes. A lot of our work is centered around investigators, so why not focus on them and then some other highlights?!
Jassiel-We met Jassiel while tracting in Danvers a while ago, and she has a lot of potential! After talking about a lot of different subjects and describing what we believe, she decided that she would like to learn more and experience coming to church! We had to reschedule our church tour with her this week, but it gave us an opportunity to see her real intent. Even though it fell through, she really wanted us to know that she still would like to find out more. It made our hearts happy and bolstered our faith!
Andy-The elders met Andy a while ago as well in Salem, and we have been teaching him off and on. He has a desire to get closer to God and understands many things about God already. He is working and going to school, and so he is pretty busy. His life is crazy and he has had a lot of things going on, so lately we haven’t seen him. Last week, we went by and gave him literally almost all of the pamphlets and had a short talk. We said that we would love to keep teaching him if he is interested, but he would have to make a lot of changes in his life, but in return, he would receive a lot of blessings. That is how God works. He agreed, and we decided to stop by on Saturday. We knocked on his door with Gustavo, our solid 19 year old Recent Convert, and he told us that he needed to leave in 20 minutes to go see someone in jail that he knew and that his life had been so hectic. I asked if we could share a message with him. He seemed a little shaken up by everything, so honestly, the first scripture that came to mind was when the Prophet Joseph was in Liberty Jail and the Lord spoke to him, telling him that everything would be for his experience. Like my mom could, I could remember where the scripture was on the page, but I only knew it was around Section 121. As I shared it, Gustavo said that Andy was being tough, but that Gustavo could see the tears coming a little bit. After we shared our testimony with him that God would watch over him and take care of his family, Gustavo offered a beautiful prayer that was so heartfelt. It was an opportunity for us to see the Lord’s hand in his life. To see Andy’s sincerity and how much it touched him led us to follow Sergio’s counsel, to never drop anyone who will hear you out. As you give them the chance to learn and they are humbled by the Lord or humble themselves, they find a place for the gospel in their lives.
Justin- Our man, Justin, received the Aaronic Priesthood this week and went to the temple for the very first time!!! Elder Merrill confirmed him, and just like Gustavo’s prayer, it was very heartfelt and meaningful for Justin and his Mom. Justin is just a great kid and definitely fits the category of the oldest in the family. Lovingly directing the younger kids to his mom and trying to help them be quiet in sacrament meeting, even though they find the piano and jumping up and down much more interesting 🙂 He is great and we love going over to see him. On short notice, thanks to our amazing Family History Center coordinator, Sister Carabello, we got him a name, his mother’s father, to bring to the temple. It was special for him because it was his grandfather. We also had a few more names for him to do, so he was able to do baptisms and confirmations for quite a few names. Max, a deacon from the ward, helped Justin to get situated when we were called in to do some confirmations. You don’t realize how much it means to a missionary when people fellowship their investigators or new members. It means the world to us that someone would spend time with them and help them feel welcome. It is kind of how a mom feels sending her kid off to kindergarten! Oh boy….moral of the story, help out the Elders or Sisters and greet new people!!
One big theme for me this week has been following the Spirit and keeping the commandments. Elder Hartman Rector Jr, one of my favorites, said,”The commandments are calculated to make you so good you can love people who don’t even like you.” I had to think this week about where true happiness comes from, and I realized that it simply comes from keeping the commandments, following the Spirit, and doing it all for the right reasons. If we don’t, we will be unhappy in the end and we won’t be able to feel peace. If we do, we can experience what our Heavenly Father feels. Try it out. I love you all and want you to have it! Have a great week!