It's been another week of miracles here in Zion (aka Gilbert, Arizona)! Nicole is doing so well. She went to church yesterday and absolutely loved it, and we have a lesson with her again tonight. This last week, we had a couple lessons with her. She has had a lot of questions, but once she understands a concept, she has a solid testimony of it. We invited her bishop to come to one of the lessons, and he was so great at helping her.
One big question that she has had is whether or not it is okay to ask questions if you don't understand something said by leadership. (Short answer: yes, of course!) She asked that on Monday, and I asked her if we could bring her something to read in response to her question that Friday. Our task in the mean time was to figure out exactly what we wanted her to read. The next day was District Meeting, and I was doing a role play with one of my zone leaders, Elder Leiter. We were supposed to do a role play of using the Book of Mormon in teaching. He was being the missionary, and I was pretending to be someone that he is teaching. He decided he wanted to show the person that he was teaching 1 Nephi 2:12,16,19-20. It's when Laman and Lemuel are complaining because their father, who was a prophet, had led them from the land of their inheritance into the wilderness. Nephi wanted to know whether his father was really inspired by the Lord, so he went and asked the Lord. Just like the Lord has always promised, He did confirm to Nephi the truth, and Nephi was able to feel at peace with his father's guidance. He had been able to gain a testimony that it was truly from the Lord. I had never seen it that way before, but it was really cool to think that someone like Nephi had questions and was able to come to his own understanding through the Lord. We were able to use that to help answer Nicole's question. She still has a LOT of questions, but she also committed to pray about a baptism date! She said she is thinking about June or July. Keep praying for her, please!
Sister Johnson and I also had another cool experience. We are in the process of going through people who have said we could come back and seeing if they truly want to learn more. We were going to go knock on the door of one girl we met a while ago. Her name was Emily, so I was keeping my fingers crossed that she really wanted to learn. Before she answered the door, Sister Johnson and I decided that we were going to be bold. So we overcame any fear we had and tried to ask her directly if she would like to learn more about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. AND . . . she wasn't interested. But we learned an important lesson. Being bold isn't just about helping people make commitments. It is also key in using our time wisely so that we can find those who are ready to hear more about the greatest message in the whole entire universe.
Those moments do come, and to illustrate that, I want to tell you about Lexi. Sister Johnson and I were biking one night on a sidewalk that runs between a bunch of different housing developments. A lot of people like to bike or walk or ride horses on this sidewalk. I saw a girl with her earbuds in, and we decided to go talk to her. Most of the time when people are walking, they just brush us off and keep walking, so I was expecting one of those. But the girl not only stopped, but she even took out her earbuds and started talking to us! She told us her name was Lexi. We discovered that her Dad had been LDS, and she went to church with him until he passed away. I asked her what had helped her as she went though losing her dad, and she began to cry (so I was afraid I had just messed up everything and upset Lexi). She said that having family and friends really helped. We were able to testify that she would see her dad again, and Sister Johnson (is awesome) offered if Lexi would like to learn more about the message we share and read from the Book of Mormon. At first, Lexi said no because she didn't think her mom would want to have them reading at her house. We were then able to offer reading with her at the church, and she said yes and set a time for Wednesday. First miracle of this, if two random strangers biked up to meet and asked if I wanted to read a book with them at some random building, I probably would have said no. But it taught me that the Spirit does testify that the message is true. Second miracle, Lexi then admitted that our conversation was exactly what she had needed at that time. It was absolutely incredible, and I felt so much love for Lexi. Sister Johnson and I both gave her a hug and went our separate ways, but I am so excited for Wednesday!
We had another lesson with Rachel again, and we brought a recently returned missionary with to help us teach about the temple. We have been trying to set a date for Rachel and Alex to go do baptisms for the dead (if you don't know what that means, worry not, there is an article right here: https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/baptism) ever since Rachel's baptism date in December. But life is busy and keeps getting in the way, so we haven't been able to help them set a time that they would just go. We decided to commit Rachel to picking a day in the lesson, and now we have been able to help her and Alex find names of family members to take to the temple on Wednesday! Wednesday is going to be a great day in the Arizona Gilbert Mission.
I'm so happy to be a missionary! I love the updates I get from my family and I love the things I'm learning here. I'm so blessed that Heavenly Father called me to a mission where I am lucky enough to see so many miracles that teach me so many things, and I hope that I am able to give back even a fraction of what all the people here have taught me. I love you, Family!
1001 N Burk Street
We quote John 9 at each other while we bike
Best kind of vandalism (We Heart Christ)