This week has been incredible! I've been able to see so many miracles. First off, MARKS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SUNDAY! He's so ready and excited as well as am I. One of the less actives I've been working with just about since I've gotten here is so amazing. We've been going over and helping her clean up her house and get rid of a lot of things. That's been nice and we've created such a great friendship. She's older but she said she thinks of Sister Cottrell and I as peers and not her daughters. That was really cool. I feel like she wants to come back to church but is nervous to get back. Transfers are coming up and I'm not sure if I'm leaving or not but on Saturday we went and helped her for quite some time and at the end she said "if you tell your mission president not to transfer you, I'll be at church on Sunday" I told her I would. So hopefully she'll come to church on Sunday and be able to feel the spirit there and want to come back. I know she's felt the spirit quite a bit when we go over there. One of the first times, Sister Maclay and I went over there we read Mosiah 24:11-14 or so and she had tears welling up inside her eyes. I know she feels the spirit when we go over and I hope she'll come to church because she wants to, not just because I won't be getting transferred..We'll see and I'll let you know next week if she comes or not :)
Wednesdays are always bomb days for us. We have a lot of set appointments on Wednesdays. And boy it was good. We didn't have to cook lunch or dinner. Members fed us. We started with helping a member, well Sister Cottrell, helping a member with family history, she was able to find a couple of other names for him which was great. Then over to Mary Ann's for a quick lesson with her. We taught her the gospel with the teabag. She loved it. That's like the 3rd time doing it with her but she was the one that taught the object lesson so that was great! Then to Brother Grosch, he was a less active member who referred himself on Mormon.org and boom we were right on it and have been teaching him. He's on FIRE with the gospel right now and is loving it. Yesterday we walked out of the church and there he was driving in his car. He came up to us and said "man, I need to find a job, this retirement is killing me. I have nothing to do." It was pretty funny. He's a great guy and loves the gospel. He feeds us pizza each time we go over there. I'm surely getting my fair share of pizza, which is great because the pizza back on the west coast doesn't do justice for the pizza out here :) We had a couple of other lessons. One with three young women investigators, they want to be baptized so bad but their father won't let them. We taught them the holy ghost and did the water and pepper analogy and boy did they love it! I hope and pray their father will give them permission. They are yearning for the gospel fully in their lives. We ended at Chili's with a member for dinner. She's from Utah and met her husband and moved out here. She's a sweetheart. I love her a lot. Her husband isn't a member but we're always trying to work with the part-member families.
Thursday it was a rainy, rainy day. We had Mark and walked in the rain over there. It was a pretty far walk and we got quite wet. But it was fun. We had a YSA come out with us, she recently returned from her mission in Idaho, she was waiting for her visa for Brazil and had to come back and fix her papers. She did such a great job. If there's anything I learned out here, it's how to be a great member missionary. I can't wait to get home to be able to help the missionaries. Because now I know how it feels to be the missionary and needing the members help so much. Truly grateful to learn that here.
Friday we had interviews with President and Sister Jeppson. Boy do I love interviews! They seriously are the best to be able to get reassurance from them about what I'm doing. President and I had a great talk, he asked me how I'd feel staying in an area for 5 transfers (that's most likely what'll happen if I don't get transferred this upcoming transfer). I told him I haven't been burnt out here yet but I'd love to go to a new area. We'll see what happens in a couple of weeks. I truly do love Scotch Plains 2 North. I would have to say it's probs my favorite area. Maybe because I see it now that the Lord is truly hastening his work so much. There have been so many people coming out of the wood-works wanting to learn more and coming back into the fold. And I've had the amazing privilege of being here for it. I just can't believe how fast time is really flying! Sister Cottrell again helped a member, Brother Grosch, with family history and got so much information. He just about jumped out of his seat because he was so happy. He's so ready to get back to the temple and do the work for his dead ancestors. It's really awesome to see that. He came with us to an appointment and he testified so strongly, I know our investigator was hit with the spirit. I asked her if we could set a goal for her to get baptized, she sat there silently for 2 minutes trying to figure out what to say. She finally said, let me talk to my member friend. So hopefully this week, we can set her with a date to be baptized. We went to a baby shower on Friday night and that was really fun to see all the sisters in our ward a little more relaxed. I had some good laughs.
Saturday was another great day of set appointments where none fell through! We helped our less active like I mentioned before and I got a guitar from them. We'll see if I can learn a song or something :) We taught some powerful lessons and I have loved being able to feel the spirit in the lessons we're teaching. I'm truly grateful for the spirit in my life.
Sunday, again, such a strong spirit. Sacrament is beginning to mean more and more to me. Grandma Joyce bore her testimony on the power of prayer. I was so grateful to be able to witness her coming in contact with her grandson after 17 years because Sister Maclay and I were there teaching her one time and we prayed in faith. That story is one I'll share for the rest of my life. We've already got set plans for Thanksgiving to as well mom, so no need to worry. Our bishops wife invited us over (she said if I get transferred Sister Cottrell can't come over, but she was joking, that woman loves me) Also, Grandma Joyce wants us over, as well as Sheena, one of our investigators, and Sister Ashton too, our less active that we do service for. We'll see if my stomach can hold all that...if I don't get transferred that is..
We went and saw Petra again and talked with her and told her that this gospel is where she can find happiness. I hope she's willing to learn more and try it out. She said she wanted Hana to come to church, she can't right now with her newborn baby but hopefully she'll be open to it soon :) I love Petra. Another story I'll tell for a long time. We went and found a WAY less active from a referral some Sisters in Elizabeth gave us. She's crazy, more to come about her. We have to meet with her again.
Yesterday was great. We went to dinner with a member family and played LDS Jeopardy, Sister Cottrell and I made the board and questions and it was a hit. Their kids are so smart and very intelligent with the gospel. We left and the mom texted us and said, Daniel just contentedly sighed, and said "when I grow up, I want to be a missionary." Thank you for coming over tonight :) That melted my heart, when we were over there we were doing what our 'rose' and 'thorn' of the day were and he said "my rose is when the sisters came over" Again, my heart melted. Such a cute family!
And today, We had a couple of really powerful lessons. District meeting was great but the lessons we had after were even better. We taught our investigators, Jesse and Flor, mother and son, the plan of salvation. It was powerful. We explained the 3 kingdoms of glory and asked Flor which one she wanted to go to, she replied "The Celestial one" I asked "what do you have to do to get there?" She said serve people and keep the commandments. I was prompted to read Mosiah 18: 8-10 and we opened it up and read it and after she said, "I have to be baptized" Sister Cottrell invited her to be baptized and she said she wants to learn more, but she's going to get baptized! She's another prepared daughter of our Heavenly Father. It was incredible. We went to see Mark and had another car meeting with Elder and Sister Fullmer and went through the Baptismal Interview Questions with him and he's going to pass with flying colors! He's so ready to be baptized. I love it!
I love being a missionary. It has changed my life and in turn I want to help others change theirs, for the better. I've become a little bit more of who Heavenly Father wants me to be. I'm confident in who I am. I'm a daughter of God and he loves me so much. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I was reading in 3 Nephi this week and loved this scripture, 3 Nephi 15:9. I'm grateful for this opportunity. I love you all! I hope you have a great week! It was VERY CHILLY today! Stay warm :)
Sister Christine Taylor