Holy Moly! So much love and joy coming from this Sister here! Seriously though one of the best weeks I've had in my mission so far! Reasons:
1. I'm feeling the spirit so much in my daily life, that's leading me to touching the hearts of the people we're teaching.
2. We surprisingly set an investigator of ours for baptism.
3. WE HAD A BAPTISM of Mark Smith. More deets to follow shortly
4. We had 8 less actives attend church yesterday, and 4 investigators.
5. I made a rap for Sister Cottrell....that's my third one out here.
6. Don't know if I told you but I learned how to knit and have been knitting SCOT a scarf.
7. Receive one of the nicest letters I've ever gotten from one of the less actives. More deets for that one too. :)
Any the WEEK WAS GREAT! I don't even know where to begin. I really love New Jersey. I really love Scotch Plains 2 North area. It is def one of my favorites. The people here have seriously touched my heart. I have come here and received so many blessings. I'll go through the week because it progressively got better. We ended up playing Frisbee for a little on Monday and then went to a member families house for dinner and FHE. We played the Jeopardy and the three little boys loved it! I did too. It was a lot of fun to see how much they knew. We had some bomb burgers.
Tuesday was district meeting and one of the best. I just love the spirit. I'm so overwhelmed with how much I've felt the spirit this transfer. Being able to discern people's needs and teach them what they need to be taught has been so cool. We went and taught our investigators Jesse and Flor. Mother and son and goll I love Flor. We were talking about the Plan of Salvation and one of the best I've ever taught and the spirit was just flowing through both SCOT and I. We got to the kingdoms of Glory and started explaining from the bottom to the top. We got to the Celestial Kingdom and Flor was about to jump out of her seat, saying she wanted to go to that Kingdom! We referenced it to the sun and she was going off. She's from Costa Rica so she has a nice accent. I love her. After that I was prompted to ask her what she needed to do to go there. She said "be a good person, follow God's commandments" Mosiah 18:8-10 popped into my head so we opened up to it. She read it in Spanish while I read it in English. The last verse says "if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized" I asked her again what she needed to do and she said "I need to be baptized." Right then, SCOT asked her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. She accepted it and said she needs to learn more about the church! But she accepted it! It was the coolest thing. Flor is another one prepared by Our Heavenly Father. After that we went and visited Mark, another car lesson with the Fullmers. We went over the interview questions and he passed with flying colors! We talked about Enduring to the End and he is SO READY!
Wednesday was a great day. We've gotten quite a few Christmas CD's and put them all on one CD, we're waiting for after Thanksgiving but are so EXCITED for the Christmas music. We taught Brother Grosch and went and helped Sister Ashton clean her house for inspections! And they passed. She's been doing such a great job cleanin up and throwing away a lot of things. :) We keep taking things from her house to de-clutter it and it's going really well. She's thanked us so much for what we're doing. I'm proud of her for throwing away so much. We went and visited with Petra and then a member, Brother Nesmith. We read Alma 17 with him and I believe I received so much more revelation than anyone that was there. It was really cool. Again, the spirit working in me. Our last lesson was with our investigators, the three young women. They are READY to be baptized they have to get permission from their father but they are ready. We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and then did the teabag object lesson. They loved it so much and wanted to do it again, so we told them they had to teach us and we weren't going to say a word. So we gave our tags to them and they did just a GREAT job teaching us the gospel of Jesus Christ. I loved it so much! More prepared people!
Thursday we had the BEST lunch EVER. We've passed this restaurant for a long time and I've wanted to try it. It was called And Grain and boy I'd give it two thumbs up....I actually did give two thumbs up to the owner. We split a chicken pesto sandwich a basket of breads with different spreads to put on the bread and whoever comes back to NEW J with me we're going to go there! We got a text from Sister Ashton asking us to come over and I'm so glad we did. She was feeling down and we lifted her right up. I can't begin to express the love I have for that lady. She is one of the reasons I have come to New Jersey. To meet her and both of us be strengthened by each other. She wrote me a very sweet letter confirming we've met for a reason. It touched my heart and I love her so much! I'm really going to miss her when I leave :(
Friday was another great day of teaching. SCOT helped Brother Grosch with his family history again and he said he felt the spirit so strongly as they were doing that. That made me happy. We also taught another investigator, Brother Grosch came with us and did such an amazing job testifying again. We set her on date for baptism for December 29th. A lot of prayer and faith to help her be ready for that day. We door-bell ditched cookies at Bishops house. Unfortunately the door-bell was broken but they received them anyway and ate them all up! That was fun.
Saturday we went and helped Sister Ashton clean up their yard from Halloween and SCOT helped her clean her car out. I raked a lot of leaves. I just have to say....when I was younger I really didn't like raking but I can now say, I love raking....Bill (Sister Ashton's husband) said it builds character and you better believe it does haha. So great. He also got us caramel apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory....apple pie ones. So yummy. I've missed those. SCOT and I ate one yesterday and we were both dying because it tasted so good! We taught another member on Saturday and had to change completely our lesson because we didn't do family history....as she was talking I was prompted to ask her if she's received her patriarchal blessing and she hadn't so we talked about them and committed her to prepare for hers. It was totally prompted by the spirit again! I loved it! That night was the chili cook-off. Sister Ashton, Bill and her son came! So happy. I ate too much chili...I think it made me sick...but it was good. Fun company....now SUNDAY!
Such a wonderful day FULL of the spirit. Mark's baptism, a lot of less actives at church and awhhh just so many good emotions were flowin yesterday. Mark was baptized and will receive the Holy Ghost next week. He was so ready, Saturday night I texted him and asked "you excited", he replied "no, calm and ready" Touched my heart. The baptism came and the spirit was very strong. He asked Elder Ragma, one of the Philippino missionaries to baptize him. As they went into the water, strong emotions came, not to tears but close, Elder Ragma lowered him in the water and he came up. As he came up he opened his eyes, looked to the crowd, gave a BIG huge smile and waved at everyone. Mark is one of the most reMARKable guys I have met. He was so ready this time to be baptized! We had time to bear testimonies and I have to get up and express my gratitude. The words were just flowing from my mouth. I got down and didn't remember what I said because the spirit was testifying. I'm so grateful for this gospel and how Mark now has the opportunity for eternal life :)
My heart is so full of love and joy for the week I have had. It truly has been one of the best. I love this gospel with all of my heart! I love my Savior Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith restored this church for us today! The Book of Mormon is TRUE! Thank you for all your prayers for Mark and all of your support. Transfers are next week. I don't know whats going to happen but I'll let you know next week! I love you all!!
Sister Christine Taylor