It has been another great week!
Lots of excitement for Jim's baptism this Saturday! And we think President might be coming to it too!!!! I just love what has been happening in this area. When Sis. Lemmon and I first got to our apartment here and we started figuring out where we were I was terrified. I didn't know how I was ever going to be able to make things work here and if we would ever find someone willing to listen to our message. and now 5 months later things have just exploded and we're having a BAPTISM!!!! The Lord is so good. His hand is definitely in this work and He knows His vineyard.
Yesterday was an awesome Sunday! We had the Felvers there and Michelle and her son Joey. That was so huge! Michelle hasn't been to church in a few years and when I first met her she didn't think that she would ever be able to come back. SHE DID! the Felvers stayed for all 3 hours again. Dane tried to leave after Sacrament meeting but we were able to get him to come to Gospel Principles. I don't know why he fights us on that. Once he gets in there he loves it and he contributes to the discussion and has such great things to add. He never regrets staying. Why do they fight something they need they're supposed to do and something that will make them happy? We're glad he stayed. and so is he. We had dinner with them last night and started teaching their 8 year old daughter the lessons. Heather said she wanted to be baptized so we started the lessons! We taught the Restoration and it went really well! Dane and Robyn both chimed in and helped teach it. That was awesome to see them being apart of teaching their daughter the gospel, something that hasn't happened for her. As I was watching this I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I am so grateful that my parents raised me in the church, that we were active. Not that Dane and Robyn are bad parents, they do everything for their kids and are incredible people! They did the best they could. and now they're doing better. It's really cool to see and to be a part of. Dane and Robyn heard that we were going to Kirtland when you guys come pick me up and said that they might meet us out there. Dane is going to be out of town that weekend and so he might leave a day later and go to Kirtland first. HOW SWEET WOULD THAT BE?!?!?!?! I told them we're still working out details and that I would make sure we kept in touch so that they would know what was happening.
Michelle said she loved being at church. She said she was really scared to come back, but she said it felt good being there. She had to leave after Sacrament unfortunately. and next week she'll be out of town, but hopefully the next she'll be back. She's made so much progress; I really hope she doesn't take any steps back.
Jill is doing.... alright.... She is having her gastric bypass surgery right now. We had a really great lesson with her earlier this week about sacrifices. She has still been smoking and has to quit before her surgery. So we asked her to sacrifice her smokes. She had 6 left and she gave Sis. Bakker and I each one and said she would only have the last 4 ones before her surgery today. that was Friday night. We went over last night to say good luck before she left this morning for the surgery and she had her son go buy her another pack of cigarettes. I was so disappointed. She has made so much progress, she has come so far. and she keeps taking huge steps backwards. It's so sad when you see people who want the gospel in their lives but won't do what they know they need to to get there. I hope that the surgery goes well today and that she will be able to quit smoking. Because if she doesn't quit after her surgery it's going to cause some serious complications. So she's been a little frustrating this week. People misusing their agency, what else is new?
We had a really awesome lesson with this other lessactive - Janie. she's in her 70's and is the sweetest thing. She has a mental illness and is very child like. But has incredible faith. She is the best example I've seen of childlike faith in my life. She taught me so much. A lot of my prayers were answered as we met with her, things I've been struggling with and trying to understand. It's incredible the different ways that the Lord answers prayers. I love it! I love knowing that we can talk to Him and that He will answer us. I love this quote by Elder Scott:
"Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, “Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.”
It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer."
Such a blessing! I love it!
We have a new district leader now, Elder Oberst. he's such a great elder and I think he's going to be able to really help Sis. Bakker and I with St. Marys. He's inspired and really cares about what we have going on down here. Such a great quality in district leaders. We also have a new zone leader - Elder Chapman! hahahaha! He was just released as one of the Assistants and is now down here in Lima. So funny. I'll take a picture with him and send it home so you can see how NOT related we look. haha! It's awesome. He's a red head. :)
Sis. Bakker's little sister just started her mission papers! It's so exciting. She also has a brother who is serving in Tennessee right now, so they could have 3 out all at the same time. Crazy! But so exciting.
Well that's about it for me today. We're going to be going down to this Catholic shrine thing down in Maria Stein Ohio. It should be neat. We drove by it the other day and decided to go today. It looks interesting and a little creepy... haha!
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!