The weeks here seem to be going by like days. I can't even begin to tell you how much of a blur this whole thing is. Thank you to all who are writing me. I promise I will write back to you but the only day I can is Monday and then it takes awhile to get there. Anyways...what a week. I don't quite remember what really happened. All I remember is how I feel ever. Still the same happiness like usual but it does get harder and harder each day to see so many people excersise their agency and turn down the thing you love the most. It's sad but we have to remember that everyone has a choice to choose for their own and no matter what you say or do, you will never be able to convince them of truth. That is the spirits job and that's why it's so important to live worthy of the spirit in everyday lives. If we do not have the spirit, we will never be succesful. Plain and simple.
So I have two quick stories that I would like to share with everyone. They both touched my life in a way I didn't think was possible.
So it was thursday morning and me and Elder Hanes were planning our day out and what we wanted to accomplish. We got a text from a member to go visit a less active member in the ward so we made it a point to get there at some point. So we left our apartment ready to go find people and knock some doors as well as to visit the less active member in our ward. On our way there we both recieved the STRONG prompting to go into this neighborhood and knock 5 doors. So we did and NO ONE answered the door. We didn't understand why we had recieved that prompting from the spirit to go and knock the doors because nothing came out of it...or so we thought. So we kept on walking and I kid you not, we said at the same time that our stomachs began to hurt. Really badly actually and Elder Hanes felt like he needed to destroy a bathroom really quickly...hahaha so we kept walking to find a bathroom. We saw a subway and were going to go in there but then I felt like we needed to cross the street and go into hobby lobby which was much further away. Well we decided to listen to the Spirit again and Elder Hanes was able to go to the bathroom...for like 5 million hours...haha jk. But It was awhile. After, we were about to walk back the way we came from but Elder Hanes said that we should probably go see another less active that he had just thought of. So we kept walking further from our apartment and crossed the street again. As we crossed the street someone whistled at us and waved and we thought nothing of it. We kept walking, and this guy pulled us over on the side of the road and said, "you have no idea how perfect of timing this is, get in my car, I have to go show you someone I just met". We got in his car and he told us about a lady he jsut met and explained he was a member of the church. While in the store he felt prompted to help this lady out and long sotry short they talked about the gospel for 2 hours in the store. So we went back to the store and sure enough this lady was just about to get in her car and leave. We ran up to her and started talking to her. She began by ssaying "you are going to think I am crazy Elders I priomise" so we thought she was gonna be some nutty crack job like we sometimes find in OKC haha. But then she started talking about Prophets and how God had told her that there was a prophet on the earth who had God's authority today and that God had restored a "new Church" in this day and that she was looking for it. We were THRILLED and SHOCKED to say the least. What a miracle. There is so much to the story so if you want to know more, email me or write me and I can let you know, but I can't put it on the internet. We ended up talking to her and giving her a book of mormon and we will see what comes out of it :) Just think that if we had not spent time knocking those doors in the beginning or crossing the street and going the long way to hobby lobby, we would have missed this opportunity. It goes to show that God really knows where we are every single minute of the day. He has everything planned out by every single SECOND. Listen to every prompting you get from the spirit and act because you never know what will come from it in the long run especially. I testify to you all today that God is an ALL KNOWING and all POWERFUL God. He knows each and every one of us personally and knows where we are and what we are going through. "HIs ways are higher than our ways". Trust Him, He will provide for your needs.
Second story. We had been visting with another less active member in the ward. She hadn't been to church in who knows how long. When I first met her, she wasn't in a good position at all to say the least. Like really in a very bad situation and she wanted nothing to do with us. We kept going over nonetheless and showing her how much we truly cared for her. We really did love her and want the best for her. Little by little she began to talk to us. Then last week I committed her to read the Book of Mormon every single day and not miss a day. I made her pinky promise and we stamped it, don;t worry. So we checked back on her every other day and she hadn't missed a day and each day we saw her, she had a little more light about her and she was happier each time we saw her. We had been trying to get her back to church every single sunday but everytime we called her to wake her up she would hang up the phone on us. haha. So this sunday came around and we called her again but to my surprise she answered and said that she was on her way to church!! :) We were both shocked. She got to church sure enough and sat with us. It was fast sunday and so everyone was bearing their testimonies. I leaned over and nudged her and said "your next" and laughed a little. She said nooooo way!!! And then 10 minutes after she leaned over and said "I changed my mind" and then she hopped right up and sat on the stand. When she bore her testimony, I could feel the spirit work through her. I could feel Jesus Christ's and Heavenly Fathers love fill the room. It was so sweet and such an amazing experience. She is now in the process of quitting smoking after smoking her whole life. (shes in her 50's) She is changing her life around. The Book of Mormon changes people. God changes people. The spirit changes people. Let it change you like it is changing her. You will be happier. Miracles will happen in your life. Take note of them!! We are so blessed and God loves us so much. Jesus Christ is begging us to "come follow me". Choose Christ. You will be happier. I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Last thing I want to tell you about. Something I just remembered. It is the principle of "Choosing Christ". As missionaries you have NO idea how hard Satan works on us. He does everything he can to put thoughts into our heads and to tempt us to do stupid things. You would be shocked at some of the stories I have already. So how do we combat satan? He is able to put thoughts into our heads. He is able to influence us, but how do we combat it? We always have agency. Satan cannot dwell in holy places. He is not ALLOWED to. It is law. Therefore, when a thought is put into your head or when you feel tempted to do something you know you shouldn't do, to get him to leave, you simply testify of Jesus Christ and he is REQUIRED by God to leave. So in your head simply state, "I choose Christ" and he must leave. Sometimes the circumstances call for firmness and in those occasions we must verbally say it, but once we testify of Christ, he is REQUIRED to leave. It works I promise you. :) Everyone always says, ""sing a hymm or somethins", but if we do this, you will find it is a very useful tool. I don't quite know why I told you all this, but I felt like I needed to :) It would've been helpful to me! :)
If you want to email me my email is firstname.lastname@example.org but I can't email back. i will have to write back. Other than that, send pictures, I love pictures of things back home to show to everyone out here :) Love you guys!! I pray for you all daily!! :)
Anyways, I love this Gospel and I will never tire of saying it. I will never tire of serving my Heavenly Father. I am indebted to Him for all that I am. Without Him I am nothing. I know that Jesus Christ loves me and atoned for my sins. He knows me personally and that is so comforting that I can draw strength from his infinite atonement. I testify to you that it is truly power. I love the Book of Mormon, it changes lives. I also know that there is a living Prophet called of God on the earth today. Of this I testify to you all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
p.s we had our first tornado warnings...so dope. I will send pics of the clouds. yoooo. love you all!