I have some really great news for all of you. Are you ready for this? Drum roll please…. dadadadadadadada… The snow has finally melted! I know this might not be anything spectacular but it is pretty awesome to me. It has been gone for about a week. This past week was pretty warm. It got to the fifties! I actually saw grass in Pittsburgh for my first time. It was a sight to see. Also due to the snow melting so fast and Pittsburgh having terrible drainage systems, there was water everywhere.The sidewalks and roads have lots of pot holes and cracks so you have to be really careful where you walk otherwise you might be walking with soggy socks all day. One day of the week was actually warm enough that I walked around for an hour without a coat on. It was glorious. Although I have no idea what I am going to do with all the things I keep in my coat pocket when it comes time to really ditch the coat. But I’ll figure it out.
We got a senior couple in our area this week. They are the cutest and nicest people ever. They let us use their mission phone for the whole week while we waited for ours to come. They are from Wyoming and they are not use to a place like Pittsburgh, but they are settling in just fine. They take really good care of us missionaries.
This week all of us missionaries in our district went to a less active’s house, R’s, and she fed us dinner. I ate the most I have EVER eaten in one sitting. Every time I go to her house I feel like I am going to puke. She cooked us like ten pizzas, she made a cake for Sister Stokes’ birthday, and then she had cookies. She is from Brazil and she loves to make big meals. The thing is is that she expect us to eat everything. She always says she wants nothing left. You want to know how much I ate? It’s disgusting, but I ate six pieces of pizza, two and a half pieces of cake, and half a cookie. Plus ten glasses of juice (she kept saying we couldn’t have empty cups). We would eat or drink all of it and think she won’t give me more. Well I obviously didn’t catch on, she kept serving me more food and drink. I eventually called it quits and didn’t finish my cake or cookie. I felt like I might die when we left the house my stomach was so full! Sister Stokes and I went running the next morning to try and work some of it off.
We met with a new investigator this week. His name is J. We found out that he is an atheist who used to Presbyterian. We gave him a Book of Mormon when we first met him two weeks ago. He read all the way to 3 Nephi by the time we met with him this week. Crazy thing is that he read that far yet he doesn’t believe in God. He was really excited to read it though. He told us he is searching for something. J also told us he didn’t like the Bible. The stories and laws in the Bible are actually what caused him to believe that God doesn’t exist. It is pretty hard to understand because the Bible and the Book of Mormon all talk and point to there being a God. We have to start at square one with him. So this should be pretty interesting. I’ll let you know how this week’s lesson goes.
We met with two of our investigators named B and T. We set both of them with a baptismal date on April 12th! David’s birthday! They are old investigators who were dropped by other missionaries. B and T were the ones that contacted us. They missed the missionaries and wanted to meet with and continue to learn more. So we are really working with them and hope they keep commitments and truly try to find the truth.
Our investigator M who we have been working with since I got here has been progressing. It is little steps but it’s progress. At the end of our lesson this week he actually committed himself to do something. We talked about taking to time ponder after we pray or ponder after a lesson because this is the time that we are giving the Lord to answer our prayers. We can’t just say our prayers and ask for what we need or ask for an answer and then just get up and walk away. We have our time when we are speaking, we also need to give the Lord time to speak too. M committed himself to make more time to ponder in his week. It was awesome to see him really apply what we taught to himself and want to make the change. This is something that I have been trying to work on too. I have been giving more time to pondering and paying attention to the thoughts and feelings I have. I know that the Lord does answer prayers we just need to listen.
We had stake conference this weekend. Saturday night was all about member missionary work and how member’s can approach friends and family to share the gospel with them. I know for me when I first started out I thought I had to baptize people right away. But I’ve learned that that is not the case. Although baptism is vitally important we must take small and simple steps to bring about great things. By taking small steps such as inviting people to FHE or even just dinner at your house can lead to them noticing your families example and that can lead to further conversations about the gospel and eventually inviting them to church and the missionary lessons. My point is is that it doesn’t have to be something huge or grandiose. Start small and then work you way up. Something to remember too is that not everybody is ready to accept the gospel. Keep praying for them and pray to see opportunities to share it with them. I promise you that the Lord will bless you with opportunities to share the gospel and that he will tell you what you should do.
My favorite thing to do everyday is to read the scriptures. I have truly come to love the Book of Mormon. I finished it for my second time ever and I have started again. It brings me so much peace when I read it and so much guidance too. I have never realized how simple the Book of Mormon really is. I have found that as I have really focused as I read I have understood a lot more. I also pray for understanding before I read, which I’m pretty sure has helped too! I have also started reading the Old Testament which I have never read before. The stories are interesting. Our investigator M really loves the Bible and knows it really well. We asked him how he came to know that the Bible was true and that it was God’s word. Well this made me think about how do I know the Bible is true and that it is God’s word? Up to this point in my life I think it is something I have just accepted, but with the Book Of Mormon I have come to know by the power of the Holy Ghost that it is true. I have decided to do the same with the Bible. I prayed to know and I felt like I should read it. So far since reading I feel it is true and I obviously can tell that some parts might not be what the original text said, but it makes sense and brings me closer to God.
Well that was my week! I love you all and thank you for the support! Keep reading you scriptures and keep looking for ways to share the gospel with those around you. Pray for opportunities. Have a great week!