Week 16- Its a Jungle in the Middle of the City……

Soooo this p-day started out awesome! I went to the Pittsburgh zoo! This was my first time at the zoo and it was so much fun. It is a pretty big zoo and they have lots of different animals. They also don’t have much blocking you and the animals, don’t worry we were safe πŸ™‚ I saw lions, tigers, polar bears, Oh my! Haha… but really I did. I saw giraffes, elephants up close, leopards, and more. I had a blast and it was a super fun p-day. It started raining while we were there, which meant that there was pretty much nobody at the zoo. It has been raining quite a bit, but all the flowers are starting to bloom and Pittsburgh is so pretty!!! It is a jungle in the middle of a city basically. GORGEOUS!!
As for this past week it went really well. We taught the most lessons I have ever taught in a week! We are really working hard to get new investigators and teach as many people as we can.
These past two weeks we had been trying to get a hold of our investigator T, but we had no luck. We texted, we called, we left notes at her house, but no answer. This Thursday we decided it would be our last time trying before we would just give her some space and check in a while. Part of me was saying “don’t go, you’ve tried so many times already, she’ll call when she is ready.” Another part of me (I realized this was the spirit and the other part was Satan) said “Go one more time and see. It won’t hurt.” After talking with Sister Zaugg we decided it was best that we went. We knocked on her door and she answered! We found out that her phone had been broken and she lost our number. If we would have stopped coming by she would have had no way of getting a hold of us in the future. After the fact I realized that Satan was trying to keep us from getting to her, but I sure am glad that we listened to the spirit and decided to go. We talked to her about why she hasn’t been coming to church, she finally told us the reason was that she was scared to take off work because she would be working less hours (before she only worked on Saturdays and Sundays). We promised her that God would take care of her. He would bless her for keeping his commandments. She shared with us her favorite scripture and it is Isaiah 48:18, which talks about keeping God’s commandments. She looked at us and said I think I need to do what my favorite scripture says. I know that our Heavenly Father blesses us for keeping His commandments. He knows that they are for our benefit.
We have this investigator named Barb was knows the church is true, knows the Book of Mormon is true, and knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, yet she isn’t willing to keep some of the commandments, especially the Word of Wisdom. If we know the church is true and we need to keep ALL of God’s commandments. We can’t pick and choose which ones we follow.
We are still meeting with our investigator M and he is still working on receiving an answer on whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. In our last lesson we could tell that him and his wife B (who is a member) are getting frustrated because he isn’t “receiving” and answer and they are waiting to have kids until they are on the same page when it comes to religion. It has been a trial of my own faith and patience since we have been meeting with him these past four months. I have really had to rely on the Lord and His timing with answering prayers when it comes to M. Through my own studies I have also come to realize that God trusts us to make our own decisions at times. By making our own decisions we learn to trust ourselves and the fact that we can make right choices. I feel like this might be the case with M. This next lesson we are going to really have to rely on the Lord because it is the last time we will meet before the week of the baptismal date we set him with. I have also come to learn that even though I want M to have the answer right now, it may not be the Lord’s will for M to have the answer right now. I have been learning lots and lots of patience out here.
Our recent convert D’s mom just started taking the lessons with us. She texted us out of the blue and asked if we could start. I was so excited! This is something that we have been waiting for! God really does prepare people, we just have to wait for when they are ready. We had our first lesson with her this week and she told us that she finally understood why we say that this is Christ’s restored church and why we needed a restoration in the first place. It finally clicked for her that this is the true church. My testimony of the Restoration has grown tremendously since I have been out here. I know that this is the true church and I know that the fulness of the gospel was restored through Joseph Smith. I love teaching the restoration!
On the way to church on Sunday we ran into this man we have met a couple times before named John. I sat by him and started talking to him. I asked him if he had read anymore of the Book of Mormon and he said that he had decided that he was drawn to the Bible and that is all that he would read. He went on to say that he doesn’t read much besides the Bible and how he has never been an avid reader. This was the kicker! He went on to say that he likes to read things that have true stories and that if we were to ever write books about our testimonies he would read something like that. I chuckled, well on the inside of course, and told him that that is exactly what the Book of Mormon is. It is true stories about people lived anciently and their testimonies that they wrote down. I testified that I knew it was true and that I had to come to find it for myself. I told him he could too. After church we were walking behind the church to our bus stop and I saw this man in front of us. He looked lost. The spirit whispered to me “talk to him”, so I did. I asked him how his day was and he said it was alright right. He was just searching for something. I asked him what and he said he didn’t know. He was reading a book so I asked him what it was. I don’t remember the name, but it was some religious inspiration book. He said he had bought the book that morning and just started reading trying to find hope in something. We talked more about religion and his life. He told us that he had done the “fun” stuff in life and that that wasn’t enough anymore. I told him we had a message that would give him hope and that a message that would help him find his purpose. I invited him to come to church next Sunday. He said he passes by it every Sunday for a year and that he would have to stop in. I told him that God has a plan for him and that there is much to hope for after this life. We gave him our information and as he was walking away he said you got that glow that we all want. I told him he could have it too. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of his children.
Also during district meeting we do role plays and we had an investigator come and help us out. He played the investigator and all of us missionaries (5) did a “lesson” with him. At the end when I was bearing testimony I cried and told him that I know our Savior lives and that he can redeem us. At the end he went around a told each of us our strengths. He got to me and said “You are all full of passion. You can tell that what you say comes straight from the heart. You are going to touch a lot of people and you are going to have them crying right there with you.” That really touched me, but I know that it is the spirit that does the work and reaches out to people and touches their hearts. I am just so glad that I can be an instrument in the Lord’s hands while on my mission.
I love my mission. I love training. I love being a missionary and I love you all.
Have a great week πŸ™‚
Love,
Sister Jones

CIMG0970 CIMG0986 CIMG0992 CIMG0999 CIMG1011 CIMG1030 CIMG1039 CIMG1041 CIMG1069 CIMG1071 CIMG1094 CIMG1109 CIMG1110 CIMG1129

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