Hey you guys!
This week has been great! We went on two exchanges this week in Cranberry and Beaver. We were out there from Thursday to Saturday afternoon. We blitzed both of the areas which means that we stayed in the area and exchanged companions. It was a lot of fun, but that meant that we weren’t in Butler for two days. Getting to know the sisters is so much fun. They all have different ways of sharing the gospel and I feel so privileged to be able to find new ways to be a missionary.
On Monday we went and saw Rich and tried to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. I have never heard someone talk so much in my life! We were constantly bringing it back to the gospel, trying to find ways to tie things he said to a certain principle. During our lesson a man in the neighborhood named Donny came over and sat in to listen. Donny has a lot of mental disabilities and health problems that have stemmed from the amount of alcohol that he drinks. He has been in the hospital multiple times so close to death. As we talked with him my heart hurt for him. I asked him what would he do for his family. He said that he would do anything, he would give his life for them. Rich looked at him and said would you give up the alcohol for them. Donny said he couldn’t… It broke my heart. He says that he would give his life for them but he won’t give up the one thing that is going to take his life and destroying their family. Being out here my testimony of the Word of Wisdom has grown tremendously. I know that it was inspired by God to bless us so that we could have healthy bodies and be able to use those bodies to their full capacity. I have met a lot of people who have so many medical problems due to alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. I am grateful for my knowledge of the Word of Wisdom and the blessings that come from keeping it.
On Tuesday we did service at a place called Produce to People. It is kind of like the bishop storehouse/ soup kitchen. We package up a certain amount of carrots, onions, potatoes, apples, etc. to give out to people. People line up outside and take a number so it is based on first come first serve. They open up the doors and the people walk by and pick up the allotted amount of each fruit or vegetable. It was so much fun 🙂 People would walk in a look so sad and we would talk and joke with them as we served them and waited for the line to move. I love making people smile and laugh. While working another volunteer came by, his name is Thomas, and asked us who we were. We said we were missionaries for our church. He said what are the Latter-day Saints all about. We said that we could meet and talk with him more about it. Thomas said that he would love that because he is really trying to change his life. Sister Thomas asked him if he lived close by, he answered that he lived right up the street. In my mind I was thinking “Yes, this is so awesome. We are totally going to teach this guy and baptize him!” We asked him when he was free and he said that he had a lot of free time. He then goes on to show us his wrist and he has a green paper bracelet on. We look at it and it says “BUTLER COUNTY PRISON”. He was in inmate from the prison! Don’t worry mom and dad we aren’t teaching him, but we did give him a Book of Mormon and told him to read it. He is in a program at the prison that allows him to come out into the community and do service.
On Saturday we had another awesome lesson with our less-active Jeanette and her nonmember husband Tiny. I know that Tiny will be baptized sometime! The awesome thing is that Tin has never really let missionaries into their home until a little before I got here. Tiny also hasn’t never taken the discussion until I got here. He is making progress, it is slow, but he is coming along. Jeanette called us last night crying bearing her testimony to us and telling us that she wants her and Tiny to be married in the temple. It is so amazing to see the effect that the gospel can have in people’s lives. We are working with Tiny to help him cultivate a desire to quit smoking and drinking coffee. He told Jeanette that he knows he needs to, but life is to stressful. We are going to help him see the blessings that will come from keeping the Word of Wisdom and embracing the gospel.
We had an awesome lesson with our investigator Angie last night. A ward member named Rafaela came out on a team up with us. She converted in 2009 and she is from Micronesia. The lesson went so well. We read 2 Ne 2 with Angie and Rafaela told her how much the Book of Mormon and the gospel has blessed her life. Angie really connected with her and could really feel the spirit. Angie’s son was home so he took the grand kids in the back and kept them busy. It was the first time that Angie could really focus on the lesson and feel the spirit. Having Rafaela there with us made all the difference. She has such a desire to share the gospel and her testimony. Members bring such a strong spirit with them. I have high hopes for Angie. I know she wants happiness and peace in her life and this is what can bring it.
I cannot express how much I love my mission. I have truly enjoyed my time out here and sharing the gospel with so man wonderful people. My understanding of the gospel increasing everyday as I study and learn new truths. I know that my Savior is walking with me every step. I love you all and I am so grateful for the support! Keep sharing the gospel. It is the best thing that you could do with your time.
Hey you guys!