Well what a week! We had some pretty interesting adventures, but it was a great week nonetheless!
The week started out with getting locked out of our apartment. This is the first time it has ever happened to me on my mission. Let me explain the whole story. So we have a treadmill in our basement that I use every morning. I had noticed that leaves were falling through our basement window because they had become piled up pretty high. I told Sister Wilson that needed to clean out the window well so that the leaves wouldn’t keep falling inside. So Tuesday morning was the day we decided to do it. We thought it would be pretty simple so we stayed in our dresses and grabbed a rake and a snow shovel (don’t judge, that is the only kind of shovel we had). I go out the back door first then Sister Wilson. It was pretty warm outside so I took off my jacket to go put it inside. It was then that I realized that Sister Wilson had shut the door. I turned around and said you just locked us out of the house. The locks on our house are pretty weird. Even if it is locked you can still turn the handle from the inside and open the door but not from the outside, Sister Wilson didn’t realize this. We didn’t have a spare key outside nor did we have our cell phone. The only way in was through the basement window which we covered by leaves. We cleaned out the window well like we originally planned to do. Then it was time to climb down into the basement. I volunteered to do it. But then as we cleaned out the well all these spiders, stink bugs and beetles started to climb out. I attempted to climb into the window, but all the bugs were freaking me out and I couldn’t get myself to put my hands and face near the leaves that were still in the well. Sister Wilson was the brave and awesome one that climb into the basement window and let us in. I now know why Heavenly Father didn’t send me somewhere foreign where there are a lot of bugs. I would have not been able to handle it!!! I am a city girl for LIFE!! As we were cleaning up Sister Wilson says, “Don’t move Sister Jones.” And then she grabbed something off of my dress. Come to find out it I had a quarter-sized spider chillin’ on my dress. I wasn’t even the one that climbed through the window! I attempted then chickened out. Go figure. I cleaned it off the window for Sister Wilson 🙂 Thankfully we were able to get back inside and we didn’t have to call the locksmith to let us in. We then had to put the window back in and duct tape it shut with some stylish mustache duct tape.
We had exchanges this week. It was Sister Wilson’s first one. I stayed here in Carlisle with Hermana Bills. It was a great exchange. We went to go see Paulo and Victoria. It was a great lesson led by the Spirit. We were able to find out some of Paulo’s concerns. I asked him if he has seen any blessings that have come since he has been learning about the gospel. He told us that he has seen a change in himself and that when he was meeting with us more frequently during the week he felt more peace in his life. Lately we have only been meeting with him once a week. He told us that that could be God trying to talk to him and tell him it is good, but he doesn’t want to see it. The Spirit is working with Paulo and is trying to help him open his eyes to the Lord talking to him.
Calvin and Kristina dropped us this week 😦 While on exchanges we had a lesson set with them and a member. When we get to the house Calvin answered the door and came outside to talk with us. He told us that they had a lot going on right now and that they were going to stay at the Church they are currently attending. He told us that it wasn’t us, but that it was him. He feels comfortable at their church because that is where he grew up. I was definitely not expecting that. It was so sad because I know that Kristina really wanted to be baptized. Calvin just needs to work some things out and then I think it will be time to try again. We are getting the Book of Mormon on CD for them so I asked if we could bring it by when it arrived. Calvin said that he still wanted it so that would be fine if we brought it by.
While on exchanges Wednesday night we were going to try a former investigator right before it was time to go in. I typed an address in the GPS and then Hermana Bills told me that I had put it in wrong. I put in the right address and then started to drive to the house. On the way Hermana Bills said, “What if we were suppose to go to that address and we just hindered the Spirit?” I said that it was possible. The former didn’t answer so we drove to the first address I had put in. Once we arrived we decided that it would be better to knock in the day time. So the next day Sister Wilson and I went back to that street. Coming back in the daylight shed some light on the fact that the house number we were looking for didn’t even exist. So we talked about what we should do. I realized that a potential lived right down the street and he was outside. We said a prayer and then got out of the car. The potential then got in his car and drove away…. Now what? We decided to knock doors. A man was standing in the door frame of his house and talking to his friend that was coming inside. I said hello and then knocked on his neighbors door. No one answered. He was saying goodbye to his friend that was leaving so we decided to skip his house and knock on his other neighbor’s door. While waiting for someone to answer the man asked if we were cold (it happened to be a colder day). We started talking to him from his neighbor’s porch and then he asked what we were soliciting. I walked over to him and told him who we were. His name was Damir. He told us that he saw the guy missionaries riding their bikes all the time when he was growing up. As we got to know him he began to express that he is really interested in learning about religion and he is open to learning. He told us that he has read the Koran, Bible, and Torah. Damir asked if we had anything to share with him. I then asked if he had ever read the Book of Mormon. He answered that he had never read it. We then had the opportunity to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and how it contains the words of Christ. It was pretty neat to see that the Lord was leading us to where we need to be. You can call it a coincidence, but I am here to tell you that it wasn’t. Everything worked out perfectly. I typed in the wrong address, Hermana Bills had the thought to visit it, Sister Wilson and I went when we did, and Damir was standing outside when we happened to come by. Damir also told us that something told him to call over to us when we were at his neighbor’s house. When I first saw him I knew we needed to talk to him, but I didn’t know how to approach him. I am grateful that the Spirit spoke to Damir and Damir then spoke to us.
Sister Wilson had an awesome lesson with Paulo and Victoria on Friday. The whole thing was guided by the Spirit. We talked about Eternal Marriages. This is a topic that I LOVE to teach on because no other church does. We helped him understand that marriages only continue past the grave if performed by someone who holds the Priesthood and has the keys to do it. I think it is so special and wonderful that the words used in a temple sealing are “for time and all eternity” instead of “til death do you part”. Man can only grant things for the here and now, but Heavenly Father can grant things for now and hereafter. Earlier that morning while studying and praying to know what to share with Paulo two symbols came into my mind a straight line and an infinity sign. I had no idea why those popped into my mind or how to even tie them into the lesson. Well during the lesson I found out. At the end of the lesson Paulo asked us to explain why he needed to join. The symbols came into my mind again, but this time I knew what I was going to say. I got up and said I can tell you why. I went over the whiteboard that they have in their kitchen and I drew a straight line. I looked at him and said, “If you want to only receive blessings here then stay the way you are.” I then drew an infinity symbol, looked at him and said, “If you want to receive blessings here and in the eternities then live the gospel. That is what the gospel does. That is how we achieve salvation. Christ told us that he is the well of living water and if we come unto Him and live His gospel we will never hunger or thirst again.” I sat back down and realized that I had no idea what I was doing if it even made any sense. But I looked at Paulo and he just nodded his head and said he understood. We then committed him to pray and ask God if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Christ true Church on the earth again and to not stop until he gets an answer. He said that he would and then he added that we wouldn’t be able to see him until he received his answer. I thought it was pretty bold and my face must have shown what I was thinking because then he asked, “What? You don’t have enough faith Sister Jones?” I said, ” I do, but do you have enough faith? I know that Heavenly Father will answer you prayer. He could do it by tomorrow if you have the faith and are listening to the Spirit.” So we all agreed that we wouldn’t meet again until Paulo received his answer.
We started meeting with a less-active named Sandy. We met her for the first time on Saturday. She is a so sweet and is wanting to come back to church. We taught her the Restoration with the a visual aid that we have and it really helped her see why Christ’s Church needed to be restored and how we know that it has happened. We committed her to come to Church and she ended up coming and she brought another less-active named David that lives down the hall from her. It was pretty awesome to see that they both made it out to Church together.
The work is going really well here in Carlisle. I seriously love it here. I can’t believe that I have already been here for four months. It blows my mind how fast it has gone. Winter is finally over and spring has sprung. I love the Spring and Summer because we get to spend a lot of time outside talking to people as they set out on their porches. It is the best way to find people to teach!!
I love you all and I hope you have the best week ever!!