Week 68- T’was An Incredible Week!

This week started out super awesome!! We had a member take us out to Gettysburg. She got us a tour guide and he drove us all around the battlefields and told us exactly what happened during the 3 day battle. It was so cool to hear all the stories of what took place during the battle at Gettysburg. It was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. As we drove through the town I could just picture all of the men that were there fighting. A lot of men died during those 3 days, but only one civilian died. Her name was Jennie Wade. During the battle all the civilians hid in their basements until the battle was over. One day Jennie decided to come up to make some bread. Well a stray bullet happened to pass through two doors and it struck Jennie and she died. The house that she died is still there today. There is an original bullet hole in one of the outside doors. There is a legend that if your ring finger fits into the bullet hole you are due to be married. The member who took us really wanted us to try it… Sister Wilson’s finger didn’t fit, but mine did. So apparently I am suppose to be getting married soon. Obviously that can’t happen because I still have time left on my mission. There was just a bunch of fun things like that and so much to see and to learn while we were there. There were so many amazing stories of the men and how they were inspired to act. After the tour we then went to this restaurant called the Dobbin House. It is an actual historic tavern that was a hiding place on the underground railroad. You go down into the basement to eat, there is minimal lighting coming from candles, and everything is rustic. Even the waiters are dressed for the time period. It was so much fun and the food was really good! There is a door in the wall that the runaway slaves would go into and hide in the wall when officers would come in. There is so much history here in Pennsylvania I love it!!
We did a ton of service this week! We helped a member family in their 80s pack up their house and move. It was a lot of work, it took a couple of days, but it was fun getting to know them. They had so much stuff from all the places that they have traveled to. It was awesome getting to look at it all. We also helped an investigator of ours named Blair get rid of some of his Japanese Maple Trees. We have a member in our ward from Japan and she really wanted some. IT was quite the adventure getting the trees to her house in our tiny little 2012 Toyota corolla. Thankfully there were saplings, but one of them was taller than me in the bucket. We had to lay them from the front seat into the back seat. I had to ride in the back while Sister Wilson drove to the member’s house. Later in the week we helped this member make tutus for the little girls running team that she coaching. She fed up Japanese food. Onigiri (traditional Japanese lunch: sticky rice in a ball, with salmon, spices all wrapped in seaweed), umeboshi (a pickled plum), and Ramune (which is a type of soda). It actually was really good. The pickled plum was extremely sour, pretty much like a warhead. They usually put it in the onigiri to preserve it a little longer.
As for teaching, the work has been going really well. Our zone is doing a competition called the Last Companionship Standing. It is whoever can teach at least one lesson a day for the longest period of time. It has been going on for about a week now. We are still in the running!!
Paulo and Victoria are doing great! Paulo is out of the casino and no longer working there. He invited us over to come and celebrate him getting his new jobs with his family. We were the only people there that couldn’t speak Spanish. Thankfully they were really kind and would translate for us. It was great getting to know his family and we fit right in, based not speaking spanish šŸ™‚ As for Paulo and the lessons, he is doing ok. He is still trying to figure things out within himself. We try to help him as much as we can but he has to open up to the Spirit completely. With time he will come.
We haven’t been able to see Somer or Braydan in the last week and half so his baptismal date for May 30th is going to have to be pushed back. He is still coming to cub scouts, but they aren’t coming to church. We want to meet with Somer and help her see that she needs to be active before we baptize Braydan. We are trying to catch her while she is home, but we haven’t had any success.
Our investigator Chris is doing so awesome!!! We have had some really great lesson and miracles with him. We are also teaching his fiancee Christine too. They have 3 kids together plus 2 that Christine had before. They have been going through a rough patch lately in their relationship. We have been teaching Chris more than we have Christine which is interesting because we started out teaching Christine. Chris would always try to give us a hard time in a friendly way and said he believes in “science”. Well Tuesday night we showed up at their house and knocked on the door. Chris came to the door and told us that Christine had just left to Walmart but that she should be back soon. He said that we could wait out on the porch and talk until we got home. I told him that we could read the Book of Mormon with him. He said that was fine so he went inside to grab a Book of Mormon. We had a really powerful lesson with Chris. He opened up to a lot about his life and why he stopped believing in God. We read verses with him out of the Book of Mormon and testified that God is there. I know that he was feeling the Spirit, I could see it in his eyes. I could feel the love that Heavenly Father has for Chris as were teaching him. I wanted to cry, but I held back the tears. I know that Chris is struggling and that the gospel can help him with his struggles. We committed him to read Alma 7: 10-16 and he said he would. We gave him and Christine some time and finally went back this Sunday. A miracle had taken place. As we walked up Chris came outside with Christine and they sat on the porch. Chris told us that he had read a quarter of the Book of Mormon. He felt like something needed to change so he read the Book of Mormon the day after we committed him. He couldn’t remember what we had told him to read so he read from the beginning all the way to Alma 16. I was amazed!! I couldn’t believe it!! That is not even the best part. It gets better. He then tells us that he decided to try praying, which he hasn’t offered a sincere prayer since he was 10 years old. He got an answer! He asked to know something and right after he prayed he got his answer. Once he got his answer he realized that he didn’t really want to know what he thought he wanted to know. We told him that he asked and he received. He was a little shaken up by his answer, but I know that the Lord is softening Chris’ heart. He said that he hasn’t cried since he was 10 and he cried like “a little girl” as he said. It was such a testimony to me that even the most unlikely people are searching for the gospel. Chris knows that something needs to change he just doesn’t know how. We had a lesson with him about faith and putting his trust in the Lord. We committed him to pray at least once a day every day. He said that he would!
I have had some cool experiences with following the promptings of the Spirit to talk to people this week. We tried to see Somer and Braydan one day and someone was inside, but no one was answering. As we stood on the porch and I looked to my left and saw a family sitting on their porch. A thought came to go talk to them. I told Heavenly Father that if Somer didn’t answer I would go talk to them. As I said she didn’t answer so I had to go talk to them. We walked up and got to talking. Eventually the grandma on the porch asked who we were. I answered her and bore testimony to her of the message of the Restoration of Christ’s church that we are sharing with everyone. Her name was Dorothy. I told her about our churches’ website and she said that she would really like to check it out and that she would give us a call. Later in the week we were walking out of the library and out of the corner of my eye I saw this man sitting on a bench looking through his backpack a thought came again that I should talk to him. I explained it away because we had to be somewhere. As we walked away and got into the car I felt super bad that I didn’t listen. I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me for my weaknesses and that I would do what He asked. Thankfully we have a loving Heavenly Father that is willing to give us more chances to prove ourselves. On Saturday we had just gotten out of a really awesome lesson with our investigator Becky. We were walking back to our car and I saw this man sitting on the grass under a tree enjoying the weather. The thought came to go talk to him, this time I listened. I went over and Sister Wilson followed. I started talking to him and got to know him. We found out that his name was Buddy and that he was 71 years old. He had been to churches in Lebanon and Harrisburg multiple times and he really enjoyed it. He just found a place to live, he had been homeless for a while. I asked him if we could share a message with him. He said sure, so Sister Wilson and I sat on the grass and taught Buddy the Restoration and picked him up as a new investigator. It was so cool. He understood it and remembered things from church. We committed him to baptism!! He said that he would! We have him set from May 30th. We have a return appointment for tomorrow and we are bringing this member couple with us to help teach him. I am so glad that I listened because my natural man me wanted to judge him and say that he is old and he won’t want to change. But Buddy has been prepared and he desires to be happy.
A less-active named Sandy that we are working with is doing well. We taught her about the temple this week and set her with the goal to prepare herself to go do baptisms in the temple. She has never been before and she wants to go. We are still working on getting her to church. She says that she will come, but her family doesn’t know she is a member so when they invite her to come to church with them she goes there instead of our church. We encouraged her to pray about telling her family that she is a member. We don’t want to make her do it, but we think that it will help her to be able to live the gospel more fully if her family knows. Plus her family can be blessed if they learn about the gospel too!
Basically this week has been super awesome and we are doing some great work out here. Heavenly Father blesses us everyday and people are always being placed in our path. I just have to keep my eyes open to see them and my heart open to feel the Spirit. I couldn’t do this work without the Spirit!
I hope yinz guys have a fantastic week!!
Love,
Sister Jones

DSC00331

Japanese food

Japanese food

7. The inside

7. The inside

The Dobbin House we ate at

The Dobbin House we ate at

Top of the tower :) Sister Wilson and I

Top of the tower šŸ™‚ Sister Wilson and I

Climbed this 90 foot tower that is on top of Culp's Hill. You can look out and see all of the battlefield of Gettysburg.

Climbed this 90 foot tower that is on top of Culp’s Hill. You can look out and see all of the battlefield of Gettysburg.

The Jennie Wade House. It fits!

The Jennie Wade House. It fits!

Partying with Sister Manwaring as we packed up her house

Partying with Sister Manwaring as we packed up her house

Abe's my bestfriend :)

Abe’s my bestfriend šŸ™‚

House that still has the bullet holes in it

House that still has the bullet holes in it

The battle on July 1st took place here in these woods

The battle on July 1st took place here in these woods

This depicts days 2 and 3 of the battle

This depicts days 2 and 3 of the battle

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