I think the best part of the week was when I received a surprise text from Sister Loveless on Saturday telling me that Mikey (as in Mike and Jay) was going to be baptized on Sunday! I was able to go to Mikey's baptism yesterday and oh my goodness, the Spirit was so strong! Mikey has come so far since I taught him! Mikey told me that he decided he wanted to be baptized when he came to church for the first time--he said "his tiny black heart felt something"! And it is so true. He used to be so skeptical, but his heart was softened in a relatively short period of time! He said he finds joy in acting for himself! He knows that no one can force him to do anything and he realized how much happiness and peace was in store for him when he chose to be baptized!
I also got to see Sister Loveless again! I sure am grateful for her wonderful example to me! I have learned so much from her both times we served together! And I am so grateful to have had such a solid trainer. Those first few months have an enormous impact on each missionary!
Soooo, it's the end of the transfer and we found out what will be happening for the next six weeks! Sister Campbell will be leaving and I will now be serving with Sister Gonzalez in the same ward (Chapel Heights in the Sunrise stake). Every time we find out, we're given a newsletter of sorts called the Desert Disciple with a letter from President Snow and the rest of the mission leadership and pictures of all of the missionaries who have just completed their missions as well as pictures of the new missionaries coming in. And on this Desert
Disciple, I saw something amazing! I was looking at the new missionaries to see where they're coming from...and I noticed a last name that looked familiar, and I was like, wait, is that Moriah, my summer term roommate from BYU? I looked at the first name, and then the picture, and then the home state...and it was Moriah! I'm looking forward to seeing her eventually! It is a small world when you're a Mormon!
Dawn, Lonnie, Alison, and Lewis are doing so well! Lewis and Lonnie received the priesthood on Sunday! In one of our lessons we were going to teach them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and at the beginning, Sister Campbell told me that I should share what I learned from my personal study that I shared with her in companionship study, so I did! I had read something from Elder Bednar about him giving a blessing to a man who had cancer and first asking him if he had the faith not to be healed in addition to the faith to be healed. In other words, the faith to accept God's will no matter what it is. In that lesson with the family, their less-active friend named Amy was there
and she thanked me at the end of the lesson and said she needed to hear that because her friend had cancer. It was amazing how I was lead to stumble across that talk and how Sister Campbell followed the prompting to ask me to share that, because I didn't even remember it in that lesson!
On Tuesday one of the district leaders who served as an Assistant to
the President before committed us all to teach 3 people about the
temple between each lesson. That sure made us stretch!
We went back to Keith's house with some priesthood holders so they could give his dad, Andy, a blessing! It was an incredible experience because they have three dogs that would not stop barking at the guys. When we got there, we were waiting for two more people to come because one was a recently activated guy who just received the priesthood and we wanted to give him the opportunity to see a blessing! But they were late and the family had no idea they were coming and the members were talking nonstop with them and all I could think was, "oh no, they're going to start the blessing and the guys will get here late and the dogs will go berserk and it will be so hard
for Andy and the rest of the family to concentrate and feel the Spirit!" So I prayed for some divine assistance and then Andy's wife, Sally, decided the dogs were too loud and weren't going to calm down so she was going to take them to a separate room. Great! The guys have more time to get here! Then one of the dogs started growling at Sally and tried to bite her! He wouldn't budge and didn't want to leave Andy. So Sally held his collar so he wouldn't attack the members we brought when they put their hands on Andy's head, and then the people we were waiting for showed up! Perfect timing! It went so well! Heavenly Father answers our prayers!
Sally is obsessed with the Steelers! Seriously. Her room is decked out and is painted black and yellow and I've included pictures of her car!
We were teaching Mahogne, Breasia, and Unique and were showing them a Mormon Message and their younger brother Tion was being a HUGE distraction. It's a blur to me now, but somehow Sister Campbell was able to keep him occupied and then Breasia, who I thought hated me, started asking me tons of sincere questions about the Plan of Salvation and basically did a 180 from where she was before! That transformation was amazing and I have no idea what started it! Now Breasia is really looking forward to her baptism! All we have to do is get her mom on board now :)
We have a list of less-active members from the Relief Society President and we tried to contact one who has a ton of huge, friendly dogs and a locked gate with no doorbell. We stood outside for a while contemplating how to get in, since we didn't want any of the dogs to get out. We noticed a small hole in one of the metal posts of the fence and decided to write a note on a bright sticky note, roll it up, and stick it in the hole. I was out of sticky notes, so Sister Campbell dug around in her bag for a while to find some and then we began writing the note and then the less-active sister came outside because she heard the dogs barking! It was perfect! She invited us inside and we were able to teach her!
We are also teaching two girls named Ciara and Neveah (I don't actually know how to spell her name, but someone told me that it could be "heaven" spelled backwards) who are preparing to be baptized! It's been difficult to contact them this whole transfer, because their brother would frequently answer the door and tell us he doesn't think they're interested. But we got to teach them several times this week and they are so excited to be baptized! Neveah came to church! She sat next to me and she was actually singing the hymns! She's 13 years old. I love our lessons with them because Neveah tells us about what she learned from the Book of Mormon!
On exchanges I went to the Spanish area and we taught some amazing people! One guy named Enrique was very sincere and you could tell how much he was thirsting for the gospel! Another girl named Karina had a daughter that stole my name tag and kept crawling all over me because I was sitting on the floor. Luckily I got my tag back before she disappeared with it!
We were in a large apartment complex in our area trying to contact a referral, but we remembered Donasia, Ana-iah, and Naomi, whom we had met a few weeks ago. We went over there and taught Naomi! She wants to be baptized and told us she was going to come to church! We're so excited for her!
Well, I'm out of time now. I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Pictures: A typical Las Vegas house. The garage is on the right.