Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Chapel Heights: July 5-11

Hi everyone!

I actually wrote down what I wanted to email about today by reviewing my journal, so this will actually be sort of in order!

The 4th went pretty well for us! Sister Campbell and I approached a large gathering at a pavilion, which seemed pretty daunting at first, but we had an awesome conversation with them about independence and we tied it in to the gospel! As we were wrapping up the conversation, all of the elders approached and asked the family if they'd like to hear a song, and then they sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (and they can sing!).

We were also doing a family photo activity for the holiday, so one of the elders with a really nice camera took pictures and we sent them to the mission office to be printed and then we'll deliver them back to the families. The family we taught and sang to got a picture! I'm fairly certain that's not what they were expecting to happen that
night :)

We taught Cheryl again and she told us she's not happy with her church and wants to learn more! She's heard many negative things about Mormons, but she told us she's trying to have an open mind and knows that what we're sharing with her is true!

We met some awesome teenage girls right after our Mission Leadership Council gust took half the day! Their names are Donasia, Sonya, and Ana-iah. They were sitting on the grass (it's fake) and we sat down with them and Sister Campbell showed them one of the "I'm a Mormon" videos that was perfect for them!

Lonnie, Dawn, and Alison are progressing so well towards their baptism! They're learning to live the Word of Wisdom and they're doing a great job! They all came to the Addiction Recovery Program and received a blessing immediately after. It was incredible! Later Lonnie told us how much he's seen the gospel bless his life in the last few months, and he said that it became especially apparent to him as he watched Alison blossom as she learned more about the gospel and read from the Book of Mormon every day! We texted them to ask what time they want to be baptized on this Saturday and gave them two options: 1:00 or 3:00. When we saw them next, Lonnie told us that when they read the text, Alison said "1:00, because the sooner the better!" I love that family so much!

I had an incredible exchange with a new sister named Sister Colon! She's in a Spanish area, so all of the lessons we had were in Spanish and I could sort of follow along but couldn't contribute much except for silently praying for her and the people in the lesson. That night, she set three separate people with baptismal dates! All on her own! It was really neat because although I didn't understand everything, I could feel the Spirit and gauge how well the lesson was going. In one of the lessons, we were teaching a husband and wife and the TV was left on (whoops!) and the guy wasn't paying attention to what Sister Colon was teaching at all. I couldn't do much, but I decided to pray for him to pay attention to the lesson and as soon as I did, he began watching Sister Colon instead of whatever was on the TV! I prayed continually for him, and when I prayed specifically, he would ask Sister Colon a question. It was awesome! The Spirit isn't my tool; rather, I am a tool in the Lord's hands as I do what I'm supposed to do.

The next day Sister Colon and I went to an appointment that didn't answer and then we knocked on a few doors and a girl named Sendie from Africa opened and asked if we wanted to come in! She didn't know who we were, but she invited us in! So of course we went inside and shared the Restoration with her, and then she told us that she really needed to hear that message and had the same question that the Prophet Joseph Smith asked God! She said she's been trying to find a good church to go to but wasn't having much success. She was so grateful to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon! I love it when people are excited to read the Book of Mormon! After her lesson, the person who missed their appointment called and asked where we were. Apparently he was home and
didn't hear us ring the doorbell and/or knock about three times! Talk about divine intervention!

After the exchange (this is on Saturday) we called a few hours before our dinner appointment to confirm because we had forgotten to do it a few days ago. The member felt so bad and said she forgot, but we assured her that it was meant to happen! Sure enough it was--she signed up for dinner at 6:00 instead of 5:00, so at 6:00 we went over to Subway and the guy who made our sandwiches told us he used to be Mormon but went back to his old religion. It's sad to me to hear people talk about it that way--"oh, I used to be Mormon"--and I haven't figured out how to respond to it yet, but we are able to talk with him quite a bit! After that we After that we wanted to go to Taco Bell across the street to get some carmel apple empanadas, which isn't something we normally do and on the way we ran into the member, who began apologizing to us again and then it hit me: Heavenly Father needed us to be at Subway at 6:00 to remind the guy about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! We told her that and I think she felt much better! Then a boy sat next to us in Taco Bell and told us he used to meet with missionaries and go to church with them, but something happened and they didn't come for a while, but he wants to come to church and meet with us again! I don't know what it is about me and Taco Bell. It seems to be the place where the elect gather! Moral of the story: never ignore a prompting to go to Taco Bell! It may come as a strange craving for something from their menu, but chances are God needs you there so get over there!

After that we met an amazing lady named Sonia! We knocked on her door and a girl answered and ran to get someone else and Sonia came to the door and asked if we wanted to pray or talk or something and we said
of course! We showed her "Because of Him" and then taught her about the Restoration and she really opened up to us and told us this was the perfect timing! She met two elders a few years ago when her car broke down in the middle of the road, which was right when she needed to hear something from them! And then we show up at a critical point in her life. She's incredible! And the prompting to knock on her door wasn't big at all, either. It was just a thought: "yeah, we could try that house". That's actually how we find the majority of all the
receptive investigators!

We had an awesome experience right before church too: Sister Campbell needed something from the car, so we went out to the parking lot four minutes before sacrament meeting began and we saw three rough looking guys sitting on one of the cement things at each parking space. One of them had just fallen off his bike and was pretty scraped up. They were waiting for someone to take them back home. We invited them to come inside (I didn't think they would accept), but they came! Before they came inside they asked if it was okay that they were wearing basketball shorts and we told them it would be okay. They came in and sat in the pew we had put our things in! They had to leave early because their ride came, but they told us they were going to come back!

Lewis, who is also going to be baptized this Saturday, told us about the immense change of heart he's had as he prepared to be baptized. The gospel has helped him gain so much patience! I love it when people recognize these things on their own and tell us about it!

We stopped by Allan's house to see if he could come out with us and we ran into a less-active member there! He's been trying to meet with Bishop to get some help with rent. I felt impressed to teach him about tithing so we did, and he realized that's why he's been having such a difficult time! He told us he was going to go straight to the church to pay his tithing! We also taught him about keeping the Sabbath day holy and the blessings that come from that (another missionary showed us an awesome promised blessing in D&C 59 recently that we shared with him!) and his heart was softened and he knew that paying an honest tithe and keeping the Sabbath day holy would help him more than anything else!

I love you all! Listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and never delay them!
Have a wonderful week! :)
Sister Bedont

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