We taught Steve and Lois again and brought two priesthood holders to give them blessings to help with living the Word of Wisdom. I wish I could still be there for their wedding and baptism! I'll do everything I can to make it back for it :) Steve said he didn't need a blessing but stayed for Lois' and then Sister Cheyne asked him again if he wanted a blessing and he agreed! I love that couple so much!
When we taught Eugene he started asking us about what language is appropriate to use in his music. He's a huge fan of Snoop Dogg and kept trying to justify using foul language in his music. We asked him if he would feel comfortable playing his music in front of God and at first he said no but then he said yes, "because that's who I am". He knows swearing is wrong though! It was pretty funny: he said something about trying to be like Snoop Dogg and Deborah (his mom who has been at every single lesson) said, "But Snoop Dogg isn't God!" I guess that's just one of those things that you have to be there for. Deborah is awesome! She has a stronger testimony than she thinks and she always tells us she loves to see Eugene progress as he meets with us--he's come a long way!
We met with Lois again and read from the Book of Mormon where she was at: 1 Nephi 4. It's one of my favorites! Nephi is seriously one of the most incredible prophets who have lived. However, this is the chapter where Nephi slays Laban...why it's in the very beginning of the Book of Mormon I have no idea, but it must be there for a reason! I think as we study the scriptures with the intent to learn and gain happiness, we'll find it :)
Then THE MOST AWESOME THING HAPPENED! We street contacted a guy doing something with his truck--I think he was finishing painting the exterior of an apartment or something. His name is Kevin. We asked him how he was doing and he said his day was going all right until he couldn't get his key out of a padlock that he used to lock a ladder to his truck. We asked him if he tried closing the lock to get the key out and he said it didn't work. He was super nice! We told him about the Christmas video and he accepted a card and we asked if we could pray with him and ask God to help free the key from the lock. He said we could pray while we tried to get it out and handed it to me as he walked back to get something from the back of his truck. I fiddled with it and something told me to close the lock so I did and the key came right out! Kevin was shocked. I'm grateful to Heavenly Father for answering my prayer! We visited a few other people after we met Kevin and on our way back we passed him again and he thanked us for helping him with the lock and said it was a miracle! I agree wholeheartedly :)
Darralee is doing great! She invited her LDS friend to come to the lesson and as we were waiting for her friend to arrive, she told us she read the Restoration pamphlet and underlined the things that stuck out to her. Then she told us she has a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon in a week! I have no doubt she'll do that, although we also reminded her that "it's more important to let the scriptures get through you than it is for you to get through the scriptures".
I had a layover in Salt Lake City when I flew home and sat next to members on both flights...but the interesting thing is they both told me someone in their close family recently passed away. I guess we all need a reminder of the Plan of Salvation during those times, but I didn't really know what to say to people who already knew about God's plan of happiness for each of His children! I did my best and I hope that was enough :)
After serving my mission, I can now say that I understand the importance of sharing our message with others. I know that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that will bring true and lasting happiness to everyone. What Lehi taught in 2 Nephi 2 means so much more to me now: "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth"!
I have to say that the thing that sticks out to me most each day is Heavenly Father's absolutely perfect timing. We are doing His work and He knows what each of His children need and when they need it. There are countless times that we showed up at just the right moment in someone's life--whether they had just prayed and asked for guidance or just pulled up in their driveway. I know that Heavenly Father is so mindful of each of His children and wants the best for each of them because He loves them completely.
I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and that our Savior's sacrifice is sufficient for all men. I have felt the power of our Redeemer's Atonement as I watched people change, including myself, investigators, members, and other missionaries. I am so grateful for the assignments that I had that allowed me to focus more on noticing these changes. Anyone can turn their life around! It brings so much joy to me to see others put in the effort and access this wonderful power.
I now have a better understanding of the nature of God. He will never force us to do anything (because we wouldn't learn anything from that!), but he gives each of us opportunities to learn and grow and it's our choice what we want to do with it. Our attitude makes all the difference! If you go into something thinking that it's hard and that you won't be able to succeed, it won't be much fun for you or the people around you. But if you go forth with faith and hope, you can accomplish anything!
I also learned the importance of accepting God's will no matter what. It's easy when what you think is best for you is also Heavenly Father's plan, but when God has something different in mind, it's important to align your will with His and accept that He will make something more out of you than you could.
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it is true and I am grateful for each person that helped bring it forth, from Nephi to the prophet Joseph Smith. The feeling of joy and peace that I get while reading it is indescribable and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have found wisdom in its pages right when I needed it. I know that Heavenly Father provided us with scriptures so we could take charge of our own learning.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to have been called to serve in the Nevada Las Vegas Mission. I have loved every second of it! The people, my mission president, the missionaries, the members, and even the heat! There really is no accurate way to describe how much joy I have felt as I served my mission. I think it's because I learned how to see others through Heavenly Father's eyes. I had a testimony of the restored gospel before my mission, but my mission has helped me mentally connect things and I understand it better now. There's really no way to explain how wonderful my mission has been. It was nothing like what I thought it would be! I know Jesus Christ is our Savior. He gave his atoning sacrifice for all men. His gospel has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon is another testament of Him.