Monday, November 1, 2010
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not." -Galatians 6:9
Oh my, winter is back and I am really not liking it. I pray every morning to be able to just endure it and not think about it. "To everything there is a season!" We have done a lot of "finding" this week and not finding very many, but Heavenly Father is blessing us in other ways so we're enduring through it. I don't like the country roads because some of them are miles long with only 3 trailors on them, and we end up walking so long to get to a porch where no one is home, or uninterested, so we decided to work in the city of Ogdensburg for a couple days since the houses are closer together. The population of Catholics in Ogdensburg is similar to the LDS population in Alpine, seriously, and they do not want to change. We knock and just the sight of our name tags turns people off. It's so sad! We smile and try to be friendly and I don't understand how some people can be so rude. We're only trying to help them! I wish we could wear the blessings of the gospel on our sleeves. If people only knew that they could live with God and their families forever through the power of the priesthood, they'd be chasing us. It would be awesome! But they each have to come to know for themselves through prayer and many of them feel they already know the truth. We tried every approach possible, "The message we share is centered on Christ and can bless your family." "If you could know that God called a modern day prophet to help us know how to more fully follow Jesus Christ how do you think that would impact you?" "What's your favorite thing about the Catholic church?" "...so you believe in Christ? This book has helped me come to know him in a more personal way, it's called the Book of Mormon. We would love to share a free copy with you." "We just invite you to come unto christ through listening to the message that we share and praying to find out from God if it's true." Before we could even finish most of our sentances or questions though, the door would close. All week we've been asking, "What are we doing wrong!?" Ultimately it doesn't matter what we say, it's the spirit that will touch their hearts, if they let it, but it's still hard not to think it's something we're doing.
Despite the rejection, the Lord has blessed us. Just yesterday I was thinking about the week and thought, you know, it's not that bad, we have a baptism coming up, and seeing John change throughout the weeks has strengthened my testimony of the atonement. He is becoming so converted. He could have been baptized weeks ago, but there is no rush. He's still set for November 13th. He finished the Book of Mormon last week and so we gave him the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, and last night he called us and said, "The Doctrine and Covenants is intense! I love this!" Then he went off about his favorite verses he's read. He's in section 13. We brought a member to teach him with us on Saturday as we taught the Law of Chastity. He committed to live it, and already is living it, which is a blessing. For some reason he started talking about church last Sunday. The speakers spoke about the temple and he told us he wants to go there. We told him he will be able to and testified of the blessings of the temple and doing ordinances for family. He got all teary and said he wants to go and do the work for his Dad. The spirit was there and he's really looking forward to going and doing baptisms for the dead after he's a member. I am so grateful for the temple. It really gives our investigators more motivation to live the gospel, so they can be worthy to enter the temple, as it does for all of us. He's just on fire, so in a week and a half we'll be able to see him enter into the covenant of baptism and we are getting so excited for it!
Another blessing--Friday we get a voice mail from a guy named Matthew. He left a message that said, "Sister Simmons and Sister Despain, you were at my house in the Summer and gave me a Book of Mormon with your number in it. Will you call me at this number when you get this message?" Sister Despain couldn't remember who he was. Sister Simmons is not here anymore, obviously, but we called him back. He didn't pick up, so we didn't leave a message, we just thought we'd try again later. Then we get another voice mail last night, "Hi Sisters. I saw that you called. It's Matthew again. I will be home in the morning. Call me when you get this." So this morning after studying Sister Despain called him. I look at her face and she starts tearing up. She sits down and I knew something was going on. I wished it was on speaker! She said, "Really, a dream? Well, we believe we all lived together before this life, so we may have met before now. I may have told you I would find you to teach you to come closer to Christ." I then got teary eyed because I realized what was going on! This man was telling her that he feels like he met her before and felt the spirit in the book of mormon and called us! She set up a time because he wants to meet and then she got off the phone and told me what happened. This guy said that 6-7 years ago he was having dreams frequently and Sister Despain was in them. On the phone he said, "Are you the one without the glasses, and the big smile?" (ha ha I guess that's how he distinguished her from Sister Simmons). And then he told her that in the dreams he was given two paths and felt like it was never clear what the paths were and that it wasn't time to make the choice. Then he went on and said, I prayed for these dreams to stop because they were frustrating. When you knocked at the door, I recognized you from the dream. I didn't say anything, but I took your book and have been reading it. Then Sister Despain told him, "Well, are you praying to know if I am the person in your dream or not?" And he's like, "I thought I was crazy at first. But yes, I have been praying and because of that, I am making this phone call." WEIRD huh?! It will be interesting to see what happens when we meet on Wednesday. We hope he progresses. The Lord works in mysterious ways! We're trying to sacrifice more to be worthy of the blessings God has for us. I know he knows where His children who need us are, and we've been led by the spirit before, so we're trying to be exactly obedient so we can be in tune with His Spirit this week. I hope you have a great week. Thanks for the emails. I love you!
Love, Sister Zwick
Happy Birthday Ellie!