Monday, April 4, 2011

"Missionary work is the lifeblood of the kingdom." -President Monson

Hi family!

It's been a great weekend. We had two investigators at conference and it seemed like the sessions they came to were the perfect talks for them. This mother of 8 children from Trinidad came to the Saturday morning session and was deeply touched by Elder Cook's talk on women and motherhood. I also was so grateful when President Eyring looked right into the camera and said, "You can know as I know that Joseph Smith was a chosen prophet of God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." She was nodding and it felt as though he was saying that right to her. Just like Elder Holland said, "If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit some one of us will send a little epistle just to you." I know Leslie Ann felt that and I did too, as many of my questions were answered and concerns were settled. So yeah, I loved loved loved General Conference. Especially Elder Holland's talk. He's exactly right, we need to ponder upon the unique phenomenon general conference is! Saturday morning we were in Schenectady to teach a women named Val before conference and this massive church's parking lot was filled with cars. I thought, how sad that is that they have no idea prophets are speaking to the world today! Val ended up not forgetting our appointment and wasn't home but the Lord always puts us in the right place at the right time. On Val's street this mom was walking with her two sons and we approached them and asked them how their day is and then asked her if she believes in God. She was like, "I do. I'm Christian. I've been looking for a church to go to." Downtown Schenectady is full of ginormous beautiful catholic churches, so it's funny she's "looking". We knew her search couldn't have been for a church building only, but for truth restored. Experiences like that just make me so so happy. We were led to Val that day to find Precious and her sons. We're teaching them this week.

We were also led by the Spirit this week to a former investigator's home. Her name is Aimee. We had penciled her in as a back up for Tuesday morning but since our appointment with a less active went through we didn't end up checking on Aimee. That afternoon we had planned to work in Schenectady but Sister Stacey just wasn't feeling it. She was like, "I really feel like we should stay in Glenville. We've worked Schenectady the past few days." So we said a prayer and told Heavenly Father we are not going to Schenectady but we're going to work in Glenville and to help us readjust our plans to be led to someone in need of our message." We decided to check on a less active and on our drive there, we came across construction that caused us to have to take a detour. We took the detour and we led right down Aimee's street. I said, "Let's stop at Aimee's and maybe she'll be home and we'll be able to meet her." We got out of the car, knocked on Aimee's door and she came. At first she was confused because she knew the other two sisters well. We introduced ourselves and she let us in. Over eight times she said, "I was just having one of those really sad afternoons, and then I heard a knock and it was you." She even called her husband at work and said, "You know how I was having a sad day? The sisters just showed up and we've been talking and I feel a lot better." Cool huh!? We had the best time with her, and everything that came out of her mouth told us how prepared she is for the gospel. Her father in law just passed away, she and her husband have had a hard time with that, they just moved into the area, they haven't found a church yet, and are living the word of wisdom! After we got to know her a bit her husband got home from work. They are newlyweds and she was telling us about her wedding and how she wished they had gotten married in a church. I wanted to be like, "It's not too late! Temple blessings are available to you." But we don't teach the temple on the first lesson. ha ha. That morning our dinner appointment canceled and ironically Mark and Aimee were like, "Will you join us for dinner or do you have somewhere you need to be?" We joined them for dinner! Strangers that felt like longtime members. We are soooooo excited about them and they definitely felt the spirit when we testified about life after death. The coolest part of the story is that when we left, the detour was gone!! There wasn't even evidence of any construction. Cool huh? Had we not taken the detour, we wouldn't have stopped there and helped Aimee have a better day.

Something Elder Bednar said that I loved was, "In many times we receive revelation without recognizing how and when we are receiving revelation." I told Sister Stacey I was so grateful to have her as a companion. Because she was in tune, we were able to be effective instruments in the Lord's hands that afternoon and help Aimee and Mark feel the Spirit.

Mom, thank you for sending my temple clothing! I was soooooo happy to get it! You would've laughed how excited I was. I immediately put on my temple dress to soak up the spirit of the temple that is in it from before my mission! It fits perfectly still, surprisingly! Tonight we are driving to Utica and from there I will be going to the temple with some other departing missionaries. We also get to go to the Grandin Building Printing Press where the first Books of Mormons were printed, as well as Hill Cumorah, and the Sacred Grove. I cannot wait! On Friday we were at a meeting and saw President and Sister Bulloch. I was talking to Sister Bulloch and was like, "I'm not allowed to jump up and down in the temple, but it's been sooooo long I don't know how I'll contain my excitement for being within the walls of the temple again!" It'll be a wonderful day. I've heard President Bulloch has so many added stories from teaching and studying for institute classes that he shares with us about Joseph Smith at the individual sights and that he teaches us so much. It'll be a very uplifting and inspiring day. I can't wait!

I love you. Please pray for our investigators this week, we're extending two baptismal invitations!

p.s. Sister Stacey has this dumb fake hamster pet (Zhu Zhu) that she and her MTC district had as a "classroom pet" they're sending it around to each other with pictures. That explains the pictures. We took them on Saturday.

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