Update: I was transferred the other day back to Lakewood. Ironically, this is the ward that I actually started out my mission at. I am glad to be here and my new companions are Elder Sutton, Elder Stapley, Elder Sheffield who we are training. He is waiting for his visa to go to Samoa. It has been a blast so far and we are constantly laughing!
The Greatest Miracle of them all:
About 3 months ago I was in a companionship of 4 in the area of Gig Harbor. Every night in our mission we knock from 5pm to 7pm. So to find the place that we would be knocking we each prayed over the map and chose five streets each. As we were correlating we noticed that three of us had chosen the same street. Elder Lund who had already been in the area before decided not to choose that street because he had knocked it before and had not found much success there. But we decided to go on the whim and have two of us knock that street while the other two of us knocked a different area. Elder Killian and I were knocking that specific street when we got a call from a member of our ward, Coleman, who had recently returned from his mission asking if he could come out with us and that he was off work early. We readily accepted his help and told him where to meet us. As we were knocking we took a side road that was more of a back driveway and wasn't really even part of the main road, but it was dark so we didn't see the difference. Well, as we got to the bottom of that road we knocked on the door of C. C was met by all three of us at the door and she declined our first offer to share our message, and persistently we tried again but she shut us down. And as we were about to go on to the next door, Coleman spoke up from behind and asked, "Is there anything that we can help you with?" To be honest, I think that we ask this question a million times a day and rarely get anyone to say yes, but it was just the right time and the right place! C looked at him with a confused face and then back into her house and then back at us. She said that as a matter of fact she did need help because she and her whole family had just moved in and she had no way of taking all the boxes from the garage to the basement. That was it, we were helping and carried down a number of boxes for the next half hour and then when we finished I asked C if we could share our message with her. She accepted! So we went into the dining room and shared the first message! She had lots of questions but accepted our invitation to come out to church. The next day she came to church with us, then the next week we went back and answered questions and that week she brought her mom. This was the beginning of a great process. For the next couple of months we continued to teach C and her family the lessons. Lucky for us their almost next door neighbor, Brother Smith, is a member of our ward and came to each of the lessons with us. He was a huge help in their conversion!
Just under a month ago, C happened upon a verse in 2 Nephi 31:17, which ironically talks about baptism by water and also the baptism by fire (the Holy Ghost). This was a great jump in her process and from there we continued to do our best to answer all of her questions and concerns and to help her get baptized. Each lesson was completely taught by the Spirit. I will never forget the Spirit that I felt or the way that it guided each of us during our visits.
Meanwhile, C's daughter M decided to move back up with her family after finishing some schooling down in Oregon. The Saturday before M came up, we invited C to invite her to come with us to church. The next week she brought her daughters and M became more interested as well so she started to sit in the lessons.
One of my favorite parts of this story is that one day we had prepared to teach a lesson about the commandments shortly before their baptism. When we got into the lesson, we could feel something was missing. And just then C told us that she was just having a hard part with "Joseph Smith." So we felt inspired to throw out our old plans and teach the first vision again and then read Joseph Smith's History as well so that we could hear his story from his own words. When we did this it was powerful and I can still remember how that room felt as we were reading his story! We committed them to pray that night and ask God if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Well, when we came back the next day both of them had gotten their answer! C mentioned how she had felt the Spirit as we were reading about his story and believed it was true. And M told us that she prayed and got her answer as well, in her own words..."I got a strong, Yes!" That is incredible, I am always amazed with our Heavenly Father and how much He loves us to give us answers to our questions that we have.
Well to finish the story C and M were baptized on the 12th of this week and it was a wonderful experience! The baptismal service was amazing and each of the talks brought a sweet message and the Spirit to the room. I am proud of the choice that C and M made and I know it will bless their lives forever!
Love you all and hope that you all have a great week!
|Elder Lund, M, C, and Elder Bullough|
|Brother Smith, Elder Lund, Z, M, C, L, and Elder Bullough|
|M, C's mother Z, C, and C's other daughter L|
|Elder Sutton, Elder Stapely, Elder Sheffield, and Elder Bullough|
|Elder Stapely, Elder Bullough, Elder Sheffield, and Elder Sutton|