Transfer news: BOTH Elder Jolley and I are getting transferred! I received a new leadership assignment and will find out where I'll be serving this morning. I'm super sad to say goodbye to this ward, our investigators, and Elder Jolley. I have seen the biggest miracles in my life in this area. As I reflect on all that happened here I know that I was supposed to meet certain people and either touch their lives or be touched by there's. I will never be the same because of the experiences I had here. I have become more obedient, more humble, more patient, and much more grateful. BTW I loved President Uchtdorf's talk on being grateful IN all circumstances rather than being grateful FOR our circumstances.
Elder Jolley and I had a miracle lesson this week with our investigator with the alias name of "Frank". Frank has taken the lessons two times and never could set goals to keep the word of wisdom and accomplish them. He also never agreed to a baptismal date. As we prepared for our lesson with him we discussed how we could help him overcome his addictions. We were inspired to know exactly what he needed to hear: that he needed to know that he doesn't need to be perfect to be baptized. Our goal was to invite him to be baptized on and then help him set word of wisdom goals.
The lesson started O.K and things were going along great. As the lesson went on it got more and more intense! We were teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and Frank was trying to wrap his mind around it and he was getting frustrated! As we helped him understand, the spirit began working on him and deep within he started making commitments. Eventually the lesson was turning into a motivational pep-rally! Fists were being bumped, backs were getting slapped, hugs were being hugged, and hands were being crushed in Franks iron fist grip! At the height of the energy and enthusiasm we invited him to be baptized on . He said yes! We then invited him to avoid all his addictions for the next 3 weeks as he prepares to which he also said yes!
We finished the lesson by giving him a priesthood blessing. Franks mom (who is 77) became very emotional. Frank is in his 50's and has caused her much grief over the course of her life because of the choices he's made. At this point she has given him the ultimatum that either he cleans up and shapes up or she can't take care of him anymore. Her tears were tears of hope and joy. Earlier this week we had stopped by to talk to her and she had confided in us that she has been angry at God because she feels like God hasn't answered her prayers for Frank for the last 30 years. I was able to testify to her that God had heard her prayers and her son will be O.K. She is now committed to reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church. In the past she wouldn't even allow the missionaries to do the lessons with Frank at her house.
My time is up! To finish I want to testify that we have living prophets! The best cause to be involved with is missionary work! I promised Damon I would write a brief thought on how we can possibly accomplish Elder Ballard's challenge to invite someone once a quarter to hear the missionary lessons but because of time he's just going to have to pray about it :)
Love Elder Janis