Mark came to the Lexington ward off and on for 3 years. He grew up with a member, but for the past 7 years, he secretly investigated the church! His buddy Brother Bass would make comments about the gospel during work, or comments about how Mark should be baptized for his eternal welfare, etc. haha. Well we (Sister Doughterty and I) taught Mark for a few months here in Lexington at Brother Bass' home, but Mark acutally lives 30 minutes away in Hopkins, so once he was on date and set for baptism, we transitioned him over to the Hopkins Sisters to finish teaching him. He has a wife and 3 children.
Mark was baptized 3 weeks ago, and I haven't seen him for proably 7 weeks, becuase he has been going to the Hopkins ward. This Sunday, I was holding the door for people and welcoming them into church, WHEN Mark came walking through the door! I was so excited to see him!!
He just looks so happy. There is a light in his eyes and I know that it is the Spirit. I just had so much fun seeing him and church and talking to him about everything. It made my day!!
For those of you who didn't hear, my family moved to Morgan, Utah! They get the keys to the new home tonight. Fun, fun. Please pray for them as they continue to move things in, that it will all go well!
We found this incredible family! When we knocked on the door, they were not to interested, but soon they kept asking more, and more questions. We taught them and they invited us back. We went back to the Blackwell family and taught another lesson, they loved it! Well as we were leaving, Mrs. Blackwell says. "Oh, you are Sisters. My Uncle has been meeting with Sisters.." Then she describes his home and the road and we know it can only be one person. Danny Pridgen! Our recent convert in March! She always assumed that he met with Jehovah Witnesses, not Latter-Day Saints. Great Moment! It is such a small world!!
Taking the Hurt and Making it Help--------
This week, I found out that my Grandmother passed away back at home in California. It was hard to hear, but I just felt a complete peace. She had been sick for a long time and I am glad to know that she does not hurt anymore.
So, personally, when I am going through something hard, I don't like to necessarily talk about it (certainly not share it over email), I kind of hold it in and deal with it that way, but this week I did something a little different.
I shared in four lessons, when prompted buy the Spirit, what had happened and then bore my testimony on how I felt about God and his plan for us. Here are the results:
Dagmar: She was dealing with the anniverary of the death of her daughter and many other hard things in life. She needed hope. She was the first person, I shared my story with. I read with her out of Moroni and Ether on how we need to have faith and hope. I was able to connect with her on that level for the first time. This time, she really listened. She noticed that I choose to serve a mission and not leave my mission and go home for a funeral. That made her realize the importance of this message. (Moroni 7:41-42, Ether 12:4)
Blackwells: A contact at the door that was begining to go slightly downhill. We urgently wanted them to know the truth of this. The Mother commented about her Grandmother passing a year ago. My companion had a momentary hurt look in her eyes as I knew that she was thinking of me during that comment.
I decided in that moment to tell her what had happened only a few days eariler. I testified that the BOM was what helped me to deal with this. It is what helped me to feel peace, to know that God has a plan. I left her with a specific part to read, her eyes started to water. A week later when we came back she had read. She told me, without me asking, that she read the chapter that had helped me. I was shocked!
Dan: A dear friend of ours who has been struggling with drinking. It breaks my heart, becuase the whole time I knew him, he was 3 months sober and loved the gospel. I saw it change him. It is so hard to seem him like this. Well he was drunk when we saw him and he said we could come back on Saturday for a project but could not guarentee that he would not be drunk. The past few weeks that we have seen him, he has been this way. We have tried and tried to help him to quit but thus far had been unsucessful in helping him actually do it.
I told him that the gospel was imporant, that God was real and was able to help him, then I told him how it hurt to see him like this. I then tearfully shared that Saturday was my Grandmothers funeral and I asked him to not make it any harder on me by seeing him drunk. He had a somber look in his eyes (his Mother had just passed a few months earlier), he said ok, he wouldn't drink before we were there.
Jan: We met her once, talked to her, taught her and left her with the BOM. Jan read a huge part of the BOM but didn't feel anything and wanted to hand it back to us and not learn more. I asked her if she prayed specifically and she said no. I asked to share a special story. I told her how I knew my Grandmother was sick and didn't have much longer and how I prayed on my knees each night for 2 weeks or so, specificaly asking to have peace when she did pass. I testified that peace came immedietly when she did. That specific prayers receieve specific answers. She decided to keep the book, listen to a lesson, and let us come back.
It was hard to share to share that with these people, but I knew that I needed to. When I did, my companion and I felt a change in the room and in the people. The Spirit came very strongly and helped these wonderful people and it helped me. My Grandmother passing has been hard, but its has strengthened my testimony even more that families are eternal. What has been hard for me, has been such an aid to missionary work. My Grandma was a great missionary, I am grateful that she can continue to be!
I know that Heavenly Father gives us testimonies for a reason. Testimonies of Him and of trials that we have been through in life. I know that when we share these tender experiences with others that miracles happen. The atmosphere changes as we are sincere. The people change as they feel the Spirit. And we change as we feeel it work through us. When I truly bear my testimony, I feel it build me up just as it helps build up another.
I know that the Holy Ghost is real and that he is powerful. When we bear our testimony of Christ he enters the room. I know that Christ lives. I know that becuase of him, I can live again and that my Grandmother can live again. I am so grateful for that.
I am grateful for God's plan and the peace that comes from knowing that we will be able to return to live with Him again someday. That knowledge alone can change our lives forever. We are so blessed to know it. Y'all have a wonderful week.
This week for my invitation: Go onto:
and read it. Then think about who you can share that with. I know that this knowledge does bless lives. Love ya'll!