Sister, I have something to tell you.---------
Yesterday, I was walking in the church when Pvt. Tucker pulled me aside. He said that he had something he wanted to talk about, so I stopped walking and listened.
I have been teaching Pvt. Tucker for 3 to 4 weeks now. He is younger and comes with some of the best member battle buddies! An hour previous, I sat down at a table with about 6 soilders and went to teach them a lesson. I had already taught them several times and I was silently, but quickly trying to decide what to teach. As the opening prayer ended, the thought came to me to teach eternal marriage, so I did. I told them that today we were going to talk about Temples, the member Pvt. Applebaum said, "No way! We were just talking about that with them today." I then continued to say, in specific we are going to talk about eternal marriage." Now they all looked shocked and continued to explain that that was what they had questions about. I testified that the Spirit guides us in life. So I taught those two principles and the Plan of Salvation. After the lesson, I gave them some pamphlets to read on the Plan of Salvation.
Shortly after finishing the pamphlet, is when Tucker approached me, he said "Sister. I want to be baptized! How soon can be?!" Well that was just music to my ears! I was so excited!!
A few minutes later, I walked outside to the baptisms and met a soilder named Franks, this was his first week at church. We started talking and he told me how he had been listening to his LDS battle buddies teach his friends the gospel through out the week. (His LDS friend went through many of the lessons). He said very confidently that he also wanted to be baptized! I congratulated him and taught him the first lesson.
Fort Jackson is a place of miracles! It is the best feeling to have soilders walk up to you and tell you that they are ready and excited to be baptized!
This week Pvt. Dimry, Briggs, Steinhusier and Grider were all baptized!! It was a week of miracles!! There are many more exited to be baptized next week: Please pray for Pvt.: Tucker, Alvarez, Hanvey, Holley, and all the other people preparing. Thanks!
We were trying to find an address, that apparently didn't exist, when we stopped to ask a nice looking older couple for directions. The older gentleman was a little fiesty about us being mormon, well rather fiesty; his wife was so sweet and went out of her way to help us. As we were leaving she offered us a drink, she said "I have water and soft drinks, oh wait. You can't have soft drinks, sorry..." She was so kind!
We explained that we could have soda. While this was happening the older man was on the side of us listening to our words. Sister Brown, with out skipping a beat, asked for Sprite. As we were walking away she said, I didn't really want a soda, but it sounded good, and I wanted to show him that we could drink it. Haha. I feel like much of my mission is clearing up false ideas. People often think we are Jehovah Witness but think that we follow Amish rules. Not everyone, but some people.
As we were searching for that same house, we knocked on a door and a large man about 6'2 walks out in huge overalls with zippers on them. (You have to love the South!) His name was Lee and he was about 60. I told him that I too use to wear overalls, but mine never had zippers in the front of the pocket or places for pens. As we were talking I had a hard time recalling something. He then promptly told me that I too suffered from a crippling disease of older folks, CRS. Can't Remember Stuff. I just laughted, what else are you suppose to do. Lee was hilarious with all the stories he told us. He use to know some LDS members, one of which was a young man about to leave on a mission, he talked to us all about how this young man rode his bike in South America. We just smiled. It is amazing that the things that people remember about the church. You make a larger impact on others than you know!
1 Lady, 3 Dogs, 1 Wagon, and 3 crazy Missionaries-------
We often drive down a major road named Platt Springs, usually about 2 times a day. Several times we have been driving and have seen an older woman in her 70/80's walking down the side walk walking a small dog and pushing two more small dogs in a little wagon. Kind of an unual sight.
Well this particular day, it was about 6 pm in the afternoon and I saw her again. Quickly I turn the car to the right and park in a parking lot. As I unbuckle rather suddenly, I explain to my companion and the member in the car that we are going to meet that lady. Just like that, I rush out of the car. ( They thought I was a little crazy, but agreed to go.) By this point she has turned around and is walking away from us. She has a good two blocks on us. So we start speed walking/jogging/running after this old lady down a major road. This must have looked like the most ridiculous sight. We had to be careful not to go too fast so it didn't look like we were trying to capture her or anything.
Finally a few minutes later, we catch up. We say hello and explain that we often see her walking and wanted to say hi. Her name is Elaine and she is delighted to meet us. We ask all about her dogs. She walks/pulls them each day. Two of them are too small to walk so far, so she pulls them in a wagon she got from her church. As we continue to talk, she tell us that her sister is a member in the LDS church in Newberry, a town about 35 miles away. We ask her if she has ever read the BOM, she said only a little before. She had actually misplaced her copy the other day and couldn't find it. Imagine that? We happen to meet someone who recently lost a BOM. Heavenly Father guides us!
So we give her a new Book of Mormon. We ran into her about 2 weeks later on accident and she said that she had read 3 Nephi 11, where Jesus Christ comes to the Americas, and loved it!
I know that there was a reason that we kept seeing Elaine on the side of the road. Heavenly Father puts people in our path to find and to talk to to. He wants us to help them, so He often puts them we were can see them. So much of life is just about timing. We need to open up our eyes and see that things happen for a reason. We have to believe that they do. There is a scripture in the Book of Esther that reads, "For such a time as this." Esther had been brought into the Kingdom "for such a time as this" so that she could save her people. I know that are here right now, "for such a time as this" so that we too might save our people, our brothers and sisters. So when you pass someone on the street, or in the store, or even a church, just take a moment to say hello. Who knows, maybe you were brought there "for such a time." Will y'all do that? Just say hello and get to knwo them and brighten their day. I can promise you that if you do, you will 1) have more friends and 2) will be able to see God's timing and hand more in your life. I love y'all and I love missionary work! Thanks for all the prayers!
1) Danny, Me and Sister Brown
2) Karen, Danny and Sister Brown
Danny was baptized in March and Karen is a member from Peru. We love them!