Here's a quick little update! This last week has been SO good! It was a week full of miracles, strengthening of my testimony, and some incredible training, talks, and experiences in general.
We started the week out with exchanges with the Jewel Lake sisters. I was able to go with Sister Johnson and stay in my area. First off, she is just one incredible missionary. She is one of the smartest sisters I know, and she knows her stuff--seriously impressed! We had some awesome experiences, saw many miracles, and had many people placed in our path that the Lord has prepared. We were able to teach a few of them about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and have return appointments this week. One of them even said to us, "Could I have one of your books and learn more?" It was so awesome and definitely saw those exchange miracles!
I also learned a huge lesson that day--that the Lord leads us and guides us in this work as long as we listen and act upon the promptings of the spirit. Silly, cause I'm a missionary and you would think I would have learned this by now, but this last week I truly realized with complete confidence how the spirit works with me. I have never quite felt I knew exactly how He worked with me, or how to tell the difference between a prompting and a thought. Tuesday was the clearest I have ever experienced receiving those promptings, and they led us and guided us all day. It was AMAZING. This is the Lord's work, and we truly cannot do it without the spirit. He is there to help us every step of the way if we are just willing to listen and realize we cannot do it without Him!
We also had an incredible lesson with our investigator, Tommy, and I am going to share a little bit of what I shared with my president in my weekly to him:
What an incredible week it has been! I have had some of the most amazing experiences and answers to my prayers this week, as well as seen so many tender mercies and the Lord's hand in this work. I just want to share a few: The Lord's hand is clearly in the work and has blessed us so much the last couple of weeks in the Bush Branch. We have received some awesome referrals of people that are truly prepared by the Lord at this time to receive the restored Gospel. We have had some incredible lessons and experiences where my testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of each of his children grow by leaps and bounds.
We had three lessons this last week with our investigator, Tommy. As we started teaching, he was very quiet and hesitant to answer questions and participate, but as we got further into the restoration something changed, and he just seemed to light up as we started talking about Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry. Tommy bore his simple but truly sincere testimony of Jesus Christ to us, and the spirit was very strong. This just made me realize in that moment how central our Savior Jesus Christ is to everything--how much He truly loves us, how important and possible it is to have that relationship with Him, and the peace and happiness that comes into our lives because of Him.
As we continued with the lesson, that light about him grew even more as we talked about Joseph Smith and the role he played, and the experiences he had. Up to this point, Tommy had been reading the Book of Mormon and loved it, prayed about it and always had a good feeling as he read it, and was reading every single day. As we asked him what he thought of the experience Joseph Smith had and his feelings as he heard the First Vision, Tommy went on to tell us Joseph Smith's life from the age of 14 until the day he received the plates. Tommy shared with us about the times Joseph was visited by angels, and as he continued to share with us his story, he bore testimony of him and the incredible man he was. It was amazing to hear someone who had no clue about the restored Gospel, or the Book of Mormon just a month ago, to truly loving something so much and having it become so near and dear to him.
We invited him to be baptized, and he happily agreed. As we had more lessons with him the following week, Tommy grew more and more excited, and the light just continued to increase. He truly loves this Gospel and has embraced it. It has been so amazing to see and witness, and especially to feel the spirit so strong even over the phone. This definitely is the Lord's work, and He is involved in every aspect.
Tommy is one of the most incredibly prepared people I have ever met, and we are so excited for his baptism, and for him to follow Christ's example and receive the blessings of the Gospel.
We also had Zone Conference on Friday and then, obviously, were able to listen to General Conference this weekend. So, I was on a little bit of a spiritual high for three straight days! There were many incredible talks, counsel, and advice that was given. I couldn't help but think about how truly blessed we are to have leaders of this church, and especially our beloved prophet.
"We're all just walking each other home."
Okay, love you all, and I LOVE the Gospel and the mission, and our prophet and leaders that are so truly inspired! Have such a good week.
Sorry, I have to run,
Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission
More pictures from September 25th: