Crazy how fast time has gone! This week was awesome as always! I had to say goodbye to Sister Johnson, which was definitely hard but so exciting having Sister Richards become my new companion. I have been like a crazy woman this week trying to take over the area (and drive in the snow--so scary! Whoever thought it would be a good idea to let me drive-- I don't know!), and she has been so patient with me. Sister Richards is such an incredible missionary and, if I didn't know any better, I would think she has been out for over a year and not just three months! She is so awesome and such a hard worker, which I love.
We have done a lot of "finding" this week, as well as taught some awesome lessons. We were able to teach Marvie again and the lesson went so well! The spirit was there. He had some awesome questions that we were able to help answer. We invited him to be baptized, and he has some concerns, but said he wants to keep meeting and is willing to talk over them and continue to learn more. We have our next lesson with him when he returns home from the slope in two weeks. He is so amazing and has such a strong testimony. We asked him what he thought his purpose was here on this earth and he said, "To be a light to others, and to serve them, and to be like God and our Savior, Jesus Christ," and he does exactly all of that.
While we were tracting this week, we met Bill. He let us in and we started talking with him. The spirit was there. He opened up to us about some of his beliefs, and he knew a little bit about our church. We showed him the "Light the World" video and talked with him some more about his religious background. I then kinda just blurted out, "As missionaries, we teach people about our Gospel and help people to come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Could we teach you?" And he said, "YES!" So, we went right in to teaching him about the Book of Mormon. We invited him to read it and pray about it before our next appointment on Saturday, and he said he would. As we were leaving, he said, "I know a lot of people in the Mormon Church, and I have had a lot of missionaries come to my door because of that. Every time, I just kindly say that I'm not interested but to have a good day and then shut the door. But, for some reason, this time it was different and I felt like I should let you in! And, I'm glad you guys came in!" It was just such a testimony builder that people are being prepared as we speak. I am so excited to continue to meet with him.
(Click on the link above to watch the video explaining the "Light the World" Initiative Sister Lake is talking about.)
Another awesome lesson we had this week was with Bobby Smith. He has some problems with the Word of Wisdom. We want nothing more than to see that man go through the temple. We decided we need to do something to help him quit smoking, and so we are starting a 15-step program that missionaries have to help him. We started it last night and the spirit was so strong. I know how hard it is for him to quit, but he has that desire because he knows that some day he wants to make it through the temple. We're hoping that day will be very, very soon. He is so awesome, and it was humbling to sit there and see him give up something that I know is so hard for him to do. Bobby Smith has had such a huge impact on my life. He is so humble and just so full of joy, even though his circumstances are far from ideal. He amazes me each and every day, and so I feel so honored to help him quit his addiction and get to the place that will bring him so much happiness. So, please pray for him this week as he starts this 7-day program. I wish you all could just meet him!
We were also able to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night. Wow! There were some powerful talks given! I loved President Eyring's talk on peace and the three things that can bring us the peace that our Savior, Jesus Christ, promised us in John 14:27. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. " I especially love the third point Pres. Eyring spoke about to give gifts of love and peace to others and serve those around you.
We were able to go around and share the initiative with so many people, and have been able to see so many people serve others, as well as serve ourselves. I can testify that I know service brings the most peace and joy. I know that as we do service we are letting Christ's light shine through us. I know that as we serve others we are becoming like our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus loves us. I am so thankful for His example and the opportunity we have to celebrate His birth this Christmas season. I am thankful for His atoning sacrifice and for the opportunity we have to become closer to our Savior through the atonement. I am very thankful for this Gospel, for Jesus Christ, and the opportunity we have to each and every day become more like Him. Find those people that need that light in their life and be that light for them.
I love you all so much! Have such an amazing week and pray for those opportunities to serve. I know as you do, you will find them. Love you all!
Love, Sister Lake