I'm so glad to hear you all had such a fun week! It looks like you guys had so much fun in Disney Land! :) I bet Josh did a great job in his production, looks like fun. :) Wish I could have been there, but It's alright- the Lord needs me here right now. I'm glad you guys all had a fun time! Thanks for the fun pictures, I loved them! :) I bet that was Andrew's dream vacation! How fun... Thanks for the updates, I'm glad you guys are doing well. I sure love and miss you guys!
Well, It's been a week of Miracles! After a painful 3 month dry spell, Heavenly Father has truly answered our prayers. We got in contact with a Less Active named Don, that has been on our minds for 3 months. We met with him, and he now wants to read the Book of Mormon to know if the church is True. We now have 4 investigators! God is answering our prayers!
Oh. My. Goodness! Do I have some amazing stories for you this week! So first off, rewinding back to a few months ago..
We met the Prodigal Son
Sister Reed and I were knocking on a less active members door- Ky. We waited for a few minutes and finally the door opened. A man opened the door, he looked about 40. From the look of his clothes- tattered and torn, he looked exhausted, swollen, and worn. He told us Ky didn't live there anymore. We talked with him, learned his name was Gary and asked him if he'd like to hear a message about Christ. In response, he said- "I actually served a mission in Chile! I really could use a message though.." We shared a scripture with him, and promised him that meeting with missionaries would help him get back on his feet again. We got his information, He smiled at us. We told the family ward Sister's to give him a visit.
A week later,on exchanges Sister Reed and Rasmusson ran into him on exchanges. he seemed discouraged... Sister Reed felt prompted to ask him if he had a copy of his patriarchal blessing, he responded that he knew it was somewhere, but he didn't know where it was anymore. She explained that he could go to LDS.org and send a request to get another copy from Salt Lake. He was excited about this idea! Another week passed, and we ran into him again. He was across the street, and he walked with energy in his steps toward us. He was glowing, he was all cleaned up.
He said, "Thank you girls so much for finding me! When you knocked on my door, I felt this compelling feeling that I needed to answer the door. I moved to Moscow the day previous from Colorado, my life was a mess. I'd gotten into drugs, and felt no point of return. After you girls sent the other Sisters, I went to General Conference, I met with the Bishop, and he's helping me get my life back in order. I read my patriarchal blessing, and feel hope again. The other Sister Missionaries are great, but I want to thank you girls. YOU found me!" It was such a touching experience, I felt like I was talking with the prodigal son. Weeks later we felt prompted to stop by his home to share a scripture- We were so sad- we learned he'd moved. :( We wanted to cry... We thought we'd never see him again...
Just last week - We went to the Addiction Recovery Program with our investigator Tyler. You'll never guess who was there! Gary! :) He moved to Troy- a town 20 minutes away. He bore a powerful testimony on how the gospel is helping him overcome his addictions! During ARP- he Thanked us for finding him. :) Such a sweet experience.
After ARP we talked with Gary, and learned that he is from Bountiful Utah! He said he went to Woods Cross High. I asked him if he knew Dad. He said, "Dave Clark?!?! I know Dave Clark! He lived on Sorrento Dr. Right? and His sister is Nanette?! And his Dad was a bishop! I went back packing with him!" At that moment the spirit touched my heart. I know that it was no coincidence that Sister Reed and I found Gary. It was a confirmation to me from Heavenly Father- That yes! He had prepared people for me to meet here. I asked him his last name so I could tell Dad. It's Gary Langdon.
This week, what has really stood out to me- is the power of repentance. - Christ is the Greatest Physician
We had another Bus Miracle! We met a kid named Nathan- Sister Reed is going to type out his story since we don't have much time to email- So I'll forward her email so you can hear about Nathan our miracle! We've shared a lot about Repentance with him, Tyler, and I've seen the power of it in Gary's life.
I've learned the Christ truly is the greatest physician. Sister Reed found this scripture the other day- and I absolutely love it!
Sister Clark and I had a lesson set up at the institute at . In order to get there on time, we needed to take the bus. But for whatever reason, I had it in my mind that we needed to take the bus. So we get on the bus to the institute building. As soon as we sit down I turn to Sister Clark and say "Sister Clark, we're on the wrong bus. We don't need to be at the institute until , and we're going to get there at ." She responds "It's okay, maybe God has someone he wants us to find." I think it's possible, but it hadn't happened for a while, so I wasn't expecting anything. After a few more stops these two people walk onto the bus. An older guy sits in the bench next to us and so we talk to him. Sitting in the seat in front of him is this younger guy, and since we teach young single adults, that's who we want to talk to. And the whole time that we're talking to this old guy, the younger guy keeps looking back at us like he wants to say something. The old guy won't stop talking, so finally I just talk over him, reach out my hand to shake the younger guy's hand, and introduce myself. I figure out that his name is Nathan, and turns out his girlfriend is a member of the church and he's been wanting to check it out. Wait, what? So we talk to him for a little bit after we both get off the bus, and set up a lesson with him for the next day. He said he has a lot of questions and that he's looking forward to meeting with us.
The next day. We teach him the restoration. We tell him that God is his loving Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ came to the earth, that he can be forgiven for everything he has ever done is his life, and that the guilt that he feels from past mistakes can be washed away through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift if the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We teach him about how the Priesthood, God's authority to perform ordinances like baptism and to perform miracles, was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. That there's an ancient record of the people in the America's, the Book of Mormon, that points us to Christ and gives comfort, guidance, and direction. And we tell him that he can come to know that this is all true, simply by reading the Book of Mormon, and praying and asking Heavenly Father in the name of Christ if it is true, and that the Holy Ghost will testify to him that it is. During the lesson, we asked him how he felt. He said "I feel warm. But it's not coming from outside of me, it's coming from the inside, from my heart." We told him that that was the Holy Ghost, letting him know that everything we taught him was true. He said he believed it. He is preparing to be baptized on , and we are SO excited for him.
He told us that he feels like we were supposed to run into him, that all of his questions about life that he's always wanted answers to are being answered, and that everything just makes sense. We told him that we took the wrong bus that day. That really made him freak out, haha. It is evidence that God knew where he was, where we were, and that he needed to know the truth because he would act on it.
And you need to imagine this kid. He's a normal, typical, 17 year old "too cool for school" looking kid, saying he feels warm, asking if he can really be forgiven for everything in his life, interpreting the scriptures we read with him right after he finishes reading them, and desperately hoping that everything we're telling him is true.
After the first lesson, when he said the closing prayer, the first words out if his mouth were "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Sister Reed and Sister Clark." I have NEVER had someone we teach pray for me by name while I was with them. Ever.
After the second lesson, he told us about how he is going to have to give up a lot to practice this lifestyle. He has a rough family situation, and he said that always left a hole in his heart. He said that he tried to fill the hole with partying and drinking and other things that were fun, but every time, the hole got bigger and bigger and he just felt empty. He said that once he started meeting with us, the hole was starting to close off. That he felt filled for the first time ever. He doesn't have anyone. The only people he has are his friends, that he parties and drinks with, and that that is the only thing they have in common with each other. He told us how they have already tried to tell him he's crazy for meeting with us, and he stood up against them. At the end of the second lesson, when he prayed, he said, slowly and thoughtfully, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Sister Reed and Sister Clark taking the wrong bus. I realize that in order to live this way, I'm going to have to give up all of my friends. And I'm willing to do that."
Words cannot describe the love that I have for Nathan. He is giving up everything for the gospel, everything. He is changing his whole life, because he knows it's true. He has received a witness, he cannot deny it, and it has made him happier than anything else ever could.
I am so grateful for this miracle, because it was a miracle. I now know that the voice in my head telling us to take the bus was the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father knew his child, he knew that Nathan was searching for truth, enough to tell us that we needed to leave earlier than necessary. God LOVES Nathan, He cares about Nathan, and I have felt more joy this week than I have in a LONG time. I am so grateful for Nathan's stalwart example, and that Heavenly Father let me come to Moscow so we could meet him."