It looks like you all had a fun 4th of July! Thanks for all the pictures Mom. :) Brady and his girlfriend are sure cute. I'm so happy for him! You'll have to keep me posted on how things progress with those two. :) Thanks for sharing all your experiences with me. I loved the story of Andrew entertaining the other kids haha. He is just growing up so fast! I'm so excited to see everyone again :) Glad to hear you had a good 4th! We proselyted all day on the fourth, but during our lunch break we stopped to get ice cream, so that was fun :) We also had a pancake breakfast, thanks to you guys! :) It was fun!
Update from Moscow, Idaho....
This week- Matthew and Meghan have started progressing tremendously! We were having a hard time helping them keep their commitment to read the Book of Mormon, we'd tried everything- we'd explained the background of each chapter, and to go in with a question. We tried going over to read daily, we'd called/texted them daily to remind them- nothing was working. Then , we received inspiration from Heavenly Father to bring a recent convert with us- Dane. As we came and talked with them, we discovered Matthew had been searching on the internet about his questions about Members of the church, and their experiences. We'd continually counseled him to go to Mormon.org/LDS.org with his questions, but he'd gone to google. He found all sorts of Anti material. He'd read on a terrible website that missionaries just baptize for the numbers, that they didn't really care all that much about those they taught. We bore testimony of how much we sincerely love and care about him. We told him that this isn't a contest, that we sacrifice a year and a half of our lives to see the gospel change people's lives and bring them joy. I was so grateful that just days previous we'd shown him the movie about what missionaries truly do. Just the day previous, we'd learned their food was all stolen by some people they'd housed for a few nights, and Bishop and Sister Boydston took food from their own pantries and brought it to them. Matthew told us, he knew we really cared about him and Meghan, and that he knew those Websites had un-true information. I was so grateful he'd recognized that.
Dane bore powerful testimony of how the Book of Mormon helped him come to know that Christ's church was restored on the Earth. Matthew hung on to every word Dane spoke. Dane was baptized just months ago. I was so grateful for his powerful testimony. We taught them the Law of Chastity this week, and talked to them about getting married, and they are praying about it! :) We had an incredible lesson last night! We prayed about what we should teach them, and we really felt that we needed to teach them about the priesthood again. We really felt that they need to receive priesthood blessings as they have these mile stone decisions ahead, and they are also going through several personal challenges right now as well. We began the lesson by following up on their reading- They were both just glowing with joy! They'd both read their chapters! They told us about what verses had stood out to them, and they both said they'd felt compelled to mark specific verses. They received answers from their Heavenly Father! It was the happiest moment of my mission! :) I was so proud of them! We watched the Mormon Message- "The Power of God" the spirit filled the entire room. We asked Matthew what he'd felt- he responded- I felt Love.
We read Galatians
22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, (Stop) joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,"
So Matthew what did you just feel? "The Spirit...." he said as he truly recognized that Heavenly Father had just sent him the spirit to testify of that sacred truth.
We then explained that they could gain a testimony that God's Authority is again on the Earth, and that they can know it by reading the Book of Mormon, praying to know that it's God's word, and if they gain that knowledge they will know Joseph Smith was called of God to be a prophet- and that he translated the book through the power of God. We helped them pull up the Joseph Smith Movie- "Prophet of the Restoration" they watched it after we left, and we'll be following up tonight on how it went. They both have a gentler countenance, you could see the spirit touching them all throughout the lesson. Matthew explained that he loved church, activities, and meeting with us because he felt such a difference. We explained that what he felt was the Holy Ghost and that he will have that gift "Always" after baptism. He and Meghan are both looking forward to baptism. We haven't set a date just yet- but they are seeing the joy repentance brings. Last night was just unreal. They are tasting the joy of the gospel. They are both getting priesthood blessings tonight. We are so excited for them. They have changed so much! It's incredible! The Atonement has changed them, they are realizing the joy of the blessings that come from living the gospel outweigh anything sacrifices they are making.
Last night, we met with one of Bishop Boydston's old scouts. He's now in his late 20's. His name is Willis, he's a war veteran. His cousin Deshay came in to join us for the lesson. Willis was very hard hearted, and wanted to bible bash with us. He kept throwing in arguments about doctrine. Amazingly I felt at peace, I knew the message we were sharing was truth whether Willis believed it or not. His cousin Deshay look like he could be part of a Harley club. He had a long thick beard, and looked rough around the edges. He and Willis had seen some pretty terrible things while they were out serving our country. They seen graphic scenes that haunt them to this day. They described the difficulty of knowing that God was loving- seeing what happened at war. As we taught the Restoration, and bore testimony of the power of the atonement, and it's capacity to heal, Deshay's countenance softened. You could tell he felt the spirit. At the end of the lesson, we testified that they way to fully access the power of the atonement was through baptism. He said that when he comes to know it's true, that's something he desires. It was an incredible experience. I felt God's love for him all throughout the lesson! I have faith that the atonement can help him heal.
Miracles happen! :) Thank you for all your prayers in our behalf. I've seen them answered. I'm so grateful for all of you! I love you so much! I hope you all have a great week. Always remember that you have a Savior and a Heavenly Father who knows and loves you! I pray for all of you- I'm so proud of the wonderful things you're doing with your lives!