This last week Sister Huntsman and I have really been trying to talk to everyone the Lord puts in our path... if we are on our way to someone's house and there is a few people walking on the sidewalk, we pull our car over and begin teaching the gospel haha it's a little nerve racking sometimes but you always feel good afterwards knowing you are trying to reach out to all of God's children. We have met some interesting people and have had some difficult questions and objections thrown our way, we have also met some really nice people who seem interested but of all the people we talked to this week no one was really committed to setting up a time to meet with us and allow us to teach them more. It can be a little disheartening at times but I can feel myself growing and learning from all of these experiences I am having, good and bad. I have faith that the Lord will recognize our diligence and give us a little hand haha we will be able to find more investigators in his timing. There is a quote that I absolutely love, it has brought so much comfort in those moments when I feel like the work is moving slowly. It is by our lovely Gordon B. Hinckley... he says to missionaries and members, "Do your best, your very, very best. Say your prayers and work hard and leave the harvest to the Lord." I know that is true. This work is ultimately in his hands and we are here to help Him.
There was one man we met who we both had a wonderful feeling about. His name is Gary! He was out on his side porch smoking and as we approached him he was welcoming and listened to what we had to say. He said he hasn't been to church in a long time and will going to a church with a friend this weekend. As we shared our testimonies of the truthfulness of this gospel that we share, the Spirit was strong. And I knew he could feel it too because I could see it in his face. We are currently meeting with his neighbor across the street, Brenda, who is actually the mother of one of his daughters, and although Gary wouldn't set up a time with us he did say really quietly that he would come over to her house when we taught her. We had the biggest grins on our faces hahah and then Sister Huntsman (I'm so proud of her) extended a baptismal invite. He looked up at us and said... "we'll talk about it." SO. Gary will be getting baptized :) Whether it's while I am here or some other missionaries.
I have a wonderful story to share with you! I don't remember if I mentioned this first part, I'm sorry if I have... A couple weeks ago when Sister Fuller and I taught the first lesson to our investigators, Amanda and Chris. Chris' mother, Debbie, was there at their home as well. We weren't expecting her to be there but we were happy to have her because we had heard through Amanda that Debbie was a less active member of the church. She had stopped going to church a long time ago when she was younger. We taught the Restoration and the whole time Debbie was listening intently. We talked about the Atonement and how the Lord knows what each of them are going through. We pointed out to Debbie, who had mentioned to us that she has had some complications and was going to have surgery, that Christ knows the anxiety and fear she was feeling. The Holy Ghost was teaching her the whole time and once we completed our lesson we asked if they would all read and pray to know the Book of Mormon was true. All Debbie could say was "I don't have a Book of Mormon." We gave her one and she looked happy to have it in her hands. When we invited them to come to church, Chris told us that he had already invited his mom to church but she said no. Debbie then told all of us that she might have changed her mind and would come with them!!! MIRACLE. A heart softened right before my very eyes hahaha. One of the greatest things to witness. So now with my second half of the story...
Debbie came to church last Sunday, May 25th, with Amanda and Chris :) I was so happy to see her, I gave her the biggest hug. She was beaming! She was right where she belonged and I knew she would feel welcomed. After the first meeting, she told me she enjoyed it and gave us her address to come meet with her. This last week about four days ago, I got a call from Amanda informing us that Debbie was having severe health problems and was in the hospital. She had started having seizures and her condition had continued to get worse and worse. She was in an induced coma on life support and they were going to have to make a decision in a few hours of what to do. I told her that we are praying for them and for Debbie and that everything would work out that way it needs to. The next day I found out Debbie had passed away. I was sad but at the same time I felt so comforted by all of it. To think that Debbie, who had little knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, was taught the Restoration and accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon before she passed away. She came to church and after so many years she had the opportunity to renew her covenants that she made when she was baptized a member of the church by taking the sacrament. It gave me chills! I know she is at peace and God has such a wonderful plan for her. I feel so blessed to have been able to prepare Debbie in some small way before she passed on. It's experiences like these when I know I will never ever regret coming on a mission.
I love you! I wish you all the best this week <3
Love, Sister Rogers