Well HELLO Family,
Florida has literally been paradise the last week. a scorching 65 degrees! ha I love it. I'm not going to lie, a nice breeze with the swaying of the palm trees and eating a mango doesn't exactly make me miss home! Along with that, sharing the most important message period. This is honestly heaven on earth. On top of that I am so impressed with the Palmetto ward.
This week we spent a lot of time setting up appointments and following up with referrals and trying to meet with others to seek more. And it went amazing. This type of missionary work can be mentally tough sometimes because you don't feel the satisfaction of going out on the streets and you always want to be teaching a lesson but it definitely pays off on Sundays. I have learned so much about planning! When you really prayerfully approach your planning, and spend time thinking about and reviewing notes of all the people you have been referred to, or speaking with members who said they may have someone, you start to realize HOW MANY people could be prepared.
So, I will just hit the highlights of the week which were Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. and then share some spiritual experiences with you.
So, Wednesday was mutual. We had the baptism of Elizabeth. She was found and taught by the last missionaries. She's about 17 and is the only one in her family who is now a member. There were so many members there! It was so cool. And at the last minute her mother decided to come which is a miracle. Elder Spach and I got there early and started filling the font and cleaned up the church to make it look good. Well, as it got closer to the baptism we realized the water was getting really cold… and earlier that week a member made a joke about how if we were good missionaries we would make sure it was warm for Elizabeth. So, in order to maintain member trust we had to unplug the drain and put some more hot water in the tank. so…. upon this decision Elder Spach may, or may not have had to do some deep sea diving and unplug it ha! So, he did and I had to guard the door because people were showing up! SO stressful but he got all dressed and we were good. THEN! we realized… WE HAVE TO PLUG TO THE DRAIN AGAIN SO ALL THE WATER DOESN'T DRAIN OUT! by this time the baptism is literally seconds from starting! so Elder Spach RAN INTO to bathroom and, somehow.. dove down there and plugged it! and changed and joined the baptism… and the best part? we ran out of hot water… so it was cold anyway.
So long story short sometimes you just can't win. BUT it was great and she had a ton of support. That night we talked to a young man in the ward who is super cool and got so excited to bring his friends and committed to. Then he went with us to ask another YM in the ward and then they came as we asked another. Pretty soon we had a pack of 7 YM walking around mutual asking for referrals!
There is a girl Kyra who has been coming to church for a year or so, about 15 and her parents won't let her join but she comes every week and READS THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERY DAY! I am just blown away. But pray that her parents hearts will be softened! and there is another girl named Katie who is 9 and is a neighbor of a member of the bishopric. The Father isn't in the picture and she is about to lose her mom and her g-parents are going to take care of her. But right now could be a perfect time to join the church. PRAY for this little girl. There are many more who are so close! I can't believe the miracle of us getting transferred to the Palmetto ward. Not to mention there is a member who is the Sports psychologist for the RED SOX! yeah…the Boston Red Sox… and another member is a VP of Champs Foot Locker… and another owns a Texas Roadhouse… and another is the head of security at the biggest mall in the stake… yeah I can't say enough about HOW LUCKY I AM! and they all are missionary minded!
So Saturday, A RC named Abi, introduced us to her friend named Yiazel two weeks ago and said she wants to learn. So Saturday we taught her the first lesson and she accepted it. She is going to pray to know if it is true! she wants church back into her life and is the SWEETEST person ever. We asked her, if God tells you this is true, what are you going to do? and she said JOIN and BECOME A MEMBER! so yeah, just a matter of time until we can baptize her! Pray she recognizes her answer!
And Sunday finally, we just set so many appointments up and met a couple nonmembers at church. We received like 4 Member Referrals and I was just floating!
Elder Spach and I have a goal of 7 baptisms before we finish our missions and you better believe we are going to get it. I have never been SO PUMPED to save souls. I wish I could do this as a full time job! Well, I guess I kind of am.
I have been feeling so much satisfaction with this work, not complacency, but satisfaction. I am always happy, but never content! There's always more! But I have been feeling so good. Giving my all in studies, writing down what I am learning. Having good workouts in the morning really helps! We reduced to 1 iPad per companionship and its helped too! I love this. I hope that EVERY prospective missionary who reads this WAKES up and realizes there are miracles and lessons and transformations that can take place and PREPARE now or you will have regrets.
On Sunday there was a high councilman who shared his conversion story. He was deep into worldly things and felt an unusual desire to go hear Elder Scott speak. so he went and at the end of the talk Elder Scott testified of Christ and spoke of him so personally. And he said Christ is a Vibrant being…and he Lives and he says this because he knows him. And this High Councilman said for the first time in his life he completely believed him. He believed that Jesus Lives. That story pierced my heart so clearly and perfectly I could not hold back tears. It was so real. So tangible. I closed my eyes and could almost feel the Glorious light from the Savior. It was a precious moment. I thought to myself, "wow, I would love to meet Him. Or see Him". But i realized, you know what… I don't need to see him. or hear Him. I KNOW He lives. and I always will.
Please go help someone. Invite someone. There is so much more to this life than the things we do on a daily basis. I pray we can look outward and bring someone the joy of the gospel.
Be not afraid;Only Believe
ps. Family! time is running out, I hope you have someone preparing for baptism!
Elder Stephen Nelson