Monday, January 12, 2015

An Incredible Week!

Area: Converse
Companion: Sister Victoria Foster

This has been an incredible week! I feel so humbled to be on the Lord's errand. We have seen so many miracles!

Thursday was exchanges. Sister Johnson, our sister training leader came to Converse with me. We were in an apartment complex and randomly knocked on a door. We met a woman who let us in, and we ended up teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. We don't usually start with the Plan of Salvation, but the spirit truly guided us in knowing what to teach in that moment. She had a lot of questions that we were able to help her with. When we began teaching her about the spirit world, she was very intrigued, and a little confused. She told us a story about when she was 14, she got in a really bad accident. Everyone said she died, but she was really confused because she remembers looking down at her body, and looking at all the people around her. She kept trying to comfort her sister. She lived, and she got better. It was an incredible, miraculous story. And we were able to use that to teach her about life after death, our life on Earth, and Heavenly Fathers plan for us to be happy and return to him. We invited her to be baptized and said she would. No specific day yet because she's leaving for Mexico, but she felt the spirit confirm of the truthfulness of Gods plan for us. It's amazing how God know's the hearts of his children. And by listening to them, and being in tune to the spirit, their needs are met.

Sister Rowley, Sister Johnson, Sister Foster, Sister Record, Elder Winn (District leader), and Elder MacDonald

That whole day was full of miracles. We had so many lessons, and were able to contact a lot of referrals on top of that.

Friday we had a beautiful lesson with {D}, a less active woman. She is so sweet and eager to learn. Once again, my testimony of listening to the person, and listening to the spirit was strengthened. Sister Burton said once, "First observe, then serve." The same is true in teaching. First observe then teach. When we got there we asked her how her day went. She told us about some difficulties she's been having at work with co-workers not being very nice. She has a sweet, sensitive spirit, so it's easy to tell that she normally gets along with people. We listened intently with love as she described some things that have been hard. It reminded me of an experience I had when working before my mission. I had a particularly hard time with my boss because he was hard to get along with. After listening, I told her of my experience praying for charity. And how that changed my life. We then read Moroni 7:43-48 which talks about charity. And guess what! Earlier that day she had been thinking about charity and that very scripture came to her mind. The spirit was so strong. GOD KNOWS AND LOVES HIS CHILDREN!!! We had no way of knowing that ourselves. That was precisely what she needed, and completely unplanned. God had already revealed to her that day that charity was the answer, and then it was powerfully confirmed during our visit. Because we listened to her and to the spirit. Planning is very important in having that foundation, but listening is even more important and being willing to stray from the lesson plan, and perhaps go a totally different route. Wow... This is indeed Jesus Christ's work, this is his gospel, and it is true! We invited her to pray for the gift of charity and readily committed to doing so.

We're teaching a new family, the {C} family. They too are very eager to learn. He listens to A LOT of preachers. So it can get kind of interesting teaching them sometimes. He is a very curious guy and asks really good questions. I think the key with him is not to be intimidated by his questions. We were able to answer all of them through the Book of Mormon. The promise that Heavenly Father gave us that we will not be confounded is true. As long as we have the Holy Ghost with us. The Book of Mormon is true! It answers the questions of the soul. It holds the fullness of the Gospel. I love the Book of Mormon, and know that it's true, with all my heart. It is the word of God, as is the bible.

Another miracle we experienced is that the {M} finally excepted a baptismal date for January 31! We were having an unexpected lesson with them and were reading from the Book of Mormon, when {I} said that they know it's true. She told us that they were having a conversation the other day about it the other day. She told us that she feels it in her heart and knows it's true. It was in that moment that pointed out to them that they've received a witness from the Holy Ghost. We invited them to be baptized. {I} was more enthusiastic, {K} still has his reservations but he knows it's true too. I stopped him before he could tell us any of his reservations again and told him that we've already heard his concerns and invited him to set them aside and be baptized. We reminded him that the Lord has already told him that this is the right thing to do, and he accepted! That is so huge for him!! Ahhh! Once we got in the car, we let out our excitement. Ha ha. We'll be striving to do everything we can to help them progress towards that day. I know that whatever happens, it's in the Lords hands.

Sister Annelise Record
Being a missionary is hard... But sooo worth it. I wouldn't trade this life changing opportunity for the world. I love the Lord. And I love being a part of his work in bringing souls unto him. I have felt my boldness increase as I have poured out my heart in mighty prayer.

A funny moment that I had with Sister Johnson is we were knocking on some doors and we ran into someone who spoke only Spanish. She did her best to give him a pass along card. As we were walking to the next house I pulled out a Spanish pass along card and suggested that we read it. We joked about having it up in our face. Then I demonstrated holding it up in my face and saying in a monotone voice, "Good afternoon... my name is Russell." Guess what movie that's from? :) [Up (2009)]

Mom, Dad, Lorielle, Jason, Chris, Eric, and all my family and friends, I love you so much. But I love the Savior more. All in, and on to victory!

Sister Record

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