We had a ton of fun this week!
Tuesday night we went and visited a recent convert in our ward named Dan Larsen. He is actually a direct descendent of Joseph Smith and is in charge of planning all the Smith family reunions. I believe Joseph Smith is four generations back from him. He talks to Elder Ballard on a regular basis because he is also on the Smith family "board". Not really sure all that they do but he told us some really cool stories.
Wednesday we had exchanges with the Assistants and it was way sweet!
We have a new policy where when we exchange with our leaders both companionships stay in the leaders area. So we were both in their ward that day. I stuck with Elder Katoa and we were able to go teach a less active guy in their ward. We were at the VC and went through God's plan for the family. At the end we helped him identify the Spirit and he openly admitted that he could feel it. When we invited him to come back to church he told us he didn't want to come. It is always kind of unsettling when you see people ignore a strong spiritual witness. But the elders are going to work with him for a little longer and hopefully help him progress in some way.
Thursday we got back from exchanges and we finally went back to meet with a woman named Tay who we had met about a week ago. We had an appointment fall through but she actually kept the rescheduled appointment. When we went in we were able to teach the entire restoration and it was so great! We had a member with us and he was able to bear such simple testimony of the gospel helping him raise his kids. At the end we invited her to be baptized and she accepted :) we invited her to the Soup and Bread activity happening later that day and she came! We got there after she did and by the time we were there she was already totally enveloped by the ward members. It is so relaxing to know that the ward will take care of and love those we introduce to them!
Right before the appointment with Tay we had a few extra minutes and so we went and knocked some doors. The second door we knocked was a girl name Kali (pronounced Kaylee) She was so kind and we were able to give her a simple run down of the restoration. We set a return appointment for the following day!
Friday was our first appointment with Kali and she is so prepared like Tay. She had read through the pamphlet and we had a great lesson with one of the return missionaries in our ward.
Saturday we had exchanges with Elder Tuala and Elder Gardner. They both came to our area and I was with elder Gardner. This is his first transfer in the field and we had a good time. Brother Johnson took us out to a buffet at a grocery store called HyVee. It's was probably the best buffet I've ever been to. Later we went and taught Tay and Kali again. Tay is on date for Feb 18th and Kali is praying if she needs to be re-baptized.
In Kali's lesson we had our ward mission leader and his wife both there. Kali shared with us that her mom had shown some resistance towards her looking into the "Mormon" church already. Sister Munoz was able to relate super well because she used to be Muslim and when a Muslim joins another church it is no good. People can get killed sometimes by their families for it. Long story short it was a great lesson. She actually kept her commitment too and read the entire Intro to the Book of Mormon.
Elder Conley and Edler Tuala that day were able to go teach Ivan again. He is still on date but we moved it back a little bit to the 22nd of Feb so he has time to get work off and come to church.
Sunday Tay came to church! She also brought her mother Georgette!!
They both enjoyed church and we have another appointment with both of them this upcoming Thursday. I was asked to speak in church and just briefly share why I served a mission. I talked about how I never had this huge experience that told me I needed to serve but I shared how I had had a lot of small experiences with the Spirit throughout my life and how I had felt the power of the Atonement in my life. It was really enjoyable and low stress because it was only supposed to be five minutes and it was such an easy topic.
Something that has made such a large difference for me and Elder Conley this week is how consistent we are being with our follow up in all circumstances. if it's missionaries, members, or investigators we follow up with our commitment the following day so that we can help them progress and know we actually care.
By the way it is Elder Conley's 21 birthday today! You should all email him really fast and just tell him happy Birthday for me!! His Email is Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org
Love you guys!!!