October 23, 2017
Because puppies are cute
Elder Denney, Elder Kelly
Tuesday we visited an old woman named Carolyn Dawson. She is one of the lost sheep that we found a few weeks ago that is not on record but was baptized back in the 90's. She is currently 93 years old and gets around very well. She can drive and lives on her own. She told us that she left the church when she moved away from where she had been baptized. In my opinion she didn't really ever feel a part of the church. She shared a story of when she went to a RS activity where they were all sewing. Apparently they all brought their own machines and no one talked to her I guess. Also she shared that she never really got into reading the BofM. As I have reflected on this it has just made me wonder what her life would be like now if the missionaries would of tried harder to help her get into the Book of Mormon. Or what if church members would of reached out to fellowship her without being asked or invited to. Obviously we don't know if those things didn't happen but it just makes me wonder.
We met with her again on Sunday and she had read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. She said she would start on the BofM this week. Excited to see how it goes.
Tuesday night we received transfer calls and all four of the missionaries serving here in the ward got to stay! We were all pumped. We found out on Sunday that several ward members had been praying for all of us to stay. Sure do love serving here.
Wednesday. We spent several hours helping Brother Anderson work on his barn. We were roofing the entire thing. It was a tiring and stressful effort because of the wind that was blowing. If we weren't careful the sheets of metal that was the roof would bend at the catch of any air. Thankfully missionaries aren't allowed on roofs but we were able to be a huge help by sending the sheets up. Each sheet was probably a few feet longer than 20 feet and probably 3 feet wide. We were walking through a lot of tall grass too. So the chiggers had a really good time biting the two of us. Thank goodness for no ticks.
The barn we helped re-roof
That night we visited with the Carnahan family. They consist of 6 people. Brother Carnahan, Brock, Cassandra, Christian, Cody, and a mystery person that won't come upstairs whose name I cannot remember. Christian (12) and Cody (8) both are not baptized. All the others are baptized. Our visit with them was strange. We didn't feel to good while there. Our first visit we committed them to read from the Book of Mormon. The second lesson was much better. A much better Spirit was felt.
On Sunday they came to church! We have another appointment this week.
We are hoping to get them all active and the kids into the water.
Friday we contacted several referrals that we had received from Brother Anderson. We contacted 4 of them and had a return appointment with one of them on Saturday. It was Pamela and Jeff Sparks. We taught the Restoration. Pamela has great faith and had many experiences where her prayers were answered. When we invited them to be baptized Pamela said resounding, "YES!" Jeff "NO". They are both characters. We are excited to work with them. At this lesson we were in service clothes because we had planned on helping them out around the property. We headed to dinner right after and had our proselyting clothes in the car. We had dinner with the Acosta Family again and they committed to share a Book of Mormon with someone. We promised them that angels are preparing the minds of people now and that they can find those individuals if they will but ask God where they are. The Spirit was strong as we closed in prayer.
We then had a baptism to get to. The Sisters had a man named Jim Foster who has a PHD in theology ready for baptism. He read the Book of Mormon in hopes of disproving it only to find that it is true. :) Well we rushed to the church building and still had to change into our church clothes. We hurried and changed only to find that I had forgotten church shoes and all I had were work boots that were not going to work with my fitted slacks. So I went into the baptismal service with black socks on instead. Many people noticed. Many people did not. Thankfully I did not play any part in the service.
Jim's family will be baptized in the coming weeks.
Sunday night we had a combined youth fireside with three other wards.
We had a great turn out and are hoping to help the youth be heavily involved in missionary work over the next 6 weeks.
I overheard one youth saying they had the best missionaries
in their ward. One of the youth in our ward strongly disagreed
and then gave me this picture they'd drawn afterward. :)
To close the week we were driving to visit someone in Lawson when we saw a less active woman outside smoking as we drove by. We had only met her once before and decided to go back to talk. Her name is Sister Leamer. She invited us right in and we were able to teach her, her BF Toby, and Toby's teenage daughter, Reagan. Reagan had several questions about faith and wanted to understand how she could strengthen her faith. We read Alma 32 and had a great discussion with all of them.
They committed to begin reading from the Book of Mormon daily and Reagan seemed to be full of faith rather than doubt as she had been at the beginning of the lesson. Sister Leamer said the closing prayer and the Spirit was very strong and she cried as she spoke. We are hoping to help her make it back to church and possibly baptize Reagan and Toby.
So much is happening here in the Crooked River Ward and it is because the days of miracles have not ceased! Members are exercising a particle of faith and fasting for greater success. We really are on the Lord's errand and have seen his help everyday.
I know that God listens to our prayers! If you are unsure if He does or are seeking to improve your prayers, exercise a particle of faith and do it! Pray out loud, start kneeling, make a prayer list, ponder before you pray, sit and listen for answers. Pray about the meaning of scriptures, pray for inspiration on how to help family or friends. I know and promise that God will answer. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.