Monday, December 23, 2013

Seriously the Best Christmas Ever

This is seriously going to be the best Christmas ever. Being able to give everything to others and the Lord, or at least trying to, is just so spiritually refreshing! You really have to just experience it for yourself. The beauty of missionary work is you never have to think about yourself-it's the greatest! But even when I try to give my all, he gives more in return in the form of extremely supportive family and friends, thanks so much y'all-and have a Merry Christmas!!
Hope you enjoy the Christmas miracles Sister Black and I have been witnessing here in Hartsville, SC

Sis King texted us earlier in the day letting us know Rosio wouldn’t be home so that lesson fell through…L But that’s ok-it’s all part of the Lord’s plan, because we were able to stop by Akia’s. We walked up (past the house with the stunning Christmas display of lights spelling out Jesus) and saw her car was there-yeeesss! We were almost turned down when her mother answered and said she was sleeping, but persistently we asked if she knew when we could come back, after she went to go talk with Akia she let us in, Akia arose and we had an awesome lesson. She had slept through Church, but said she still wanted baptism and that we had full permission to knock on her window Sunday morning to get her up. Oh, we can definitely do that-haha, never imagined I’d be making wake up calls to people’s windows on my mission-whatever it takes though.

Heavenly Father just timed it all perfectly, he always does. For some reason or another I decided to park on a different street than we normally do and because of it we were able to catch Amy right as she’d gotten home. Her husband had fallen off the roof and shattered his elbow (ummm, ouch!). When we went into the lesson of the restoration, she loved it, we shared the first vision and she was just awestruck about it all. We left her with a Book of Mormon, but sadly because of Christmas next week we weren’t able to set up a return apt, but we’ll definitely be back. On the same street we were able to have a lesson with Tonya/Will and Darlene. 

So today may have just been the best lesson so far. Seriously at the end of it, I wouldn’t have been surprised if a camera crew jumped out of the bushes telling us it was all set up for a special “District” episode, and that everyone was just acting-BUT-no amount of acting can impersonate the holy ghost. Here’s what happened. Sis Brown and Gearheart had met this nice older man the other day and set up a return apt. When we arrived he was there with his family all running about and we asked if we could share a message with them all. So we pulled over a kiddie table, a couple chairs, a rocking motorcycle and gathered in with James(the grandpa), Angel(the mom), De’Ondra(the 9yr old), Shakeela(the 19yr old), Keeondra and Dishawn(the twin 4yr olds) oh and half way through the lesson Stella (another grandma) creeped around the corner and joined us. We went into the message of the restoration and taught extremely simple. Bearing brief powerful testimonies, asking inspired questions and they just were so elect. Angel mentioned, as we were talking about Joseph Smith, how she feels the same way about churches-they just never feel right, like something’s missing. We used the pictures in the pamphlets of Christ and the first vision. After the first vision Shakeela had tears streaming down her face, and her 9 yr old brother chimed in “even I’m about to cry and I’m a boy”. We then gathered in a circle, held hands and had Angel pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. They told us we could come back anytime, haha but we weren’t done yet. We brought up baptism and committed all but the 2-- 4yr olds to be baptized January 11th! When we mentioned how we liked  to use a calendar to keep track Angel volunteered to run inside and grab a calendar she had. We stopped her and said that we had one she could use-but we loved her enthusiasm! We were able to set up a return appointment for Christmas Eve and they said they’d definitely be at church tomorrow. As we were leaving they couldn’t stop telling us how glad they were to have us over, and how much they’d been wanting to get their lives in order and be baptized. They even told us how amazed they were that their dog hadn’t growled or barked the entire time. DAAAAH!-what the best lesson ever! We walked away from it just speechless, asking ourselves…what.just.happened? How grateful am I that the Lord allows me to be apart of such amazing, faith building experiences. It just shows how when you’re willing to turn the lesson over to the Lord he’s willing to trust you and give you those miracles. It’s all about trusting in the Lord and turning it ENTIRELY over to him, so he can in turn trust you. Even though I won’t be able to teach them again, I will eagerly be awaiting the day when they send out the baptism texts for the week and the whole burgess family is on there! Feeling on top of the world right now:)

Sister Smith:D

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