From 12 May 2014
It was fun talking to the Soulsbyville Houghtons last night via phone... and weird that it's all becoming so real! Flight plans and everything, gah. Don't worry, it's weird but at the back of my mind.
First the pictures...
I saw this at one of the doors we knocked and it made my day.
R came to church again this week (yay!) and was all set to be baptized. But then she got sick halfway through sacrament meeting and had to leave :( But that's ok, next Sunday it is!
There is a part-member family that we had dinner with a few weeks ago, the Ws. We read from Alma 22 with them, about how King Lamoni's father told God what he was willing to give up for salvation. We committed them all to pray to God and talk with Him about what they were willing to give up. Yesterday, Bishop Brown (who is awesome, btw) pulled Brother W (the non-member) into his office after sacrament meeting and committed him to be baptized on the 25th. So awesome! He has been married to his wife for 13 years and has a step-daughter on a mission. Finally he will be getting all the blessings too!
Oh, someone else really cool - our recent convert S, who's 17, wasn't sure whether his ride was coming to get him for church yesterday, because he wasn't answering his phone. So he got on his bike at(church starts at 11) and rode off. He got lost a few times and arrived at . I was so impressed by his dedication! Thank goodness that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.
We had a great lesson this week with a recent convert, M. When we came over she was a little troubled by the fineness of the temple, and had been for a few weeks. She was telling us that God didn't need all that, and why would he want such extravagance when it could help people, etc. Sister Merrill explained that we give our best to God, and I shared my testimony of the purpose of temples as well, but she wasn't having it. She wasn't letting her testimony of the church get shaken, but it troubled her. We shared a lesson on another topic and halfway through she said something about a king and his throne, then turned to us saying, "oh, duh! God is the king and he deserves the best!" It was for me a great example of the Spirit teaching, and the importance of the Spirit to understand truth.
I read Ether in the Book of Mormon this week, and I finally, after 18 months of studying the topic on and off, gained a better understanding of the link between faith and hope. I was reading Ether 12:4 when I thought of some things I'd learned at zone training, about vision. That's really what hope is, having a vision of the possible positive outcomes available through the Atonement. But those outcomes are only available to us (and thus hope-worthy) if we have faith, or in other words have trust in and knowledge of God leading to righteous actions and covenants, which will allow us to fulfill that hopeful vision. It was a light bulb moment.
Just about out of time, but I love you all a lot!