Well I've almost survived my first Las Vegas summer! Today's a little bit of a crazy day because Sister Luke's grandparents were here and there's a big zone barbeque going on but I'll try my best to do this week justice. The work is on fire here, in proportion to the heat! It was 109 degrees in the shade today :) This is September?!
I've learned a lot this week about true success. I think the biggest successes are the times when we know we've been led by the Spirit to be in exactly the right place at the right time. And that seems to happen a lot!, our appointment didn't show up so we had our members follow us to try some backups. At the last house we tried, we found the brother of a referral home. Boy was he a talker! As he talked to Aaron and Daniel in the garage, a beautiful lost-looking girl about our age who was there walked up to Sis. Luke and I. She told us that she was a member, that she'd fallen away and wanted to come back, that she tried to pray but often didn't feel good enough to pray. We told her to keep on praying, that Satan would try to tell her she wasn't worthy to pray but that that was a lie and she could always pray. She started to cry, thanked us, hugged us, and left. That is a true success!
I mentioned DJ last week-- It's so fun to be teaching girls for a change! She is getting baptized on! She is a testimony to me that our church is true. She's tried just about every church out there, and after coming to ours once, she's found what the others were missing. She's really diving in head-first to everything the church offers. She's been coming to activities, institute, throwing movie nights for the members, and is eating up the book of Mormon. When we taught her the word of wisdom, she immediately took all her tea bags and threw them in the trash while Michael poured her pitcher of iced tea down the sink. She's amazing!
Stephanie is still doing super awesome and progressing toward her baptismthe 7th. She and her boyfriend came to dinner with us at Bishop's home this week which was amazing because he was able to explain prayer and the atonement to her better than I ever could, and his explanation answered questions that I'd had, as well! We're so blessed to have such a fantastic bishop! He really would do anything for us.
Johnny is doing great as well-- progressing slowly and making baby steps in the Gospel. He is much more of a challenge to teach than anyone I've taught before, but I'm sooo grateful. How am I supposed to progress in my teaching skills, or learn how to really rely on the Spirit to answer questions, if everyone just rides a slip-'n-slide right into the baptismal font? And it makes the successes all the more sweet! Hearing that he read 2 pages in the Book of Mormon, or seeing him stay for all 3 hours of church, means so much more that way.
We got to see Tori be baptizedmorning in the Royal Mesa ward. Knowing that when Sister Luke met him he didn't believe in God, seeing his progression, and then hearing him say, "I want to make it clear that I love this church and I love Jesus Christ," was one of the happiest moments I've ever experienced! As a missionary I really get a front-row seat to watching people's lives change through the Atonement. There's nothing better!
"And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended toward me." (Alma 29:10)
Alright, funny story of the week (this one's hilarious): Sister Luke got chased around our car by a cross dresser! As she was backing me out of a parking spot (you know how missionaries do) said cross dresser spots her and starts super-speed walking it over as fast as his shaved legs can carry him... she had to run the opposite way around the car and jump in or they would've kept going in circles! We drove out of that parking lot so fast... part of me was afraid he was going to jump on to the back of the car and ride fabulously with us down St. Rose Parkway. Thankfully it was not so and we escaped. :)
I love you all, have a wonderful labor day!
Lots of love-