Would it be kosher to audio record one of Dad's talks and send it to me? I would love to hear him speak! If not, I'll have plenty of time to enjoy his spirit-filled talks next year. :) Jeren and Lauren, I'd love to see pictures from your fun cruise if you have time to send them! Speaking of pictures-- you'll have to take a picture with Sarah and send it the next time you see her!
So some amazing things happen this week. Every day has miracles in it, but the ones this week were huge! We organized a 2-hour blitz for our area to try and help Boulder Springs, and on Saturday the two sets of elders in our district came in and worked the area with us. We saw some cool things happen from that. After the blitz, we had a voice mail from Helen (not 95 year old Helen, Gavin's mom Helen) saying that she had some wonderful news to share. Sis Hame and I looked at each other and screamed! "Drive, Sister Hame, drive!" so we rushed over to her house and, just as we guessed, Gary had decided on her birthday that he was ready to seal the deal and legally marry her!!! They will be having a little ceremony next Sunday with just their two closest friends, the Pease's and the Damrons. It helps that their main fellowshipper got called to be the new bishop of the ward. Bishop Damron's first wedding will be for his best friends! Gary wants Helen to be able to get baptized with Gavin on the March 8th. In 2 sundays, after more than 2 years of waiting, Helen finally gets to enter the waters of baptism. She told us, "I can't wait to have [the Holy Ghost as] my constant companion, and not just a peekaboo friend." So many prayers and fasts have been answered this week! I'm so grateful and so are the dozens of members and missionaries that know and love her.
Andy and Anna came to church for the first time! They loved it, especially Andy! Even though there were so many people. What a champ. The Gospel Principles lesson was on baptism, which Andy told us later was perfect, since "that's coming up soon for us." Yeah! And we finally got to start teaching Braden, their 10 year old son. He said he's coming to church next week! I love that family so much, I can't even explain it.
Franco also came, but had a less savory experience. He was kind of uncomfortable with the newness of it all. And he sat in on our presentation of the Plan of Salvation to the 11-12 year old class, and was bothered by the doctrine of three kingdoms/eternal families. We did our best to answer his questions in the hallway, but he wasn't having it... So that was kind of disappointing. He's the first person I've taught who felt so opposed to it. I know that if he just sincerely prayed about it, he would know it's true. But missionary work is all about inviting! Christ said "come unto me," not go. He draws men unto him but never forces them. If Franco takes that leap of faith and prays and reads he'll come around, I know it. :)
We have a new ward mission leader in White Cliffs, Bro Kahananui, and he is the champion!! One of my only regrets if I get transferred is that I didn't have the chance to work with him for longer. He is a real ward missionleader! He isn't the middle man, he is the man with the plan! He's got all these amazing ideas of how to make missionary work a team effort with the ward, such as calling one ward missionary from each auxiliary and have them represent missionary work in a correlation every other week, opposite ward council. And he wants to have a 40-day fast with the ward, which just proves he's inspired because that's something we felt prompted to try as well. Amazing things are going to happen with him as WML! We are trying to take good notes and apply those things in Boulder Springs as well, because we know that getting the members involved is the key to getting the work going again there.
All transfer long, we have had a goal of getting 70 street contacts in a week. That is the standard of excellence for the mission-- easy to achieve in Las Vegas where there are lots of people out, but difficult in Kingman. Usually we only get in the 30's or 40's. This week, we had a miracle and hit 70 right before it was time to go home. We said a good heartfelt gratitude prayer to Heavenly Father for helping us finally achieve that goal! It's not like there were extra people outside, but somehow we talked to 70 people. It truly felt like the loaves and the fishes.
I'm going to echo Dad's testimony and say that the Church is true! Christ is at the head! "Absolute truth exists in a world that increasingly disdains and dismisses absolutes" (Elder David A Bednar). I know this. If we're faithful, through the blessings of the Gospel we can receive incomprehensible joy now and in the eternities! Have a wonderful week, I love you all!