Where do I even start to tell you about this past week?! It was stellar, totally awesome sauce.
we met this lady named Ramona that became a new investigator. When we asked her for a referral at the end she told us about her neighbor who had a church in his home. We knock on his apartment door and lo and behold Reverend David answers! He has a pulpit in his living room, two members in his congregation, a fluffy cat curling around his ankles, a guinea pig named Ariel in a cage far too big for a rodent, and is missing almost all of his teeth like a true Iowan. He's got an amazing love for the Savior and later in the week he and his two congregates became new investigators! One of a kind experience yet again, here in Des Moines.
Miatta passed her interview with flying colors and was baptized ! Miatta is a woman of amazing faith. Back in Liberia her Mother and Father were Muslim, but growing up she knew she was "born to be a Christian." She bore her testimony at her baptism and said "my decision has been made, I am a Christian, and I will never change!" It was a tremendous blessing to teach Miatta and see her progress so well in the short month we taught her.
we went to Nauvoo for the day with a member family. We walked around Old Nauvoo which is down the hill from the temple and ran into Brad Wilcox, who is a great speaker and religion professor at BYU. Then we went to a session at the temple. It was such a beautiful day and the temple brought such peace into my heart and I learned so much from the spirit! I love the temple! Then at night we were able to stay and watch the pageant. We got hooked up with some sweet seats right in the front as we watched the British Pageant. It was AMAZING! It was mind blowing probably largely in part to the fact that we haven't seen a movie or production of any kind in over a year. Nonetheless it was very well put together and I loved learning more about the early saints who joined the church and heeded the prophet's call to go to Nauvoo.
This week I have also gained a greater testimony of the power of member missionary work. Members are beyond vital for the work to move forward. Both Miatta and Peet Min were member referrals who were baptized. One of our investigators, Mary, had been on the down low for the past two weeks and with her baptismal date coming up we were getting very nervous. We finally met with her and she said she knows she wants to be baptized. She also told us that two of her friends (unbeknownst to us) were telling her about the Book of Mormon as she read and were encouraging her to be baptized! That is such an amazing miracle.
Bottom line is, members are what drive this work. From Preach My Gospel we read, "The ideal situation is when members invite others to be taught and are present for the teaching. Whenmembers do this, more people are baptized and remain active in the Church." That is our goal as missionaries, to baptize and see our converts make it to the temple. So do your best to get involved in this most glorious work! Pray for missionary opportunities, set goals to invite friends, ask the missionaries how you can help. I have been preaching it to you all for over a year now, this work is a happy work, it is the greatest work, it is the most correct and true of any work going forward on this earth! And what's totally gnarly awesome is that it is not just reserved for us wearing nametags. I love it with all my heart and this work "is the reason for which the universe was created!" - Jeffrey R. Holland