Monday, June 15, 2015

June 8, 2015

If only you all could have been here to feel the joy and excitement I feel right now. This has been one of the greatest weeks ever! I've had the greatest lessons of my entire mission within the week and things have really picked up from them. We now have three solid baptismal dates!!! One with Mason, one with Mike, and one with our new investigator Alicia! All of them came to church yesterday too! We are so elated!

Alicia just moved up here from Tennessee last week to get away from some... problems. She and Akua Wells (a member here), have been dating online for some time now so she came up here to be with him and his family who are active members. She had never been to an LDS church or even heard of it until they started dating. When she got here they brought her to our Book of Mormon Study that we do each Wednesday evening. Though she was confused as to what exactly we were talking about she was very intrigued and amazed at the idea that there is another book testifying of Jesus Christ "just like the Bible does". She asked lots of questions, like "Who's Nephi?" and "What does hearken mean?" with such a longing in her tone. You can tell she has been thirsting for something more in her life. So a couple days later when we came over and taught her about the restoration she quickly and happily accepted the invitation to be baptized on June 27th. What's even better is though Akua has struggled in the past with worthiness he is doing everything he can to be worthy to baptize her. Their whole family is getting jacked about missionary work. It's so great!

The past two lessons with Mike have been remarkable. I am so grateful for the guidance of the Spirit, otherwise I know there would be no way he would have realized the truth of what we have been teaching him all this time and accept the invitation to be baptized. This guy is one person I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity I have had to share the gospel with. It has almost felt like a battle at times trying to get him to understand things to the point of conversion. Finally he has made the connections and is recognizing God's finger, pointing him where he needs to go. On Saturday we taught him about covenants and the plan of salvation once again. That was the best lesson I have ever taught, per se; I don't believe we were the one's actually teaching at all. At the end of the lesson Mike said "If only I had known this when the Sisters met with us in Washington. I would have jumped on this immediately." He want's to be sealed to his wife so bad. He loves her so much and he's dead set on being baptized now, so he can be with her and his girls for eternity. Our Heavenly Father has made such a perfect plan. I learned that even more from that lesson as well as the absolute necessity for covenants. Oh how I love the gospel!!!

Our visit with the Smith's was so wonderful. If only you could see the change that has taken place in their lives. They're still as quirky as ever, but the Spirit is in their lives again. They continue making sacrifices and are already receiving rich blessings for them. We don't have to point things out to them or teach them principles anymore because they are doing all of that themselves. They have become self-sufficient in the gospel. That for them is nothing short of a miracle. No doubt the atonement is real! We were about to begin our lesson when Rene and Barbara (Bro. and Sis. Smith) in a way began bearing their testimonies to us and pointing out the change that they can see in their lives as they've let the gospel into their hearts and put the Savior and His commandments first. It is marvelous!

We also had wonderful lessons with Brian, Haus, and Treya this week. We are eager to help them progress and get their families involved as well.

I love this area so much. I love these people with all my heart. Transfer calls come this Saturday; I am pleading with the Lord to let me stay and finish my mission here. I know I was sent here through inspiration. I hope with all my heart that I can stay a little longer.

Our water is clean now. Yay! We are grateful for that. But after it got clean we didn't have any hot water, only cold. Really cold. That went on for a couple of days. Yesterday evening we finally got it back so we enjoyed a nice, warm shower for the first time in a while this morning.

Well, I think that's the scoop for this week. I hope I have good news next week. I love you guys!

-Elder Curtis

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