Our major success this week was that our investigator, ASHLEY WAS BAPTIZED on Saturday!! It was amazing; there were over 65 people in attendance!! I have never seen a baptism with that many people present ever in my life. Ashley was beaming and she was so excited, you could see her face radiating with light. Her family and some friends were there to support her as well, which was GREAT! The ward did really well at outreaching them and introducing themselves. Nothing quite compares with the joy of seeing one of your investigators in the baptismal font. The program all went well, and everyone could feel the Spirit so strongly. That was so awesome! And when she was confirmed on Sunday, her face was absolutely radiant. The ward noticed it and everything was just perfect. I couldn't have pictured the baptism going any better.
Alright, now back to the beginning....
Tuesday was our Pday, as you know, and the 4 of us sisters went to the Scandinavian Heritage Park and had a photoshoot. It was so fun! Alright, yes, a bit cheesy, but AWESOME. Dad, you would have LOVED the architecture of the Gol Stave Church they have there. They didn't use any nails when building it, only tongue-and-groove construction. It's pretty cool what people came up with. So that was fun, good times. Life's too short to be boring.
We had a really good appointment with the Felts again. We brought Brooklyn, a 16 year old YW, with us, and she connected really well with the girls. Maddie and Tambri were asking a lot of questions and really trying to figure out what we were telling them so they could come to know for themselves that it is true. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and though it was a lot to take in, they really liked it and now have a lot of questions about how we have the Priesthood and all that. They want to know if what we are saying is true, which is the first part. They are so fun to work with!
Matt is another investigator we are now working with and he is actually on date for June 21! His girlfriend is Mormon, which is how we got interested in the Church. He has a lot of desire also to know, and has been reading well in the Book of Mormon. It was funny--we put him on date at our lesson Thursday night, and his immediate response was "Sure. What's baptism?". Through some miscommunication, we had thought he had already been taught about baptism, but he hadn't. So we taught him about baptism and what it was so he understood the importance of it. It threw me off guard a little bit, to be honest. I've never put someone on date who didn't know what baptism was before! But, there's a first time for everything.
We have a less active in our ward, Camie, who has been though a lot in her life. It's hard to get in contact with her usually, but we were able to get in with her this week and give her a Conference Ensign so she can read up on those. We were also able to find a time to come back and help her in her yard, which will be awesome because we get to help her out! And now that it's warm, it'll be even better. We haven't been able to do a lot of service since it's gotten warm, which is ironic.
Speaking of the weather, it has been raining for like the last 15-ish hours or so. We have gotten 2 inches already since last night (to be perfectly frank, I have no idea if that is a lot, but since a couple people have mentioned it, I'm going to assume that it is a pretty big thing). If there is a drought going on, it definitely isn't going on here. Ha. We had the summer in May and now it's back to spring....ahh well. It was nice while it lasted.
We had a dinner appointment this week with a cute young family. They have a 2 year old son and she is due in like a week with a little girl. When we called to set up the time for dinner, their son answered with , "Hi!!" So, assuming he was a bit older, we replied, "Hi! How are you?" He replied, "Good!"
"Good! Is your mom there"
"Can we talk to her?"
"Yeah!".............." And then a few seconds later we heard him running around, screaming into the phone. SO we tried again:
"Are you there?"
"Is your mom there?"
"Can we talk to her?"
"Yeah!" But again, it didn't work. After trying a couple more times, we just decided to call back. Later, when we were at dinner, his mom was telling us that that was the first time he had ever done that. So this little boy's first phone conversation was with the sister missionaries! Score! I don't know why I shared that story besides the fact that it was so cute! Anyways...
Yesterday we had a great lesson with Barbara. I might not have explained how we found Barbara, so here's the scoop. Barbara is from Brazil, and she moved here for school. She works with Sister Banister, and one day Barbara asked is Sister Banister went to a church. Sister Banister replied with, "Yeah I do. Wanna come with me?" And Barbara did! So she came to Church on the 18th of May and then the first time she met with the missionaries was when we were on exchanges, so Sister Manning and Sister Osburn taught her the Restoration. Yesterday, we taught her the Plan of Salvation. Next time we teach her, we are going to put her on date--she is ready. Barbara has a sincere desire to do what God wants her to do, for she recognizes all that God does for her and she feels very indebted to Him. So it's inspiring to be around someone with such desire to know. She also told us yesterday that she feels like she was led here to Minot so she could find the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She can see now in hindsight how God led her here, and she is so grateful. She is such a special girl and we love to teach her. She paid us another huge compliment as she told Sister Manning and I that the first day she came to Church, the elders approached her after we did and asked if she wanted to be taught. Barbara told them that the sisters were going to be teaching her. She related this story to us and then told us how she is so glad we talked to her first, because she can be much more open with us that she feels she would have been able to with the elders. The elders are great missionaries, and they would have done a great job teaching her, but Barbara's comment just stands as a testimony to me that me as a sister missionary can touch people that elders can't. Elders can touch people that sisters can't--that's just how it works. But I am learning so much from Barbara and am grateful for her example in my life.
I feel like a lot of the time, our investigators teach me more than I teach them. It's cool how that works.
With transfers quickly approaching as well as my 9 month mark, I know that I will most likely be transferred, but I am so attached to the people here and am finally feeling like I am teaching who I came here for, I am hoping I will have 1 more transfer here to help the people I can. Of course, I will go wherever the Lord sends me, but I feel such a connection to the people here and finally feel like I am doing what I came here for. So it will all work out as it needs to.
That being said, I have felt so much joy in this week as a missionary. Most importantly, I have felt NEEDED by the people we've been teaching that week. There is no doubt in my mind after this week that this is where I am supposed to be. For me at this time, there is nothing more important than serving my mission. :)
I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and missionary work and diligence! This week, I have been studying in Preach My Gospel about Diligence in Chapter 6. May we all strive to be diligent! It brings many blessings that no other way can.
The work is working!
Me, Ashley, and Sister Manning right before she got baptized!
Ashley and her family prior to her baptism. Back row L to R: Katie (sister), Sister McKinney, Brother McKinney. Front L to R: Me, Ashley, Brother Ketteman (baptizer), Sister Manning, Riley (Ashley's best friend)
Look, I would be tall if I lived in a Scandinavian home!!
Teaching the Troll--everyone needs the gospel!