-TORNADO? What?? How? (On the Oregon Coast - Manzanita I believe.)
-Missionary work DOES BRING JOY; case in point, this week. (I encouraged him to find Joy in the work.)
-Humility is EVERYTHING as a missionary. We are potter's clay. We are instruments. We can do nothing of ourselves. Every time I try to carry myself in whatever it is (especially teaching), I fail. I am weak, but the Lord's power is perfected in weakness. Humility brings peace and focus. Humility leads to greater obedience. I am immensely and immeasurably grateful for the grand lessons the Lord has given me on humility, and they will be with me for the rest of my life.
I want to send photos so bad, but this computer's USB connections are out of service. :( I've had a really nasty infection on the back of my hand (that Dad and Emma would love pics of) for the last week and a half that is finally better, and i was hoping to let you guys in on that today. We also had a zone activity and took zone pics, but... next week.
Wednesday we were talking with A****, a psychiatrist who loves to study on his own time. He has been sincerely praying, and as a result has gained a testimony rapidly. For some time he's been feeling like he still needs more preparation, but we talked to him about faith and let the Spirit work in him. He decided, FOR HIMSELF, that he's going to get baptized the second or third weekend of November (depending on when his family reunion is). We were thrilled, and we were grateful that the Lord has wrought a mighty change in his heart.
D*****, once a free-spirited, street-loving alcoholic, is all set and super excited for her baptism this weekend. Her daughter P*** M***** is totally on board, too. We had a mini baptismal interview on Friday, and she is beyond prepared for her actual interview this Thursday.
On Sunday we met with the mother of a convert of about 9 months (De***) whose name is Do****. She has been progressing somewhat slowly because we can only see her once a week and because she has said that she wants to do things at her pace. However, we met and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and when we asked her to be baptized again, although there were phones ringing and other people walking all over the house, she said YES. She said she feels prepared already, seemingly out of nowhere. She said we could put the baptismal service as soon as we could, and that turns out to be Sunday, November 6. The Lord has really opened her heart, and she is going to be the gateway (together with her daughter) to getting to the agnostic son and the father of the family. Miracles are real, people. They have not ceased among the children of men, wherever there is faith.
To show that there must be opposition in all things, we met earlier that afternoon an anti-american atheist who blames all the problems in the world on the USA and boldly declares that we have neither purpose nor potential in life, yet somehow believes in ethics, and who doesn't [want to] understand that without evil in the world we would not know the good nor experience joy. The odd thing was, he was super cordial about it all, invited us in, and even praised us for being youth focused on religion and on making the world a better place (though he said we should go back and preach to the American government instead). We had a good laugh about the stark queerness of that visit that night.
I am SUPER PUMPED for this week. It is the last week of the transfer, and we are going to have 2 baptisms on Saturday, and we have set more goals to be even more obedient and see even more miracles. I pray that the Lord will bless you guys back home with the same joy and desire to warn your neighbors as I am feeling right now.