i don't even know where to start. i can start with last monday. we went to Asoke to have our interviews with President for Zone Conference, and when we got back, our bikes were gone. i was in denial for a few minutes. maybe somebody just moved them?? maybe i forgot that we actually left them at home?? nope. somebody just grabbed both mine and sis. ference's bikes, probably threw them in a truck, and that was that. they were even locked together! oh well. it serves us right for parking them where we did, because sis. holmes had already had TWO bikes stolen here, in the space of two weeks. anyway, we've been walking everywhere, which is fine. but then we tend to be late to just about everything too. for the next few weeks, a member is letting me borrow her bike, which has a nifty little basket in the front. and the seat is extremely comfortable. so i feel like i've been upgraded.
our investigator, Har, who was supposed to be baptized yesterday, had a mishap with his eyes...apparently he can't see very well right now because of an infection or something...so he didn't show up to his interview, and then didn't show up to church. we were getting really worried, but then when i called him today, he explained everything. all is well. it was really stressful at the time though.
despite our little set-backs, the week ended on a really good note, and there were still really good things that happened. because the good will ALWAYS outweigh the bad. always.
we have an investigator named Ing-ing. she asked us if she could go street contacting with us. she has learned 2 lessons. i know plenty of missionaries that don't enjoy street contacting, and here is this awesome girl WANTING to go out into the blazing sun and get rejected over and over again. the day that we went, she showed up at the church and brought a dress with her to change into. she asked for a missionary planner and a pen to get people's numbers. she told me that she had asked Heavenly Father the night before to fine somebody who was interested. i think she was shocked at how much people turned us down, or how many people wouldn't even stop to talk to us. but by the end of the day she had two numbers...and those people both came to church the next day! and one of them will be baptized on the 22nd.
2. Zone conference.
exactly what i needed. and it made me understand repentance so much differently than i had before. it is not simply saying sorry for the things you do wrong. repentance is the way that we can literally BECOME like God. Elder Christofferson says that "our goal in this life is not simply just to go live with God again. Otherwise, why would we have ever left His presence in the first place? The ultimate goal in this life is to BECOME LIKE HIM." loveeeee that.
oh. and i played my violin as part of the special musical numbers. none of us really got to practice before that day, so it was all thrown together last minute. but it was good. luckily i had a really good cello to drown me out.
All the people we expected to come to church didn't really show up...but a lot of unexpected golden people showed up. every single person that came to church yesterday was so different than anyone i would every expect to enter a church building...but they were all miracles.
Rong. Brother Rong looks like the kind of guy that i wouldn't want to be caught in a dark alley way with. he came to church wearing a black 'Led Zepplin' shirt, and was smoking when we met him. he has a crazy eye, so i never really know which eye to look at when i'm talking to him. anyway, he's an interesting guy, but he accepted EVERYTHING we taught him yesterday. he's so excited to be baptized, and he told us that he knows it's his time now. he knows he's found the truth.
Noom. Noom is Muslim. he's covered in tattoos and piercings. when i first met him i didn't really think he would ACTUALLY come to church. And then Sunday came. it had been two weeks since i first talked to him, and he had never answered his phone since then. he walked into the church and asked me what he needed to do to be clean from his sin.
4. Fern. Fern also came to church on sunday...and she's actually come the past 3 Sundays. so here's Fern's story. A few weeks ago we had our Ward Conference, and stake leaders came from various areas. One of the members from Asoke brought her friend with her, who happened to live in our area. Her name was Fern. She had been talking to this friend that is already a member a lot about the church, but was NOT ready to be baptized. The first time we met with her we taught the Restoration, and she already knew a lot. She had met with the missionaries before a few months back, and read a little in the Book of Mormon. During our first lesson, we challenged her to be baptized, and she flat out gave us a big fat NO. We tried to give her a date for a little later on, and she said she just wasn't ready. She wanted to finish the Book of Mormon all the way through and then MAYBE she would think about being baptized. So we just figured we had tried to give her a date 2 years too soon. We almost dropped her actually. Her heart was just so closed off. The second time we met with her, we watched the video about the Restoration, and the Spirit was SO strong. We didn't even really say much in that lesson, but the member that helped us teach said ALL the right things. There was definitely something different about that lesson. The next day we called her, she was reading in Mosiah. The next day, she had gotten to 3 Nephi, and she told me that she made a promise with God that when she finished the Book of Mormon, she would be baptized. We called her the next day...and she said, "Sisters, I finished the Book of Mormon. I need to be baptized next week." She will be baptized this coming week with her 10 year old son.
I want to testify right now about the converting power of the Book of Mormon. This was a miracle that I never really expected or even asked for. But it's not about me. It's about Fern and God. And by reading the Book of Mormon, her heart completely flipped around. I still can't even really believe it. God is God, and He will do miracles. And I know we can all be converted by the Book of Mormon every day.
Sorry this is a complete novel! Love you all.