Oh my, what a week it was here in the Texas Dallas Heaven.
We had our first new member lesson with JO! It was wonderful. We watched the Restoration with his family and had a great discussion. Both his parents bore their testimonies about Joseph Smith, and it was beautiful! Oh I just love JO.
After that we went and saw JA. We were talking about the priesthood and family history work. We logged him onto familysearch.org, only to find that he wasn't connected to anyone. Oh we worked furiously for an hour to try to help him get connected to his mom and grandparents at least, but to no avail. It made me realize how blessed I am to have my family tree nearly complete. Maybe my days as a youth family history consultant weren't as bad as I thought they were.... I think I've finally repented for not liking that calling. I wish I knew more now, so that I could be able to help JA and his family!
Tuesday we had district meeting and we decided we wanted to go out for lunch afterward. However, the tiny town of Quitman, Texas where we hold our meeting has a very limited supply of restaurants. But we ended up going to a little place called Seth's. It was so fun! Definitely just a bunch of southern food. I got crawfish tails, hushpuppies, and gumbo! Do I even know what any of that is? Not really ... but that's okay. It was delicious! A couple of the elders got frog legs, and one got alligator and let me try it! It just tasted like steak.
Oh boy, then after lunch we had a lesson with RI. He came to church on Sunday, JO's baptism on Saturday, has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, basically doing everything that he was supposed to. But he told us that he didn't want to join the church, even of finding out if it was true. So that was really discouraging. He told us that he just loved the company and loved comparing the Book of Mormon to the Bible, "studying with us", and that he could honestly just study for 2 years. He didn't feel anything at church and yeah. Oh we were sad. I told Sister Parkinson, "My heart hurts. And not because I had fried food for lunch." But we will continue to pray for him. Also, we will see him every week at our service at the food pantry as well. But oh it was sad.
We had a wonderful, wonderful lesson with TO - per usual. We talked about making vision statements for ourselves and having righteous goals in mind. He told us that this year, he is GOING to get the Melchizedek priesthood and he WILL go to the temple to receive his endowments. Oh we are just so happy for him. Our weekly meeting with him is easily my favorite of the week.
A new investigator told us that the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation answer the questions that she has asked her whole life but has never been able to find answers to. She has a rough situation, but we hope to be able to work through it, and help her be able to participate in the fullness of the gospel.
Thursday night I was able to try gumbo again! This one was super delicious. I'll have to get the recipe...
Friday we went down to Big Sandy to see MA and to go tracting to try to get some more contacts for the week. We brought Brittany Miller with us and had a good time. Oh, this one house had a really creepy shrine on it... I can't even describe it.
Friday night we met with BR and RA. They are doing well. Life is still hard for them since the loss of their son, but they are doing okay. They told us that Faith and gospel have truly been what's sustained them through the past couple of months. It's so good to hear that they have turned to the Lord and the Atonement to make it through their trials and struggles. I love that family dearly.
Saturday was also awesome. Good lesson with JA about the prophets! When we were getting ready for our lesson before hand, I was singing "Follow the Prophet." I couldn't remember the Noah verse for a while, but then I finally got it. Well, on Sunday we were looking at a Primary song book. I realized that I had totally made the words up, but they were pretty good regardless.
"Noah was a prophet called to build a boat
People in his city said it wouldn't float
They were busy sinning, Noah preached in vain
They wished they had listened when they saw the rain." Oh well. haha.
Saturday night the youth in the Gilmer stake had a fireside/dance to kick off the new year. They invited President Taylor to speak at it. We found out that MI was going to be there, so we got to go! Oh it was joyous to see President! He called us up on the spot.... and we got to share our thoughts about Doctrine and Covenants 4:2 - Embark.
This is the email that keeps on giving..... sorry.
Sunday was good. Somehow, responsibilities got mixed up, and no one had brought bread for the Sacrament. But luckily, the YW Pres. had brought some hamburger buns for sloppy joes for the youth for after church. So we took the Sacrament more than halfway through the meeting, after a speaker, and using hamburger buns. It was unique, but definitely a testimony builder to me that the Sacrament is powerful and important.
Okay, now this is the most important part of the email:
We found out that at the end of the month, our mission will be blessed to have a visit from a general authority.
Elder Russel M. Nelson will be visiting the Texas Dallas Mission on.......my birthday.
Oh I am so excited I can hardly stand it. We are going to be purifying ourselves to prepare for a prophet of the Lord to come. I am going to focus on being more charitable and using this motto: "it's better to be kind than to be right."
Oh what a good day. What a good life. And what a glorious gospel! How thankful I am that we can build on a firm foundation, Jesus Christ. My testimony echoes that of the the hymn,
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!
How grateful I am for the Savior, for His Atonement, and most importantly, His love.
I love you and pray that you will have a wonderful week!