Saturday, July 11, 2015

Happy 4th, y'all! 7.6.2015

Hello to my favorites!

This week was wonderful! I'll just share some highlights from it.

Monday: We had another great lesson with JO at the Mollat's home. JO has been experiencing so much adversity and hardship since he started investigating the church. He does recognize though that it's the adversary trying to discourage him. JO said, "I've been to a lot of churches, but this is the first one where I feel like my soul is being fed as I come to church." We talked about the Plan of Salvation and a little about temples and family history. JO's son CH was there as well. Last time CH was at a lesson, he didn't say anything. But this time he asked us a bunch of questions about being missionaries and he was engaged in the lesson. That was good.

Tuesday: The Acevedos in the ward have a friend - WA - who moved from Iraq who is interested in the gospel who was moving down to Dallas. Before district meeting, all of us (4 elders + Sister Whittier and I) went with Bro. Acevedo to help load a storage unit into a moving truck. We had a great time. Here's where the story gets cool though: So Bro Acevedo drove the truck to Dallas, where he was met by missionaries at the girl's new house. One of the missionaries has a Palestinian last name because his grandfather was from the Middle East. So that was a really cool connection for WA. She was so grateful and impressed that she wants the missionaries to come over for food and for a lesson.I'm so glad I was able to be a part of that. We also had some really good visits with BR and BE. 

Wednesday: We finally got to help at GED service again. I love getting my math and english on! It's the best. We were able to help at the family history camp once again. Wednesday night we had a bit of an "anti scare" with JO. He texted us some questions about plural marriage and stuff. We replied and were just really honest with him, praying that it would all work out. We were pretty worried, but there wasn't much we could do at that point in the evening. 

Friday: We had a great lesson with AB about modesty. She is a wonderful girl with a strong testimony. She and her father came to church this week! Woot. We also had a really good lesson with SU and Sister YO. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. SU basically taught us the lesson. When she was going through the principles and ordinances, SU said "love" instead of "repentance." I thought that was a really cool way to think about it. Repentance is the way we can change our life so we can feel of God's love for us more fully. We want to repent because we love God. I will definitely remember that the reason for repentance is love, and the reason we are able to repent is because of the love Jesus Christ has for each of us. Brother, Sister and SU YO are all listening to the Book of Mormon. That book is CHANGING their lives. I am so proud of them. 

Saturday: THE 4TH OF JULY IN TEXAS. It was such a wonderful day! We had a pancake breakfast party with 7th ward, study time, then a hot-dog lunch party with 2nd ward. [Quick interjection: I love these McKinney wards so much! The people here are just out of this world. I love it here.] Oh! And JO came to the ward party! Afterwards, we went to the Gutierrez's home for another lesson. Going into it, I was pretty worried, what with the plural marriage stuff and all. But we got in there, and just asked JO, "What questions do you have?" He replied that yes, he was a little shocked by the plural marriage, but he had come to understand that through revelation a prophet had instated in, and that through revelation, a prophet had declared that it was no longer in harmony with God's will. He was able to fully accept that, and he told us that he knew God sent us to him for a reason and until he knew that reason, there was no going back. We had a wonderful lesson about modern day prophets and the importance of following the prophet. The Gutierrez family came through once again and bore powerful testimonies. Then Joseph said, "Okay, so now that I've found this truth, what can I do? I want to change the world with this truth!" Um, okay, that was super awesome. So we told him he can be a good example and share the gospel with his friends. So awesome. 

After some semi-successful contacting, we wrapped up our evening with a barbecue with a couple families from the ward, a part-member family, and a non-member friend. We had delicious grilled chicken, more importantly, I was able to play badminton with a bunch of the little kids. We also had a good conversation about Harry Potter, and what it's like to be a missionary. It was a lovely evening, and miraculously enough, it wasn't too hot. 

Sunday was nice. None of our investigators made it to church, but we had some good appointments that evening. BR has a baptismal date again - July 18. We are exctied for her. I am so thankful that everything is working out with her.

Funny quote from this week: "It's only 92 degrees. Not bad." 

Good quotes from testimony meeting: "The family is the plan of happiness." and "There is great turmoil in the world, but we choose not to be part of it by choosing the right and keeping our covenants."

I am so grateful for my wonderful companion, Sister Whittier. She keeps me laughing all day long, and she helps me when the stresses of being a missionary build up. I know that the Lord put us together for a reason.

I know that this church is true! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. I am so thankful that we have a prophet on the earth today to lead us, guide us, and help us return safely home. 

I love each of you! Have a blessed and beautiful week!

Sister Gretchen Gilbert

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