Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Transferred! 7.20.2015

Hey y'all! 

As you can see, I am getting transferred from my beloved McKinney. It has been such a blessing to serve here. I have met some of the most wonderful people and have made about a million of the best memories! The Lord has truly blessed me by allowing me to stay here for 6 months. It's been a happy, hard, and holy time here. I love these wards and members and investigators oh so very much. It will be a good adventure to see where I'll be headed to next. Whew. It's always a little nerve-wracking to get a new companion, a new area, and a whole new set of experiences, but I'm up for the challenge and the excitement that's sure to follow.

This week has been a truly beautiful and miraculous week! 

Some of the most miraculous things include:

A scripture stop-by to a sister that the ward council had mentioned. She hadn't been to church for quite some time, so we headed over there. We pulled up to the house right as one of her boys walked out and he sat on the porch. I felt really awkward and totally didn't want to go up, but I prayed for us before we went in. When I opened my eyes, the boy was gone! Whew. Answer to my prayer. Awkward situation avoided. Anyways, she welcomed us in and we chatted for a minute, then shared Daily Bread: Change (a mormon message by Elder Christofferson). We had a good discussion about it. After we closed with a prayer, she got us a drink of water. Here's where it gets cool. She told us that earlier that day she had just been talking on the phone to her husband who is on an extended business trip. She said she really was feeling down and like she didn't fit the typical "mormon mold" and she didn't know where she really fit into the church. So we came over and talked about the Atonement and our individual journeys and stuff. She said, "it's like y'all where a hug from God to me telling me that I'm doing okay. I really needed this today." I was so humbled for so many reasons. 1st, that I had been prideful enough to not want to have an awkward situation and that I was going to let it get in the way and 2nd that God allowed me to be an answer to her prayer and plea for help. It was a good learning experience for me. 

Miracle investigator! So last week sometime, we synced our iPads to make sure our Area Books were all up-to-date. A new referral - BL - just popped up from somewhere in the mission. We called her and scheduled an appointment for Thursday. So we invited a girl from the ward, who just graduated from high school to come with us. BL invited us in. She told us that she has some member friends down in Allen and they had the first lesson at their house. So then the missionaries sent her information over to us. We taught the Message of the Restoration, asking lots of questions, testifying, and allowing BL to do a lot of the talking. It was amazing. That girl is so prepared. She told us that she fully believes in Joseph Smith because she doesn't think he would have restored the church if it hadn't been true. She was so receptive and open to reading and coming to church. It was cool to hear her testify of truths that she holds dear such as God loves us and wants us to be happy, that God will never leave us directionless, and that as we serve we are greatly blessed. At the end of the lesson, she accepted a baptismal date! Wooo!! She also told us that she wouldn't be investigating if she didn't have a sincere desire to learn and grow. 

Friday we had interviews with President Taylor. I love that man! He is so wonderful, and it is always a privilege to be with him and Sister Taylor. President invited me to be the best Sister Gilbert I can be. A "10 out of 10" he told me. I am ready and willing to do this. I hope that as I let my light shine, that I can be the rock and support that I have been called to be. President told me, "it's a good time for Sister Gilbert right now" and I completely agree! I'm loving this mission. Whew. :)

Friday we had a lesson with JO. We taught the word of wisdom. Going into it, I was a little nervous, just not sure how he'd accept it. But he just grabbed onto it, and loved it. He told us later that he feels like God had been trying to tell him that he needed to put down his addictions, but he was ignoring it. Then we came along and taught the word of wisdom. He agreed to live it and wants to do it so he can be the kind of dad his children need him to be. I am so grateful to see how Heavenly Father prepares his children to keep the commandments. It's beautiful.

Saturday we had BE's baptism! Oh it was such a special day. Elder Smith (who served in McKinney nearly 2 years ago) was able to baptize Ben. It was really special to see that despite the fact that it took 2+ years, BE was able to enter the waters of baptism, and one of his first missionaries was able to help in that ordinance. Elder Smith goes home on Wednesday, so I'd say that it was a pretty good grande finale. It was just a special service and we actually had 2 other investigators there as well! JO and JE! They both loved it, and I'm so glad they were able to feel the Spirit that was there. Sister Whittier and I had the opportunity to share the Restoration while BE and Elder Smith were changing. As I shared the First Vision and testified of that, I couldn't help but weep. I felt a confirmation from the Spirit once again that this event, this miracle, this Restoration truly happened and that it happened because Heavenly Father loves us. How grateful I am for it. It was a beautiful day.

Sunday was equally as beautiful! JO was there as well as another new investigator, LI. So many miracles! After 7th ward, we ran over to the Johns for a quick dinner of waffles. Yum. :) Then we ran down to Richardson for the first ever Mission President's Fireside. Basically, it was Mormon Messages, testimonies of recent converts, and musical numbers. Sister Whittier and I were blessed to be able to be a part of that as well. JO came with his daughter. It was really neat because after our lesson with JO on Friday, I had a distinct prompting that we needed to show him a Mormon Message called "Reclaimed." Well, what do you know, during the fireside, one of the mormon messages was...... Reclaimed. Oh I just had the chills because Heavenly Father had the same thought that JO needed that very message. JO told us that he loved the whole evening. Sister Whittier even over heard him saying to someone, "This church feels like home." That made me so glad. It was such a lovely evening. 

I am truly grateful for this time that I've spent here in McKinney. I have learned a billion valuable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I know that God lives and that He loves us so much. 

I love each of you. I love this gospel. But I especially love our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have a beautiful week, y'all!

Love ya!

Sister Gilbert

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