Monday, November 9, 2015

Autumn Miracles


I know I say this a lot, but our Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much! God is so good! So first of all, last week we met the sweetest old man named Charlie as we were walking down the street. He was going for a nice stroll and we started talking to him about the Book of Mormon. He was genuinely interested and gave us his contact information and a time we could visit him again. We met with Charlie this week, taught him the restoration, and invited him to read from the Book of Mormon. Now, Charlie is actually illiterate, but he knows the basics of reading and promised us he would read and pray. Well, he did, and he came to church on Sunday and absolutely loved it! He's so excited for us to come back this week to teach him more!

Last week we miraculously met a less active, Trevor, who wasn't on our Ward roster yet. He invited us to come over this week to meet his non-member wife, Anna. They had just moved here about a month ago, they have been married for just a couple years now, no kids and Anna actually LOVES the sister missionaries. She said the sisters would come over all the time just to hang out with them. I then proceeded to ask her what the sisters had taught her about the Book of Mormon. Nothing. THE SISTERS WERE SLACKING. So, we tell her about the Book of Mormon and Trevor is getting excited and wants to share what he knows too. We can tell that Trevor wants to come back so bad, but doesn't want to be pushy with religion to his wife. Now he doesn't have to...we will!! Anna was actually super interested as well and they are now reading the Book of Mormon as a family. We have high hopes for them (:

Herman was able to get a priesthood blessing to help him with the word of wisdom this week. He actually read the Book of Mormon!!! HALLELUJAH! Aaaannnnd had questions about it, which NEVER happens. He's progressing slowly but surely. We keep moving his baptism date back until he truly understands the covenant he is going to be making, but he'll get there.

Jayne is a less active/recent convert that we have been working with. She is the sweetest, cutest lady, it's just hard for her to get to church for medical reasons. Because she hasn't been able to make it to church, not very many people in the Ward know her, so it's hard for her because she needs a lot of help around the house and driving to the store, etc and she doesn't have family around to help her. She's also a retired interior designer (my major!) so we have lots of talks and she gives me good advice. Anyway, as we were leaving her house after helping her this week her neighbor who she had just met came over to visit with Jayne. Carol is a fashion designer, very classy lady. She's not religious at all, but knows a lot about Mormons and really loves our values and stance on family. Long story short, we got talking with her and taught her a little bit and she said she'd like to learn more but couldn't have lessons in her home. So Jayne is being a little missionary, telling carol we could have lessons in her home and she just bears testimony of how she knows the church is true. I love Jayne. And Carol is a hoot!! :)))

LASTLY, a member of the bishopric called us asking us if we knew this less active, Sister Bradford. We didn't. She wasn't on our Ward roster or any of our teaching records, and I honestly have no idea how the bishopric found her because they didn't know anything about her either until the night before they called us. Anyway, they asked us to go visit her telling us they already knew Sister Bradford's living situation and the Ward is working on helping her. So the next day we visit her. She lives in a moldy, flea infested trailer (oh, by the way mom, I think I have fleas). She has to keep the doors open at all times so she can get a little bit of decent air, but that means at night too. So she's always nervous somebody is going to come into her trailer while she's sleeping so she doesn't get very much sleep because she's worrying too much. She has to have oxygen tubes to help her get clean air and she doesn't have a car (why she hasn't been coming to church) or any food really. BUT, despite all these challenges she is the happiest person I know. Her smile and laugh is so contagious. She keeps telling us that our Heavenly Father has blessed her with a roof over her head and the church finding her. We got her to church on Sunday and as she was taking the sacrament, she treasured that moment. She said she was so happy because she had the gospel in her life. I look up to her.

It's all in our attitude. We can choose to be happy. Despite all our own individual trials and challenges, are we choosing to be happy because of the knowledge we have of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?

Anyways. We got three investigators and three less actives to church! We had game day on Saturday and so we set up the booth again (:  it was a pretty good success. Last Monday we had sisters P-day. Everyone came up to campus and walked around downtown Athens. We took Sister Checketts with us all day yesterday. She's hilarious and shares my love for Disneyland and finally, we have felt the Holy Ghost guiding us every second of every day!! I'm so grateful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and the part it plays in this work. Without it, the work would cease.

I love and miss y'all. I've been out for 6 months! Can you believe it??? See you in NO time.

Love, Sister Merritt

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