"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future" -Oscar Wilde
I'll start with an update on Gerrit, cause I am sure you are all DYING to hear how things are with him... haha probably not, but He is our one solid progressing investigator who is so great to teach and his lessons are always awesome. So I am going to tell you about this weeks lesson. :)
So last week we committed him to living the word of wisdom and he is doing so good with it. So we asked him how its been this week and he said its been great. He still hasn't done any drugs or drank or anything that he usually does and when we asked if anyone has noticed that he is off everything he said no, but then after thinking about it he said there was one time. It was when he went to church with his family (cause he went home for the weekend) and between their 'sacrament' meeting and their Sunday school class they have tea and cookies. They always have it all set up so you just have to come in and grab a glass and sit down. well, they usually only have a couple glasses of water there and he said no one EVER takes the water, so when he went for the water he got a lot of really strange looks, but no one asked why so he didnt have to tell them the reason he wasn't drinking tea.
So then the lesson got even better when we started to talk about his praying, because he knows its true, but I dont think he feels ready to accept it, so he keeps trying to deny it -- without success. So he said he prayed a couple times. The first was after he had a migraine. He got it and the first day he thought "hmm, I should pray about this" but he didnt. and the next day it was still there and he thought "I should pray about this" and he still didnt. So then the third day he finally decided to pray about it, and within the hour his migraine was gone. His friend did come over and give him some meds, so he tried to tell us that it was the meds, but he knows that it wasn't. Then the second story was even better. I told yall last week that he threw out his back -- and so he needed to go see the doctor but he hasnt found one here in tallahassee, so he was just going to go to the medical center and I guess it doesnt have a very good reputation when students come in cause they just assume that they have an STD, test them and send them on their way. SO he was worried about that, and he couldnt find anyone to take him cause he could drive with the way his back felt. SO he decided to pray and he prayed for 2 things: #1- that he would get a ride there, and #2- That when he got there they would take his seriously and be able to do something for him (he also said that whenever he goes to a doctor they never take him seriously because he is just a 20 yr old kid complaining of back problems) So right after he prayed some girl that he use to be roommates with (that he hasnt talked to in forever because their friendship ended on really bad terms) called and said she could take him (he had posted it on facebook) and when he got to the doctors office he got right in to see the doctor who figured everything out, gave him a steroid shot, took x-rays, gave him a better medication, etc. He said that she did more for him that the specialist he has been going to go see for years, even more than the doctor did when he initially broke his back. He tried to figure out how it all happened, but he knows that it was God. Haha yep, he knows it. He said he keeps trying to deny the feelings hes had when he prayed and he cant. So its just a matter of time. :) I get so excited for Mondays to go and to teach him.
We also had Zone conference this week, and I just want to say how SAD I am to be coming home soon because missionary work is going to explode and I want so badly to be a part of it. President Jensen talked alot about what the new announcement is going to do to our mission and we all got so excited! Right now we have 165-ish young missionaries. 13 of those are sisters. then we have another 16 or so couple missionaries. He started writing numbers up on the board. and I dont have my notes with me, but it went something like this (im just throwing out numbers): by February we are going to have 24 sisters, by April we are going to have 36, by May we are going to have 60, by July we are going to have 84 and by next august we are going to have 100 sisters and 150 elders with 32 seniors. ONE HUNDRED SISTERS! he said he almost had a heart attack and then he called the Jacksonville mission president and the Birmingham mission president and they are going to be at 112ish and 130ish sister missionaries. I AM SO EXCITED! i guess those numbers are pretty consistent across missions. The lord is hastening the work and its so incredible. I want so badly to be a part of it. The work is going to go forth at an incredible rate! Also, we dont watch the news but there have been rumors started to be talked about china.... One of the girls here (who is preparing to serve) said that china got a new leader and that it was all over the news? I feel like that piece of news means alot more to LDS people than to others because we are all just waiting for china to be opened. I also have heard a couple people talk about friends who received their calls that said they were called to another Asian country until china opens. That is all just hearsay so dont take it for fact, but either way the work is being hastened and I am so ecstatic about it I can hardly contain myself!
We went to the doctor Friday for sis Pulsiphers foot and he couldn't find anything wrong with it, so its been a hard week as far as getting other work done goes, but president had the sisters who were using the mission bikes bring them to us so we can ride to campus to keep her off her foot as much as possible. That's been alot of fun! Hopefully her foot heals soon, cause if not president said she'll have to go home for recovery. :(.
Here is a random fun fact: So back when I first got to the mission sister Horan and I decided that we were going to sing all the songs in order and sing all of the hymns in the hymn book. Its taken me my whole mission to get through them (some of my companions havent wanted to do it with me) but sister pulsipher and I sang "god save the king" this morning for our studies and I finished the last song in the book today. It feels like quite the accomplishment to me :)
Well, I just want to end talking about gratitude because it is thanksgiving this week and we have so much to be grateful for, especially because we have the gospel in our lives. I overlook so often the blessings that I receive but when i take the time to look back on my life and especially the last 15 months being out here on a mission I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessings given to me from my Heavenly father. I truly can see his hand in my everyday life and more than anything this year I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to spend a part of my life in complete service to God. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world. I have grown and stretched more than I thought was possible. I have such deep gratitude for the gospel and for Jesus Christ. I am grateful for my testimony and for the companions Ive gotten to serve with. I am grateful for faithful friends and family at home that consistently take time out of their busy lives to write me. I am grateful for ward members here that treat us like their own kids. I am grateful for people that say hi back when we smile and say hello, or the people that sit and listen to us even when they aren't interested. I am grateful for the spirit and his working in my own life and the chance I get to see first hand the change he can make it others lives. I am grateful for my personality and talents and abilities to go out and to do the things that the Lord has asked me to do. I am grateful for the scriptures and the words of the prophets and for singing. I am grateful for our freedom to worship God how we want. I am grateful that its like 105 degrees anymore and the humidity has died down. I am grateful for a mission president and his wife who loves and cares so much about 165 of us. I could go on and on, but above all I am grateful for the atonement and the chance that I have to access its powers and to become a little better each day than I was the previous day.
Enjoy thanksgiving everyone!
Love you all!