Wowee! Another week has gone by! As I am sure all of you knew, but were just too bashful to say anything about it, yes, today is my 8 month mark! I guess that it is next month that everybody freaks out though--my half way mark!! O_o
We've been working with some of the less-active members a lot this week. One of the people that we went to go and see was Sister Ross. At the beginning of the year, she had a goal to go through the temple. Because of her work schedule, it had been a while since we'd seen her, but this past week we were able to go over and see her. It was wonderful... pure bliss! Before we could even ask, she brought up to us the fact that she was still working on her goal. It was great! We are still working with her to help her accomplish it.
I think that, for me, a lot of frustration comes with those who are so closed off to even give the Book of Mormon a chance to be real. We've been working a lot with this person named Jose. We went and saw him this week and started off with a really good, spiritual lesson. Jose has a ton of GREAT questions... like if God loved all people, wouldn't he visit the people in the America's too? and how can we know the truth when some church people are corrupt? Yeah, questions that can be easily answered by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon! Towards the end of the lesson, we asked him if he would read the Book of Mormon. He very quickly told us that he has already read the Book of Mormon. After some more probing, we found out that he had just read the introduction, decided that a man wrote it, and absolutely refused to pick it up again. It was awful. We asked him if he had prayed about it and he told us that he didn't need to. Hopefully in the future something will soften his heart and he will be more open to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. I know that it can answer a lot of his questions.
We have a lot of great ward members here! Yesterday we went over to a member's house (the Copelands) and were talking to them while we were eating dinner. They started telling us some of their past missionary experiences. It was super cool. They own a mattress store and are always letting other people know that they are Mormon and inviting them to learn more. One of their coworkers visited Utah, went to temple square, had a tour, came back, and asked Brother Copeland if he could teach him more about the church. So, he invited him to church. That Sunday, Brother Copeland's coworker, asked if he could get up and say a few words. For his very first time at church, the coworker bore his testimony about the spirit that he felt at church and said that he wanted to come back the following week and eventually be baptized! It was a really cool story. I think that the coolest part is though that it all started out because the Copelands were willing to open their mouths and tell people about the church and that they were members!
One of the other less-actives that I have mentioned a lot in the past is Tracey Rice. We went over and had a super good lesson with her on the Word of Wisdom and got her to say that there was a "92% chance that she would come to church." We asked her what that meant, and she said that if she, or anyone in her family died, she would not make it. Good news is, she made it!! We had an awesome meeting too! The spirit was so strong. She started to cry because she felt the spirit so much. It truly is amazing to see people start to change their lives and return back to church.
We had an interesting experience when we were knocking on a door this week. This one guy answered the door, looked at us and very seriously said: "I hate to break it to you girls, but you need to leave the church of Latter Day Saints because you are going to go to Hell." That's the first time that anyone has ever been that blunt to us, but we just bore a simple testimony to him and left. Don't worry though, it didn't phase me one bit!! :D
One of the things that has really been sticking out to me this week has been the power of the atonement. Recently I've heard a lot of people say: "Oh, I can't forgive that person for what they did to me" or "I can't be forgiven or repent of what I did because it is just too much." All of this puts a limit on Christ's atonement and in actuality, there is no limit on His atonement. Christ's sacrifice for us is infinite and eternal. All that is injust about this world can be made right through the atonement of Christ. It may not be in this life, or right away, but I know that he can care for us and comfort us in just the way that we need. I know that Christ loves us so much that everything he does for us is for our good. Sometimes it may be hard, but it may be just the thing that we need in the future to get through a certain trial. I am so grateful to be a missionary and to have the chance to go around and tell others of this exciting message!
I love you all very much!! Thanks for all of your support and all that you do for me!