Monday, April 28, 2014

And Life Continues!

Dear Family! 

Well, this past week has been great! We had Jared's baptism on Saturday and it went over super well. He had his mom, aunt, and one of his best friends come! We were able to talk to them at the baptism and his friend said that he might be interested in learning more! When Jared came up out of the water, he said: "Wow, that is great!" At the end of the baptismal service, Jared got up and shared his testimony with those that were there. It was really powerful, he talked about how he has come to know the church is true through reading the Book of Mormon and how much strength he has already gotten from the gospel. He said how he is 28 now, but has been searching through different religions for all of his life. And now, after searching for such a long time, he has finally found a religion that has been able to answer some of his big questions in life. It was really awesome to hear him say that and especially with his family and friends there. I'm hoping that we will be able to start working with them some more. I'll keep you updated on what happens with that. :D

On Saturday, before Jared's baptism, our ward was having a service project up at a local park. We went to that and it was super great! We were able to get 2 of our investigators there and I think that they really enjoyed it. In fact, it was kind of funny. One of our investigators, Don, called us up and asked us if we needed a ride there. We told him that we were good, but that one of the people we were working with did need a ride. So, our investigator gave our other investigator a ride to the service project! At the service project, we helped to stain a deck, picnic tables, move mulch to different places, and trim back some plants that had overgrown. It's been quite a while since I have been able to work outside like that and it was very stress-relieving for me! I think our investigators really liked going as well. It helped them to feel needed and realize that the church needs their help and the things that they can offer. 

The ward members in this area have been super great and supportive! Sister Neil and I have started taking some of our investigators and less-actives that we are working with to meal appointments. It helps so that the members know who we are working with and can ask about them, go up and say hi to them at church or whenever they see them, and offer some of their own insights. I've found that the members here are very eager to support us in our efforts of bringing people closer to Christ, but they don't always know how exactly they can help. Everyone that has had someone over to their house has really enjoyed it and has told us that we are always more than welcome to bring the people that we are working with over. I am very grateful for all of the love and support that we are receiving from them!

Every Wednesday, we go and do service at the Salvation Army helping to give food to the homeless and to those that are in need. It's super interesting to see the different people that come in and their attitudes. Some people come in with the attitude that they are entitled to the food and are absolutely frustrated that they have to wait 5 minutes in line for food, and other people are just so grateful that they get a meal. From serving them though, I have really come to realize that even though some people's attitudes aren't the best there, they are all children of God and he wants the best for them. It's amazing how service can change your view point towards people. The Salvation Army this past week invited us to an honorary dinner that they were providing to all those that worked with the Salvation Army. It was super cool, the dinner that they provided was tasted good, and it was a great way for us to get our name out there with what we do and such. We weren't able to get someone to teach from that, but it really did help people to see us and dispel some of the crazy rumors that go around about us. 

As May approaches, I have found that I have been getting a bit more anxious than normal for my VISA to come. I've been studying patience a lot in Preach my Gospel, but with studying patience, I feel like the Lord has given me even more opportunities to show my patience. Just about every single appointment that we have gone to this past week, people have asked me if I think that I am actually going to be going to Brasil, where my VISA, why it is taking so long, and all the other question that go along with this. It can definitely be a bit hard, but really, it has helped to strengthen my faith by saying it over and over again that the Lord has me where he wants me. I guess I figure that the Lord is all powerful, and if He wanted me in Brazil today, I would be in Brazil today. But I am not, so obviously, the Lord wants me in Tennessee. That really helps to give me more motivation to work hard, so that at the end of my mission, I can say that I worked hard during my entire mission, not just when I was in Brazil. I have no idea when my VISA will be coming, but I do hope that it comes soon.  

Well, I love ya'll so much!! Thanks for all that you do! 

Sister Spencer

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