Wowwee!!! This has been SUCH a great week!! I feel so honored and blessed to be a servant of the Lord. There are truly miracles that are happening here! Jared is progressing very well. We got all of his misunderstandings resloved... primarily that we get paid to be missionaries, and have had some absolutely awesome lessons with him. We taught him the Message of the Restoration this week.When we went into the lesson, he presented us with 3 pages of notes that he had written on the reading he had given us before. It was pretty legit. At the end of our lesson, we invited him to be baptized on. He accepted. He told us: "I just know this gospel is true. When I look in your eyes I can tell that you know that it is true. And then, when I read the Book of Mormon, I feel different. I feel good. I just know it is true!" It was super cool to be a part of that. And then, on top of ALL of that, he attended ALL of the sessions of general conference, including the priesthood session, and has started to attend the YSA activities. It is very inspiring for me to see how much he is changing his life and how enthusiastic he is about the gospel. He left us a voicemail this week and he started off the voicemail by saying: "Hey soul sisters!" It gave my companion and I quite a laugh. Jared is great.... and yes, he still does remind me of Napoleon Dynamite.
There's another girl that we are starting to work with. Her name is Toby and she is 9 years old. She wants to get baptized on, but we might have to have her push it back a week because she is having two parties on that same day. It's super cool to work with her! She seems a bit shy, but I think she will open up to us more as we come over more and more. I feel so humbled to come in this area and help all of these people prepare for baptism. This truly is the Lord's work!!
Don is also progressing quite nicely. He came to one of the sessions of conference and has been looking up previous sessions of conference on the computer. I feel like he knows the gospel is true, but that he just doesn't realize it himself yet. We are still working with him to recognize his answers to prayers.
Also, we are starting to help one of the members of the congregation come back. His name is Hunter. He wants to prepare to go on a mission. We have started to re-teach him the lessons and he has a ton of great questions! It's super great to work with everyone here!!
Well, my poor companion this week has found out that I have weird sleeping habits. I've been talking in my sleep a lot and apparently it has been waking her up a little bit. There was one night though where I woke up in the middle of the night because I thought it was time to get up. I looked at Sister Neil, and she did not move. The first and only thought that went through my head was that she had died. I was mortified. I did not know what to do so for a good 15 seconds I just stood there and watched her with wide eyes. I did not want to touch her or anything and I was debating on if I should call anyone or turn on the light to see if she looked white or anything. Well, thank goodness for me and my companion, I had apparently been talking before I got up and that had woken my companion up. She was watching me look at her and finally, after that awkward 15 seconds for her, she just said: "Sister Spencer, it's two in the morning." Immediately, the biggest feeling of relief swept over me. And then I realized how it was sort of awkward that I had been there watching her so I crawled into my bed under the covers and went back to sleep.
What a great week and session of conference!! [link to General Conference here] Two of the talks that really stood out to me where President Uchtdorf's and President Monson's. In President Uchtdorf's talk, a few of the highlights that stood out to me was that he mentioned how being grateful can take away our sorrow. We shouldn't be grateful just during the good times of our life, but also during the hard times as well. Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith and shows our love for God. And then, when we strive to develop our gratitude, we can more fully develop all of the other Christ-like characteristics that we want to develop. I have being working more on trying to develop Christ like characteristics and I feel like that was one of the personal answers of how I can further develop the specific characteristics I am working on. In President Monson's talk, the whole theme of love really stood out to me. I really liked how he said that actual love is the very essence of the gospel. One poem that he said was: "I have never yet felt the twinge of regret for being too kind." We meet a lot of people on the mission, and all of them are going through some sort of battle and hardship. Without fail, all of them could use just a little more kindness in their lives. President Monson mentioned how love and forgiveness go hand in hand. Forgiveness allows us to heal.
Well, I was going to send pictures this week, but I forgot my camera. So maybe next week. I love you all and am so grateful for all that you do for me!! You are great and I love you so much!! Have a great week!
Sister Beth Spencer