Last Monday, the 5th, we went to teach Cira and brought two members to join in teaching with us. Steve and Jon came. Both of these guys have been baptized within the last couple of months! Their testimonies are on fire and they are excited to share what they have found with others. Cira seemed to have put her walls up from the very moment we walked in. Our lesson wasn’t going well at all, but then something really cool happened. Jon (this 18 year old kid) shared his conversion story and testimony with Cira. The Spirit just exploded! His story and testimony were so POWERFUL! Jon has gone through some of the hardest things I can even begin to imagine a child having to go through. He was born into a family with a horribly abusive father and a mother whose whole life revolved around drugs. He went through many different foster homes growing up. And just a few years back he found out that his biological father had killed his youngest brother. Jon had so much anger and hatred in his life but he shared how he has been able to let all of the anger go since he has found The Church. He bore such strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessings that will come into Cira’s life if she will but act and ask to find out for herself that this is God’s true Church on the earth today. It has to be one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard someone bare. It completely changed the direction of how the lesson was going and we were able to leave on a positive and powerful note with the Spirit there. We left Cira with a challenge to read and pray sincerely this next week to find out for herself if what we are teaching her is true. We are planning on seeing her in a couple of days… I will keep you posted.
Wednesday, the 7th, we visited Sister Schmitt. She is a member that got baptized at age 18 but hasn’t been coming to church since her early 20’s. We had a great talk with her. While we were meeting with her something came up about death and she told us about how scared she is to die. I can’t even begin to express the gratitude I have to know God’s plan. To understand that it doesn’t all just end once we die. Our life here on Earth is only a small part of a much larger picture. I know we all have the chance to live with our Father in Heaven again and that we truly can be with our families forever! What a wonderful understanding to have that so many people are left in the dark to this. This is why it is so important to find people we can teach these simple truths to. There are wonderful truths that we as members of The Church have! It is our duty, EACH ONE OF US, to share what we know and have with others!
At lunch Sister Nykariki (Mercy) made us an African dish for lunch. It was like a really thick cream of wheat that had cooled and harden. She cut us each a piece and served it with eggs. It was actually really good. It’s been fun to get to try different foods from different cultures. We added up the different countries where some of our different investigators are from and we have a pretty good number so far. Right now we are teaching people from Mexico, Liberia, Kenya, Haiti, India, Vietnam and the United States of course.
That evening Angie let us come in and visit her. She had asked for some space so it had been a couple of weeks since we had seen her. We were so happy to be welcomed inside from the COLD weather and given some hot chocolate to drink. Thank you Angie!!! Nights get very COLD here!
On Friday, January 9th, we spent a couple of hours finishing up our painting project at Sister Mercede’s apartment. We have sure spent a lot of time fixing that place up, but let me tell you it is looking a whole lot better! It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a place!
Tonight, Bishop Patterson had us over to his place for dinner. That was fun to be able to get to know his family a little bit better. I’m not totally sure how this happened but somehow most of the time around the dinner table was their family asking me questions about my family. They just seemed to find the Larson family quite amusing. I think we can thank Kandis and Blake for that ;) It’s that hippy blood we have running through our veins- we just tend to be a bit more exciting to hear about than some other families apparently. I also had the chance to tell them about my two amazing big brothers CJ and Andrew. I shared with them a little bit about their health issues and how they had the greatest faith out of anyone I knew! It’s true I pretty much do have the greatest family on the planet.
The next day, I got a phone call from Bishop Patterson telling me how much he enjoyed hearing about my family and how they have dealt with their different health trials and still have been able to exercise such great faith in God. He then went on and told me that we would like me to share these experiences with the ward next week by speaking in church. So there you have it Larson fam, I guess you are just that cool that my Bishop wants me to outline an entire talk around you and your faith. Pretty darn cool if you ask me!
That same day Sister Bone and I were able to get some tracting in. We met this really cool Buddhist lady, Melissa, who is due to have her second boy in a week! She doesn’t have a lot of religious background but when I asked her if we could come back and teach her a little bit about Jesus Christ she said yes! So we are actually going to be going over to her apartment tonight to teach her! How cool is that?!?! Most people we teach have a Christian background of some kind so this is will be kind of cool to really focus on teaching her about how she has a Father in Heaven who loves her and has a plan for each one of us.
We also had the chance to meet this really sweet older couple. They were walking out of the apartment building with their little granddaughter and we had some stickers so we were able to give her a couple. They seemed very kind but then they walked out and started getting into their car. I turned to Sister Bone and said, “We NEED to go talk to them!” and I just ran out the door out to their car. The lady Sue was already inside of the car and Bruce was getting Mackenzie all buckled up. I went to the passenger side and Sue rolled down her window. I wasn’t actually sure what to say so I started asking them questions about their granddaughter. It wasn’t until this lady gave me this weird and concerned look that I realized I must have sound like some crazy kidnapper or something. I quickly backtracked and explained how we were missionaries and that our church focuses a lot on the importance of families and we would like to come and share a thought with them about that. Her expression quickly changed and we were able to get their contact information. We are hoping that later this week we can go and visit them… and don’t worry there will be NO KIDNAPPING involved!!!
Saturday night we had a lesson with Tanneh and Joshua. We actually met with them on Thursday night first and had a great lesson on the restoration of the Gospel. Joshua had just gotten back from doing some work down in Haiti so we were back on track to be teaching them again since Tanneh had been staying over at her mother’s. Tonight we brought Jonny Chapman (another new convert- he baptized Jose last week) and his wife Kelly Seiburt. Jonny and Kelly were perfect to bring with us. They both have some crazy stories about their past that really seemed to give hope and support to both Tanneh and Josh. Now these two have lots to work on in order to get baptized, but the first thing they need to do is get married! They have been together for something like eight years now and have three beautiful children together, but we know that God wants us to be legally and lawfully married.
Ok… so just this morning I got a phone call from Tanneh because she wanted to get the Bishop’s phone number because she wanted to call and ask him if he would be willing to MARRY them THIS SATURDAY!!! Can you believe it?!?!? I could hardly believe my ears!!! Holy moly- looks like we are going to be putting a wedding together in the next five days! How exciting!!! They are definitely on the right track to get baptized! Josh has a lot to learn and still needs to gain his own testimony, but he has a desire to learn and know. Tanneh is already totally on board. Now together as a married couple they will only have that much more strength from God as they read and pray together. This is such a pivotally time for this family. The choices they are making now are going to have eternal consequences that will only bring their family closer to God. I’m so excited to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses this family.
As far as the weather goes out here, this week has seemed to warm up just a little bit. I listened to the weather station that we can call on our phone and it said it is going to warm up quite a bit by this weekend. We should be in the 20’s! I can’t believe this is actually happening, but I was happy to hear that! 20 degrees is fantastic when what you are used to is so much colder than that!
The other really good news of the week is Sister Bone and I added up our investigators yesterday and we have a whopping TEN!!! That’s huge!!! I am so blessed to be here in Minnetonka, to be in the ward I am, to work under such wonderful leadership, and to have so many wonderful people to teach right now. God is blessing me, that’s for sure!
I hope and pray that you are able to see the many blessings around you! God is a God of miracles! Open your eyes to daily miracles He is putting in your life- they surround you!
PS- Remember to be checking my blog if you want to see pictures from this week. sisterjessicalarson.blogspot.com
Thanks for doing such a rockin' job at my blog Trev! You're the greatest EBF!
Sunrise from my house.
|Sunrise from my house.|
Knocking doors... brrrrr
I have to constantly use my scarf to cover my face because it is just too dang cold!
Got a box of Sunshine from my Bestie Bree! Thanks Bree!
You sure knew how to brighten my day! Love YOU!
If you ever wondered what a box of sunshine looked like... this is it :)