Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Because of Labor day our emails were pushed back a day.
Tuesday was when the miracles started pouring out. Sister Huppi and I have been studying faith and how to become a consecrated missionary. Our focus this last week was to have the faith to find and oh how we found. We walked around contacting most of the day with a goal of finding three new investigators. We put our fear on the altar of sacrifice and did our best to talk to everyone we could. Holding nothing back. The first girl we found and taught was sitting by a tree eating a sandwich. Her name is Lamija and has a Muslim background. I have to admit that when she told of her background my faith lessened because of past experiences with talking to people of the Muslim faith. The Muslims I've talked to have been very kind but closed off to our message. Much to my surprise she let us teach her the restoration and about God and Jesus Christ. Then at the end of it she wanted to learn more and I was humbled. Miracle. We continued walking the streets of Urbana praying for inspiration to know who to talk to and what to say. We eventually started to talk to a girl named Saloni who is Hindu. I didn't learn my lesson the first time and was still surprised when she said she wanted to learn more and became a new investigator. Then walking back towards the institute we talked to a Giovanna who is Catholic and wanted to learn more. With lots of walking and lots of talking and learning how to trust in the Lord, we reached our goal of three new investigators just before the day ended with a lesson with Regan.
Just before meeting Giovanna I was sitting on a low wall to rest for a minute when I saw a young man walking down the sidewalk towards us. There were many people walking by and I had just been rejected by the person before him. Wondering if it would be worth talking to him I asked Heavenly Father in my mind, "Do you want me to talk to this kid?" Tired and feeling quite selfish a thought then entered into my mind with perfect mildness and love. "He's my son, of course I want you to." I immediately stood up and started to talk to him. He seemed interested but eventually said no thank you. Though he declined, I knew that what we had taught him was true and that it was important for him to hear it. He had no religious background and knew little about God and Jesus Christ. I was able to tell him that they love him. I believe that he will remember our encounter and one day act on another opportunity he is given to hear the words of the Lord.
I'm going back in time again but just before that we had been walking down the street and we walked past a young man sitting on a low wall outside a building. I felt prompted by the spirit to go back and talk to him. So I turned around and began explaining who we were. He looked at me with deep brown eyes that seemed to be dying for help. I could tell he was broken and lost and started to ask him some questions. His name was Alonzo, 22 years old and he and his baby-momma had been kicked out of where they were staying and were living on the streets. They had no where to sleep or eat for five days. This broke my heart. I felt the love that God has for him so strongly and wanted to help him. Sister Huppi took the time to make some phone calls and find an open shelter where they could stay. While she was on the phone I talked to Alonzo about how much God loves him and where happiness lies. We talked about how following Jesus Christ and keeping his commandments brings true happiness. I asked him to name some things that bring us away from God. He named a few. We gave him a Book of Mormon and promised him that there is a way to God through Jesus Christ. He listened with real intent and I told him about how small this life is compared to eternity. "I believe in eternal life." He stated. My heart melted. I bore my testimony to him and then we prayed with him and told him we'd come back. We went to McDonalds and got him a bag of food and gave him the list of shelters they could stay at. One of the greatest blessings is feeling God's love for his children. I know that Alonzo and I knew each other before this life. That he is my brother and I love him as a son of God. I hope he is doing better and that he will read from the Book of Mormon because I know it will bring him closer to God.
That was just Tuesday! All those great things happened in one day! Wednesday Alexis came contacting with us on campus. She's a convert of three years and LOVES sharing the gospel. She actually got her mission call to Tucson, Arizona! So that will be fun for her. It was fun to see her follow the spirit and get out of her comfort zone to talk to strangers about the joy she has found in knowing the truthfulness of the gospel. She's a gem. Then we taught Matt and Josh- two guys who we gave our card to just before they got on a bus. We hardly got to talk to them when we met but they called us the next night and came to FHE. Then we taught them Wednesday and they really enjoyed it.
Thursday we had five lessons lined up and they all went awesome! The only one that didn't show up was Giovanna. First we taught Lamija, then a new investigator named Karan who is from India and is doing his graduate here. He's very smart and we had a cool lesson on the plan of salvation. Next was Qiuyuan who is the cutest Chinese girl ever! She has been in the states for three months and in that time she went to temple square in Salt Lake City. The missionaries there taught her about the gospel and she wanted to learn more so they sent her information to us. She is very sweet and has no religious background. She knows nothing of God or Jesus Christ and we taught her where we came from and why we are here in this world. She learned about the spirit and how it works because at the end of the lesson we taught her to pray. She said such a beautiful and heartfelt prayer. She asked God to help her understand and a lot of other great things. At the end I expressed how I felt the spirit and she said, "Yes, I feel peaceful!" :) Such a cool experience.
Man, I wish I could tell you everything about this week but I don't have time! 
Friday we taught a girl named Rachel who literally believed everything we taught her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. She is of a Catholic background but she just believed! She was so excited that Jesus Christ's Church that he had on the earth was back and that we could know through the Book of Mormon. "You guys have to tell everyone about this! This is awesome!" She would exclaim. There were a lot of high fives. When Sister Huppi invited her to be baptized she said yes and said she can't wait to read the Book of Mormon! In the prayer she said at the end she expressed to Heavenly Father her great desire to know that this is true so that she can be baptized "the proper way." Oh my gosh I love being a missionary!!!
Then we taught Brianna and she loved it and felt the spirit and then the nest day we taught Josh and Matt again and the spirit was so strong and then on Sunday this girl named Dominique showed up an hour before church and asked us about it and we taught her and she's friends with Jabari Parker and he told her to check out our church so she did and stayed for all of church and now we are teaching her and this week has just been so cool that I don't have enough time to write about all of it and I love all of you!

Sister Collett 

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