Well Chris finished the Book of Mormon in two days and is now almost done with the Doctrine and Covenants... it's pretty crazy. Not just that he read that much but the distinct change that has come over him is unbelievable. He is so happy all the time now and testifies of the truthfulness of the gospel at every chance he gets. He's even talking about serving a mission! And he's 25! Never in my life have I seen someone change as much as he has and so quickly. I have gained a testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon. I'm so happy God answers prayers and can purify all that come unto him. Chris is so excited to get baptized this weekend! :)
[ haha! Chris just texted us and said, " D&C 122:8 - The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? SO GOOD" ]
Tuesday we met with Precious and had an incredible lesson that ended with the spirit so strong. We invited her to be baptized on the 9th of November and she accepted with a smile and emotion in her voice.
After that we had a random potluck thing with a bunch of members, non-members, investigators and missionaries that was really fun. After eating dinner we watched a Mormon message from Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon. Sister Huppi and I then bore our testimonies and invited everyone there to read and ask God if the book is true. The Spirit was strong and they all agreed. After that we met with Christina's friend Kate who has met with us a couple of times before. She went to the Apple Orchard with us and we try to meet with her as much as possible but she's super busy. It was a good lesson and Precious was sitting in on it. Kate has a problem with coffee and somehow it came up and Precious was like, "What? We can't drink coffee?!" Then she stopped and was like, "Awe whatever, I know it's bad for me anyway." Haha! It was so great. We taught her more about it later.
Wednesday the Sister Training Leaders came for exchanges. We had an appointment that day with a new investigator named Christian who is wheelchair bound and very sweet. I knew that since we would be on exchanges only one of us would get to teach him with one of the SLTs. I felt prompted to have Sister Huppi teach him with Sister Woodward and Sister Zundel and I went out contacting on campus. It was fun switching it up and working with another sister. After we came back together the sisters told us about the lesson. They said that Christian had been reading and prayed about the Book of Mormon. He told them he had a dream that the Lord came to him and told him that it was true but that he needed to find out for himself. He knew that this was the path that God wanted him to take. Christian is an amazing spirit and is such a strong individual. He was born three months premature and has very little control of his body. He is very smart and loves to read. He said that he wants to be baptized and has been reading the Book of Mormon. He has a Catholic family and has decided to tell them he is getting baptized when he goes home for Thanksgiving.
Thursday we met with Rayman, read from the Book of Mormon with him and went over the baptismal interview questions. He said he felt ready and we invited him to come to Shannon's baptism on Saturday. He came and was interviewed afterwards.
Our meeting with Qiuyuan was incredible. We have been meeting with her even though her father and boyfriend didn't approve of her being baptized. We had a beautiful lesson on temples and tithing and families. Her initial interest in the church came from going to temple square and learning about families. In the lesson I asked her a personal question about her boyfriend she speaks fondly of. I asked, "Do you think you will marry your boyfriend?"
She smiled and said yes. I then asked if she loved him. She replied with a very sincere "yes". Then I said, "What would it mean to you to know that you could be with your boyfriend and your family forever?" Her eyes widened and she said it would be the most important thing to her. The spirit was so strong as we testified of eternal families and bore our testimonies to her.
I read 1 Nephi 3:7 that says, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
Then I explained how God would not command us to be baptized if he couldn't prepare a way for us. I told her a little about Nephi and the faith he had to follow the Lord even when he could lose his life and how the Lord delivered him. Then I asked her if she had faith that the Lord would prepare a way for her to be baptized and she said, "Half" - I told her that all you need is a little faith. Alma 32 says "if we have but a particle of faith, let that desire work in you." We invited her to set a new date to be baptized on the 23rd of November and she accepted. She said she will pray and ask her father again.
On Sunday at church she came to us after and was so excited to tell us that she had spoken with her father and "It was like magic" how his opinion changed. She said she is still praying for her boyfriend but she knows that God loves her and that he answers her prayers.
We taught Precious the rest of the Plan of Salvation with a former less active named Christian. He did a great job teaching and after the lesson he shared with us how he has been considering serving a mission after he graduates! We were SO excited. He has loved helping us teach and it's so great to see members, non-members and everyone grow in the gospel as it is being taught.
Precious talked to me after church and said how she had shared the plan of salvation with one of her friends. She said she explained it all to her and she really liked it. I told her how when we share our testimonies they grow and I said, "You wouldn't have shared it, if you didn't believe it was true." She said I was right and that she definitely believes it.
We had one last lesson with Shannon as an investigator Friday night just to get her prepared for when she would be baptized the next day. We went over the promises she's be making and she was able to be shown what it would be like through a video on lds.org. The next day she was baptized and Chris, Rayman and Precious were all there and were able to feel the spirit and get excited for their own baptisms.
I can't begin to describe the feeling that comes with watching someone you've come to love so much enter into the waters of baptism. To see them follow the example of Jesus Christ and be fully immersed in the water and come up washed clean from all their sins is the most beautiful thing. The joy that came on her face was priceless. The service was beautiful and two members of our branch did a piano, trumpet duet of the song "When I Am Baptized'. It was really cool.
After the baptism we had an open house at the institute and gave tours of the building. We chalked on the ground outside and some people came in! It was great! We had some members bring friends and it was a great way to get people to come and learn more.
That evening we taught Emre (he's from Turkey) and we taught him about the importance of prayer and church attendance. He read from the Book of Mormon and said he could tell it wasn't like any other book. He said he would come to church and he did!! :)
Sunday we had SIX investigators at church!! Chris, Rayman, Precious, Christian, Qiuyuan and Emre! It was SO GREAT! Man, that felt good having that many people there! :) and the talks were great! They all said they enjoyed church and are moving closer and closer to God! I'm so happy that sometimes I just laugh at how great life is!
But transfer calls are this Saturday aaand if I get transfered... I don't know how happy I will be. I love the Lord and I know he knows what's best but I just can't leave these people!! They've come so far! Oh I hope Sister Huppi and I can stay one more transfer. :( Gah! I love the gospel!!
P.S. Sister Huppi has taught me how to do a handstand and a cartwheel! It's so great! Oh and I can play twinkle twinkle little star on the violin! :D