Next to him is our Relief Society President, Sam Jones who is my closest friend in the branch. She helps us with everything and her and the rest of these wonderful people from our branch drove all the way to St. Louis to support Jake. To the left of Sam is Jacob, who served his mission with my brother! Then there's our Elders Quorum President, Richard. And Stephanie who is a convert that has helped us teach Jake. On the right side is our incredible Branch Mission Leader. His name is Jacob too and he is the best mission leader I have had on my mission. He has taught me so much and is an incredible leader and example. Robbie is to the right of Jacob and is a recent convert with an incredible testimony. He is now preparing for a mission. Both Robbie, Stephanie and now Jake are the only members in their families and are great examples. Jake had an incredible baptismal service and said that he has never felt so happy in his life. He plans on graduating early so that he can also prepare to serve a mission. This is happiness!!!!
Monday- we went roller skating and had an awesome time! It was so fun to see missionaries from the whole zone and get some good exercise.
Tuesday- We had district meeting and ordered pizza- that was fun! Then we had a lesson with Taira that was incredible. We taught her the third lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to be baptized on the 12th of April. We explained that both Sister Herdman and I had received revelation on the 12th at different times. Taira had tears in her eyes and said that the 12th was good. She accepted! It's amazing how quickly she has learned all of this and how prepared she has been!
That night we had an ice cream social and she invited her brother Alex. He said that Taira has really enjoyed learning from us and we invited him to meet with us as well. He said he would and we met with him the next day!
Wednesday- We did service at the food pantry, which is always fun. We invited some women there to come to the Women's Conference and they said they would come! Then we met up with Taira and her brother as well as our Branch Mission Leader, Jacob Jones to teach Alex the restoration. When Taira saw us, she gave us both a big hug and said she was really excited for her brother to learn what she has been taught. We had a wonderful lesson and Alex said he would read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true. He also accepted the invitation to be baptized when he received that answer. Happiness!
That night we had dinner at a members house that is from Mexico! Best Mexican food I have had on my mission for sure. Oh I was so happy! And the branch member that invited us over goes to BYU-Idaho! So I will be seeing him when I go back to school- which is awesome! We taught their extended family about the Book of Mormon and they said that they would read it. It was half in Spanish and half in English. The spirit was still there, though!
Thursday- We had a lesson with Jake over the phone because he was in St. Louis for Spring Break. He was telling us how his testimony of Joseph Smith has grown as he has read the Doctrine and Covenants and that he is more excited to be confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost! He just keeps getting stronger and stronger in his testimony. It's amazing.
That afternoon we cleaned the apartment and I took some time to write my talk for Jake's baptism that would be read by Sister Smith, since I couldn't go. While writing it I heard tornado sirens going off outside. We got a text from our Branch Mission Leader telling us to seek shelter. Luckily we were already in our basement apartment. It rained and hailed and then it went away. Sister Herdman was a little scared. :) Spring weather is here!
Friday- .... let's skip to Saturday!
Saturday Jake got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sister Smith read my talk for me and everyone said it was good. Jake said it made him cry. So did Stephanie. They said his testimony was incredible. There were so many people there that they had to move rooms! His family wasn't there but he knows that he will be a great influence for good in his family. I wish I could have been there so bad. But I'm just happy it happened. I'm so excited to see him tonight at FHE!!!
That night was the Women's Conference. If you haven't had a chance to see it, go online and watch it!! It was soooooo good! Totally made me cry. I felt God's love for me so strong.
Sunday- Jake was confirmed in his home ward. Qing, Tiara and Kalina all came to church! It was a wonderful fast and testimony meeting. During the third hour we had a missionary focused meeting with the whole branch. Tiara got up and told her story of how she came to be in this church. It was so cool to hear her testimony and see the courage she had to share it. She is going to be such an incredible member-missionary!
That night we had a movie night and there wasn't a very good turn out. So our BML Jacob and a recently returned missionary named Chris went out with us to walk around and find people to invite to have ice cream and watch the movie. We found a girl named Kyung who is from Korea! She came and we gave her a Book of Mormon and set up a time to see her next Wednesday! So excited!!!
Good things are happening here! I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!