Last Monday was Zone P-day and it was awesome! Our Zone Leaders planned this whole Olympic games thing for us and it was so fun! Our district got some face paint and put hand prints on our faces to unify us... we did awesome. We metaled in every even and took gold in quite a few events. The last even was my favorite because we played Ninja with everyone and I won! Good times.
Now that it's summer time we have the opportunity to do a lot of service and help people with yard work, moving, cleaning, basically anything people need help with. One evening we were at the park doing some planting and mulching when a lady walked by and jokingly said, "Hey, if I give you my address will you come do my yard?" The four of us missionaries looked at each other and were like, "Actually, yeah!" She was like, "Really? Who do you guys work for?" We then explained how we are missionaries for our church and just like to do service and that we'd love to help her out with whatever she needs.
"Then, I just donate to your church or what?" She asked.
I then told her our job as missionaries and how we teach people about the gospel and invite them to improve their lives and yata yata. And she was like "Great!"
She gave me her address and phone number and the next day when we texted her to set up when we would come she said that she is really excited to hear the message we have to share. :D So we'll be seeing her on Tuesday and we are excited.
Another example of missionary work through service is how we came in contact with our newest investigator named Joseph who lives in our building. He is from the Philippines and is a physical therapist here. I actually met him before Sister Sims got here when Sister Richardson and I came home one night and it was raining. He was trying to bring in groceries from outside and it was coming down pretty hard. We offered to help him with his groceries because he really needed it. We helped carry his groceries up to his floor and he was so grateful. We gave him a mormon.org card with our number on it and told him to let us know if he ever needed anything. We would see him around after that and would say hi. Then Sister Sims got here her first day and met him in the hall on our way to drop off her luggage and she asked him if he was from the Philippines cuz she was just serving there. After a couple of weeks of just saying hi in passing he decided to text us one night and ask where and when our church is so that he could attend. We set up a time to show him around the church and had an awesome lesson with him.
Sister Sims said that he is like all Filipinos- super open and receptive. She said it was hard for her to come and be a missionary in the states because everyone in the Philippines wants to hear your message and will do anything you say and here people run away from you. Haha! Joseph is married and has a little boy that live in Texas. He is here for work and hasn't seen them in a long time. Hopefully one day they can be an eternal family. Fingers crossed!
A lady named Sheryl requested a missionary visit online and we finally got to meet with her this week. She works a lot and so we had to wait until she was not working to meet with her. She's an older lady and she said that her son was recently baptized into the Mormon church and he wanted her to learn more. She was very open and receptive. She's had a lot of different churches in her life and wants to know the truth. She works a TON so we won't get to see her again till Thursday but man, I love teaching people that want to be taught!
Saturday there was a huge Civil War reenactment at the park in the middle of Jacksonville. It was so cool! Tents everywhere, carriages and authentic costumes! Then we watched them have their battle and it was pretty intense. Gun powder explosions made it really real. After the battle we got to hear Abe Lincoln give his address for a little before we had to go and have something to eat before Brenda's baptism.
Her baptism was perfect. She was so excited and so happy! The Bishop baptized her and then afterwards when she was changing in the stall and we were waiting for her we asked her how she felt and she said she felt good, really good! Then she said, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" haha :)
When I told her she just made some pretty big promises she said she's gonna make sure she keeps them! After the service she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. We went in the other room for refreshments and she told me she felt "Super good!" and that she was "filled with the Holy Ghost!" :) She was so happy. I love seeing people filled with true joy. I'm so proud of her and the great lengths she took to get where she is today. There was also a great turn out from members of the ward. I know this Church is Christ's church. There are too many witnesses to deny it. I love serving my God and bringing this beautiful message to his children.
Last night there was a missionary fireside where members of the ward that had served missions did presentations on where they served and little stories and things that they experienced. It was really powerful to hear all their testimonies in their native language. I love missionary work and am so grateful for it! Love you all!
The lady in the last picture I sent was a random person we met who is from Sweden and she's a convert to the church. So rad.
Remember last week when I sent a picture of us in the corn field?
This is the lake we drive by whenever we go to the church.