Hey everybody! This week has been incredible! For now I will answer the questions you sent.
1) So when exactly are your transfers? Do you get your transfer on Monday (P-day) and then actually move on Tuesday or is there some other set schedule?
Transfers are every six weeks on Wednesday. We get transfer calls the Sunday before transfers and then have a couple days to pack and get ready to leave. Everybody who is being transferred meets in Moore that Wednesday and then finds their new companion and goes to their new area. Transfers usually take all morning and most of the afternoon. The next transfers are on August 15. For fun I will just tell you what day transfer are for the rest of the year. :D August 15, September 26, November 7, and December 19 (I love this area and never want to leave!)
2) What is the funniest thing that has happened this week?
Oh man... so many little things happen that are funny. I have found how important it is to just laugh about things and not take everything so seriously as a missionary. Lets see if I can think of a specific story... I can't think of a really good one right now. Yesterday there was a lady who opened the door with a really funny looking wig on with her gray hair poking out all over the place.
3) What is the greatest miracle you have seen this week?
That is actually what I was going to write about. Be prepared for AMAZING stuff. I will write that last. Oh my goodness! I can't wait to tell y'all about it!
4) What are Sister Nelson's greatest strengths?
Oh Sister Nelson is incredible! I love her so much! She has amazing faith. She is so quick to follow counsel from our leaders and knows we will be blessed from it. So in short faith and obedience are her greatest strengths. She is one powerhouse missionary. :)
5) Do you use your digital voice recorder much? I don't care about audio updates because your email updates are so good, just want to see if it helps much. It's funny. You don't use it much for updates, but Elder Record uses his almost exclusively. I want you each to do whatever you enjoy and find easiest.
I don't really use it much. I have found I prefer to type out my updates rather than record. Mostly because I don't feel I have the time Sunday night to record an update. I will send still send you voice recordings occasionally though. Don't worry. :) I decided this morning I am going to use it to have other people record things on it.
okay... now to answer question #3 are y'all ready for this? Its amazing! First I want to say how much my testimony of how important faith is has grown. I know the scripture from Ether 12:12 is 100% true. It says, "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." I have felt a lot like I have had an experience like Ammon and King Mosiah. When Ammon was teaching king Lamoni, they all fell to the earth like they were dead.
One of the people there who saw this tried to kill Ammon but was struck down. Alma 19:23 says, "Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith—therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord." It was because of the faith of Mosiah that Ammon was protected. Now don't worry, nobody tried to kill us. The point is that the FAITH of Mosiah protected Ammon. Mosiah's faith produced miracles for Ammon.
So where do I start this story? Do you remember how I told you about [Name withheld]? Well he has been meeting with missionaries since November 2011... so about 8 months. He has been struggling to know that God exists. Sister Nelson and I (and Sister Christensen before she was transferred) have been working so much with [Name withheld] over the last two months.
As we have worked with him we have been able to receive the revelation needed to help him progress. I told you last week how we asked [Name withheld] to prayerfully set his own baptismal date. Well there was a little more to that story. Sister Nelson and I both promised him that if he would set a date, he would be able to know that God was there, that he would have a desire to be baptized, and that he would know the Church was true by whatever date he set. After we left the lesson, the magnitude of what we had just promised [Name withheld] set in. I was just a little worried. Not because I didn't think God could answer [Name withheld], but I was a little worried that we had promised things just because we are so desperate for [Name withheld] to be baptized. Those feelings of worry were quickly replaced with faith and confidence. Since July 7, 2012 Sister Nelson and I have had no doubt he would receive his answer by whatever date he set for his baptism.
Sister Nelson and I were both a little shocked when he told us his date on Saturday. He has chosen the date of July 21, 2012. It was only a week away. [Name withheld] still wasn't sure that God existed. He knew that going to church makes him a better person and that the Book of Mormon contains truth. He also knows that everything he has been learning has made him a better person. He just hasn't been sure if all those things are from God or if he made them up. Anyway... [Name withheld] told us he realized he needed to be more humble and accept the answers he has had. In short... as of Saturday he would not have fully passed the baptismal interview questions.
He talked to a lot of people inside the church and out of it to counsel about things. On Saturday he asked us two questions. The first was he wanted to know about what we remembered about our baptism. The second one was how we know our answers to questions are from God. We were able to answer those questions for him.
We went to dinner with [Name withheld] and started planning his baptism for Saturday, and we figured out the whole thing. [Name withheld] chose who would speak, who would baptize him, etc. He had a hard time figuring out songs so he chose the opening song and I suggested the song "I Believe in Christ" as the closing song and he was all for it.
[Name withheld] did a TON of fasting and praying on Sunday about baptism on the 21st while he was out of town visiting family. Let me tell you... Sister Nelson and I did a ton of fasting and praying yesterday as well. His name has only been off the temple for a week and we put it back on on Saturday.
It has been a huge test of my faith since he told us about the date he chose. However, I have never felt worried or scared that [Name withheld] wouldn't receive an answer. We were asking so many people to pray for [Name withheld]. I don't think I have ever exercised so much faith in a day and prayed so much for another person. It was incredible! I knew without a doubt that [Name withheld] would be ready to be baptized on the 21st of July. Sister Nelson's faith was just as strong, if not stronger.
We got a call from [Name withheld] last night. He told us that he had been praying a lot and fasting. He also told us how he told his family about how the church has made him a better person. He told his family about the Book of Mormon. (This was something he felt he should be able to do before he was baptized). He told us over the phone that after much prayer and fasting he felt that he should go ahead and get baptized on July 21st!!!!! HE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!! :D He sounded so happy on the phone when we talked to him. We asked him when he would like to be interviewed and he said it could be anytime this week. Holy cow! It has been amazing to see how much he has changed in just the last couple weeks. The Lord has been working with him for sure!
After the phone call Sister Nelson and I were both in tears (I was also laughing hysterically). We were so HAPPY! We have both (as well as Sister Christensen) put so much into working with [Name withheld]. Every minute has been worth it! Sister Christensen doesn't know about the baptism yet. We got permission from President Taylor, and then agreed with [Name withheld] that the three of us would call her on Tuesday after he passes the baptismal interview. :)
When I first came here he wouldn't even consider setting a baptismal date. [Name withheld] has exercised so much faith lately and God is providing miracles! I don't think I have met somebody who wanted to know so desperately if the church was true and if God exists. I don't know if I can adequately express how big of a miracle this is that he is getting baptized. His baptismal interview is tomorrow so please please please PLEASE keep him in your prayers tonight and throughout the week. I know the faith and prayers on behalf of others has so much power and brings about miracles. [Name withheld] is amazing and is going to be one powerful member of the church.
Now that I've told you the miracle story I can go back to your question about something funny that has happened this week.
We wanted to call sister Christensen and tell her about [Name withheld]'s baptismal date, but we had to wait until we could talk to the AP's to get permission. We talked to our district leader who told us we should wait to tell Sister Christensen about the baptism and call her with [Name withheld] to tell her about it. Sister Nelson was all for that. I wasn't. I wanted to tell her the exciting new AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (you know me). We finally got a hold of the AP's and Sister Nelson asked what they thought, if we should call her now or wait a couple days. The AP's said we should definitely wait. ugh! that killed me inside! I didn't want to wait. Sister Nelson was laughing at my reaction. I was only bummed out for a few minutes, but it made me laugh. We will be calling Sister Christensen tomorrow to tell her about [Name withheld]'s baptism. :)
Thanks for all your prayers and keep them coming! :) I love you!!
"If how great shall be your reward in Heaven for the soul that you bring to Christ, how great shall be your remorse for those you don't." --President Thomas S. Monson
Love, Sister Record