I decided to share my letter to President Taylor with you. It is everything I wanted to share with y'all. I love you!
This has probably been the best week of my mission in at least a year. The last time I remember being this enthusiastic and excited was a year ago when Jeff got baptized in Norman. Sister Loveland and I have been working hard this week and trying very hard to be consecrated missionaries. The result has been miraculous! I don't even know where to start. I want to tell you about all the miracles that have happened... we have seriously seen miracles EVERY DAY. One miracle that I have seen is that I am happier. I feel like I have more light in me.
During my whole mission I have felt like I have struggled with being loving and patient. As I have tried to be consecrated this week, I have realized I never once struggled with it. I felt like my heart was FULL of love and I was patient with those around me. It has been incredible. I wondered why that happened. As I was eating dinner one day, the scripture in Helaman 3:35 came to me. "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." I realized that as I have the Holy Ghost more in my life then he purifies and sanctifies my heart. This comes my giving up our will to God's will. Sister Loveland and I are pretty excited for this upcoming week. Last week was amazing, but we have to be even more consecrated this week to continually see miracles. I know God will provide as we put forth the work. I want to give you an idea of some of the miracles we've seen this week. We've seen a significant miracle at least every day. I'll start with last Monday.
Monday: Sister Loveland and I had an AMAZING comp study where the importance of sharing the gospel was taught to us by the Spirit. We were ready and fired up to be consecrated. My younger brother had a life changing experience at scout camp. He wants to change his life! That was amazing!
Tuesday: We started the day off by getting out of the house right at 10:00am. Even in the day that we had been trying to be consecrated we felt happier. We had more faith to go out and find people to teach. We taught our investigator, [Name withheld 1], and she told us she has been praying about her baptism on July 6th. She said she feels God is telling her to do it. She also told us that she feels once she has the Gift of the Holy Ghost she feels life will somehow be better. She feels like the Gift of the Holy Ghost is what she is missing in her life. (She loves the Gospel! She can't get enough of it!)
Wednesday: We had been wanting to teach [Name withheld 1] about the Restoration and the Priesthood for a while. We knew today was the day.. however during comp study while we were preparing and real playing for her we felt totally unguided and uninspired. Seriously, it was like running into a brick wall. When 10am came we still felt super jumbled and like we had no direction. We prayed that God would give us the words to say to help [Name withheld 1]. After the prayer, I felt a peace come into my heart that everything would be ok. We took Elder Jensen, the new CES missionary on OSU campus. We got into the lesson and Elder J. taught ended up teaching the whole Restoration and the priesthood. We would give comments here and there, but he was on fire! He explained it in a way that Sister Loveland and I never could have done. However, [Name withheld 1] understood when Elder J. explained it. I wish you could have seen this moment. [Name withheld 1] was on the edge of her seat the WHOLE time Elder J. was talking. It was truly miraculous!
[Name withheld 1] is a wonderful woman! She is one of the prepared, one of the elect. She is a former investigator. She told us that she is more open this time because we came back. She told us she had felt like she had been forgotten. The exact moment we knocked on her door she was praying for peace in her life. She told us that in the last two weeks since she's been meeting with us she feels so much more peace in her life. She is amazing! I don't have words to say how much I love her. She has been an answer to our prayers and fasting.
We had more miracles on Wednesday. We were out knocking on doors and we weren't sure if we should be at this place. We didn't feel super guided by the Spirit. So we left... THEN we felt the Spirit distinctly tell us to go back. So we turned the car around and went back. We went and knocked on more doors. The third door we knocked on a guy answered and he wasn't interested. He shut the door and we went to go on to the next door. Then a woman ran out of the house. [Name withheld 2] told us she wanted us to pray for her. We talked about the Atonement and that she could be cleansed from sin before we prayed. She was in tears. We learned that she had been baptized in the city over a year ago. She stopped going to church but really wanted to come back. She just hadn't come back because she didn't know anybody here. It was an 8:50pm miracle!
Thursday: We got weekly planning done in TWO HOURS woohoo! :) In the evening we were tracting and found a less active who is engaged to a nonmember. She really wants to start coming back to church. She is a couple years younger than me, but we went to the SAME elementary school and lived in the same small town at the same time. It was crazy! She has a real desire to come back to church. She recognized something is missing in her life.
Friday: We did exchanges.... it was really hard to have Sister Loveland not be with me. We had been seeing miracles all week and our excitement slowly died as the day went on since we didn't have each other to bounce off of.
Saturday: Saturday was tough! Sister Loveland and I had been on fire all week, but discouragement really set in today. EVERYTHING we had planned had fallen through. We had tried all day to get hold of [Name withheld 2] because she REALLY wanted to come to church on Sunday. Both of us were having a hard time staying positive. We were driving our member home from a teaching appointment when I saw [Name withheld 2] walking on the side of the road. We turned the car around and went to talk to her. She was so excited to see us. We confirmed that she would be coming on Sunday. This happened at 8:45ish. It totally renewed mine and Sister Loveland's faith. We were so happy!! The fact that this renewed our faith and energy to be consecrated was a miracle in and of itself. We really needed it.
Sunday: ALL OUR INVESTIGATORS we were counting on coming to church came to church! So many miracles on Sunday. [Name withheld 1] and [Name withheld 2] met at church and became best friends! [Name withheld 1] really encouraged [Name withheld 2] to be better and do better. After Sacrament meeting [Name withheld 1] told us that she had been praying last night. She had been telling Heavenly Father that she believed all the things she had been taught were true but she wanted to KNOW they were true. She told us that as she was praying she heard and audible voice say, "yes! it is all true!" :D She said she had to turn to see if anybody was there. (there wasn't) She said she not only heard the voice, but she felt it strongly in her heart. She said she was so excited to tell us about it. She also calls us "her sisters". :)
So basically church was amazing! I haven't even shared all the miracles that happened. I have one more miracle I want to share though. One of our members has a granddaughter who, back in April, decided she wanted to go to girls camp. She is not a member but has consistently been coming to church since April. She just went to girls camp and got back on Saturday. After church we went to her grandma's house to visit her. We didn't know [Name withheld 3] was there. We started talking about the Holy Ghost. [Name withheld 3] told us that she WANTED TO GET BAPTIZED! It was amazing! When I saw her at church today I recognized that [Name withheld 3] had more light in her eyes than she ever had before. We talked to [Name withheld 3] about the Holy Ghost and about testimony and about her experience at girls camp. She wasn't sure she had a testimony. We told her to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it's true. Then she quickly told us that she already knew it was all true. Sister Loveland told her that was a testimony. You should have seen how [Name withheld 3]'s face lit up after that! We are excited to start teaching her this week.
Well President, I finally feel like I'm living up to my potential as a missionary. I feel like I'm being a missionary, not just playing missionary. This is how I want to live the last two months of my mission. I want to live as a consecrated missionary!
Love, Sister Record