Last Monday I had a great experience with a member that came to visit us. He was baptized last year and my companion Elder Shaw was one of the Elders who taught him so he likes to come and visit us every once and a while. He struggles with social anxiety and he wanted to get more comfortable talking to me since he doesn't know me as well so while he visited he asked to talk with me.
During our conversation, he shared his written testimony with me that he had also shared at his baptism. As he nervously read it to me, the Spirit that I felt was incredible. It was so sincere and the things he's been through that he spoke about left me speechless when he finally finished. You never know the power a simple testimony can have. You never know how much good you really do sometimes. Although I tried to express how meaningful his testimony was to me he may never know the full impact it had on me. Never be afraid to share your testimony no matter how simple you think it may be.
This week we were also able to shovel snow for a member who we haven't seen for a few months. That may not seem like much, but what I have found is that a lot of the times people feel like we are only interested in baptizing them and that's it. However, when we take the time to give service, even if they aren't interested in the gospel at all, we show them that we truly care about them, love them, and are willing to take time to serve them with WHATEVER they need with no expectations.
We've shoveled, painted, raked, remodeled apartments, scooped dog poop, fixed patio doors, and helped people move. Anything they need we are there sharing our love for them through our dedicated service. Service shows charity which is the pure love of Christ. Is there anything stronger that we can share with people than the pure love of Christ?
New Years was crazy busy for us. It was fantastic!! We had a lunch appointment with our investigator Kathleen, her brother, and father, which is the first meal invite from them since Elder Shaw arrived in the area 6 months ago. Awesome! We played a card game with them afterwards called Avalon which is a card version of the game Mafia. Nothing is funnier than watching a people throw each other under the bus and turn against each other (in a truly humorous way) with joking accusations haha. I know it sounds terrible for me to say that, but those who have played games where a bit of deceit and trickery is involved know how funny it can get as the deceitful plans are exposed and the trickery is revealed.
After that we had a dinner appointment with a part member family, again for the first time in 6 months, and it was great to be able to visit with them, talk with them, and share a message with them. After that we went to Mark's home and played board games until we needed to go home. Gotta love New Year's Eve with a curfew ;).
We also went up to the Dupont's this week and Vianney showed us around his 100 acres of land. It was cool to see giant trees that he had planted with his children when they were young. To me it was another example of the Law of Increasing Returns. (If you haven't already read this talk, I encourage you to. It is an amazing talk by Henry B. Eyring). After that we played Scattagories with him, his wife, their son Benjamin and his wife. I quickly realized how little french I know haha. Scattagories in a foreign language might be the hardest/most stressful thing I've done especially since there is a timer and you have to think fast IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. It was so fun though. Vianney consistently put random things down that no one had heard of so while he laughed hysterically and tried to justify his "made-up" words and why they qualified, his son would be googling them to check their accuracy. I love that family so much they are amazing!!
Our church meetings this Sunday might have been the best yet since I've been out in mission field. Mark came and brought his friend Mimi which was amazing for a number of reasons that I am grateful to the Lord for. 1) He brought her to church which in and of itself is a great thing! 2) It was fast and testimony meeting so she was able to hear heartfelt testimonies that both Elder Shaw and I could tell touched her and 3) the Sunday school lesson was on why the Book of Mormon is important to our religion. It could not have been a more perfect Sunday for an investigator.
We had a great week with a lot of tender mercies from the Lord. I love you guys so much!! Serve and testify with all your heart, might, mind and strength and follow the Spirit in everything you do. As we do this I know that we will find ourselves accomplishing things we never thought possible.
Have a great week! Stay strong, stay faithful!