Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't send this out earlier. I had it saved in my drafts and it deleted... Oh well I guess I didn't do a good enough job the first time. ha!
We have had several miracles happen this past week! WE SET 2 BAPTISMAL DATES!!! Josh and Aaron Talley will be baptized on Nov. 21st! We couldn't be more excited for them and their family. We are hoping to have Drew, their dad, baptize them then, but first we have to get him baptized! Bring on the challenge! ;) They are such an amazing family! We love working with them and absolutely adore their family. We are also working with Dominique (Mother, who was baptized just over a year ago) and help her get her patriarchal blessing. So many great things are happening within their family. The ward is super excited too! They LOVE them and are super excited for their baptisms. The Ward hasn't had a baptism in over a year and a half. Exciting times!!
Now a quick lowdown for the week:
On Monday evening after our P-Day, the Talley's invited us to celebrate Josh and Oliver's birthday's at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was great. I was able to talk with Drew and get to know him better: his religious background, where he works (get this he works at Dave's Killer bread in Moreland!! Cool huh!) his goals and desires. He is such a great Father to his family. He is so great! I also asked Dominique if she could share with us her conversion story and it was pretty cool. Some Elders tracted into her and gave her a book of mormon. She took it unwillingly, but remembered what they said that if she ever needed something more in life to read this book. One day she picked it up and started reading it. She said that it felt right and then began to meet with the missionary's. So cool! I know that the book of mormon is the word of God and that it can fill in some of the seen and unseen holes in our lives. Dinner was awesome. Afterwords we had family home evening with the Villalobos. We played uno, had dessert, and shared a message with and their non-member friend AJ. It was fun. We then got a call from a man in the Canby 2nd ward who knew of a non-member in the Canby 1st ward who wanted a priesthood blessing. We dashed over there and met Andrea. Andrea has had a lot of health issues recently in her life. She is very solid in her faith in Jesus Christ. Before we gave the blessing we talked about the Savior, specifically the atonement of Jesus Christ. I then shared with her my favorite quote by Elder Jeffery R. Holland: "Don't you Quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come." We were all moved to tears. The spirit was so strong. After the blessing she agreed to meet with us after she got better. We are pumped!
On Tuesday, we helped out a less-active little 86 year old lady, Eva Smith, with her yard. She was the cutest thing! We dug up a large tree to transplant and then shared a message about general conference with her and gave her a c.d that a member gave us with all of the conference talks on it. She was thrilled! We then invited her to come to church this Sunday. After our service and lesson we showered and had dinner. We then made the rounds in the zone and went down to Molalla to do some nightly planning with the Canyon Creek Elders and the Molalla River Elders. It was great! We have so many young missionary's in our zone Elder Smith and I are the oldest, by far...it is weird. I love working with them! They have that greenie fire that I love!
On Wednesday, we had our district meeting in the morning with Canyon Creek, Canby Spanish sisters and Canby 2nd Elders. Love our missionary's. After district meeting and lunch, we had a lesson with an excommunicated member, Paul and read the scriptures with him and set up a time to go to the temple and the visitor's center this week. He is super solid. We then went to Saint Pat's, a community church food bank. Elder Smith and I sorted through some canned foods. It was actually a lot of fun. I LOVE ORGANIZING! It is one of my favorite things to do. We go there every Weds from 3-5ish. It was great to help out in the community and to get to know different people from the different religions in Canby. Got to meet some cool people. We then had dinner with Morehouse's. They are simply fantastic! After dinner we had a lesson with them, their non-member daughter Tracy and with Sister Poe who lives down the street. Sister Morehouse is the queen of inviting. She has invited all of her neighbors to come to her home and hear from the missionary's. We read the Restoration pamphlet together and had a great discussion. Tracy is another one of our fantastic investigators. She is super solid and sincere with wanting to know if this church is true. We Love them!! It was so funny...after the lesson I had 5 left over restoration pamphlets that I gave to Sister Morehouse. She was so funny...she said, "Perfect! I can give them out to people when I go shopping!" She is a hoot! Her and brother Morehouse's story is neat. Brother Morehouse grew up in the church and married Sister Morehouse who was shortly baptized after their wedding. After her baptism they fell through the cracks and weren't active in the church for over 50 years! Nobody stopped by, no phone calls nothing...they had no contact with the church. It was until the Elders tracted into them 50 years later where they came back. They have been active ever since and are working toward getting sealed in the temple. I love them both! They remind me of my grandparents-hardworking, loving, and very firm in the gospel.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we had some service at the Canby Center, contacted some potentials, Weekly Planning, had two more district meetings, and had a couple more lessons. This week hopefully we can make a dent in the part member families here and work on setting more baptismal dates!
Finally...Sunday! WE HAD 6 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH!!! WAHOOO!! It was awesome! We had Paul Sowards, Aaron, Josh, and Drew Talley, and Ella and Kevin Schwalm. It was the primary program and after only 2 weeks of meeting with us and coming to church, Josh and Aaron stepped up to the plate and did a wonderful job! They are the sweetest boy's with the kindest hearts. So blessed to have the privilege of working with them and their family. I feel like the Talley family was another reason why I came on my mission. So grateful for them and their examples of faith. After church we had dinner with the Crums. It is quit funny...if you know these 3 families in canby: The Clarks, Crums, and Leders you practically know the ward. So mama Crum had all of her family over for a birthday celebration. There was over 26 people there. It reminded me of some of our own family gatherings...laughter, fun, and smilies for days. We had yummy pulled pork and some cake and ice cream. What was even cooler was meeting the Crums that live in Estacada. Their family is less active and while I was there we weren't able to get in with them, but they worked close with the Senior Couples the Peterson's and the Brown's. It was neat to chat with them and see how they were doing. It turns out that Chelsea (the mom) drives from Estacada to Canby almost every day to work in her salon here. I will stop by and see if we work from both ends to get their family active again. They are so nice and sweet. I could feel that they miss the gospel in their lives a lot and could feel the guilt that they had for leaving yet also their desire to come back. I just wanted to hug them and beg them to come back!!!! After we had dinner, cake and ice cream we shared a message. It was my turn to share the spiritual thought and I had no idea what to do. There were over 26 people there, a lot of kids with short attention spands...what to do? I said a silent prayer and felt prompted to share my testimony of my savior and the atonement. I opened it up with a question: "What makes you happy? The answers ranged from: my family, friends, missionary's, the gospel, toys, treats, and heavenly father. I then shared with them that my savior, even Jesus Christ makes me happy. We then showed them the mormon message, "Because he lives." The spirit was so strong. The room was so silent that you could hear a pin drop. We then shared what stood out to us from the video. I enjoyed the part when it said, "No matter who you once where, he is there." I then, trying hard not to choke on my tears, bore my testimony that I know that Christ lives and that he loves each of us. No matter what we have done or who we once were, his atonement is available to each of us and can bring us all immeasurable joy. I looked over to Chelsea and their family and I know that they could feel the spirit. It was incredible.
Challenge for the Week:
Share your testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ through social media, to your family, your friends, or those that you meet. Let them know that their Savior loves them and is waiting for them to come back into his arms. Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear about it! I know that one of the most powerful and uplifting things we can give to someone is our testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and his atonement. As you do so you will find that you will be lifted too and that you will be able to feel the love that Christ has for you personally as you share that love with others.
I love you all and I am so grateful for your examples, love and support. Keep moving forward and help others on your way. ;) Remember, "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me." (Phillipians 5:13)
Have a fantastic week!
All my love,