Friday, December 12, 2014

Week 41

Hello hello hello! 

This week has been insane! 
Monday night we visited a lady who hasn't been to church in about 20 years. We were planning on showing her the He is the Gift video, but we couldn't get the phone to hook up to the TV or something, so it wasn't working. We were super bummed, but at the last minute, her grandson loaded it on his ipod, and the Spirit filled the room as the video showed. It was a sweet sweet experience. 

Tuesday: We had Zone Conference. It was AWESOME. It was our Christmas Zone Conference, so we had tons of musical numbers. Sister Williams and I and the Assistants sang a Primary song about Samuel the Lamanite prophesying of Jesus Christ's birth. It went well! It's amazing how music invites the Spirit. With each number, the Spirit was felt and hearts were changed. I walked out of there with a stronger testimony of Christ and with a greater desire to follow Him. Sister Williams and I did a training on "He is the Gift." We talked about discovering the gift, embracing the gift, and sharing the gift. In Ether 12: 8-9 it says, "But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith." The Church is making this initiative IN FAITH that others will become partakers of this beautiful Gift of Christ. Of course we want all to partake of the Restored Gospel of Christ, but if this does nothing but strengthen others' testimonies of Christ, we have succeeded! If you take away the "mas," we're spreading the Spirit of Christ. 

Wednesday: I was on exchanges this day, so another missionary was with me in my area. We had a super full day planned, and then..........everything fell through hahahaa. love when that happens! It turned out to be an amazing day though! We have a girl in the ward who just returned from her mission, so she came out with us that day. We were searching for the apartment we were supposed to be at for a lesson, but we seriously could not find it! The apartment was E19, but the numbers only went up to 18. We thought it was just a fake address, so we were just going to leave. As we walked out, a cute little Mexican man hollered from a few apartments down and asked what we were doing. He turned out to be a little angel because he helped us find E19! It turns out in was in the basement of another building or something. He was such a blessing from Heavenly Father! That man is hopefully going to come to church with us :)

Our other appointment fell through too, so we decided to take the member with us to contact a referral. We were walking down the street on the way to this referral, and we started talking to a guy standing outside of a barber shop. He was absolutely hilarious. We started talking to him about the Gospel, and he was totally drawn in! He was asking a whole bunch of questions, and we of course told him answers to all of his questions could and would be provided! We talked for a while, but I love what he said to us at the end: "Thank you, girls, for talking to me. I'm really going to read this book. You've awakened something in me that has been asleep for a long time." Isn't that awesome?? I know it wasn't me or the other Sister or the member that awakened his spirit. It was the Spirit of the Lord that touched his heart. 
One of my favorite scriptures is in 3 Nephi 11. This is when the resurrected Savior appears to the Nephites in ancient America. The Nephites are gathered in an area, and they hear a voice from Heaven. As I can imagine I would be, they were very confused as to what was happening. In verse 3, it says, " was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn." I bolded a few words there. It's interesting that it says "that did hear." The voice COULD be heard by everyone, but the voice only affected those that would hear it. In Alma 32, Alma invites us to exercise faith just enough to "give place for a portion of my words." The people who heard and felt Christ's voice were those who opened their hearts to him. The man we met in front of the barbershop opened his heart enough to hear our message. He opened his heart enough to feel the Spirit testify of truthfulness of what we were sharing. Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday: We had a few great lessons with some of our favorite people and invited a lot of people to the ward Christmas party on Saturday. Our ward is seriously rockin'. I love them so much! btw, we're in a weight loss competition with the assistants, and we're whooping them! 

Friday: It's Sister Williams' 18 month mark!!! CUHRAZAY!!! She is SUCH  good missionary. I seriously love her so much. We've become super close over the last 6 weeks. It's super sad to see her leave, but I'm excited for her to see her family again and continue with life :) 
Something that left a lasting impression on me:
We were contacting a referral in a sort of sketchy area in the dark. I was a little frightened. There was a figure with a hood on walking toward us, but for some reason we weren't scared. We both started to talking to this person, and it turned out to be a super sweet lady! She didn't quite know "what God was," but she had too many experiences in her life to deny in some sort of higher power. She talked about how she lost her job a week earlier, and in just a couple of days a new job offer just laid right in her lap. She took that as a blessing from God. We bore testimony that her Heavenly Father knew her perfectly and loved her so much. This experience built my testimony that Heavenly Father really does love ALL of His children. No one gets special treatment. He loves us equally and righteously! Man, I'm so grateful to know He's there. 

I've got to wrap up, so I will just include one more cool thing:
We met a brother last Sunday while we were walking around, and we set up an appointment for a week later. We knocked on his door, but no one answered. We thought about leaving a note, but we decided to just come back another day. We started walking away, but something just drew me back. I took out a sticky pad and started writing him a note when he literally walked out of the apartment right next to us!!! We had the wrong apartment number, and his friend called him at the same exact time, so he came outside to talk to his friend. Coincidence? I think not. We would've never found him, but Heavenly Father provided for us. We shared with him the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was such a great lesson! He shared with his testimony of Christ, and we invited him to build his faith in Christ by considering the evidence that Heavenly Father has again reached out in love and called prophets on the earth to restore and teach us the Gospel in its fullness. He was so prepared by Heavenly Father! We invited him to  be baptized when he comes to know that our message is true (which was something Sister Williams was dying to do before she returned home), and he said he would think about all of the things we had discussed and pray about it. I'm so excited to follow up with him! AH

Well, today we're going downtown to the Strip District (don't worry, it's just a market with a lot of vendors) and the Carnegie Science Center. I'm so excited! I'll try to take lots of pictures!!! Love ya!

Sister Sparks

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