Saturday, August 1, 2015

Week 73

Hello!! Honestly this week was EVEN BETTER than the week before. It's
so amazing how the Lord puts prepared people in our path, and all we
have to do is open our mouths and talk to them!

Tuesday we were able to go to the temple in Columbus, Ohio. I haven't
had the opportunity to attend the temple in 17 months, so it was a
powerful experience to be in there again. Honestly the temple is where
I feel closest to God. I was reading the Book of Mormon while I was
there. I was reading in Alma how Moroni fortified the Nephites cities
to protect themselves from Lamanites. It was those walls that kept the
Nephites safe from harm. Of course the Lord protected them because of
their righteousness, but I was able to draw a connection from that
story. What are OUR walls of fortification to protect ourselves from
Satan and his temptations? Daily prayer and scripture study, weekly
church attendance, and keeping the commandments were four basic things
that came to my mind. If we do those things with a sincere heart, we
will be protected from the adversary, and the Lord will bless us.

This week we got a media referral which just means someone went on and requested a missionary visit. We gave this person a
call, and it turns out they were already a member but hadn't gone to
church in a while and wanted to get back into it. Awesome, huh!? We
had a meeting with them a few days later at the church building where
the Spirit was so strong. We committed them to come to church, and
THEY CAME! They even brought a friend 😀

Also this Sunday another investigator and her two children came to
church. It was so awesome fm have them there. The children really
enjoyed primary and didn't want to leave! Their mother reared up in
almost every meeting. She's very aware of God's presence and knows He
is calling her in this direction. We're just helping her progress
toward being baptized by Priesthood authority and be united with her
family in the Holy Temple of the Lord. It brings me so much joy I
can't even explain to see someone making I,Portland steps toward God.
I'm going to miss this soooo much when I come home, but I'm so
grateful to have one more transfer left! Sister Ewell and I are
working our booties off!!

This week we went around visiting all of the members of the wars that
we hadn't met yet. None of them were home, but in the process of
finding their houses, there was ALWAYS. A neighbor outside who was
prepared by the Lord. In one day, we found 5 new investigators. So
cool!!!!!!! I'll share a little bit about of those people.
We were sitting in our car after having taught a lesson. We were
entering the information into our iPads, and Sister Ewell looks out
the window and sees a lady walking past. She says, "We should talk to
her," in sort of a joking voice because it would be nearly impossible
to get out of the car in time to catch her at her pace and not look
crazy. I thought, well everyone thinks we're different anyway. Let's
do it! We both drop what we're doing and hop out of the car and stop
her in her tracks. She expressed her need to keep walking, so we just
walked right with her for a few blocks. ☺️ We learned of her current
struggles with losing a very close family member and her inability to
cope with the pain. This woman was searching for peace. We whipped out
our iPads and showed her the Because of Him video. She was just
bawling...we testified of the reality Jesus Christ's resurrection.
BECAUSE OF HIM, we will all be resurrected. We can see our family
members again. As the video says, "Death has no sting. The grave has
no victory." She hugged us and thanked us for the message we shared
and invited us to meet with her again. We exchanged information, and
she was on her way again. We walked the few blocks back to the car so
grateful for the courage given to us to talk with this lady. We were
instruments in the Lord's hands, and we sure did feel fulfilled.

Those are just a FEW of the miracles we saw this week. I am
overwhelmed with gratitude toward the Lord for blessing us with people
to help. Serving the Lord changes you. If any of you are debating on
whether to serve a mission, my advice would be GO AND DO! As you lose
yourself in the service of others, you find yourself. Who would've
thought the counsel Christ gives in Matthew 16:25 would be true....

Well, I'm signing off for this week, but I love this Gospel so much,
and I'm more than happy to be serving in this part of the Lord's

Love you all,

Sister Sparks


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