We rearranged our apartment this week. I wish I had before and after pictures to show you…. remember how I said our apartment was a wreck? Well we’ve been working hard on it, and it’s looking much better!! Can’t do much about the lousy paint job though…
Miracle number one:
The snow is gone! It rained a couple times this week and washed it all away. It’s like 10 degrees today. I’m okay with this!
Miracle number two:
President committed us to get a list of recent converts in the ward within the last two years and go contact at least one of them. We got the list and I vaguely recognized one of the names because Sister Anderson had pointed her out at church once. Anyways, we called her and scheduled a time to go over. She’s Hungarian and was baptized in January (the very day I entered the field, actually). We shared the message of the restoration with her, and her 11 year old son joined us. Turns out she has two other children who aren’t baptized, and neither is her husband. Her children have been to church a couple of times with her and she wants so badly for them to embrace the gospel as well. She (B), has been going through a rough time these past couple of weeks and hasn’t made it out to church. She told us that she felt like God sent us to her at just the right time to help her. She was the only person on the list that we called. Miracles.
Miracle number three:
So let’s talk about J! HE’S SO GREAT. He came to all three hours of church again, and he told everyone that he met that he’s been a non-smoker for 11 days. 🙂 He also gave up coffee because it makes him want to smoke (and you know, because it’s a commandment), and the same with alcohol. This is the same guy who used to have 2 or 3 espressos plus a couple cups of coffee every day! He’s all set to be baptized this Saturday. He told the gospel principles teacher about his baptism, and Brother Albert just about fell over! J was pretty amused by his response and went around telling everyone else about his upcoming baptism. Their reactions were equally comical haha. He didn’t really understand how big of a deal baptism was until he saw how excited everyone was for him. This ward is so loving and so excited about missionary work 🙂
Which leads me to an interesting observation my companion made this week….
Miracle number four:
Remember L? We keep meeting with him, and he comes to church occasionally, but hasn’t really made any progression. J and L have been meeting with the missionaries for roughly the same amount of time. L smokes cigars occasionally, and drinks coffee out of habit in the morning. Him and J are both single men, about the same age.
J smoked two to three packs a day, and I already talked about his coffee consumption. They come from different backgrounds and have different experiences with religion and all that. But here’s what made the difference….
Teaching J at the beginning was like pulling teeth. We had to reteach the restoration and plan of salvation several times before anything would finally sink in. But then…. he started reading the Book of Mormon.
J finished reading the Book of Mormon in three weeks.
L is still in first Nephi.
“True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior… quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.” – Boyd K Packer
Side note: these dumb computers keep autocorrecting how to spell behaviour. Aren’t I serving in Canada??
It was a night and day difference teaching J after he had finished reading the Book of Mormon. THAT is when he first came to church. THAT is when he quit smoking.
The Book of Mormon, coupled with the Spirit, truly is our best teaching resource.
J IS SO COOL.
…So is L. 🙂 We just need to stress the Book of Mormon a little more with him 🙂
Miracle number five:
On another amazing note, Luis was set apart as a ward missionary yesterday and he is sooo excited! We get to go to the temple with him Saturday morning to witness him be baptized for his dad, grandpa, and uncle! Then that evening, we get to witness him baptize J. Ahhh it’s going to be such a good week! Luis also got his recommend for his patriarchal blessing. Miracle number six.
Wow. I love Toronto! And I love being able to write to all of you every Monday. It gives me a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past week’s work and marvel at God’s hand in everything. It truly is an amazing experience.
Oh, and here’s an update for you:
We dragged Luis’s sister to church on Sunday. She’s not too committed to anything right now 😦 She’s leaving for El Salvador the first week of December. Hopefully some other missionaries will be able to help her when she comes back.