For starters, this week was frigged! All you Idaho and Utah people are gonna tell me it was nothing, but being out all day in a dress in the cold was brutal!
We had the most amazing lesson with Mary this week. We met her a few weeks back and have had the hardest time meeting with her, but the wait was worth it because she is just seeking truth so bad! We started to teach her about God's plan for her, when she started asking questions about how she is supposed to know what is true and what church is Christ's church and which version of the Bible should she be reading. Well the Holy Spirit wacked us and said that we were trying to teach her the wrong lesson. So... we completely switched courses and taught her about Joseph Smith's experience and it was so powerful! We invited her to pray to find truth for herself and to act on the answers that she recieves! Hopefully she does!
I had an exchange with Sister Georgson this week, and let's just say this was the craziest exchange I have ever been on. We both spent the day in West charlotte and I swear once we started laughing, we didn't stop all day. I will tell you one story from that day, but just know that a variety of other wack things led up to and continued after these few minutes. Picture this: we are walking away from a house and we spot the FATTEST lime green caterpillar you have ever seen in your life on the ground. (I will include a picture.) While we are basking I'm the astonishment of seeing a caterpillar of this great obesity, the two guys across the road (Will and De), shout to us to see what we found. I pick up this caterpillar and run it over to them so that they can see for themselves. When asked what his name is, I made a split second decision and said Gerald.... let me tell you, I have never seen two grown men so disappointed in my life.... I didn't quite comprehend why Gerald was such a lame name until a minute and a half later. At this point, they ask us if we wanted to put him in the fish tank, and I am thinking that they are talking about a little fish bowl to make a little habitat for the little guy. Nope. We walk into the garage and this fish tank is about the size of my bed. Inside this tank there is a fist sized fish and a foot long catfish. Now this was already shocking, but then De tells us to turn around. What is behind us you might ask? A massive cage with a single pigeon in it. Now my first thought is well what is it's name? De tells us the pigeons name a total of three times before we can comprehend what it actually it. Ladies and gentlemen, the pigeon that is kept in this random garage for an unknown reason is named Don'thollanow.... for those of you as lost as I was it is the words Do Not Holler Now all slurred together. When i tell you that we lost it I mean it. The fish's names are finding nemo (the small one) and Fat Bait (the catfish). You see, as I am standing in this random garage with Donthollanow to my right and Fat Bait to my left, I understood why these to guys where so disappointed at Geraldo's name, although I will say I think that finding nemo is much worse than Gerald. What happens now you ask? Well after a little bit of peer pressure, we offer Gerald as a caterpillar sacrifice to Fat Bait. For a painful minute nothing happens when we put him in the tank (aside from him starting to sink) and Fat Bait swims around, I'll tell ya, I could practically hear the Jaws music in the background. On the final swim around, Fat Bait gobbles up Gerald in one bite and we are only left with his memory. And that was it. Our new friends were not interested in the gospel but I confess that I firmly believe that we now have a bond that will last after this life.
On a much more serious and spiritual note. We had a lesson with Erica this week. Serving in the south, you dont really get many opportunities to teach someone that knows nothing about God or Jesus, but this is the situation. Oh my gosh it is so much fun! When we got there she told us about how she feels a more personal relationship with God now that she knows has to pray and has been doing so. We have focused a lot on helping her gain a personal knowledge and relationship of her Heavenly Father, but this time we wanted to focus on Jesus Christ. We asked her what she already knew about Jesus Christ and she said that she thought he was a prophet and that he came out of a cave. That was it. I firmly believe that the next few minutes will have been the most impactful of my entire mission and I doubt will ever forget them. We began to teach her about what Jesus christ did for her. We invited her to think back on her lowest moment ever and described to her what Jesus experienced because of his love for her. We taught her about the delivering power of Christ's sacrifice. She was pretty quiet this whole time and she finally looked up at us with tears streaming down her face. She asked us if he really loved her personally that much, then told us that this changes everything for her. She told us about how her life would now be different because she knew Jesus christ. She read the scriptures in Matthew 11 about Christ's yoke and spent a few minutes trying to figure out what it meant (keep in mind she has never read the scriptures). She was so proud and shocked when she realized that she never has to try to carry anything alone again, and that even though no one else knows what she goes through, he does and that he is pulling for her. When we asked her in what ways this changes everything she said it is never again going to be just me! Me and Jesus will pull together. Even though she still doesn't know much, after this experience we invited her to yoke herself with the savior and be baptized! She said yes 100% (she thought she wasn't allowed to be baptized anymore) and she is now praying about a day she wants to be baptized.
I cannot express enough how real Jesus Christ's delivering and enabling power is. Erica for the first time experienced it and immediately wanted to learn how it could help her let go of her past. I know that his power is real and that we invite it into our lives when we make and keep covenants with him. So everytime you take the sacrement you are inviting Christ's literal life changing power into YOUR life. Are you treating it that way? If it has this impact on Erica, I think that we could all recognize a little better the magnitude of the gift we have been given and stop making it a casual part of our lives. It is not casual, it is sacred. It is not ordinary, it is the literal power of our creator. Think about that next time you take the sacrement. What does Christ sacrifice really change for you? Does it change everything? I promise you it does 10000000%. JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU THAT MUCH!
This week, hot chocolate made me really happy!
Pictures: Mary has the pink hair, and Erica is the Brunette with a nose ring! I love them so much.