Elder Gwilliam composed and wrote a song about the mission! I asked him to do that so it was of course inspired by me :)
Dearest loved ones,
This week has been so amazing and so spiritual. We had a lot of miracles and the Lord placed a LOT of people in our path. Whether at the tire place, WalMart or knocking doors- we have met so many people who we were able to share the gospel with in some way! We even had a mechanic chase us as we were leaving to ask us what time our church started. We are beginning to learn that the people here in Paducah have truly been prepared for the gospel and they WANT to hear it! (All of the returned missionaries know what kind of a miracle that is!)
Sister Idso and I did something really neat on Saturday. We very prayerfully looked over a map and after 30 minutes we both felt very certain that we needed to go knock doors on Meyers St. When we plugged in the street into our GPS we realized it was in a direction that we had never been before. As we drove onto the street we saw that there were only TWO houses on the long stretch of country road! We knocked the first door and had a good conversation until we brought up the Book of Mormon and the man slowly backed up into his house and told us he wasn't interested. (If only he knew what this book REALLY was and not what his Preacher tells him it is!-Okay, back to the story) We then went to the second and last house. We walked up to the porch and knocked for a minute or two. No answer. I thought to myself, why would you send us here Heavenly Father? Then as we were walking back to the car I noticed another door on the other side of the house. I was NOT leaving that house until I knocked every single door! We knocked the door and this sweet woman stepped out. Her name was Bonnie and she begun to tell us of her love and faith in God. She then began to tell us of how her oldest grand daughter who she is really close with had just left that morning to move to Michigan and she was having a really hard time feeling alone because her husband had just passed away two months ago. We told her of how we had prayed about where to go that day and how we ended up here. She told us that it was no coincidence and she knows that God sent us to her door. We read from the Book of Mormon with her and left her with one to read. We are going back on Wednesday to visit with her and I cannot wait to see her sweet face again!
The McCraw family had a little birthday party for Sister Idso and I on Friday and it was so fun! They wrapped up boxes of cereal and candy and then they had an amazing batman cake for me! (Brother McCraw calls me Sister Batman because of the whole Dark Knight thing) I love that family so much!
Also- BEST NEWS EVER! Jose Pastor was interviewed this past week and was found worthy to be baptized!!! His baptism is this Saturday and we cannot wait! It is so neat to see the Pastor family growing in the gospel! Jose has a girlfriend and baby girl in Guatemala and so we will be sending missionaries down there so that when she makes it up to America someday they can be sealed in the temple!
I experienced the saddest, sweetest and most spiritual moments yesterday. A young man in our ward passed away this past week. Joel Jones. Joel Jones was 18 years old and had Autism. He was the best person ever. He had such a kind spirit and he had a huge impact on the ward. He excitedly passed the sacrament every Sunday and he always kept PEC meeting interesting by walking in at random moments to show us his happy smile. During the service the Spirit confirmed to me many times that the Plan of Salvation is real. There is life after this time on earth. I know with all of my heart that families really can be together forever. I know that the Jones family will be reunited with Joel one day and will live together forever. I look up to Sister and Brother Jones so much because instead of being angry or upset with God, they held their heads high and shared with us that they know this was part of God's plan. There is so much strength and peace that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How lucky we are to have the knowledge we have.
The most important thing that was be testified to me countless times in my life and especially yesterday is that there is hope in our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of all of the things he suffered and did for us here on this earth, we can have the hope of living with our Father in Heaven again some day and also living with our families forever. The bonds we make here do not have to be lost after this life. I pray that we can all keep this eternal perspective when times get tough and remember the hope that our Savior has brought and continues to bring to us in every moment of our lives.
I bear witness of these things and share them in the sacred name of our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
Me in my bedroom
Hermana Daines and me
The McCraw girls and me
The McCraw's grandparent's new kittens