First I'm going to share my stupid selfish miracle.....we were at Krogers getting groceries and I was staring at the organic drink section as I always do because I would much rather drink my calories than eat them :) Well, I was staring at the kombucha selection wishing that I had $5 to blow on one when I looked down and there was a box that said "Take one- they're free!" And do you know what it was?? Kombucha! Verbena Rose flavored- yum! As I looked in the box my heart dropped because it was empty...but wait...there was one hiding in the back left corner! I know that Heavenly Father loves me :) haha...
This week we had exchanges which is when we trade companions and area for one day- so Hermana Stricklin went to Clarksville with cute Sister Gibson and Sister J. Johnson came to Hopkinsville for the day! It was a day full of MIRACLES!!!! We ended up finding two new people who are interested in the gospel and have appointments to go back and see them this week. One of them is a woman named Maria who's from Mexico and her husband is from there as well- from Villahermosa!! I freaked out because it made me miss my brother SO much! It was great that Trevor served his mission there because I was able to talk to her about the ruins there which led into a conversation about the ancient Indians that lived there- which are her ancestors- which then led into the account of the "white man" that appeared to them. It was so neat to explain that we had a record of that! The Book of Mormon! We opened up 3 Nephi 11 with her and she said she was so excited to read it. I love the Book of Mormon for so many reasons! Later that day we were just stopping by our friend Khori's store to say hi before we had dinner and we met a man named Mark who said that he had seen the church's commercials in the 80's and ordered a Book of Mormon but they never sent him one! He was so excited when we handed him one right in that second! He said he was going to read from it and we're going over tomorrow to visit him! We had a fun dinner with Patriarch Fears-he is such a character! He asked us to share Books of Mormon with both of our waitresses and as we talked about what the book is the other member there Brother Bodkin chimed in and added his testimony- it was so cool! So we made two MORE friends who were super excited to read the Book of Mormon! Miracles everywhere! After dinner we stopped by a recent converts house who has been having a hard time putting some things behind her to get to the temple and we read from Alma 36 together and the spirit was SOOO strong. She had a daughter pass away when she was just a toddler and we all could feel her presence there as we read and talked about the power of Jesus Christ. It was one of the most beautiful experiences that I will never forget. I am so grateful that through the gospel of Jesus Christ and because the authority of God and temples have been restored to the earth, we truly can see and live with those we love again after this life. I love how the gospel connects us to those that have passed on.
Last but NOT least, that night we went by to see our friend Jesus. He had called us earlier that day because he was sad. When we went over he let us know what was going on- he had to push some people out of his life to do what he knew he needed to do. I immediately thought.....is this going where I think it is going......and it was :) We read from 2 Nephi 31 about Christ being baptized and our need to follow His example and afterwards the Spirit so strongly impressed me to ask him about baptism. Mind you- I was with Sister Johnson who does not speak spanish so she had no idea what was going on! I invited him to baptism and he said yes! He said that God has guided him a lot this past week to making this decision and he knows it's what he needs to do. We set a date for his birthday in April! It was such an incredible evening! I am so excited for Jesus- he has been meeting with the missionaries since last summer and had a baptismal date at one point but didn't make it. When I mentioned that the adversary would be working really hard on him from making it to the baptismal font he said that he knew. He talked about how the adversary had done that a few months ago when he originally planned on getting baptized. I was so amazed by Jesus' faith and by his ability to recognize the influence of God and the influence of the adversary in his life. He is such a great guy. We're also teaching all of his roommates and when one of them, Fermine, found out about his baptism at our next visit, he said that he would be getting baptized some day too! I love being a missionary!!!
I am so grateful to be here. When I first opened my mission call, I was like....Tennessee Nashville Spanish Speaking?? But I have learned that it is not about the place but the people! I love the people SOOO much!!! Sharing the gospel is something that brings us SO much joy and so many blessings! I hope you take time this week to share your testimony with someone and help them come closer to their home with their Heavenly Father!
Also, if any of you have any friends or family that I didn't know previously to the mission- feel free to give me their names on Facebook and I can try getting to know them and sharing the gospel with them in some way! I love online referrals :)
I hope you all have a magical Disney kind of week!
My little friend Maranda was baptized!