we were at our bishop's house for dinner on friday and the wife told me about the two hurricane warnings. i couldn't focus on anything else the rest of dinner and she finally said, "maybe i shouldn't have told you anything." but a lot of the people from the ward have been asking me if my family is okay and im so happy to hear that you're all safe. i definitely prayed very very very very hard since the minute i heard until now. im so relieved now that i know you're all safe.
this week in samabula was a pretty good one. our investigators, though few, are progressing a lot!! they're starting to come to church and to get closer to baptism. it has taken some of them a long time and it's such a blessing for me to see them starting to make the necessary steps needed to prepare for baptism. we have a baptism scheduled for the 23rd of august and she is awesome!! she already has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. from the moment she first opened it she has felt the power and influence of the Book of Mormon in her life. she feels the Spirit every time she reads and when she bares her testimony of it, it strengthens my own testimony.
we have another investigator who we just started teaching. our first lesson with him was at elder johansen's (area of the seventy's) house and it was such a powerful lesson. all day sis. matheson and i were thinking about what we were going to teach him and we were freaking out because it was going to be at a General Authority's house. but once we got there and started the lesson we asked the investigator what he expected from our lessons. he told us that he already knew that Heavenly Father was there for him but what he wanted was to feel the Spirit. to learn how to recognize the Spirit in his life. what an answer!! so we got the impression that we needed to have a testimony meeting with the johansen family and us. we each shared our testimony and almost every single one of us shared about prayer. and the power of prayer. as we were sharing you could just feel the Spirit in that room. there was no way you could deny it. when we were all finished he shared how he felt and told us that he had felt the Spirit that night. when we met with him again we asked him how he felt after our last lesson. he said that the next day at school he was so happy. he said he hadn't felt that way in a long time. and so i told him that that was the purpose of the Gospel. to bring people happiness!! that's why im here on my mission, to bring people happiness that can only from this Gospel of Jesus Christ. in our next lesson we let us know of his willingness to change and to align his life with Christ. he already has that desire and now it's time that act in faith.
on saturday we were able to go to the temple with one of our recent converts to do baptisms for the dead for the first time. it was such an amazing experience!!! she was so nervous to go and was very hesitant, but after it was all done she said that she was so happy and that she enjoyed it. we told her that she made so many people happy as she was baptized for them. they were waiting in the Spirit World waiting for someone to be baptized for them and she did it and made freed them and helped them on their pathway to the Celestial Kingdom. she smiled when she realized how important the temple is. when we teach about the temple it's hard for people to picture or imagine what we do in there and why. it's not until they do it them self that they come to truly appreciate the temple.
also the church is changing a few things in missionary work. our purpose as missionaries was to help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. our main focus was getting people to that first ordinance, baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. but now we are looking past that....we're looking to the temple. we'll be seeing our recent converts a lot longer and a lot more than we have in the past, helping them stay active and prepare for the temple. another huge thing that's happening is that we as missionaries are responsible for bringing back less actives. before we would visit them but the ward would also visit and whatever. but now if we bring back a less active to church (following certain requirements) it has the same amount of importance as if we baptized a new convert into the church. there are so many people getting baptized all over the world but dont stay active. and that's why the church has made less actives a huge part of missionary work now. it's genius!!! so me and sis. matheson have decided that we're going to really focus on getting people back to church and helping them get reconverted to the Gospel. im excited!!
well i think that's all for this week. me and sis. matheson are having a party here in samabula. i love being her companion and i love serving with her as sister training leaders. i dont think there's one hour that goes by that we dont laugh together at something. missionary work is fun!!! au lomani kemudou!! loloma yani!!