I had a great and crazy busy week, filled with miracles once again! We have been trying really hard to work more with the members of the ward, and so we went over to Bishop's house and talked to him about how we can help strengthen the members and he wants us to just teach them the lessons first to increase their faith and by so doing, we will be able to find more people to teach, especially their friends and neighbors. So we focused on the members a lot this week, and found that without doing anything, we found 4 new people to teach and had 7 member present lessons with investigators. We taught so many more lessons than normal, and our investigators are progressing even more than before. It is still really hard to get them to keep their commitments, but they are finally understanding more and wanting to read the scriptures and go to church, not just because we keep inviting them and want them to come. They are finally acting on their faith and doing things because they want to.
Our area was opened just a few months ago so I came in and there was basically nothing to work with, but it's growing so much! We found one family that has been searching for a church for a long time and don't like the other ones they have been too because they all preach on Sunday, and then they would see them throughout the week going against everything they would say and do on Sundays. They feel like other religions can be hypocritical. And I'm not saying that ours isn't, because I know that even I have fallen short of doing what I should be every day, but with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, we know that true repentance is first recognizing our sins, asking for forgiveness, and then the biggest step is to not do it ever again. So we taught them once last week and are going over again tomorrow, but I love being led to people who are truly prepared and ready to receive the gospel. And even though I see a lot of disappointments every day, it makes it all worth it to know that there are still a lot of people who want to learn more and increase their faith and relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
We are also teaching a 60 year old man (who is now my adopted grandpa!). His wife is a member and she went behind his back 20 years ago and was baptized, but she is such a strong member and works in the temple every week. Bishop told us that missionaries have been trying to talk to him for years and years and years, but he would never stay or listen to anyone until we came. We go over for dinner every week and he will stay and listen to our short messages, and now is starting to take the lessons! We had to take it slowly, but now that we have shown him love and patience, he will tell us anything and actually told us last week that he knows our messages are true! He is very Catholic and goes to church every week but we told him that we would go to church with him next Sunday and he is going to come with us right after! I'm so excited and can't wait to see him really gain a testimony!
I love teaching my investigators and knowing that I was sent to Texas to help them. I think that's why it's going to be so hard to leave if I get my visa...which right now I'm hoping it doesn't come!! But these people are so amazing, and the ward is doing so great! Yesterday at church everyone came up to us and we assigned them a day to come out and help us. Everything is just progressing so much, and I've learned that everything is in the Lord's hands, that I don't do anything and as long as I am being obedient, I can be an instrument for Him to work through. So I'm doing great and love every minute I'm serving! Hermana Johnson found an awesome scripture yesterday that describes where I am right now. It's in D&C 62:6 and says "Behold, I, the Lord, have brought you together that the promise might be fulfilled, that the faithful among you should be preserved and rejoice together in the land of Missouri (I'm in Missouri City!! (: haha). I the Lord, promise the faithful and cannot lie." So just know that the faithful will always be blessed and preserved. Just keep doing the small and simple things and building your faith. Love you all and hope you have a great first week of school!!