posted for Christine by Jana
Today it is rainy and cold. And we had plans to go to the zoo until about ten minutes ago. But with the cold and rain we are cancelling that plan and going to the mall instead. Sister Surtees needs new tennis shoes badly. So if I don't get a chance to write any of y'all this week I promise I love you and I'm sorry I couldn't write. But we are having fun. :)
This week was really fast and really miraculous. We found 6 new people to teach. So things are starting to pick up to a pace that I don't know if I can keep up with. But I am so happy with that!!! We also finally got our bike rack after much drama. So we will probably be getting our bikes this week and starting that up! I'm really excited for that. We are doing it to save on miles on our car since our budget gets mostly used up in driving to trade offs.
I had an interesting experience with a pastor this week. We were contacting in an apartment complex and he came out of nowhere and asked to see my Book of Mormon. He then proceeded to tell me everything that was false about it and our church. He just kept going and going for about a half hour telling us different things that were false or how I was uneducated in the word of God and so forth. I was talking to the other sisters about it later and made a profound realization. In all of that, he told me everything that was wrong or false (in his eyes), but he never taught me truth. And I realized how different of an experience it was being on the receiving end of that. It is not good to merely attack someone's beliefs and tell them how they are wrong. We need to instead share what truth we know and share the knowledge we have and let them decide for themselves. That is Heavenly Father's plan. It always has been. Present us with simple truths and then let us decide for ourselves whether we will believe and follow the necessary course of action. I love that about Him! And it made me so happy that as a missionary I instead just present people with information and then leave it up to them to act and decide. It is such a better way for the person sharing and the person receiving.
Sunday we had a baptism!!!!! :D He is 9 years old and his mom and older brother are converts for a few years. She just started coming back to church in January and the 9 year old wanted to be taught and baptized!!! He is such a smart, funny, and spiritual kid. It was so fun teaching him for the past month. He has made it the most hilarious experience. One of the lessons that really cracked me up is when we taught him about tithing. His brother asked us. "Well if you're poor and homeless and you find a penny, then what?" And his nonmember dad incredulously replied "How do you tithe on a penny?!" I was so glad that dad took that question. We were laughing so hard we couldn't answer...
This coming Sunday we have another baptism! This one is a miracle found by Elder and Sister Barrus. They serve military families and there was a less active member that was deploying last spring. They promised they would take care of his wife and kids while he was gone. Well, their love and service reactivated him, and made her curious about the church. So she began learning with the missionaries last fall and is getting baptized this Sunday!!! I am so excited for her. She is so amazing. I love her.
So ummm....can I tell you I almost screamed and cried all at once when I read that Gerry went to the temple last week?!!?!?! I am soooooo sad I couldn't be there. But I am even happier for him!!!! Oh my goodness! My heart is full! I love him so much! And I am so happy that he was able to do that! What a miracle! I bet he is just on cloud nine. And to have so many friends there supporting him! That had to be just so amazing! Was Ruth able to make it? I hope so!
Wow...this letter is getting really really long. I better start wrapping this up here.
The pictures are from the baptism yesterday.
On the left is Grandma and us. Then the baptism boy. Then Mom and Dad and all the brothers. 4 boys...their house is always crazy when we go over!
The second is Sister Surtees and I with the lucky baptism boy! YAY!
Remember...be the change!