It cooled down a little bit this week... I even wore some sweaters! And by that I mean that it was only in the upper-90s and I was freezing. What have I become?! Haha!
We also celebrated Christmas in July this week... mostly because we found the David Archuleta Christmas CD in our car. (Isn't that always the reason? Haha!) That may or may not still be playing. I admit to nothing.
This week was definitely a busy one. The work is truly rolling forward in Merrilltown/Heritage Trail! We've been teaching so many wonderful people! We're still working on continually finding, but we've already seen the Lord's hand in that, with so many new people falling into our path. We visited a less-active family yesterday, and set their unbaptized son on date! They all had such wonderful questions and insights and were really ready to come back. We're excited to continue working with them! An answer to our prayers and fasts. We're especially excited to continue working with members to find (especially future and new members!)
We also have another baptism on Saturday at 1 o'clock. Ryan is awesome. He's so willing to change and he's already started doing missionary work! :)
I was able to witness two baptisms on Saturday and I can't tell you how great it was to be able to see two people who I have come to know and love take that step! Especially Geoff, since I've worked with him so much longer. That was such a spiritual strengthening. It also got me thinking about how blessed I have been on my mission to be able to meet so great children of Heavenly Father! I feel much as Ammon did in Alma 26: How great reason have I to rejoice; for could I have supposed when I started from the land of Arizona that God would have granted unto me such great blessings? Who can glory too much in the Lord? Who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? I cannot say the smallest part which I feel. Have I not reason to rejoice?
I wish I had time to tell the entirety of Lupe's story, but you'll have to be content in knowing that it is much like Cesario's. When friends share the gospel, lives are changed!
We had to leave Geoff's baptism a little early to rush north to Lupe's, so I missed Geoff bearing his testimony. BUT, he did share with me a quote that he was going to use, and I think it's very fitting:
"I bear my witness that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I testify to you that, thanks to His love, it is possible to change. It is possible to leave our weaknesses behind. It is possible to reject the evil influences in our lives, control our anger, become meek, and develop the attributes of our Savior. He showed us the way. He gave us the perfect example and commanded each one of us to become as He is. His invitation to us is to follow Him, follow His example, and become like Him."
-Elder Ulisses Soares (Be Meek and Lowly of Heart)
Oh Geoff. I love Geoff.
Geoff told me a story once. I almost cried (and by that, of course, I mean that I did cry and just didn't want to admit it). He told us that after returning home after church his first Sunday, he got down next to his bed on his self-described "busted and crippled" knees and prayed to know if what he was learning about was true. He was in tears when he told us of his answer: Yes!
I hope that all of us will follow Geoff's example. His is a story of true change and learning. He learned how to use the Atonement and worked until he got there. His testimony never faltered, even amidst some crazy trials. He has truly tested Moroni's promise, and look at where he is now! :)
I have done the same! I know with all of my heart that the true gospel of Jesus Christ is once again upon the earth! I know that Heavenly Father used Joseph Smith as an instrument in His hands to restore to the earth the priesthood and the other essential principles and ordinances of the gospel that were lost after the death of Jesus Christ and His apostles. I know that the Book of Mormon is evidence of this and will help us grow closer to Jesus Christ than any other book will. I know that Christ himself leads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through prophets and apostles, including President Thomas S. Monson. And most importantly, I know that Jesus is the Christ, my Redeemer and faithful Friend. It is through Him that I will be able to return to my loving Father in Heaven. And for that, I am ever grateful.