Tuesday, July 8, 2014

[7/7/2014] Week 70: What could be better than this?

Yo, whassup.

That's Mount Baker alll the way in the distance.
It's a treat for me to see from Everett on clear days
because I got to see it nearly every day while serving
in Blaine! I love Washington!
I tell you what, we were so committed to our goal of eight new investigators this week. But it didn't happen. But that's ok. Because we found four new investigators, which is four more than we've found in something like the past four weeks! Heavenly Father blessed us with a lot of miracles, and I firmly believe it was because we acted in faith and in hope. You might even say we acted in charity, as I found myself looking upon the people we met and taught not as numbers, but as children of God who have been prepared to receive us at this time--if only we would set faith-filled goals and be diligent in striving to accomplish them.

On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Junior Jiminez, a 20 year-old mixed martial arts enthusiast whom the Mill Creek elders initially street-contacted. We taught him the entirety of the Restoration using the pamphlet method and invited him to pray at the end of our visit. After he did so, we paused for 30 seconds or so to let the Spirit work, and to allow him an opportunity to listen--or feel--for an answer. As a result, he described really feeling God's love, as many religious entities have reached out to him in the past several weeks, all by coincidence--or not. He marveled at how God had answered his prayer in such a miraculous way, though he ended up receiving an answer to a question he hadn't even thought of asking until the middle of his prayer. It was way cool, and it was so clearly recognizable. I love when that happens!

On Wednesday, we had dinner with the Eames', a family that is shockingly (albeit pleasantly) similar to my own, and they invited a friend, Savvi, who invited her nonmember friend, Shauna, to join us. Shauna, who was raised Catholic, didn't exactly expect a lesson after dinner, but she got one anyway. And it went awesome! She prayed at the end, felt the fruits of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5, committed to attend church, and responded positively to a soft baptismal invitation. She described being open and trying to figure out what she believes. She made a step in the right direction! I love member missionary work!

After dinner on Wednesday, we were called to another home in the area in which a recent convert named Osh and her nonmember fiance are currently staying. Osh was baptized into the Silver Lake ward on May 31st, and her fiance, DeMarkeyas, is visiting until shortly their marriage, which is scheduled to occur on the 19th. From first looks, DeMarkeyas is a total "gangstah", but of course "the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7) and boy, is his heart prepared. Again, we taught the first lesson, really focused on asking inspired questions, and he prayed at the end. We, of course, invited him to pause and reflect for 30 seconds. This time stretched long beyond half a minute, while, as DeMarkeyas described, thoughts and memories rushed into his mind, and the Spirit filled his heart. He became emotional and responded joyously to the invitation to be baptized on the 26th. Of course, since he will be married before then, we handed him off to the Mill Creek family ward elders, who will take wonderful care of him.

There were several other miracles this week, but those were my favorite.

I did get the package this week. In fact, it entered my possession on the afternoon of the 4th, so it was right on time! Christian, thanks so much for the banner. I had forgotten all about that request, but I was was enthralled to find it fulfilled and the banner was hung promptly in our apartment. And I might add that it looks rather dashing. Does the goat mascot have a name? I am also grateful for the letters, picture, notes (Margo, no pun intended), and goodies that were included. My heart was warmed and my trunkiness boosted for an evening or so.

I love y'all! And I can't wait to start hearing about how Christian's mission is going and love hearing about how things go for everyone at home!

On the ferry to Whidbey Island with Elder Haupu
We went out to South Whidbey island again to help the sisters there find new people to teach. The ferry ride is always breathtaking and exciting, though but 15 minutes long.

Elder Martin

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