Thank you for those emails! I wish you could have all been here when I opened up my email here at the library haha. I opened up my email and saw a picture of shaun and rachelle (rachelle sent it to me) holding teighan and the new arrival!! I let out a BIG gasp and Sister Malloy thought it was pretty funny. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Little Audrey Scarlett, what a cutie!!!! I am so excited to meet her and Teighan.
It's also good to hear that things are continuously going well for all of you at home. It's still burning up over there? We have had an unusual summer here. Usually it's 90-100 every day. But this summer we have had a ton of rain. I am definitely not complaining. I love it :)
This week we had 3 investigators at church again! Michael and Kandi both came again. Faye didn't come this time :( But a new investigator, Mary, came! It's so exciting that people are coming to church!! They are taking those steps of faith.
Also, one of our elders gave michael one of his white shirts and ties so that he could be dressed up for church. He was so excited to wear it. So he came with his white shirt and tie and said that he felt sharp. And our recent convert, kenneth came with a white shirt and tie to church as well! One of the members took him shopping for one. Now they look unified with the men in the ward. It's so great. They were both just beaming with big smiles in their new shirts.
The story for this week comes from Michael. It's probably more of a personal story for Michael, but I feel I can share it with the family. He called us up in the morning while we were studying for him and our other investigators. He had been searching on random sites on the internet (red flag) and brought up a question that we knew we would have to address at some point: blacks and the priesthood.
All at once, our nerves were getting the better of us because we don't know what he read online about it. Sister Malloy asked him to do us a favor and study lds.org, not google. So our studie began to change as we turned to his concern. We discussed that we could only share what we know, so we spent a lot of time in prayer. I was praying so hard the whole time we were driving over there.
As we sat down, he brought up his past about how he had been in love with a mormon and the only thing that kept them from being together was this concern with blacks and the priesthood. It was a long and hard fight and he ended up with a deeply broken heart. He had forgotten about how much it hurt him, until recently his mind brought it up again, which led him to search it online. He understands that Satan is trying to do everything possible to keep him from being baptized, but he expressed to us that this concern is going to make it or break it for him. This concern could keep him from baptism.
Now I have to tell you, I don't remember what we said during the lesson. The only thing I remember was the spirit. I could feel it SO strongly within me. We only spoke when the spirit told us and only said what the spirit told us to say. At one point the spirit directed me to talk about God's will for him and I related a very personal experience to him that I don't just share with everyone, but the spirit kept encouraging me to do so. I opened up to him and his heart softened. I seriously don't remember half the things that were said during that lesson, but by the end of it, he realized that he needed to find it in his heart to forgive the past and he needed to pray to see God's will, not his own. I remember asking him, if his heart could be completely healed, would it be worth it?" He expressed, "Yes." We then talked about the atonement with him and that it was only Christ who could heal him.
Sunday, comes around and he walks in with thumbs up and says, "It's all good." He told Sister Malloy what happened while I was playing the piano for sacrament meeting. She later relayed the story to me. He had spent most of the evening praying to Heavenly Father for forgiveness in his heart. He then told her that as he was crying to the Lord, his hard feelings towards the church and his past just lifted and went away all at once. He had experienced part of the atonement in his life as he prayed for help. Just imagine what the atonement will do for him, when he has full access to it when he has been baptized. He is looking forward to his baptism. I can see the Lord is helping in miraculous ways to strengthen michael as he prepares for baptism, for which we are all grateful.
Alright family, the rest of our investigators are doing well! This month has just flown by! I can't believe that transfers are coming up next week already. I'll let you know what happens.
I don't have any other stories coming to mind right now. But Iove ya'll and wish you the best week! God bless each of you.
Love, Sister Valerie Preston