I am absolutely loving the weather down here right now. Not too hot, not too cold.... it's perfect. And the palm trees are all still green :) Yesterday Sister Liu and I felt like such wimps in our boots, tights, and coats when it's only like 60 degrees. We also spoke in 3 of our 11 wards sacrament meetings yesterday. There is ALWAYS good that comes from that. We received lots of positive feedback and many referrals. But I don't think I will ever schedule us to speak three time in a row again.
This week we had a lot of great dinners in one of our wards. It's just so much fun when you can sit at a dinner table with a random family eating good food,getting to know each other, laughing, sharing missionary moments, talking about the gospel, etc. One couple we ate with this week was Marvin J. Ashton's son and his wife. He lives just a few streets over from us. (So does Elder Wade from the Seventy whom we eat with and the producer for the Piano Guys, and the Piano Guys studio... all in out little neighborhood. Crazy.) Brother Ashton is a returned mission president and you'll never guessed what he asked at dinner. He asked to see my planner. AHHH. I seriously felt like I was sitting in an interview with President Center. But him and his wife just asked a lot of questions about us and about the area. We had some things we were struggling with in the stake so we talked to THEM about it. And boy did him and his wife give us some of the best advice ever. They were so humble and caring with everything they said. You could tell they really wanted to help us. And you could tell they really understood missionary work.
That whole day was just great actually. When I got in the area at first with Sister Calves we fasted and prayed a lot that we would be sent to people who were actually prepared to receive the restored gospel. And lo and behold all these people just showed up in our teaching pool!! Some of them even referred themselves on mormon.org to receive missionaries. But one of our lessons that day was with out investigator Vincent. I think I talked about him a little bit a few weeks ago.. ANYWAY well so basically he really has the desire to get baptized and receive the priesthood and everything, but that first road block was him receiving confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true. And that's kind of what I explained last time - miracle. This next stumbling block is actually a problem we have faced recently with a lot of the people we are teaching and even members, and that is all the media that has been about Joseph Smith recently. A lot of those whom we are teaching have looked further into the subject on sites on the internet. Not exactly the route to go. Really quick, if you want spiritual knowledge and confirmation you do not turn to your neighbor or the internet of all places, you go to THE SOURCE. That source being God. Simple as that.
Anyway, we talked to Vincent for awhile about the role of prophets on the earth. We knew the only way to help him get all this darkness and doubt out of his mind was by filling it with light and truth, with doctrine. We helped him understand the confirmation he already received about the Book of Mormon and how that confirms the reality of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We related all of this to his desire to leave Florida because of the lack of morals and values he felt were there. We told him that we are promised that as we heed to the prophets voice we will be provided with an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values. That the confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us. We showed him a short clip of Elder Christofferson testifying of the prophet Joseph Smith and how we can know of ourselves. For me it was great! It helped to strengthen my conviction of the prophet even more! And I was hoping and praying that Vincent would feel the same. As soon as the clip was over we looked over at him and it was silent. He sat there still staring at the blank screen and then turned over to us and said, "It sounds like that man is telling the truth. All of that sounds very true to me. I love that!" And he continued to talk about how badly he wants to be the best disciple of Jesus Christ he can be. He read all of Joseph Smith History that night. He is just awesome.
Well, our baptismal date with him for the 29th this week has to be pushed back because we found out a few days ago that he smokes. We did the stop smoking program with him immediately and have had daily contact with him for awhile now. So on the 29th, when the program is finished, we will have a small celebration to celebrate the fact that he is no longer a smoker :) I'm so excited for him!!!
Anyway, we've been playing volleyball down here with the other missionaries in St. George in the mornings and we play on p-day too. It's so much fun because we are all just completely awful at it but we still manage to get a pretty good game going! We might play a little bit today at the end of our p-day. Then we are going to Colorado City for exchanges :)
And THANK YOU so much everyone for the birthday wishes! That just made my week! I love you all!! :)
Much love, Sister Martin
Sister Liu and me :)
We went to our ward mission leaders home last night to coordinate and we made Italian creme sodas with him and his family!
P.S. my hair is kinda growing out...