....the only other time I've seen snow like this was on Christmas day here in Manti. It's snowing chunks of snow, like the angels are throwing snowballs at us. Every stake here in Sanpete county fasted for snow a few weeks ago and I don't think I've heard a prayer without the pleading for a generous snow pack in the mountains for awhile. It's literally a winter wonderland here. Sister Lasalosi was SO excited - she loves snow! The first time she ever saw it was when she came on her mission. So we come outside ready to get in our car and what's the first thing she does? Nails me with about 6 snowballs -.-
She is so funny. I seriously don't think a day goes by where we are not hysterically laughing to the point our stomachs hurt. I just love that girl - we are getting along really well. One of the best parts of our companionship is that we both love NACHO LIBRE!! We quote it a lot in our proselyting efforts... like "Why have you not been baptized?!" ... just kidding ;) We have so much fun together.
The other day we were walking up to this home to contact a family and a yellow lab started running after us barking like crazy. AHHHH! with our last two crazy dog experiences we were so done. Sister Lasalosi told me to get on the porch and stay there. So I knocked on this door and when I look behind me she had one of the decorative boulders from the lawn in her hand saying to the dog, "I'm gonna kill you. I'm really gonna kill you!" ...perks of having a Polynesian companion. With her slight death threats and my cooing to the doggy that it's okay, he was probably so confused that he ran off and didn't come back. I really hope no neighbors saw that whole episode...hahaha.
One of the families we're currently teaching is the Smith* family. Emily and Christian (the parents) have 2 cute girls. They have been less-active for years and years. Christian actually hasn't been a member for a long time. We came across them one day meaning to contact another family. we never knew about them before. When we came in they talked to us about why they don't go to church, etc. We told them what our purpose as missionaries is and how the family is central to what we believe. We talked about the blessings their family could benefit from by learning more. They agreed to having us in their home again. We had a great lesson about the restoration and committed them to coming to church and reading their scriptures. We were SO excited that Sunday to see them in church since they have never been as a whole family before. I don't think I stopped smiling the whole meeting.
The next day that we went back to their home was a rough day. Sister Lasalosi and I were on splits from 4-9 pm and four of my lessons already cancelled - no one was home. Which was sad because I was so looking forward to seeing the families we had planned for!! The Smith family cancelled at first but then they sent us another text and said that they would actually still like us to stop by. (total miracle - rarely ever happens).
When we came over we talked about church and how they felt. Christian said that when he was getting ready to go he expected that he would feel really nervous walking in the doors and have his head down the entire time, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. He hasn't been to church since he was excommunicated so his feelings of apprehension were understandable. Instead though, he said he surprisingly felt like he was walking back home when he walked in those church doors. He told us that he kept his head up the whole time and even sang the songs! And he was happy to see people greet him as he walked down the rows and invite him to class. He told us that he just wanted to stay in that church building forever.
Throughout the lesson he kept talking about his recent thoughts of coming back and being re-baptized. He said over and over again, "It will be hard, but it will be worth it." We talked about the difference his reading and praying has made so far (Him and Emily have been keeping all the commitments we've left them!!) and he said that even though he doesn't totally understand what he's reading and doesn't always know what to pray for, he always loves the feeling he has when he does it anyway.
When we asked him why he has the desire to be re-baptized he told us how not only does he feel like he owes it to his parents, but he wants to do it for himself, and especially for God.
Our fellowshipper that was with us bore a beautiful testimony of the healing and strengthening power of the Atonement. The spirit was so strong in the room. As we were teaching this family about the love Jesus Christ has for them I felt the spirit like I never have before. I felt complete and total love for this family. I saw in my mind Christian baptizing his little girl, Charlotte. She is now Seth's age. I saw Emily helping the older daughter, Anne, with her personal progress. I saw them in white. I am so excited for them I can hardly express it!!!
I know that Heavenly Father has a great plan in store for this family.
Again and again, I see the gospel be "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." And especially in the lives of those whom we are teaching.
I love you all :)
Much love, Sister Martin
*Names have been changed