This week has been one of the most physically exhausting weeks but also one of the most spiritually rewarding. This week we had the opportunity to move someone into the branch, it’s nice that we got to move someone IN instead of OUT, so we are growing a little! The next morning (Thursday, Thursday’s are our busiest days because that’s when all the investigators that we work with are able to meet with us) we were about to head out the door but we were debating whether or not we should drive or ride bikes because we were challenged by our mission presidents wife to ride our bikes more, even if it was for a few hours for one day a week.
We decided that because it was our busiest day and we would be short and travel time between appointments that it would be best to drive. As we got ready to leave we couldn’t find the keys, we looked all over the house. Elder Klingler stopped and realized that we had accidentally left the car keys in the members car that took us to help move the day before…. We called and left a message. We weren’t going to let this little step back stop us from doing the lords work, so we decided that it was a biking kind of day!
We started out by biking to an area to tract and when we got there we saw someone outside. we went and talked to her. At first she said, “I’m not Jehovah Witness.” We laughed and said neither are we then she asked who we were and we told her “missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” and she said, “I’m not that either”, we told her that was okay, then she fired away at the questions. She told us she couldn’t be Mormon cause we have to many kids haha, we told her you don’t have to have a lot of kids to be Mormon, then she said, “don’t you have to have a lot of kids to populate your planet?” Haha we laughed and said “no, we are told to have kids just like everyone else on the earth today”, then she went into polygamy and said she couldn’t have sister wives, and we explained that that was a break off of our church.
By the end of this whole conversation we got past the hostility and she was super nice when she saw that we were normal people and we cleared up the mis conceptions, we also explained what we do as missionaries and she thought it was really awesome! She had I think 2 daughters and 2 adopted daughters, they came outside and we met them, when we were about to leave we gave the lady our number and asked if she needed help, turns out she needed help with some landscaping and elder Klingler did landscaping before his mission so we were able to give her some advice, while we were doing that one of her daughters told her that they should invite us over for a game night. We agreed and the lady also offered to feed us dinner. It was really awesome!
Tracting wasn’t successful after that experience so we left to Our next 3 appointments that were all on opposite ends of the town from each other. One experience with An investigator was truly amazing and driven by the spirit. Elder Klingler and I wanted to see where she was at with everything she has learned from the missionaries and we wanted to address her concerns and why she didn’t want to join the church. We retaught the restoration to her, well the first vision anyways, and I recited the first vision. I looked her straight in the eyes and with as much power I could put into the first vision and she started to tear up and smile, she felt how powerful it was and I know she knew it was true.
Then we talked about the Book of Mormon, she reads from it as well as the bible and prays everyday. She knows it’s true, by now we are trying to think WHY IS SHE NOT WANTING TO BE BAPTIZED?! Then she told us she didn’t believe that we were the only true church and the only ones with authority. So we decided to get bold with her. She told us that she was already baptized when she was 14 and she was saved…. So we explained to her that her baptism wasn’t completely valid basically because she wasn’t baptized by someone holding the proper authority of God. She said when she was baptized the spirit filled the church and the mountain that it was on, thats how strong it was, we told her that that might have been true because all the other churches have some truth but not all of it.
She said “that’s a bold claim that you’re the only true church” I told her “yes it is but as representatives of Jesus Christ we are allowed to make that bold of a claim because we know it is true” as this discussion went on I felt strongly to invite her to pray about if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph smith was a prophet of God. She said she knew it was true then we went on another discussion and after that elder Klingler invited her again, BUT just as he was about to invite her the thought about asking her to pray about being baptized came to my mind and my heart began to beat very fast. Elder Spotten and I had asked her before but she said her answer was “it’s up to you” so she said no because she didn’t want to stray from her family tradition of being baptized in her other church, so now here I am sitting in my seat feeling like I needed to ask her again….
The conversation between elder Klingler and her had ended and there was a quick silence, I sat up in the chair and said “.. I’m going to step out of my comfort zone a little bit right now because I have a feeling I really need to ask you something… My heart is beating really fast and I’ve never felt like this before it is so strong inside me right now.” She said “look at you, you’re about to jump out of your skin what’s on your mind?” I said “I KNOW..” (And right when I said I know her eyes got huge and she looked like she just saw the fear of God…) I said, “I KNOW with out a doubt in my mind and I can promise you, I don’t usually promise people things unless I know I can keep them, but I promise you that if you pray TONIGHT and you ask your Heavenly Father if you need to be baptized and if the things we taught you are true, and you do it with a sincere heart and a desire to truly know, He WILL answer your prayer. Can you do that for me tonight?”
And the whole time I said that I had tears in my eyes and a subtle but firm voice and I truly testified though the power of the Holy Ghost, stronger than I ever have in my entire life… She said she would do that for me. Then she asked about if it makes a difference if the prayer is out loud or not and elder Klingler and I both testified of the power of praying out loud, I shared my experience with her about when I prayed out loud about how I can help elder Spotten and she told me that that was amazing. This whole lesson with her the spirit was so strong. I’ve never testified so much and so powerfully.
As the lesson concluded we talked about why she won’t come to church and we offered her a church tour during the week and she agreed to that. After Her we went home to eat dinner and refuel. We called the member to have him recheck his car for the keys. After that we prayed to know where we should visit and we felt we needed to see an investigator that lived about 20-30 minutes away…by car…
So we started on our journey on bike. A lot of it was up hill and I couldn’t do it, I had to get off my bike and walk up hill a a bit, A lot of prayers were said. There was a point that I had to get off my bike and walk up this dirt road, I was hunched over walking with my head down and I started think, The thought went something like this: “look at where you are right now. Never would I have thought when I was in middle school that 8-9 years down the road I would be on a mission SERVING GOD walking up a dirt road in talking rock Georgia struggling to go up a hill for ONE of Heavenly Father’s children to bring him to the gospel, and how great this ONE person is in the sight of God.
The trip was very brutal and the most physically exhausting thing I’ve done for a while. But it was worth it. We ended up getting a call before we left our house from the member that he found the keys but it would take him about 30- 45 minuets to get to our house so we told him to INSTEAD meet us at the investigators house or pick us up on the way. Well turns out it took us an hour to bike to the house and we beat the member there…when he got there we put the bikes in the car and brought him inside with us to get fellowship with the investigator so he knows more people than just us.
This was just one experience we had this week, the whole week was filled with great experiences like this, the lord uses those who prepare the,selves to be used. I hope y’all have a great week! Take care, I love you!
P.S. Sorry there aren’t to many pictures, it’s been a busy week!
Bowling for P-Day