one branch at a time
Seriously.. pray for your Southeastern states because it has been hecka dry over here and nature decided to take the Light the World challenge literally and light up the forests.
We finally got some rain this week and it was glorious.
Then we went to Sister Fon's home to help her organize her storage closet. Found so many treasures in there ft. Elvis Presley (Wayne)
Well we were in service clothes because we had dinner right after so I found out I can still do a kip (I fell on my rear four or five times before I did..) and a face stand at Sister Wings house so all is not lost. Sister Wing made us her famous fried tacos.. wow. Just wow. Then we helped Michael and Jordan (yes those are really her kids names) decorate their tree with candy canes. <3
Exchanges that night to the next day with Sister Jackson. Oh my gosh what a blast.
(Shout out to my cousins that went to Davis HS, so did she)
That day of exchanges we talked to a lot of random people who are not interested, a couple of people who were nice but not interested, and then we saw Quan. That's short for NiQuan
Here's what happened...
He was playing basketball and we stopped to shoot some hoops with him. We made a deal, if we win this game of PIG you have to listen to a message.
-keep in mind this is a tall african american 17 year old boy-
and we are two 20 year old white girls from Utah in skirts
We didn't miss a shot; he was out the very first three rounds.
...then we missed a bunch of shots because he had already lost.
We taught the Restoration, called him yesterday he has been reading the Book of Mormon!
and we are meeting with him again soon. Please pray for Quan
Later in the week Sister Baker and I were in a home teaching, and an ancient Chihuahua was there shaking like a leaf. Sister Baker tells us all she once knew a Chihuahua that would shake so hard meeting new people, that he peed every time.
Two seconds later this Chihuahua took a pee on the rug right in front of her.
RIGHT THERE AFTER SHE SAID THAT.
more has happened.. but I just received a very interesting phone call.... and I need to call the guy back.
So I just answered the phone and a man named M**** was trying to call a bank
I said I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints
Him: Well I have the wrong number. I have about as wrong of a number as I could get.
Me: I sort of laughed and said, Whoa it's not that bad to call us is it?
Him: Well I suppose there is something you can do for me. Pray for me because I am giving up on God.
Me: We can definitely pray for you but-
Him: I mean it. You have no idea you don't even want to know the kind of pain and anguish my life has put me through 37 years of pain. I have had a horrible life since the day I was born, the things I have been through would shock you. Every religious person tells me I'm supposed to just give my life to God but I have tried and He either isn't there, or He is singling me out to cause me a life of misery either way, I don't want any of it. I don't want to be apart of Him. I have felt His cold shoulder, forgotten, he has left me so I am about to leave Him. This is the last straw.
My heart literally broke and swelled with joy at the same time at the fact that he just happened to call the missionaries. I told him if he wants to know how God feels about him there is something he needed to do. I said "It's not hard, you don't have to climb a mountain like Moses or anything like that. You have to read the Book of Mormon. Have you heard of that book?"
He said he has, that he has read some, and that God told him to throw it away in the garbage.
I told him I have received a powerful witness that the Book Of Mormon is true.
He got a little bit ugly about it testifying to me that it is a pile of lies and other things I don't remember, and when I told him that I am not offended and that I am thankful for his honesty, and that I honestly and respectfully have found the opposite things to be true of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon, something changed.
His heart softened a bit and he apologized for the harshness of his words.
At this point I was so overwhelmed with emotion and shock at the situation because usually when people call the wrong number and it's ours, they hang up but I just got all of this dumped on me and I felt an intense pressure to help this man whom God loves so much, whom God trusted to call me of all the missionaries and people in the world, God sent this struggling son to me and I was dumbfounded. What do I say?
I was praying so fiercely that I could be a conduit for the Lord.
I testified of the Book Of Mormon and Jesus Christ
The rest of the call, although I admit I don't remember exact words, went something along the lines of this:
Me: Here's the thing. If you have read the Book of Mormon, then you know that everything in it points to Jesus Christ. Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Him: Yes I do believe in Him, I believe in the Bible. It's the nature of God that I am struggling with believing. I don't believe He cares or loves me. I believe in Jesus Christ.
Me: Well that is precisely what the Book of Mormon is about, it is completely backed up by the Bible, it's nothing new as far as doctrine goes, it simply magnifies and intensifies what we love and know from the Bible. The Book of Mormon testifies of the authenticity of the Bible, it supports it, they support one another. You do not however need to take my answer for your own, you may have received the answer that you did about not reading the Book of Mormon because you were not in a place to accept it. I invite you to read it, cover to cover.
Him: I just cannot turn my back on the answer I received that I was told not to read it. I don't know. Maybe to each of us individually we all have different paths and Gods that care for us, maybe in your sphere of existence it is true and maybe it's helping you to find God but not me. If you only knew the things I have been through. At this point I am done with religion, because I don't want to be with God again. If he puts me through this suffering, he targets me, he hurts me, he has let me live this life of Hell and if Hell is the alternative to living with someone like that I will take it because I'm already there.
Me: If you believe in Jesus Christ, then you know that He lived a life of suffering. He died on the cross, He was tortured, He was mocked, He was comfortless for a time, homeless for a time, and even friendless for a time. He was brutally hurt, emotionally, physically, spiritually, He felt what we have all felt. YET He was Gods Only Begotten son. His beloved son and so are you. You are His. He loves you, even though you suffer. Maybe even because you suffer.
and as he responded to that.... OUR PHONE DIED
much love to you,
IT FLAT OUT DIED AND I WAS LOSING IT because in this five minute phone call I developed sincere sympathy and compassion for this random man on the phone. I felt his pain and I shed tears. FIVE MINUTES how is that even possible, I don't pretend to know.
So I ran to plug in the phone and tried to calm down.
I was so worried thinking he might think I hung up on him.
When the phone was revived, I was playing the piano and Sister Baker had the phone. Apparently the man had called back and left a message. She listened to it and said, "YOU HAVE TO CALL HIM BACK RIGHT NOW"
The message he left said, "I'll forgive you for hanging up on me, I know I am frustrating to religious types, but also I want you to know I will ask God a second time what he thinks of me reading the Book of Mormon and what his opinion is on the matter. I will be that fair at least. I am sorry if my words were harsh, I did not want to cause any offense or emotional harm or otherwise. Be blessed and have a nice life I guess, for lack of anything better to say. Bye"
Wow. I hope to call him back when the phone is charged.. I don't know what just happened but I'm crying. Is that weird? I'm so happy for this man.
Hopefully this story will be TBC...
Till then, make it a great day!
Till then, make it a great day!
much love to you,