Before I begin... This is week five! If you don't send a letter by this Wednesday to me in Chandler you should send it to the mission office at :
1871 E. Del Rio Dr, Tempe AZ, 85282
No one will ever guess what happened this week. No one. Except maybe someone who is familiar with miracles in the Bible.
With that introduction, I'll give a little background on a family we found this week. We were walking to visit a referral (who wasn't home) when a man yelled us over. We went over and he asked for a blessing for his wife. We were short on time so we set up an appointment and returned the next day.
As we walked into his house he sat down and talked to us a bit. His mother was there, his son, and his wife was elsewhere. He told us a devastating story about his wife about how she has bone cancer and how she has had seven strokes recently. She has lost major control over her body and has not walked since January. He told us that he has so much faith and that he knows God can heal his wife. He told us that if it wasn't us that it would be someone else. Then he told us that he had talked to missionaries the week before, set up an appointment with them and then they never came back. Grrr. He said that when he saw us something told him he had to call us over, that he felt it in his heart. We prayed together. The spirit in the room was ridiculously strong. There was so much love there too.
He left to bring his wife over, to carry her to her wheel chair. It was heart breaking to see. He put her in the chair and we gave her a priesthood blessing. We left with a return appointment for the next day.
We returned the next night. The whole family was outside.... and the wife was walking. She was walking. For the first time in almost eight months she was walking on her own. Her muscles shouldn't have been able to do that. It was a miracle. Through a priesthood blessing she had been healed. There was not a dry eye in that room that night. Not a single one. I'm still kind of in awe thinking about it - not surprised, but impressed. Impressed at priesthood power.
After that lesson they gave us all their beer, all their cigarettes, and all their lighters and said they are never going back to that. They are on date to get baptized August 3rd.
They went to church yesterday and told the story in the gospel principles class and in priesthood. There was not a dry eye.
That was what Jesus Christ did. He healed people. We were able to be a part of that this week. A miracle that Christ did. I don't really know what to say.
But you know what's crazy? That's not the only amazing miracle we saw this week. As a zone we have zero baptisms this month. ZERO. We are a brand new zone and not having a good start. So we fasted, all 14 of us, Saturday through Sunday.
The first miracle of that fast was having eight investigators at church just in our companionship. I've never heard of a companionship having so many at church in just one ward. We had eight. Among some of investigators at church was our investigator who has supposed to get baptized July 1st who cancelled. He hasn't progressed much since then and we haven't visited him much. But during a torrential downpour on Saturday night we went by, soaked, and visited. We shared one scripture and invited him to church. He went.
At church Elder Diaz and I spoke. It was probably the best talk I've ever delivered which was interesting since it was in Spanish. I put a lot of prayer into my talk and it came out pretty well. I spoke on "a mighty change of heart." After sacrament meeting he pulled us aside and the Bishop and said, "I'm sorry, but God has spoken to me." We thought he was going to drop us. He continued, "and I'm sorry, but...I want to get baptized next Saturday." BING BING BING BING! As a zone we fasted for a miracle and we had a miracle. We are going to be having two baptisms next Saturday to finish off the month and the transfer. We are very excited and are rushing to get everything figured out. That's my favorite problem to have!!!
Everything is going so well right now. Of the eight we had at church, five have a baptismal date for the next three weeks and seven are progressing. EVERYTHING is going well. We're teaching in unity, we're finding, we're inviting, they're accepting, and it's raining! Things couldn't be any better!
Which is a shame since transfers are next week. I'm pretty sure we're getting split up. Everyone is telling me I'm going to Phoenix or Coolidge. It would be fun to go to Coolidge since Elder Myler would be my companion again but I want to stay at least one more here with Elder Diaz to get all those baptisms and see these miracles turn into baptisms. But I go where I'm called.
This past week I was super tired as I wrote about. President and Sister Toone found out and each individually pulled me aside at Zone Conference to ask how I was doing. I was amazed how much they cared and then they mentioned they had prayed for me specifically and I felt even better haha. Ah, such great leaders.
It was interesting to watch President Toone at zone conference. While he wasn't talking, he was getting up every 30 seconds it seemed like to answer a phone call or respond to a text. They do so much in that calling; I'm convinced it's the hardest in the church. He gave us a little insight about what he's doing and how busy he has been since transfers are coming up. We talked about meshing the phoenix zones with the Tempe mission and he said, "both have unique mission songs, I don't even know which mission song to use!" It let me realize and appreciate a bit more the stress that he's dealing with right now.
Our other baptism this week is the funniest guy in the world. His name is Jesus and he always uses it jokingly and quotes the Bible but puts himself in for Jesus. Soooo funny. What's even better is that his wife's name is Maria = Mary. We asked him in a lesson this week what, "the door" was after reading a scripture describing it. He went off on a tangent and said, "AND IF YOU SEE A LIGHT, IT'S EL SENOR!!!!" Completely unrelated but so funny.
Oh, there was another miracle this week! The housing coordinators brought me a waffle maker so I'm feasting on waffles for breakfast! Lesser miracle, shhhhh.
After one of our lessons we realized that we hadn't chosen a commitment to leave with one of our investigators. In a moment of inspired forgetfulness I asked her what her favorite number was and what her friend's favorite book in the Book of Mormon was. We came up with Alma 7. Perfeccctttt! That's a good chapter. She read it and received lots of great insights.
We street contacted this guy this week who said he didn't believe in the Holy Ghost. We quoted Christ and he left questioning what he believed. Success.
Then we ran into someone who didn't believe in a judgement. We talked about how no unholy thing can dwell in God's presence and asked if I killed someone if I could live with God. She said no and then realized she contradicted herself. She goes to Cornerstone, the church that has anti-mormon classes during church. She was actually super nice though and left with a Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet in hand and committed to read them.
I'm going to baptize a Jehovah's Witness. The only problem is she doesn't speak Spanish and we don't cover an English ward. She is the third JW I've given a Book of Mormon to (miracle in and of itself) and committed to read it. She's amazingly nice but lives with an anti-mormon JW.
At dinner this past week, well one in specific, we were given a TON of food. Elder Diaz was too full to eat all of it (but ate dessert regardless) and offended the member. So, taking one for the team and doing what the members love to see, I asked if she had any chiles. She pulled out a bag and handed me a Chile de Arbol. I munched slowly on it and her husband came out and said, "Take notes!" and ate the whole thing. So I did too, not wanting to be one-upped. Her husband saw my eyes watering and started laughing and said, (all in Spanish), "DONT CRY!!" then turned around and ran to eat salt and limes to keep the hotness down. He hid in the corner of the kitchen with his eyes watering haha as I sat in my chair getting a feel for what hell is like. That was one of the hottest chiles I've ever eaten! Not as bad as the habanero, but eating it + being so full was dangerous. I had to sit for 4 minutes trying to keep myself from throwing up as everyone laughed at us haha. It was successful and we left with more trust than was lost! I felt sick the rest of the night.
Thanks for the letters Will, Mom, Eric, Scott, and the young women!
We got a ride last night in a mini cooper. Not a bad car! Lots of road noise though - probably wouldn't buy.
On that bombshell,
Thanks for all your support!