Yes, it's true. I will be leaving the lovely Great Falls Ward come Thursday! Sister Udall will be training, and I'm headed elsewhere. I'll find out ON transfer day where I'm going, so I'll let you know next week! Pretty jittery about it, since I've been here for six months and don't know anything different, but I'm excited!
We picked up a former investigator named Phil Stone! We found him on Saturday after SIX YEARS of no contact (at least, that's what the record says). He is such a sweet old man that is always on a serious spiritual journey! He remembers a lot of what the missionaries taught him in the past and agrees with a good deal of it! But like many of the lovely people in Virginia, he does not like rules (AKA organized religion). He LOVES God and Christ, but doesn't grasp the importance of rules. So I bore my testimony of commandments using what I had just read that morning from Elder Perry's conference talk "Obedience to the Law is Liberty". I told him that the commandments are COUNSEL from a loving Heavenly Father. He seemed to like that. We asked if he had read the Book of Mormon and he had read a little, but didn't understand it. I asked if he read AND prayed about it. He admitted he hadn't. I find that with most people we meet that have read the Book of Mormon - they never PRAYED! I told him that he can't know spiritual truth until he prays, which agreed to. So he said he will read the Book of Mormon, starting from the Introduction, and PRAY to know if it's true and how he can understand it better. Can't wait to follow up with him!
Just last night, we had a wonderful event! I don't know if I have ever mentioned the New Member Fireside or not, but we have those right before each transfer. At these firesides, new members of the Church get up and share their conversion stories and testimonies. It's SUPER powerful and spiritual because EVERYONE comes from such different backgrounds. Well... we had Eric Murray speak at it! We helped him write his talk the week before. He did SO great! Eric has a learning disability so his talk was quite short but still so powerful. When we assigned him to write his own talk, he told us he spent an hour on it and we looked down to find only a paragraph :/ But he read it to us and the Spirit was STRONG. My favorite line of his was:
"The Sisters asked me to read the Book of Mormon and then ask God if it was true. So I did and the answer was yes!"
Haha He's so precious. We took one last picture with him last week. I'll miss this big teddy bear! But we had SO MANY ward members come out to support him. Probably around 5 or 6 families/couples, including Bishop! It was incredible. I truly love this ward and am going to miss it so much!
I wanted to share a chapter I came across this week in 3 Nephi. I don't remember ever reading this, but I loved the message it was getting across. Chapter 23 talks about the importance of RECORDING the spiritual experiences we have, directly from the mouth of Christ! I recommend reading the whole chapter (it's small) but I've concluded a three-step process from it: Learn, Record, and Teach!
LEARN: 10 And his disciples answered him and said: Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words, and they were all fulfilled.
So after Christ asked why they didn't record Samuel's prophecy, Nephi replies with this. He tells Christ that we were "fulfilled" by his prophecy, so we didn't need to write it down.
RECORD: 13 And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.
Then Christ scolds him for his response and commands him to write it DOWN!
TEACH: 14 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them.
Most important step of ALL! After we record our experiences, we can't learn from them until we teach others about what we've gained! We're told that constantly as missionaries (because our calling is to TEACH).
I'm grateful for this little golden nuggets of guidance found ALL OVER the scriptures! It's what makes me realize that its truly God's word.
Thank you all for the love and support! It means everything to me! Have a great week!
Me in front of my FAVORITE neighborhood in all of Vienna: Maymont (look it up on Google maps)