I am LOVING this fall weather! It is getting a smidge chilly, but overall - a LOT more pleasant than the humid summer. I am grateful! I actually took a picture of how wonderful and beautiful the leaves here are - enjoy (I know I do)!
The lesson was powerful, and you can tell that they both felt the Spirit! As we asked David how he has felt the Spirit most in his life, he said that being with Barry has been such a blessing to him. He feels that he's learned so much from Barry's kind heart and forgiving nature. So tender! When we shared Joseph's First Vision, we asked David what it would mean to him to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He said, "I'm open to it!". These were all good signs that pointed David to the direction of saying "Yes!" to baptism, even after he had a previous concern of already being baptized in the Methodist church as a baby. The conviction he had as he said "Yes" prompted us to put him and Barry on date for November 30th.
They agreed! Unfortunately, the two brothers are extremely busy with Scouts and Special Olympics but they were able to come to church last week. We're praying hard that they'll read from the Book of Mormon and feel the Spirit so that they will know for themselves that this gospel is true. Yet again, member support is HUGE here, and one of the reasons is that David and Barry are of simple financial means. They don't have a car, so a member was able to pick them up for church and for the lesson we had. All in all, I'm VERY excited to keep teaching these two wonderful, humble gentlemen. Before we left, David asked very kindly, "So am I able to get this priesthood?" AW! We explained that he could after baptism. I'm so excited to see their progression over time. Pray for David and Barry!
In other news, have I told you about Ms. Maxine Dennis? If I haven't, shame on me. This woman is (and I say this lovingly) - CRAZY. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and has been a member of the Church for 12 years. She has had CONSTANT struggles with the Word of Wisdom since a couple months after her baptism. However, Maxine has a STRONG desire to go to the temple finally. So we're really working with her on "cleaning" up her act. It will be hard, but I know she's capable! She's just a little bit (a lotta bit) stubborn. This is a picture of us in her office. She's on the Board of Directors of a cooperative owned by HUD. This is the place where we hold our ESL class, which is still going great by the way!
We had interviews with our mission president this week and he focused on talking about our work with members. We're going to focus on teaching them the missionary lessons so they have a better understanding of the basic doctrine and can, therefore, teach it to their friends! A scripture that the Oakton Stake is using for their theme next year is Jacob 1:7, which states:
7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest...
We must PERSUADE them to know about this gospel! There is no other way. I think a lot of members get nervous that we're trying to convince people into something they don't want to do. But if we contemplate how it's blessed OUR lives, we should want to help them have it in ANY way that we can.
Thank you ALL for your love, support, and prayers. I feel so blessed!