This week has been a busy one. Lots of things to focus on and work on, but I'm grateful for the Lord's help and knowing that I'm not alone in His work.
An update on Konnie and Bridget: they have fallen off the face of the planet! We can't get a hold of either one of them. We've tried texts, calls, and drop-bys and NOTHING has worked. BUT thank heavens for an eternal perspective - knowing that this is part of God's plan that we haven't been able to see them, right? It's a positive way to look at it :) But I know that we're doing ALL we can to keep teaching and loving them... it just may not be their time. Keep them in your prayers, though!
Got a new investigator! His name is Nef and he's from Thailand. We met him in front of CVS last week during our grocery shopping! What happened was as we were walking by, the guy sitting next to him called out to us "Where do you work?" (having seen our name tags, I'm sure). We stopped and let him know we were missionaries. Then while he was gabbing about history and politics, I noticed the boy next to him HAD to be young adult age. So we introduced ourselves to him and promised to bring him a Thai Book of Mormon and got his information. And get this! Two hours later, as we log on to email, he had already added Sister Kartchner on Facebook! Miracle miracle miracle.
So glad we finally could sit down with him after having a few Facebook conversations with him in the meantime. He didn't want to meet at his house so we met on the street and sat on a curb, basically. This was in between two crazy rainstorms we had, when the sun had come out and scorched everything... including us. SO HOT. At one point, he said in his broken English, "Should we go find shade?" We opted not to because it would take too much time. It was a great lesson though! He has a sincere desire to know truth and is excited to read the Book of Mormon (in Thai). We would open to scriptures in the English BOM and would ask him to find the reference in his and he goes, "I like this, this is fun." So cute! Sadly, we couldn't get a hold of him to come to church, but we hope to see him soon!
We went to check on a potential investigator, Rakov, to see if he'd still be in town for the summer (he's a GMU student) and instead we met Ferhanna! She was a sweet lady from Bangladesh that actually came out on her porch to talk to us (even though the bugs were ruthless that night). We got through the entire Restoration lesson with her just smiling and nodding, though we're sure she understood most of it. Finally, she asked what makes Mormons different from other Christians and we were able to share the First Vision with her. What's cool about this is that we met with Carmen (our member) the day before to finish our member lesson and she mentioned how the First Vision was what really sold her to the gospel - she couldn't deny it! So she spent her mission days doing everything possible to share that account with all :) Lo and behold, we actually got to share the First Vision with Ferhanna and another lady that we later had a door step lesson with. Two times in two days! That hasn't happened in a while here. So it was a tender moment!
Wow. Had a crazy evening in Woodbridge this week. Met some great people and got cool referrals: one from the Bairds (whose daughters are in our ward) for an active recent convert in their Ward who they think should come to Braddock, and then a non-member referral from a YSA-aged boy that lives in a less-active member's house. After talking with him about the importance of prayer, we asked if he knew anyone else who could use a message. He immediately said, "Oh you know who you should try? My neighbor Kate. She loves to talk. She lives right over there." So we hesitantly headed that direction, thinking the kid may have set us up for something bad. But we got there, and she was a PEACH. Haha talked WAY too much, but was so funny. We literally stood there on her porch, nodding our heads for 40 minutes while she just gabbed, even though she had company over.
Something she said really struck me though. She told us about how she never used to be a fan of the "Mary and Martha story", where Christ rebukes Martha for asking Mary to come help her in the kitchen (paraphrased). Kate felt that Martha was totally justified in requesting that and that Mary was just being lazy! After eight years of thinking this way, she found someone's interpretation of the story that allowed her to really understand why Christ chastised Martha. Our dear friend Kate said, "I learned that what Jesus was REALLY telling Martha was that if she wasn't going to serve out of love (in this case, prepare the house), then she shouldn't do it at all." I love that! I felt that it went really well with what we learned at Church on Sunday about magnifying our callings. Again, if we cannot serve with love in our hearts, it may not be worth serving at all. Pray for that desire, pray for that love and it WILL come!
Thank you all for your love and prayers - they mean so much.
Photo: Cool license plate, yeah? I'm doing my best to be brave!