This week was great! We had a miracle happen - a new investigator! Who is actually in our age range! We street contacted her roommate a few weeks back and had a great experience. The roommate seemed interested and we set up a time to come back. She canceled our returned appointment due to busyness, but we decided to stop by the next time we were in Manassas. When we knocked on the door, Christy (our new investigator) came out! Although her roommate was home, Christy seemed more generally interested. We talked for a bit and gave her the pamphlet. She said "Yeah, we can possibly get some lunch next week after I read this and we can talk about it!" OKAY!
Eventually, we set a lunch date for this past Wednesday and it went so well. Probably one of the most prepared people I've ever met in my entire mission! Even having a lesson at Chik-Fil-A, it was such a spirit-filled lesson. She said that she was coming with questions, so we asked what her questions were. Christy said that she wanted us to explain Joseph Smith a little more... so we did! And it turned into a true understanding of why we needed a Restoration. Of course, she wants to pray about all of this, but she's really excited to read the Book of Mormon. Sadly, she'll be leaving for Army Training in CA for three weeks, but she's taking her Book of Mormon! We plan to stop by tonight to double-check on her before she takes off :)
We had the amazing coincidence (not really a coincidence of course) of talking with three atheists within a matter of DAYS. And each one was incredibly kind and willing to listen. The first was Alaina, she was a 21-year old girl we stopped in a stair well while checking on someone else. She's the cutest! We talked for a while about how she doesn't feel anything when she tries praying... so she gave up. We testified of God being our Heavenly Father and that He WANTS to hear from us, but that we have to be patient for a response. Afterwards, she said "You two are the best ones (missionaries or Jehovah's Witnesses, I'm guessing) I've met! Usually I get people barking at me or shoving stuff down my throat. But you really helped me think!" She didn't necessarily want us to come back, but I know the Spirit touched her heart.
Another Atheist we met was actually while I was on an exchange with another sister. We met him outside as he was letting his two chubby cats out to play. He worked at ExxonMobil, so I brought up the name of a Great Falls member that works there. He didn't know him, but it got him to relax a bit. He had NEVER talked with missionaries (though this was a complex that you KNEW missionaries had been there before), but he had worked with members. He had good feelings about them. But he explained that his atheism came from the amount of contention and corruption that comes from organized religion. The sister and I talked about how we agreed with him, and that what he described came from the Great Apostasy. After teaching that, we were better able to explain the NEED of a Restoration. Although he didn't want us to come back either, we got him to take a pamphlet (which I'm pretty sure he'll read - an intellectual guy). Just like with Alaina, I know that this man felt the Spirit too.
The Restoration of the gospel just makes sense. And I'm so grateful that it does because it makes it easier to teach! I appreciate Pres. Uchtdorf's words about the Restoration:
"In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.” ...Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an effort of once a week or once a day. It is an effort of once and for all."
Living the restored gospel makes us BETTER disciples of Christ. I know that that is true because I've SEEN it. And more importantly, I've felt it.
Thanks for your loving examples - they help me to be the person God wants me to be!