Sooo, my old planner is at home, so I'm missing the first couple days of this week, but that's okay. :)
Still lots to write about!
On Wednesday, Sister Stephens and I taught Rod and had a good lesson finishing up the Plan of Salvation and teaching the Word of Wisdom. He wants to keep the Word of Wisdom, including quitting smoking, but he wouldn't commit to quitting quite yet because he wants to do it when he wants to do it, not just when God wants him to do it. And he wouldn't pray to ask God if now is the time God wants him to quit, because Rod knows what the answer is going to be. :) Oh bless his heart. It makes me smile sadly when people think they're not accountable to God until they've prayed about it. But Rod will get there! That evening, we helped the Young Women do family history to find names to take to the temple to do baptisms for the dead in a month. I've never been very good at family history, but boy, it's a lot more fun when you know how to do it! It's really fun to help people find their ancestors' names to take to the temple!
On Thursday we got to see Melissa and had an awesome possum lesson with her!! Sister Tedonne came which was awesome because she's a convert and wasn't born into the church, and Melissa really liked the experiences she shared, especially her testimony of church and the Book of Mormon! We taught the Plan of Salvation, and when we got to baptism as one of the things we must do to be able to return to live with God, we asked Melissa if she was still willing to be baptized. She said yes, and we told her that we had been praying about a date for her and knew that she can be ready to be baptized on September 18, and would she be baptized then? She said yes, which was awesome, so we talked about church as a requirement for baptism because of the importance of the sacrament. I shared with her my favorite analogy for baptism and sacrament, how it's like when a baby is born. That baby gets a bath right off the bat, but is it set for life after that one bath? Nope! That baby is going to keep getting dirty and needing baths for the rest of its life. So how it goes with baptism. Baptism is an initial cleansing, like a baby's first bath. It cleanses us from our sins, but we're going to keep sinning after baptism because we're imperfect. So that's where the sacrament comes in. Instead of being baptized again and again when we sin, we take the Sacrament each Sunday and, if we've truly repented beforehand, we renew the promises we made to God at baptism and become clean again, as clean as we were on the day we were baptized. Melissa really liked that and it made a lot of sense to her! I love it when something clicks for an investigator in the lesson! How neat! She said she didn't have work on Saturday night, so that she would for sure come to church on Sunday!
And guess what? She did!! Melissa came to church!!!!! She went to sacrament meeting, Sunday school- where she even read a scripture and made a comment- and Relief Society. She said she was really glad she came to church and felt good and uplifted!! What a blessing!! Sister Stephens and I were all smiles all day! God sure made that one happen!
So that was for sure the highlight of the week. Other happenings: So when I first came to Fort Walton, one of the first times I went to Green Acres, the neighborhood that Roy lives in, Sister Stephens and I would be biking or driving along the road and on several occasions I looked over the fence into a backyard and saw a young mother on the back porch watering her plants. I felt very strongly once that we should go knock on the door of that house. So over the past few months we've tried a couple times, but no one was ever home. But this week we tried again, and this time the door opened! The mother I'd seen answered- her name is Alia and she's a recently single mom with a young daughter and son. We asked her if she needed help with anything, and she said no, but we had a nice conversation finding out more about her. She's Christian and is close to God, and asked us if there was anything she could pray for for us! She was so kind! We told her that Jesus Christ teaches people how to be good parents and have happiness as families. She agreed to have us come over again, and seemed excited to talk more with us! I'm so grateful that we followed that prompting to knock on her door! God definitely places prepared people in our path when we ask and act in faith.
Other things from this week: Sister Stephens and I went to Stewby's for dinner one night and ordered their salsa that has shark meat in it! It was super good! Yesterday at church, Jim and Vicki stayed for the third meeting, which they haven't done in the past because Jim said he was afraid the teacher might ask him questions he doesn't know the answer to. So Sister Stephens and I talked with the Priesthood class teacher and asked if he wouldn't ask Jim questions. :) Jim went to the class, and he liked it and said he learned a lot! Yay! We taught Jim and Vicki after church, going over some questions from their daily Book of Mormon reading. They're so diligent! Jim has progressed so much! Later, the Spanish Elders had a baptism with a member interpreting during the program. It was neat! Then, we had dinner with the Prices. I love them! Man, I love our ward, and this area, and all of our investigators. We're so blessed here.
This morning I was studying Alma 37:46-47 which reads, "O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever. And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live..."
I love the phrase "look to God and live." By following the footnote scripture references, I learned that we can look to God by having faith in Him and hoping in Him. We exercise our faith in God and Jesus Christ as we pray, study, and keep the commandments. To have hope in God means to trust in His promises and have a firm belief that we can become like Him and inherit eternal life. Our Heavenly Father who loves us perfectly has provided the perfect plan which, if we follow, will allow us to "live," to have joy in this life and live with our families in joy in the next. I know this is true. And I love it.