Monday, July 11, 2016

An Emmausing Experience -July 11th, 2016

Hey y'all! As always, I hope each one of you had a good week! 

Our week here in Clanton was pretty good! Whenever we have a week with p-day on Tuesday the rest of the week just flies by! 

We had some amazing lessons with our investigators and most of them are progressing very well! We're also starting to focus our efforts on the less actives and part member families in our branch. We have something like 300 people on our roster, enough to make a ward, so we going to try our hardest to access all the potential there!

I wanted to share a pretty amazing experience that I had this past Saturday though for most of my letter. 

So Saturday morning we get a call and a text from a man we had never met. He said he had been talking to missionaries at the headquarters in Salt Lake for a few hours. He said that he didn't know anything about our religion but he had an experience that sparked his interest. So I called him back and talked to him for a while explaining some things about the church and trying to set up a time to go over. He said he would ponder what we talked about and call back in a few hours if he wanted us to come over. So a few hours pass by and he calls again but we were in a different lesson so we missed his call. Shortly after, we finally get a text from the referral missionaries telling us to go over ASAP and bring him a book of mormon. So instead of calling him back we decide that we'll just go over and talk to him in person. So we go over to his house and he lets us inside. We chat for a while, answer a lot of his questions and teach him about the restoration of the church. Then he told us more about what exactly sparked his interest in the church. 

He told us he had heard a story about how the church absolutely changed this woman and her family's life. He told us how she was at the lowest of lows, pretty much every bad thing you can think of happened in her life. He told us how she had come in contact with the church and how they had helped her turn her life around and how she's completely different now. Fully focused on the Lord and good things. Elder Stuart and I were both thinking this was just some mormon message he had seen. But he told us this story a few times and every time I had the feeling (prompting from the spirit) that he was talking about Nickie.

So, for those of you who can't remember, Nickie is a recent convert who I had the immense privilege of teaching and baptizing while I was serving in bessemer, my last area. I watched her as she and her family made this amazing change. Coming closer to the Lord and becoming completely different people. And now Jeff, her husband, has been able to quit smoking and is being baptized soon as well.

Anyways, the last time he told us about this story, I just took a shot in the dark and asked him if this had happened in Alabama. He told me it had! I got kind of excited and asked if by chance her name was Nickie and he was a little taken back, and at first said no. I explained how I taught some people back in bessemer that had a pretty amazing story that was pretty similar to the one he was telling. He stopped and just kind of looked at me and said that it actually was Nickie who he was talking about. He then told me that he is her Uncle! And that he had heard this story from his sister, her mother, who I had also met and tried to share the gospel with. I was so shocked and just speechless! I told him that I was actually the one who baptized Nickie and her son. I reached for my bag and pulled out my camera and showed him the pictures of us from her baptism. He became speechless as well and we both just kind of sat there in unbelief of what was happening.

I was only in bessemer for six weeks and while I was there I was able to be a part of this families amazing conversion story and then I was sent to Clanton where I then met her Uncle who we are now teaching and is now interested in the church because of her story. WOW! Just wow. We got back in the car and I freaked out to Elder Stuart a little and said a prayer of thanks in my heart. This was such a powerful Emmaus experience for me. Strengthening my testimony that the Lord is involved with this work and my life. I am in Alabama for a reason, and last week I found out one of the reasons why I was sent to Clanton as well as Bessemer. I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve the Lord for two years and help others draw closer to Him as I do the same. I LOVE THIS MISSION, THIS GOSPEL, AND THE LORD! 

I say these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. 

Till next week! Love yall!

The picture of Nickie's baptism. 

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