This week has been so good! There have been soo many miracles! One being our two beautiful investigators who are set on being baptized on the 22nd! It'll be a great way for Sister Sorensen to end her missionary service--and both of the investigators picked the date before they even knew Sister Sorensen was leaving the next week. I am really grateful that the Lord answers our prayers and allows us to make our goals.
One sister had a lovely lesson on tithing on Wednesday and passed her baptismal interview the next morning. She was radiant. Then Wednesday we met with a golden family-- they are so great! The eleven year old son has been reading the Book of Mormon every night since we gave one to him! We are really excited for our next appointment. They also expressed a desire to attend church after we called and shared with them our church experience. And you already know about our other investigator! She is on fire! We'd been having a hard time meeting with her outside of the Sunday meetings, but after we told her it was must if she really wanted to be baptized, she met with us every night she could! It was great! Her desire to receive the blessings of baptism is so strong---she is willing to pay the price. One of the things I will never forget about her is when we started to teach her tithing she pulled out the pamphlet, flipped open to a section and said, "This is my favorite part--can I share it with you?" And then when I started to stumble when teaching fasting she said, "My Chinese is better, I can teach you!" and proceeded to teach me the doctrine of fasting PERFECTLY! Our peike (the Relief Society Pres.) was astonished and said, "Sister Smith, you need to give her a name tag and take her with you!". It was amazing. She has such a burning desire to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost in her life that she has a hunger for spiritual knowledge. It is really amazing to see how well the Lord prepares those who diligently seek for truth. I have no doubts that she will be very instrumental in bringing back other relatives to full membership in the Lord's Church.
We also had a pretty great experience with a less active sister this week. She was baptized, along with most of her siblings, over twenty years ago, but has been less active for the last several years. It has taken cancer to help her realize that she needs to come back. It is kind of a complicated situation, but over a month and a half ago she had asked for the ward to give her the sacrament and a priesthood blessing. The ward correlator never really addressed that though, and so we finally called the Bishop. He was so great and since it was Sunday and no one in the ward was available, to send the Elders over to do that for her. They gave her the sacrament that day and then set up a separate time for a priesthood blessing since her friend wanted us to be there with her. When we came, she was so excited. She had been reading the new Book of Mormon we had given her and had so many questions! She really wants to relearn this Gospel and it is really helping her regain that Light that comes from righteous living. She also recommitted to live the Word of Wisdom. Then the Elders taught her simply and beautifully about the Priesthood. While waiting for our church to come and bless her, many of her Christian friends had had their pastors/ministers over to bless her. She said it was really nice of them, but she was waiting for our Church. It was kind of sad, because it took so long for our ward to respond, she thought God must be telling her she wasn't worthy of the sacrament or a blessing yet. So she said that she'd been trying to live her best so that she could be worthy. It made us really sad, but glad that she is working on improving. We were so grateful for the quick response from the Bishop and the Elders. The blessing was beautiful and she was very touched. She told us afterwards that she could tell the Elders struggled with Chinese, but that because it was full of love she could feel the truth of what they were saying. I love the priesthood and I am so grateful for the worthy priesthood holders in my life!! Now we have things worked out with her ward and our Relief Society President has already called her! So great!
This week I saw another miracle--I finished the Book of Mormon!!! Finally right? I took a long time, but I feel much better acquainted with it. I studied every page and the people in that book are so much more real to me now. I spent at least 15 minutes every day reading the Book of Mormon for the last nine months and it really has changed me. As I neared the end it became harder and harder to put it down! I can't wait to do it again--after I pick up a fresh copy from the Mission Home! It has really helped me help my investigators-- it is an amazing conduit to personal revelation. I know the Book of Mormon is true!
I love you all soo much!!!! Take care!!
---Sister Melissa Smith