Wednesday, October 7, 2015

fine & dandy like cotton candy!

Sep 28, 2015

Dear everyone,

It was definitely a really great week here in Ohio. It is officially autumn. I am happy for sweaters and boots, but sad that the cold is coming.. It is drizzly and gray out right now. And I know what that means: the Ohioans are preparing for hibernation. :) I definitely feel like a wimp when it's 60 degrees and I am already shivering and complaining! Oh it is wonderful to be a missionary!

Something really cool: Sister Blackner and I had 30 whole lessons this past week. Can you believe that?! We set the goal and were excited to try and reach it. We did it! (Well.. Heavenly Father helped us do it!) That is something I have never accomplished my whole mission. It feels really good. And there are some really exciting things that happened.

1 - We had a lot of lessons with Xaveria. We brought Sister Miller, our Relief Society President, unexpectedly! It was such a good lesson. We went over the Restoration again and Xaveria finally understood. Something clicked!! The Spirit taught her and she just said, "Wait.. so you're saying that everyone out there that thinks they're baptized.. they're not TRULY baptized?!" It was a golden moment. She also admitted that she felt the Spirit is Kirtland. She said she felt it standing on a bridge over a river (where early Saints were baptized!). I'm not sure she recognizes what to do with the fact that she felt something.. but at least she told us! Sister Miller was able to share her conversion story (Xaveria loves to here anyone talk about their own conversions!) and brought up the fact that she was able to have the work done for her parents in the Temple. We had to teach about the Temple then and Xaveria really thought that was a cool point! She definitely has a lots of questions about it and is still waiting for her answer about Joseph Smith to help her believe everything else we've been sharing. She is praying and reading the Book of Mormon. She is searching for the truth because she wants to find a church that her brother (and his family) and her mom can also join. Oh! Also, Xaveria has a lot of health issues. We were able to go with our Bishop last night and he gave her a blessing! 

2- Gia is still absolutely golden. She is being baptized for sure on October 11th. We created the program for that yesterday! Her friend, Ethen, that originally introduced her to the Church and gave her a Book of Mormon 3 years ago is probably going to baptize her! What a long miracle in the works! Heavenly Father is a master architect with all of His plans and timing.

3 - Remember when I sent a little tidbit about a man named Doyle? Well, we were able to meet with him again. Finally! He has a crazy work schedule and always has overtime. We were texting him when we were with Sister Miller and asked if he had read the intro to the Book of Mormon. He responded and told us he did and that he had some serious questions. Of course that makes our missionary minds run in circles! He was able to meet that night and Sister Miller was with us so we could. Perfect. His question ended up being really simple to answer and he accepted our response. We were able to share about General Conference coming up and he was really intrigued by the fact that we have a Prophet on the earth today. We also got to share a little about the Restoration. He really wants to read the Book of Mormon and visit church soon! He plans on watching General Conference! 

4 - We saw our investigator, Antwone (We learned that is how you really spell his name!), again. He is generally a big talker and loves to preach and share all of his knowledge. "I am not a Christian, but I'm Christ-like." That is his motto. So I prayed beforehand that we would get to share our testimonies and that he would feel something different with us. In the lesson, we talked about prophets and apostasy. Guess what Antwone said?! He said, "I know you two have the Spirit of Christ in your hearts. I feel something different around you." !!! Direct answer to a prayer. He is eager to learn more about the Restoration.

5 - Sad little bit left: We met with Brother Fink with Sister Workman there. It was such a Spirit-filled lesson. We all bore strong testimony and were very bold with him. When we extended the invitation to come to church, he said no!! So crazy! It is so sad to know that we feel the Spirit with him so intensely and that he can't get past his own personal issues. Even Sister Workman said we are doing a good job. Just gotta keep trying! Latter-day Saints keep on trying! :) 

I really enjoyed the General Women's Session on Saturday evening. I already started getting answers to questions I didn't even recognize I had! I know that General Conference this weekend is such an opportunity to receive personal revelation directly from Heavenly Father. How amazing is it that He speaks to us through inspired leaders? We don't have to wonder what He is trying to tell us -- We will know for sure this weekend! 

We have been sharing this message with anyone we can. In the Book of Mormon, we are told to "FEAST upon the words of Christ" because "the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." Can you remember what you had for dinner two weeks ago - or even last week? I for sure can't off the top of my head. Can you remember what your had for dinner last Thanksgiving? Of course I can automatically recall that day and where I was and everything I had. I was stuffed! That was a FEAST.

The scripture doesn't tell us to "nibble on the words of Christ" or even to "consume moderately the words of Christ". No! That is not what we are supposed to do. We are to FEAST. A feast, like Thanksgiving, takes a lot of preparation and time. There are many varieties of food. We invite those we love and care about to be with us. And of course, we take part in every course of the meal. It is the same for a General Conference feast! We have been preparing these past 6 months. Our personal and family prayer and scripture study help us do that. There will be many different speakers with different messages, but all add to the Spirit! We can invite those we love and care about to watch and listen with us. And we should take part in every session of Conference. Who knows if dessert (our favorite speaker) will be served in the middle of the Saturday afternoon session, or at the beginning of the Sunday morning session?! 

I really love this analogy. I hope you all get an opportunity to watch! I love you! 
Sister Pound

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