Sunday, November 29, 2015

all thanks to Him

Nov 23, 2015

Hey you!

It was such a wonderful week here in the Ohio Cleveland Mission! We saw so many miracles!

One night, we were driving home from the Kramer's (an active family) who live out in the middle of nowhere in our area! It was around 8 o'clock and as I have described before, 8PM is the biggest struggle of life sometimes when you are a missionary. We were driving along wondering where to go and we thought of a headquarter referral that was from 3 years ago (pretty old). We didn't know if they'd ever been contacted because we have tried to stop by a few times and they've never been home. Normally we would stop by in the afternoons because it is also in a part of our area that is kind of far out and we don't have a lot of potential there (yet). Our route going back in to town passed right by where they lived, so it was perfectly orchestrated. When a woman answered the door, we asked for Reagan, the referral who had requested a Bible so long ago. Casey called Reagan over.. turns out Reagan is her 10 year old daughter! That was surprising to us! We ended up having a really nice conversation with Casey about her faith and she kept asking, "Well what makes you different?" She said she could feel that we had something special. We were able to share The Book of Mormon with her and teach her a bit. At the end, her daughter came out carrying some little scriptures -- Casey and her family basically "ponderize"!!! They take one scripture from the Bible a week and put it on the mirror and work on memorizing it! It was amazing to feel that even though they are not members of The Church, they had the Spirit in their home. We both agreed that we need to pray to meet Casey again! That was a total miracle.. we couldn't believe a 7 year old would send a self-referral! Heavenly Father works in the most unlikely ways. :)

Another good story: about two months ago, we were driving down a street in Youngstown and saw a woman walking her dog. She waved and smiled very genuinely at us. It wasn't until after we continued going on our way that we realized we should have stopped the car to talk with her and share the gospel. Well, we went back to that street and knocked a couple doors trying to find her but we never did.. fast forward to this past week: we were driving down the same street and saw the lady with the dog again!! She was wearing the funkiest coat and cutest little hat and had the same genuine smile! Her name is Carolyn and we started teaching her and she came to church yesterday and loved it! She hasn't been to a church in over 10 years because she was caring for her mother who recently passed away. I totally knew from the first time we saw "the dog lady" that she was prepared to hear the Gospel! I love that tender mercy that Heavenly Father gave us to meet her again and have the opportunity to share the Restoration with her.

There is really good progress being made with the Stick Brothers! Donyelle (Bird) read 10 chapters of The Book of Mormon and they have been studying the pamphlets we have given them! We went with Brother Workman and shared The Plan of Salvation and they had so many questions and they are so sincere. They truly want answers from our Heavenly Father. It was an interesting lesson because they have this drunk friend who likes to come join.. When we were talking about the 3 kingdoms and describing the Telestial kingdom, he said, "That's where I'm going!" Then when we were describing the Celestial kingdom he said, "Can I just have pieces of my family? I don't want them all there!" It was funny. Nonetheless, Donald, Jen, and Donyelle are making progress. They were committed to come to church, but then woke up late.. next week! 

We got to meet with Sara Robison again, the less active we found last week. She wasn't too keen on letting us in, but when we testified that the Lord led us to her, she agreed! She told us that she is really disappointed because she just found out the church she has been attending believes in drinking and smoking, but she doesn't believe in those things. It was awesome to be able to testify of Christ's true church and of the Prophet Joseph Smith, through whom the Word of Wisdom was revealed. She said that she knows Heavenly Father led us to her because she has recently been thinking of The Church and that very day we were there, she was thinking of us! She wants to prepare to come back to church again. 

Oh heavens! There is just so much. On Saturday night, we had packed a dinner and it was pretty cold out, so we decided to eat at Burger King. (No, I didn't let the $1.49 10 piece nuggets pass me by.. they made a good addition to my packed dinner!) We were almost at the end of our hour, when a guy called out to us and asked, "Hey, are you Mormons?" We bee-lined to his table and he told us that he loved "our Plan" and that he used to study with Mormons down in Oklahoma. He said several times that the Mormons were responsible for where he is at in his life right now. His name is Demetrius and he has TONS of questions. He says the Plan of Salvation is everything he's always believed, but couldn't explain! Guess what?! He totally came to church yesterday!! You can't tell me that that is not the work of the Lord. I know He is guiding us!

David is progressing well. He also came to church yesterday -- yes, we had THREE investigators there! It was amazing! Gia is also doing well and we are going to the Temple with her this Saturday to do baptisms for the dead. We started family history with her and she is stoked about that. Jen is also still loving family history and is staying up late and waking up early to work on it! We also stopped by and saw Doyle yesterday and he is finally having a break from work for 2 whole months.. he is so prepared and I am excited!! He wants the gift of the Holy Ghost! 

It was a miraculous week! I love seeing the hand of the Lord revealed. I am working on strengthening my faith so that I can see miracles! I love that we know that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am grateful for that.

Have a blessed week! I love you all!
Enjoy Thanksgiving and that black Friday shopping! ;)
Sister Pound

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