Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week Nine: Miracles do happen!‏

This week was probably the best week in my entire mission thus far--and that is the honest to goodness truth. Yes, we had challenges...bible bashers, faith lackers, and one hundred degree weather. BUT. We witnessed miracles.

Sister Knowlton and I have THIRTEEN new investigators this week. THIRTEEN. Holy cow. The highest number of investigators that we have received in the last nine weeks is 4. We tripled our best week's number. Shoot dang. The Lord is good and there is no doubt about that. Sister Knowlton and I have been working so hard and now it's time to work even harder. The Lord has prepared people to receive His gospel and now we need to get down to the nitty gritty. 

Some of our investigators is a woman named Mary and her grandson, Essiah--like Messiah. Mary was open to the message of the Restoration (the message about Joseph Smith restoring Christ's church upon the Earth) and when we left Mary told us that she enjoyed herself while we were there. It was a good lesson and the spirit was there.
Remember the wedding we sang at two weeks ago? Well, the bride and groom are two of our thirteen new investigators. We knocked on their door and when Kent (the groom) opened the door, I said, "Hi! We sang at your wedding!'" And he was more than happy to let us in. He and his wife were so sweet to us. We asked Kent if he would read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon (which is a page long) before we came back. He agreed and we asked if we could come back the next day and he said, "Come back in a week." Well, we found out later in the conversation that he thought we wanted him to read a lot of it and that's why he wanted us to give him a week. What a cutie! He was drinking it all up and it was awesome! 
Then there was Monique. Okay. This woman is a beast--(Mom, beast is slang for amazing). To give you some background, she was the woman who we helped move last week. While we were talking to her about the Restoration, she excused herself for a minute and came back with four HUGE books that have helped her in her studies of the Bible. That kind of intimidated me, but she and her father (Bruce) told us about their concerns with the Bible. They told us about how there are missing parts of the Bible, and because of the continual translating of the Bible, parts were taken from the scriptures. Sister Knowlton and I were just glowing as we spoke to the family--because Monique and Bruce were exactly right. Precious truths have been taken from the Bible. I think she was rather surprised that we agreed with her. Well, so as we continued with our message, she left the room again and came back with a notepad and a pen. YES. She took notes while we described the First Vision of Joseph Smith (the experience that he had when he saw God and Jesus Christ). We gave her a Book of Mormon and we asked her that if she would  read a chapter from it. She then said, "Oh! I'll read the whole thing!" Holy cow. What a woman! We then gave her the chapter (3 Nephi 11--when Christ comes to the Americas), and as she opened the book to find it, she opened up right to the chapter. She told us that she had "tingles"--chills, whatever you want to call them. Sister Knowlton and I then testified to her of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong. 

Sister Knowlton and I truly experienced miracles this week. However, there were some not so fun parts--well not fun at the moment. For example, we were going around offering prayers on people's homes (an appointment had cancelled) with Michelle (the woman that was baptized in August) and this dog comes running to us and the dog was gorgeous. Well, so we pet the dog and his owner comes over and Sister Knowlton knows him! I was thinking, "Sweet! We have an in!" So I proceed to ask him if we could come in and offer a prayer on his home...Well as he went to go leash up his dog, Sister Knowlton whispers, "That's the bible basher!" (Sister Knowlton had told me about the one time she cried on her mission was when she met this bible basher. Yes, so I was scared silly). My eyes widened and all I want to do is run. Well, I can't exactly do that. But he tells us that Joseph Smith is a false prophet and that we are wrong and that if we were to pray over his home it would be like praying with a Muslim--Wait. How did Islam get into this? And, Muslims believe in the same God we do--this guy. He then told us that not all people are children of God. How sad is that! I told him to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and he informed us that he had prayed and I said, "Pray again." I was so upset. I just wanted to...I don't even know, but I was angry. After we left, I said that I would NEVER ever go back there....well, Sister Knowlton and I are in fact going back. Yep. (Tune in for more stories about the Missionary Slayer Keith next week). 

We also met with a less active woman and her stalwart husband--I can't remember if I have mentioned them. Anyways, Ruth and Jim. Jim is this amazing scriptorian scholar man, who is in his eighties and the most adorable old man I ever saw and his wife is a very sweet woman, but she doesn't think that God can help her. Well, we told her that she needs to come to church and that was hard to call her to do that. Her reasoning is that she works on Sunday and if she doesn't work, she will go without. We discussed that obedience brings miracles and blessings. But she still doubts the power of God. 

BUT. On a happier note! I had Chinese food for the first time in FOREVER--(back story--I got food poisoning from Chinese food my junior year in high school and haven't been able to eat it since). The food was delicious and I am sad that it took me so long to finally eat it. 
We also saw Joe again! The guy who dropped us! It was good to see him. He was surprised that it took us so long to stop by again.  We let him know that we stopped by several times but no one was home. He is still so confused and it's hard when those you love won't help themselves--especially as a missionary. 

I also held a chicken for the first time! IT WAS AWESOME. We were at a less active family's house and they have tons of chickens!  I was trying to catch one in my dress and I can just imagine how funny I looked. It was great! We also had this amazing dinner there--the mother is half Mexican and a phenomenal cook. Seriously, best dinner on my mission thus far. Their little boy, Ethan also called something green when it was red and Sister Knowlton asked, "Ethan, are you colorblind?" Ethan responded, "No! I'm white!" It was hilarious! What a cutie! I also quoted Nacho Libre several times during dinner and apparently, I'm really good at impersonating Jack Black because I had their fourteen year old son dying of laughter. Oh! and all of them came to church on Sunday! It was awesome! 

Sister Knowlton also mentioned to me this week that I have crazy expressive eyebrows when I talk. Why has no one told me this?!

I love you all! Jesus loves you, too! 
Sister Hardy

The first picture is of me and the chicken! Yeah! 
The second picture is of me and Sister Knowlton before church. We sang at church on Sunday. It looks like I plastered on the make-up in this picture, but I wasn't even wearing that much! 

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