Can you believe that this Wednesday marks my EIGHT months?!?! These last eight months have gone by SOOOO fast! I can't believe next month is my half way mark. I have learned so much and I look forward to learning even more in the months to come!
Alright, on to a little of what happened this week. Monday the 29th started out a little rough. As we were sitting at the church watching the Elders play basketball, we got a phone call from a less-active lady in the ward. We had gone to her house earlier in the week and asked when we could come back and have a family night with her family. Well, she called us and the first thing she said was "This is very awkward for me to say..." And my heart sunk. She told us that because of some things that had happened with their family and the church in the last few years, they have decided that they are not going to practice the LDS religion anymore. Oh my gosh, I was numb. I didn't know what to really think. All I could think of was wanting to ask her "Why??" I didn't understand how someone could just drop everything that they know to be true. How could you throw eternity away?? I couldn't cry. I couldn't speak. I was completely numb. It made me so sad! And it made Sister Butler sob. This sad experience made me realize how important it is to NOT lose sight of the important things. It doesn't matter who you were offended by or why, you need to have a strong testimony of the CHURCH so that you don't fall like this family. One of my favorite quotes is, "The church is true. The people aren't." There isn't anything wrong with the church. But we are all human beings and we make mistakes. We have to remember that this is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, not the church of people. I never want to live a life where one small thing can keep me away from eternity with my family. It's too important!
Then on Tuesday the 30th, we had a pretty good evening!! We made a list of less-active members in our ward and wanted to go visit them. There was this lady on the list that we felt like we needed to go see. When we got there she answered the door and told us that she wasn't interested. But we kept talking to her, trying to make conversation, and we ended up talking to her for about 15 minutes. At first she told us that she didn't want us to come back but by the end, I felt like I should ask again and she said yes. She said that this is the first time in 30+ years that she told missionaries that they could come back. As Sister Butler and I left, we realized that a miracle had just occurred and that we had to give all credit to Heavenly Father. We hadn't had the most successful day but we worked hard all day and we were blessed for it! I just hope that we can bring this Sister back to the knowledge of the gospel, to help her realize what she's missing and help her renew her baptismal covenants.
Then on Halloween... We couldn't be out later than 6pm so President Becerra had us have District Meeting on Wednesday instead of Thursday. And that we SOO much fun! Sister Butler and I got there a little early and it was funny because when the Elders walked in, we had Abe Lincoln (Elder Colata), Mitt Romney (Elder Spalding), and Spiderman (Elder Scrogs) walk in. We couldn't stop laughing! Also, Elders Gwilliam and Gough had a Stitch stuffed toy and a Bateman. Stitch had a sign that said "Will wurk for food" and Bateman had a BYU towel. We just laughed! It was a very fun District Meeting. But it was very hard to take anything serious because we just wanted to go play basketball and volleyball with the zone. But 7:30pm came around and that's what we did! It was so much fun to be with the zone! (Minus the fact that for some reason one of the Elders, Elder Meeks, wanted to kill me all night. I swear, every time he had the Volleyball, it would come flying my way and would hit me in the face no matter where I turned so it wouldn't hit me. It was pretty funny!)
Thursday the 1st was a very good day! That evening we had a lesson with a former investigator. He is friends with a Young Man in the ward and he'd had a couple of the lessons in the past and just got back from living Guatemala for 10 months and wanted to take the lessons again. And this was a very good lesson! We talked about the Restoration of the gospel. It was a very powerful lesson! And he told us before the lesson even started that he wants to be baptized! So that was awesome! His dad has been a member of the church for a few years now and Jose loves learning about the church. He is very open and absorbs everything wonderfully! The Spirit was so strong in the lesson! It was amazing!
Saturday the 3rd was a good day! After dinner we went to contact some of the less-actives again and we went to see Brother Pico. We didn't know how long he had been less-active for but we felt like we needed to go. When we got there, he had a cabinet guy there so he told us to come back. But he asked us a couple questions and as we were standing out there, the cabinet guy left so Brother Pico let us in. We sat and talked to him and his roommate, Ginger, for a while. By the time we left, we didn't realize it had been so long! Anyway, we had a really good conversation with them. Brother Pico told us that he knows he needs to come back to church but he wants to do it on his own time. And we can respect that. But that doesn't mean that we aren't going to try and move the process faster by visiting him every once in a while :) And his roommate, Ginger, said that she's been looking for a church for a long time and that she would like to have a tour of the church after Thanksgiving! I know that seems like a long time away but she really seems interested! It was amazing how the Spirit was so strong in there home! I know that we were sent to them that night for a reason. I know that it's their time. Time for Brother Pico to come back and time for Ginger to find the truth! It was an amazing experience!
Then Sunday the 4th we had another lesson with Jose and his mother Lupe. Jose is under 18 years old so we had to have her permission. She was very happy to give permission and she even stayed for the lesson! We talked about prayer and the Holy Ghost and it was amazing! Lupe even took a Book of Mormon in Spanish and she was excited for it!
Then later in the evening, we stopped by Brother Paul's. He's another less-active member that we have had our eyes on his name but he hasn't been home whenever we go over. It was sad to me to talk to him though because I can see in his eyes that he's hurting and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ would help him but he's been through too much that he's not willing to really let the church back into his life. We tried our best to help him understand why bad things happen to good people and many other things that he's concerned about but it was hard for him. He's been gone for so long that he's forgotten what it feels like to know the truth. We left last night and I just cried. I don't know how to help him. I want to help him so badly but I don't know how. I know that I have to leave that up to Heavenly Father but at the same time, I know that he has agency and if he doesn't want to let the gospel back into his life, no one can force it. I just wish that something amazing could happen where he'll recognize that importance of the gospel in his life.
Well, that's about all for this week. I really realized this week how important it is that each of us really need to have a strong testimony of the gospel because even the smallest things can make us fall away. My heart hurts for all those who have lost their way because of the small things. I just hope that miracles can happen in each of their lives to help them realize that no matter what it is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help them and they never have to feel alone or lost again.
Happy Birthday this week to Sammy on Thursday! Love you Buddy! And happy birthday this last week to Aunt Dayna on Friday! Hope that you both had/have amazing birthdays! Love you both!
Until next week! Love you all and hope that things are going well in good ol' Provo!
Love always, Sister Wheatley