I am not sure how I'll be able to adequately write about this week since it was so crazy. Like God just decided to put in our paths two of the most prepared individuals on the face of the planet. And I learned some really critical lessons from Heavenly Father I will try to tie in.
So it started on Tuesday, we were just knocking doors, you know how we do from 5 to 7 pm. And it was a little bit of a rough 5 to 7, not very nice people, and it had just gotten dark so people think it's midnight. Then we come to this one door on Tracy Avenue of a lady named Jolene. She opens the door and is on the phone then sees who we are and says, "I'm going to have to call you right back" and hangs up. The next thing she says to us is "I believe God sent you here for a reason." Thrown off guard we ask her what is going on and she says that two days ago her good friend Jim, who is a member, told her she really needs to meet with missionaries and she had been trying to find us. She is a single mom of 4 kids, and one of them, an 8 year old boy, has a very rare and life-threatening bone disease in his right leg. This summer he has had a dozen operations that nearly took his life. She has been praying more than ever in her life, and having answers to her prayers. She told us that she has been having dreams, she called them "visions" and asked if we could explain to her what the celestial kingdom meant. By this point we are totally baffled. She says that she is about to head out but would love to set up an appointment for the next day to talk more. Of course we say yes!!!!
On Wednesday we go over and meet for a lesson. She then explains these dreams she has been having. Keep in mind her family is from the Philippines, she grew up Catholic, but goes to a non-denominational Christian church now, and has never talked with Mormon missionaries before, knows nothing about our teachings. She then explains that in her dream she was in heaven, but it was before we were born. She said that there were tons and tons of people there, but immediately around her was her family that she has on earth and people she knows in this life. She said that God the Father was there and that He was teaching us things, and teaching us that we could choose to come to earth and have experiences and important lessons. She said He loved us and whenever He spoke, we grew in brightness. She said that He was different from us somehow. We asked in what way, and she said that God had a body but we were just "beams of light" but in person form! By this time Elder Sharp and I had chills down our spine and we were in awe. We showed her the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and just read the first few pages with her about our Pre-Earth life and choice to come down. She said yes! She said that God taught us there, but there were things we needed to learn on earth, and even things we needed to learn after our earth life. There were three parts of the plan, she said! By the end all three of us were just smiling and in amazement, and the spirit was so strong. We told her there is more we want to share about these truths and how we believe in this, so we set up another appointment.
We went back Friday. Jolene is so sweet, and humble and open. On Friday we taught her the Restoration and she was all on board. When we described the Great Apostasy she said "that makes so much sense, I knew that this wasn't all God had for us" with her hand on her Bible. "This is what's been missing," she said holding the Book of Mormon we had given her. She told us there should be some way that God brought all the truths back and we taught her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. By the end she said, "I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I believe Joseph Smith is real." We then invited her to be baptized and she said she will really think and pray about it. She is very involved in her church, because she loves to serve and so it is hard for her to stop going there. she agreed to make other arrangements and come with us this coming Sunday, the 16th! Our next appointment is Thursday night.
NOW! You think that is a crazy story it gets BETTER! We met the MOST TOTALLY PREPARED person on Saturday night, again while knocking doors. The cool thing is, just as Jolene was first introduced to the church by her member friend, so was this lady we met. Her name is Yvonne (pronounced "E-von"). We were knocking these apartments that I had been kicked out of twice before ha, ha, but I had never gotten to this last section of it. To start the tracting session, Elder Sharp prayed and said in it, "Heavenly Father, help us to find a golden one tonight." Six doors in we meet Yvonne, and start with a normal door approach, "We're Mormon missionaries..." she looks and us and said, "Oh! I went to church last week. I'm sort of investigator the Mormon church right now" !!! Ha, ha turns out this lady was invited by her co-worker to another ward last Sunday November 2nd and she loved it. This same friend gave her a Book of Mormon and an LDS edition of the Bible. she let us in and we started talking about things. She is a computer scientist and loves science and religion (Elder Sharp and I love to talk about that kind of stuff) and we start to explain parts of the Plan of Salvation. She kept saying "Yes! Right! Nice!" and was agreeing with everything we said. She told us she has been looking for a church and really wants to serve. She has been recently very interested in genealogy and wants to have a stronger relationship with God and a new start, a "clean slate" she said. We told her about baptism and her eyes lit up! We said we're having a baptismal service on November 29th and she responded, "Oh! So I don't have to wait like a whole year?" (she had been baptized Catholic at age 13 after a year of catechisms) we said no! You can be baptized as soon as you want, our job is to teach you a few lessons and help you have faith and repent and so we set a DATE for NOVEMBER 22nd! she was so excited about that. I have never met anyone so humble and willing and ready to go!
She came to church the next day! She wore a dress that she had bought Saturday, before we met her, since she really wanted to come to church again. She also said when we met her that she wanted to find a more local congregation than where she went with her friend. So she came to our ward and LOVED it! All three hours she was smiling and taking notes, participating in class, etc. Literally a golden investigator fell into our laps. We have our next lesson set up for tonight. Her neighbors the Scarrs in the same apartment building are members and they're coming to our lesson tonight and our Bishop too. We'll teach the Restoration and she already believes it ALL!!! Hallelujah!
Out of time, but pray for them, it's going to be a great next few weeks in Silverdale!