Hey lovely people!
So this week was so good! Madison is a pretty big area, so we were able to drive through more of it, and it is so pretty here. It's the perfect time to be here with fall coming around the corner, the trees are gorgeous and the weather is perfect for biking!
Sister Lauritsen and I decided to bike most of Tuesday where the weather was perfect, and she hadn't broken in her new bike yet. 19 miles folks. We're convinced we'd be able to endure the iron man while preaching the good word. And during that bike ride we were able to meet a lady named Cat! She's a bus driver who works with one of the members here in Madison ( Hoyt Smith) that man is a gem by the way, I'll tell you more about him later. But cat has actually been given the first lesson and a Book of Mormon before and said it seemed a bit too crazy. So we told her that if she truly read from it and prayed about it she would receive an answer. She said she would and that we were welcome back anytime! It was so neat! So were excited to go back and visit her.
Then this last Wednesday we had a zone training and I was able to go and see my mama! (Sister Gerard) I'm so grateful she's in my zone! It's cool to be in a new zone and see all of the different missionaries in the this zone Training they really stressed the importance of teaching the sacrament. So we role played a lot and my testimony of the sacrament has truly strengthened SO much! We went to visit a recent convert named sister Chapman the other night and she was talking about how much she's been emphasizing the sacrament to her children, and she said, " we all need hat bread and water if I miss it, I'm wishing we had a sacrament on a Monday. "Haha she's awesome, and it was awesome to hear her say just how much we really do need to take that time to recommit for a new week. To promise to not only remember our savior, but "we DO always remember him." The key word is do, e need to do the things that will help us remember him. Our we praying night and day? Our we truly reading the scriptures Looking for direction? Our we trying to be like our savior? If not, we truly do all need that bread and water, and luckily the atonement is for everyone, haha cause we all know we need it.
Then on Thursday, let's just say this was a super eventful day. We had talked with the assistants the night before, and elder gosar and I thought it would be way fun if we challenged each other to invite someone to be baptized the next day! I said of course, and so sister Lauritsen and I truly went looking for an opportunity to invite someone. We found quite a few potentials that were pretty interested, but neither of us felt prompted to invite, and then we had to run home to grab some more Books of Mormon, and I changed my purse so I could fit more of them. Well the phone was on top and we were driving out and we saw an older lady walking with a ton of groceries, so we run out of the car and all of the stuff in my bag falls out and I hurriedly grab everything, and go and help this lady. Well we talked to her about the gospel a little bit and she said she couldn't see why she couldn't listen to such kind people and told us to come to her house sometime, and then we happily get in the car. We drive to a street and I see this man walking, and I promise I don't try to racially profile, but this guy had tattoos everywhere and long dreads and I just knew he was the one I needed to talk to , and invite to be baptized, shared with him the restoration, have him a Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized if he came to know these things were true as he prayed and asked God. He said yes! We have a return appointment with him this week! It was so awesome. We went to the car to text our ward mission leader just to give him a miracle to hear about, and can't find the phone anywhere. We decided to drive home and look all over, finally we think to pray and remember the incident where everything fell out of my purse, run over to where we had parked the car and see the shattered phone everywhere. I seriously felt so bad! Plus we had no we of communicating with anyone, so we drove to the ward mission leaders house, brother fossum and he luckily has a random spare cell phone we could use! We call the mission office and they basically just laugh and say, " you're the fifth one to break their phone this week. " oh man, haha well we were clear over in Rutledge at this point and I feel the prompting to go and see a less active, and this guy is awesome! He was in need of some spiritually uplifting and was in need of a prayer for his injured leg! Heavenly father definitely knew we needed the phone to break to get us over there.
Then on Friday we were tracting after planning and we go to a potentials home, and find out he's moved but the new family that was living there was super interested in hearing more about the gospel! And then there was another potential on that same street who didn't live there anymore, but a man named Johny did! And Johny is just awesome. Super sweet guy about in his thirties, trying to find a job. He listened as we gave him the first lesson and said that he can see why we need a prophet today, we read Moroni 10:3-5 with him and really emphasized the power of praying to know, and that God will always answer a sincere heart. He said he would read from the book of Mormon and even come to church! It just seemed way to good to be true, with how hard it is to get investigators to church. Well on Sunday the services had started and we couldn't see Johny, well ten minutes later Johny walks in and sits right next to president Monson (our branch president, pretty cool name right) and stays for two hours and really enjoyed it!! The coolest thing about the meeting too was they emphasized pray and Moroni 10:3-5! It was so neat and definitely Heavenly Fathers hand in that. He even told us to definitely come back and see him this week!! Oh man, It was awesome. It's such a blessing to see the Lords work and be an instrument for his work. Y'all can be just as cool, and invite a friend to church this Sunday too! So I challenge y'all to do that.
I just wanted to share something I just realized during my personal study the other day on the Christ like attribute Charity. I've talked about Valerie with y'all. she was an investigator from my last area Dacula. She is my favorite!! But I realized, when I first met her, I had a hard time really loving her Like I do now. She was a total stranger. But as I truly prayed, studied and served her, I began to feel like I had known her my whole life and I truly just wanted her to enjoy all the blessings of the gospel so much that I prayed so much for her and her family through out the day. It was just amazing to see how Heavenly Father truly blesses us to be like his son, and develop his attributes as we pray and work for them!
& I have my new scripture to ponderize this week,
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
I love this scripture, it's so true. Until we truly help others understand the blessings of the gospel and help them live it and come closer to our Heavenly Father, that's when we truly see the blessings from it in our own lives. I've seen this so much on my mission, and I'm so grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with and that I do know that his church is restored,and how blessed I am to live at a time where I can live it, and share it!
I love y'all so much! And I know Heavenly Father does too.
I challenge y'all to find a new scripture to ponderize this week. And to invite someone to church. Whether it's a non member, or someone you haven't seen for a while, or its yourself. I promise the blessings of partaking of the sacrament will strengthen you to be your best self through out the week, and help you recognize all of the many blessings Heavenly Father has given you!
Love : sister Cunningham