Here are the highlights for each day this past week.
Monday (April 23rd): The Preach My Gospel night (two Mondays ago) went very well! All families are very eager to see the last episode. There was such a strong Spirit as parents shared their conversion stories and testimonies. What great examples to their children!
Tuesday: We had another GREAT lesson with the Nevilles. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and had such a great discussion. Sister Neville told us how she could feel her thoughts changing as she reads the Book of Mormon daily. She says she is much more positive, less-judgemental, more uplifted, etc. Brother Neville told us how he thought he knew everything, but we've opened up so many doors that bring so much peace to their lives. He said that when he grows up, he hopes he can be just like us. They told us that nothing would stop them from coming to church this Sunday!
Wednesday: Had our quarterly Zone Conference. President Sorensen, his assistants, Sister Sorensen, and two of the office missionaries and the 25 missionaries in our zone came together from 9am to 4pm for our Zone Conference. We talked about teaching our investigators the importance of prayer, having more faith to find, being strictly obedient, and about many other topics (though the main focus was prayer). It was a great meeting where we could all re-energize our Spiritual "batteries" and refocus our purpose and drive.
That night we had a HUGE thunderstorm - the biggest I think I've ever seen in my life (which, being from California, doesn't say much - but still it was huge!). It was sunny and warm that day and around 7pm-ish we were talking to people in the ghetto (I was on exchanges). One minute it was bright, the next minute (literally the next minute) I looked up and saw huge dark clouds above.
We quickly left to go pick up the biking elders and got them just as the big storm hit. It POURED ridiculously and lightening was flashing every 20 seconds or so with thunder roaring constantly. A few of us got a little wet as we took off our jackets and jumped in some puddles...
Friday: We've been teaching a non-member (Sister Hart) for a while and haven't seen much progress from her. We go over and read from the Book of Mormon with her or reteach and reteach and reteach the Restoration.
This last appointment we had with her, Sister Hart opened up to us about concerns she has for her mother who lives in Colorado. She said that her mother needs some “Christian fellowship” and agreed that missionaries going to her home would be best. We contacted the Kirtland Sites, gave them the information, and the Sisters will now call the missionaries in Colorado and send them to Sister Hart's mother. It's good to know that Sister Hart does recognize the peace in ones life as we embrace the gospel and talk of Jesus Christ and His teachings.
Saturday: Was a nice, busy day. We ate dinner at the Bosnakovic's (where we dug the huge hole you could fit a baby elephant into). The pond looks great and the fish love it! (Don't ask how I know that...).
We had some amazing barbecue and had a lot of fun with them. That's something that I really like about this time of the year in Ohio - everyone barbecues!
This night I also saw my first firefly! They are SO cool!!! Once there are more out, I'm going to catch them and put them in bottles... Maybe I'll mail you one if you ask me nicely! (just kidding)
Sunday: The highlight of my week. The Nevilles were finally able to come to church! They arrived a little bit early so we could give them a brief tour of the building, and as we did so one of the members of the ward toured with us and introduced them to eeeeeveryone! It was so great! That Sunday we had talks about baptism, the Word of Wisdom, and "through small and simple things, great things come to pass." The lessons for the next two hours were on repentance and money management/tithing. They were all taught SO well and the Nevilles loved them all! When the Word of Wisdom was talked about we were a little bit nervous (we hadn't taught them about that commandment yet) but they had no concerns or behaviors that were against it - how amazing! After church we got some texts from them telling us how grateful they are for the Lord sending us to them and how peaceful they felt. They reorganized their day so that the worldly chores would not interfere with their focus on our Savior. They already have such a great understanding of the powerful Spirit that is felt within the church and can see the difference between this one and others. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't simply a church, it's a lifestyle and a family. It's the truth! It's the complete gospel restored to this dispensation through a prophet, similar to many, many times in the Bible! We have another appointment with the Nevilles tomorrow and are looking forward to it.
Monday (yesterday - Memorial Day): Last night we went to our Ward Mission Leader's house and learned what Dough Boys are... Basically you take Pillsbury Dough Boy biscuit dough and mold it around a stick with a cylinder shape on the end. You cook it in a fire and then fill it up with Nutella, pudding, strawberries, honey, whipped cream, etc.
They are SO good!
Today we did some service for a family who is moving to Akron - we moved pretty much everything into a moving truck. It was very tiring (and hot!) but was worth it. They're a great family and we're going to miss them a lot!
That's pretty much my a summary of my week. It was a pretty busy, normal week. Things are starting to pick up (such as the temperature) and we're eating pretty well. I love all the letters I still get even though I'm so terrible at writing people back - so thanks for putting up with me! I love you guys and wish you the best week!
Love, Elder David Dransfield