Another week has come and gone in West Allis. And can you believe it is August?? Me neither.
Tuesday we had a really good district meeting. My district leader asked me to give a training on a conference talk that I had been studying lately. So I chose to talk about The Tender Mercies of the Lord by Elder Bednar. It's something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I feel like the Lord blesses us with His tender mercies so much, that sometimes it can be hard to recognize them. But when we are making a conscious effort to recognize the Lord's hand in our lives, we find it there more abundantly then we ever even thought. I think especially as a missionary, there are so many miracles in my life everyday that sometimes it just becomes routine to have the Lord sending us so many blessings. If that makes sense... haha. We really need to take a step back and see how the Lord is blessing us and then thank Him for it. If we recognize those blessings and thank Him for them, I feel like He is probably more likely to keep blessing us. Also, the Lord's tender mercies are also how he can answer our prayers. So that is pretty cool too. This was totally one of those things that even though I was teaching our district about this, it was me that really needed to learn about it and study it. So I was grateful for that.
That evening we had dinner with one of my very favorite families in the ward. They were actually inactive for about 20 years and just recently started coming back to church at the beginning of this year. It was seriously a miracle! I have felt so blessed to be a part of their journey. And they told us at dinner that he now has a calling in the Elders quorum presidency in our ward. He is so humble about it, it is amazing. It is so cool to see them so involved in the ward. The gospel truly has blessed their lives so much!
Then on Tuesday evening, it was time for our exchange for the transfer. Guess who got to go on another exchange with Sis. Tanner!! I was beyond excited. But this time, we got to go down to Kenosha together. Wednesday morning we woke up and got right to work in Kenosha. There is so much going on down there! We were able to visit many less active families and also some recent converts. (It was amazing how much work we could get done when we had a car... haha) We were also able to have a lesson with their investigator that just got baptized this past Saturday. We taught her about enduring to the end. It is so important that people understand that before they get baptized. Because they get baptized and that's great everything, but then you have to keep going! And that is the part that we are all at in life right now-- the keep going part. haha So it was really cool to be able to bear my testimony to her about that. It was also really fun to be able to just catch up with Sister Tanner. It was cool to see how far we had both come the last time we went on an exchange together, but it really amazed me to see how we had both learned and grown so much just since the last exchange that we went on. She is a great example to me.
I got back to West Allis that evening just in time to be able to make it to our Relief Society's ice cream social! That was way fun. I just love all of the women in this ward so much! Our investigator came to the activity and really got to know a lot of the sisters in the ward which was AWESOME. They did this fun game where you bring 3 items in a paper bag that describe who you are and then everyone else has to guess who it is. With my limited supplies as a missionary, I put in a mini basketball, a candy bar, and a picture of Jesus. The whole ward could guess who I was right off the bat. Haha so that was really fun.
Thursday was an intense weekly planning session because we had a lot to plan for with our investigator's baptism coming up this week. But with the time that we did have, we spent it contacting people at the state fair! The state fair is HUGE in Wisconsin and is about a half a mile from our house. I love it because it brings out all of the normal people onto the streets... haha. So we have been able to teach a lot of people about the gospel as we walk and talk! We were able to meet this really cool lady that was working at a parking lot. We told her a little bit about our church and how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. She really opened up to us about how her dad is an alcoholic and it is tearing their family apart. She asked how on earth Jesus Christ could help her family in this situation. I whipped out a Book of Mormon and read to her these verses from Alma chapter 7:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.In a nutshell, I explained to her that Christ has experienced all of the hard things that we have experienced and he gets it. And like it said in the end of verse 12, he did this so that he could know HOW to help us. He knows how because he has felt it. Because Jesus Christ overcame these things, with His help we can overcome them too. She was so touched that she asked if she could have a copy of the book I was reading from. Of course I told her yes! :) We then prayed with her and prayed for a special blessing on her father and her family. It moved her to tears. I know that the Spirit was there and I was glad that it was helping us teach.
Friday we had a really good lesson with our investigator in the home of a family in our ward. They are an AWESOME family. Their son is leaving to go on his mission to Uruguay at the end of this month and he is going to be great. So we invited her over to their home for the lesson. It was cool because the mom and two of the kids stayed for the lesson and they were all able to bear their testimonies of the message that we shared. It was awesome and it really helped to make the lesson more powerful. So our investigator is getting ready for her baptism on Saturday! A lot can happen in a week and we have a lot that we need to do to make sure that she is 100% ready and to make sure that everything is ready for that day. So if you could plllllease keep her in your prayers. And also Sis. Silva and I. We can use all the help that we can get too. :)
Later that night, a huge rainstorm rolled in while Sis. Silva and I were out and about. We had forgotten our umbrellas and our apartment was 2 buses away to run back to grab them. We felt that we really needed to contact one of our investigators anyway. So we endured through the crazy rain waiting at bus stops and such. We were praying so hard that Heavenly Father would bless us with a miracle for our diligence. However, the investigator that we went to see wasn't home. And we didn't meet anybody else either. I was really sad about that and I had so much faith that Heavenly Father was going to bless us. All I can think of is that those blessings are going to come later. :) So we got home SOPPING wet that night haha.
Saturday was a miracle day in the West Allis ward! There was one primary baptism and 4 investigator baptisms! One of the sets of elders in our ward has been working really hard and they were able to help 4 of their investigator enter the waters of baptism that day. It was amazing to be able to witness that. The missionary spirit sure is alive in this ward! I am so excited to watch Our investigator be baptized this Saturday! I love you all so much! Please keep us in your prayers!
Love, Sister King