When a missionary comes home and gives their homecoming talk in church it is full of miracles they were able to witness while serving a mission. Sometimes, it is hard to believe some of the things that you hear, because it just seems so darn impossible; however, I am here to testify that miracles happen and this week I was able to witness some mighty miracles!
We always here about that long hard day of tracting, with no success until the last door. Well this week on Tuesday Sister McFarland and I only had one appointment on Tuesday and so the rest of our time was spent knocking on people's doors, trying not to look like two creepy, but cute, strangers sitting on someones doorstep trying to share a message of Jesus Christ in the Bible Belt where everyone already knows Jesus Christ.
It was hot, it was humid, and I was sweating. Doors were closed on us. One person yelled through her door window that she was not interested. Another ran inside and when we rang the doorbell no one answered. There were a few who allowed us to pray with them, but none were interested in the message we had to share. Then, we decided to eat a late lunch at Zaxby's (thanks Dad!) and as we ordered the cashier says, "You know my best friend from high school is a Mormon." Ahhh, how our Spirits pricked and we engaged in a conversation with this guy named Ray. We set up a time when we could meet and answer the questions he had. I am excited to meet with Ray later this week.
After our encounter with Ray, our energy was re boosted and we went to tract some more...with the same results. Then just before we were had to turn in to go to our appointment we decided to try one last neighborhood. Feeling slightly defeated, and frustrated because at the moment we were no where near meeting the goal of new investigators we had made. Nevertheless, we knocked on this one house's door to begin our tracting. A short blond lady opened the door, warmly she invited us into her home to pray for her. We prayed, her husband came down and we talked. Then we made a return appointment with Cheryll and Phil, and we accomplished our goal in that last neighborhood. What a miracle!
Wednesday, well it was rough, but Thursday was another pulpit moment. Our investigator, Kieth, has been smoking for 40 years and been drinking coffee even longer. Last time we saw him he was on the Nicotine Patch trying to quit smoking. That was great, but we knew he needed to be off the patch if he is going to be baptized. Sister McFarlane and I had been fervently praying that Kieth would be able to quit smoking without the patch once we committed him to live the Word of Wisdom. Thursday we pulled into his driveway, after being scolded by our member for not having taught the WOW yet (she was converted in the old flip chart days).
We begin talking with Kieth to find out his Nicotine Patches had been expired the whole time he was wearing them, but he still hadn't had a cigarette in 11 days! Then Kieth goes on to tell us that he's quit drinking coffee as well. We asked him why he had quit all these things without us asking him to, in which he replied, "Well I researched it on lds.org...and if I really wanna give this LDS thing a try, I figured I would do it 100% with no coffee or smoking." It was hard not to let my jaw drop and hit the floor. What an answer to prayers. The Lord is not going to wait on us slow pokes to further his work. Kieth is on tract to be baptized in early October. He still has to find out for himself if this is the church for him, but things are really looking good.
I know that this gospel is true. I have received my own personal testimony of the Book of Mormon and all the commandment. As I am watching the people we teach progress and gain their own testimonies, my testimony is growing as well. Some would say that after smoking for 40 years there would be no way to stop, but I know that our loving Heavenly Father gives no commandment, "lest he shall prepare a way" as it says in 1 Nephi 3:7. I have now memorized this scripture in English and Chinese, so that I can recite it to anyone I may teach, because it is true. God loves His children, so he leads and guides us with commandments that are we can do. I love you all and would love to hear from you!