We were able to have our first appointment with Courtney and it went really really well! She is very hesitant, but she wants to learn more and it's seems as though she is going to become a member. She just needs to learn more about why we do things. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was a lot to take in, so she had a bunch of questions on how it all worked. She actually already knew a lot about the word of wisdom, so she was pretty nervous to give up sweet tea. We were excited when we found out that Sweet tea is the only thing that will keep her from living the word of wisdom which is hard to come by in the south. But overall it was a great appointment and we had her friend Sister Schertz over who actually had just about the same questions when she joined the church
Another cool thing that we have started as a district is A Faith As A Power, which is basically a goal that can only be accomplished by drawing on the powers of heaven. This concept has truly changed my life and my mission. I am super excited to do it as a district. We will learn how powerful we can be, especially because as a district we have 12 people (by far the largest in the zone). Our goal as a district is to put 3 solid people on date before the end of the transfer and I know for sure that we can accomplish it! Especially since the two investigators that we have been working with are so solid and it's super helpful that they were referred to us by members. So tomorrow we decided that we are going to put Brooks West on date for baptism this week. We are so excited because he told us that he wants this to be a commitment.
This week I have been diving into the Book of Mormon. It is just the most amazing thing. I have been studying acts of obedience while reading the Book of Mormon. Yesterday I was reading where Alma the younger is giving advice to his sons and the first thing recognized is that he tells all 3 of his sons his experience when he became converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. But every time he explains this experience it is worded differently and different parts are emphasized which got me thinking about Joseph Smith and the first vision. With different people he told he emphasized different points of his experience based on what he knew of that person. This is what we as people do when we are telling stories to different people. I thought it was interesting how many people think that fact disproves the first vision to be a lie. When in reality if he told his story about the first vision the same way using the same words every time then we would know that it wasn't true. I also read a verse when Alma is talking to Coriantum about when he was preaching to the Zoramites:
11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.
12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;
I thought it was interesting that because of Coriantums wickedness he actually prevented people from being able to believe the words of the missionaries or even the prophet. It just reemphasized the point to me that people look at us as missionaries whether we know them or not. And at all times we need to be worthy to wear our tags. Even as members of the church people are always looking and always watching. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be a missionary and I am proud that I am worthy to wear our Saviors name with pride. I pray that when people see me, they can see their Saviors love, and not a disobedient missionary, or someone who is rude, or anything that would draw them away from our Savior. It truly is a privilege and an amazing opportunity for these 18 months to do that. As members of the church. whether you are conscious or not, people are looking to you as an example. Whether good or bad there is someone always watching which again tells us how important it is to always be an example of the believers in word, in thought and in deed. I love y'all so much and I am so grateful for the support and the love each and everyone of you have shown me these past few months on my mission.