Monday, October 14, 2013

Elder Ballard!

      Its getting colder and I suddenly wish I was serving in Hawaii...just kidding I love Ohio so much, even though I know its going to be a killer winter...hope I survive:/
       This week has been AWESOME. The three main miracles this week were 1) finally was able to meet with our investigator Kim. We had an awesome lesson on the Restoration with her and we were inviting her to read and pray about it when she says "well I already know its true" YAY! She really is awesome. We invited her to be baptized but she said she wants to study more before she makes that big decision but she really is so close and we can tell she really has a lot of desire to study it out for herself and to really know! 2) That same night just before we saw Kim we stopped by a less active who hasn't been to church since he was a teenager. The first time we stopped by his house he gave us his number but was very non-committal. The info we have on him in our area book says he has not been interested in the past and to stop by maybe every 6 months. But as soon as we walked up to his house he was just right inside the door and said "is that the sisters? Come on in!" We got to know him and his 19 yr old daughter a little more (he also has a 17 yr old son living with him) and we had an awesome conversation with them, they were very open with us and he was telling us how just recently, his mom (active member), had been pushing him to try going back to church. So when we invited him to take the missionary lessons and come back he was like "you know I think it is time. I have been kinda lost and I am not really sure if God can help me but I want to try!" He is incredible and neither of his kids have been baptized sHHHH I o there is real potential. We are so excited to go back a teach them soon. 3) Don (AAAAAHHH I am so excited for him) has really been our most unlikely investigator. He started reading the Book of Mormon and he loves when we come talk with him but he gets off on so many random topics and it is so hard to teach him. He has been really busy lately and he wont ever let us set an appointment with him. But we felt strongly we should stop by the other day and MIRACLE! He was home and his heart was so soft. He told us he has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon off and on and is really trying to get an answer he said "I was in tears one night, asking God, could this really be the one true faith?" He is getting frustrated because he feels he isn't getting an answer. So we took some time to help him understand the different ways God answers us and encouraged him to keep trying! We promised him if he read a chapter in the BoM everyday and prayed everyday and continued to meet with us he would get an answer. You really could just see it in his eyes, That hunger and desire to know for himself. It was so incredible and I am so excited for him because I know he will get an answer! Pray for him everybody! He is so awesome and he needs to be a member of this church!
      We had stake Conference this week and a Historic Kirtland 10 yr commemoration extravaganza!!!!! It was so cool! Elder Ballard was here with his wife and some of his family, as well as two area 70's. It was such a neat weekend. On Friday night we had a VIP event at the VC (we weren't really invited at first, they were just going to slip us in every few guests so we could meet Elder Ballard but by the end they just let us join them and hang out and eat the food and everything! So I got to meet him! Shook his hand and everything, talked about the weather for a little was sweeeeeet:) Really though, meeting an apostle of the Lord. I was so excited!!!! Then after that reception there was a commemoration fireside for Kirtland at the Stake Center. So good. Saturday morning we were able to go to the 5k walk around the Temple and the village and pancake breakfast. There were so many people there it was awesome!!!! Then that night Adult session was so good, and yesterday the general session was so inspiring! It was just what I needed and so powerful. Its hard sometimes to remember how special Kirtland really is. I think sometimes us missionaries and the members who live here really take it for granted. Elder Ballard said "You want to know what I would do if I lived here? I would frequently walk these paths with my family, I would soak in the testimonies of the sisters and seniors who serve here and I would read over and over again the stories of those early saints who walked here. I would invite everyone I know to come feel the spirit that is here." It was so powerful he then said how will we feel when we get up to heaven and see a friend or acquaintance and hear them say "how could you never have told me about Kirtland, why did you never invite me to feel the spirit there?" It really is the neatest place in the world. Its hallowed ground and I am so so so blessed to serve here!

    Well I certainly hope you all are having a wonderful week!

~ Challenge for the week...ready: Learn about one of the saints who lived in Kirtland. John Tanner, Joe Hills Johnson. Newel K Whitney and family...etc. I promise learning about these people will enrich your own life and help strengthen your testimony of this Gospel!  
     I love you all dearly!
         Sis. Hannah Newren

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