March 2, 2015- Lots of Lessons to Teach
Hey Family and Friends!!!
Things are pretty cold here in Virginia! It snowed twice this week and we got shut down again for two days but that didn't stop us at all, we walked all over the place.
We've been trying really hard to reach the goal of 100 invitations extended outside of lessons and that means just talking to everyone we see. We have had a lot of really cool experiences and a lot of rejections as well. Some of the people have been pretty funny, like the time we knocked on a door and guy came to the door just wearing boxers. We ended up talking to 93 people, which was pretty close to our goal of 100.
On Tuesday, as we left our apartment it was snowing. By the end of the day we got a call to let us know that on Wednesday the mission would be shut down again and no one would be allowed to use cars or bikes. On Tuesday, we had a lesson with this less active named Jose. We shared the scripture in Matthew 6:33 about how you just need to put God first and then everything else will fall in place. Jose said, "This is exactly what I needed to hear."
We taught Martin and Lani and afterwards ate dinner with them. We talked to them about the Book of Mormon and the importance of it in helping us gain a testimony that this is Christ's church. Martin mentioned that he had searched the Internet to learn more about the Book of Mormon. He said that he was confused because he had found both good and bad information. He started to talk about some of the bad information, but instead of listening I asked him how he knew that Jesus Christ existed. I asked how he knew that He's real because you can read good things about Jesus on the Internet and you can also read bad things that say he doesn't exist. He thought about that for a moment and then he said, “Yes, that's true. I guess I know he exists because of the Bible.” I told him that just like he has a testimony of Jesus because he has read the Bible, that he needs to read the Book of Mormon to develop a testimony of it. I challenged him to read it and find out for himself because he would never find the answers on the Internet but he would gain a testimony of it if he read it.
We are given a hour of lunch every day and so on Wednesday, Elder Bradshaw and I decided to spend our hour in the snow. We built a huge snowman in front of our apartment complex that was 7 feet tall and a couple feet long and a couple wide. We rolled 20 big snowballs in order to make it.
Later in the day, we then headed down to Chesapeake where we taught Chaledonie. He had a change of heart. He said he had been reading in the Bible and had found a scripture that caught his attention. The scripture was about denying the Holy Ghost. He said that he thinks he might have been denying the Holy Ghost by not really listening to us or doing what we have been asking him to do. We retaught him the Restoration lesson and invited him to read the Book of Mormon again.
On Thursday, we woke up and there was snow everywhere, so the entire mission got shut down again. We walked over to Martin and Lani's house again in the snow and we read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon with them.
On Friday, we had district meeting where we gave a member a blessing of health.
On Saturday, while we were knocking on Christopher's apartment door, we saw his neighbor outside smoking. We have seen her before and we've always said hi to her when we've gone by and talked to her a little. But this time she stopped us and asked us if we knew of a book that explained a bunch of different religions. She said that she's an atheist, but she wants her 2 kids to be able to pick a church that they would want to go to when they grow up. When she first said book, I thought, “Yeah, we’ve got a book that'll help you out.” We talked to her for a bit and we ended up giving her a Book of Mormon. I told that the Book of Mormon talks about God and Jesus Christ and has information that can help you know how to raise your children. That perked her interest and she said she'd read it. She told us that she was going to move to Chesapeake in a month and that she'd like us to visit her.
We taught three sweet lessons. We taught Santos, who we've taught before. He hasn't really been progressing, however one of his concerns came out, so now we know what to focus on to help him. We taught a couple named Osman and Carmina about the Restoration. They both committed to reading the Book of Mormon. We were able to teach Martin and Lani again, it was sweet to be able to teach them three times in one week! We kind of jumped around in what we taught them but Lani totally received revelation during the lesson. As we were talking about the priesthood, she came to the realization that not all pastors have authority, which is something she said that she never had thought of before. She had just assumed that if someone was a pastor they had authority from God.
On Sunday we experienced a miracle. Martin and Lani and their three kids came to church for the first time!!! Normally Martin plays soccer on Sundays and Lani goes to support him. Since it had snowed, they wouldn’t be busy with soccer. We were hoping that this would be the opportunity that would motivate them to come to church. Saturday night Lani told us she was going to come but Martin couldn't because he had been called in to work on Sunday. Elder Bradshaw and I prayed that
Martin would be able to come to church with his family. Sunday came around and we went to the parking lot to meet Lani and her three kids to show them where to go. We were shocked to see Martin wearing a white shirt and tie climbing out of the car with his family. Apparently, he went to work but got off work early at 10 a.m. and since church started at noon, he was able to come with his family!!
After church we visited a less active family from Puerto Rico. We discovered that the husband had never gotten baptized even though he had been going to church with his wife and family. And he knows the Book of Mormon is true, he just never got baptized because he and his wife aren't married. We are going to help them get married and then baptize him!
Everyone have a great week!!!
Love Elder Cannon
Elder Bradshaw and I built a snowman