Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gators, Less Actives and Miracles!

Hello dear family and friends! :)  I hope that everyone enjoyed their Father's Day celebrations. :)

SO!  This past week!  Let's see.... it was crazy. :)  Crazy awesome, as always. :)

So, at dinner, we ate with the Braden’s, and the son is a recovering alcoholic.  He asked us how we thought faith correlated with addiction recovery.  So we talked about how faith is acting upon our beliefs rather than just stating what we think could happen or could be.  There was a really great spirit as we talked about faith with him.

And then we went to the Snively's home to do a FHE with them.  They're a family that is just getting active again and are wanting to start up FHE, so we're helping them start it.  We talked about the Holy Ghost, and had activities where we were having them draw something and listen to a story, and talked about if we're involved too much in other things, it's harder to focus on the Spirit, who is whispering promptings to us.  It was really neat.

Tuesday was good.  We went to read with the Hoagland’s, like we usually do.  It was funny.  When we were finished and getting ready to go, Kyle (the oldest) comes down and is like "Oh, hey Sisters!" And plops down and gets ready to read with us!  We were like "Uh.... actually.... we're just getting ready to leave..."  Kyle's eyes got HUGE and he turned to his mom and was all like "Mom!  Why didn't you tell me they were here?!"  It was pretty funny.  But it's nice to see that we do have an impact on their family.  Kyle is a good kid.

Later on that day, we had a lesson with a less-active family, the Thomas's.  We taught the Plan of Salvation, and it went really well.  The Spirit was strong in the room, and Guage understood it all!  It was good. :)

Wednesday, we had a lesson with Chandler.  He's not very interested in learning right now.  We're trying to figure out how to help him.  We'll figure it out.  Eventually.  After that, we went to Joy and Shawnies, and we told them about a house down the street from us that's for sale, and they were already looking at the same house!  It was sort of funny. :)  We didn't get to stay for long though, because they were getting ready for a party, and we had to leave for dinner.  Then that evening, we did a missionary youth activity for the Priests and Laurels, which was great.  We talked a lot about Christ-like attributes, and how important it is to develop them to have a successful mission and life.  It was really great, and Bishop Ashcraft added his incredible testimony to how we need to have the spirit in our life and not just "do the dance steps".  It went really well.

We saw the Hoagland’s again Thursday (Kyle was included this time).  Poor Keenan was sick though.  He was super polite to us while we were there, and even introduced us to his teddy bear. :)  The kid has a soft spot, and really is just a kid a heart. :)  It was pretty cute. :)

Friday was mega huge.  We got a new investigator!!!  Whoohoo!!!!!  So, we went to dinner with this family named the Petzinger’s, and their daughter Hannah has a friend named AJ who she's been working with.  So AJ agreed to meet with us and eat dinner with us!  So we had dinner, and then the four of us went out to the patio and had the first lesson.  And man, Hannah prepped her well!  She already knew a good chunk of the first lesson!  There was a sweet spirit as you could see the Spirit work inside AJ.  She just BEAMS with light!  And at the end, we asked her if she would be baptized, and she said YES!!!!!  EEEEEEE!!!!!!!  Isn't that exciting?!?!  We'll get to see her on Tuesday, and we're super stoked to be teaching her the lessons.  She is SO prepared to have the Gospel in her life.  Super sweet girl. :)  After that, we went and visited the Fries.  Brother Fries was at work, so we just had a short lesson about baptism and confirmation, and then spent the rest of the night getting to know Sister Fries.  She's so sweet!  I love Sister Fries!  It was a great opportunity to really connect with her on a personal level.  But even better than that is that David actually understood the lesson we have him!  Usually he seems to not really comprehend what we're saying (it took us two lessons to get him to realize that the Holy Ghost isn't scary and that he's our friend), but he got it this time!  It was really neat. :)

Saturday was a really good day as well.  We went and met a potential investigator, Linda LaBeaf, and it turns out that her daughter had just came home from a mission about a month ago!  It was really fun to talk with them, and they want us to stop by again. :)  And then we went and did a district service weeding out someone’s garden.  It was pretty fun. :)  And then they fed us BBQ.  They had pretty good chicken.  (or at least, I did.) 

(Sister Longhurst, myself, Elder Astle, Sister Fa'amama, and Sister Ma'ukoloa.  Missing is Elders Hulet and Larson, who were chopping down overgrown trees. Of course I'm the one cuddling with the dog/wolf hybrid.  You wouldn't expect anything less from me, would you?)

​(Leaving service after eating.  Sister Ma'ukoloa, me, Elders Hulet, Astle, Larson, Sisters Longhurst, Fa'amama.)

So, Sunday.  We're out going around, and I can't ignore this prompting that we needed to go check on a less-active lady, Sarah Adams, whom we haven't been able to get a hold of.  So, we pull into a parking lot, and I pray, and at the very end, I knew that I needed to pray for a miracle for her, so I did.  So, we went and knocked on her door, and she answered!  The first time in almost 11 weeks she opened the door!  She was feeling sick last night, so she didn't let us in, but she said that we could try to stop by later!  Complete and total miracle on our end!  And hopefully she gained something out of our brief visit as well. After that, we went and contacted Roxanne Lowe, another person we have felt the need to contact.  She was excommunicated, but has expressed interest in coming back to church.  She's so sweet, and her kids are adorable!  The oldest, Jamie, is 8, and also wants to be baptized!  So it's super exciting.

So, long story short, the work is picking up and we're seeing progression.  I really do love this area and everyone we work with.  And we really are seeing miracles before our eyes.  It's amazing.

Well, I love you, and I hope that y'all have a good day!
Sister Empey

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