I'm glad you had a fun party for Haley. Tell her I'm so happy for her and I know she will love it! I guess this means the ward will still have a sister serving a mission. That's cool. Leslie, me, Haley, and then who I wonder.
Our biggest miracle this week was Jerome. He's probably in his 70s and gave us a call after Bro. Whitehead gave him our number. He grew up Catholic but stopped going years ago. I guess Bro. Whitehead loaned him a book that helped him recognize the truth of the restored gospel, because he told us in our very first conversation that he believes the mormon church is the true church. That statement blew Sister Warner and I away because neither of us have ever taught someone that is so prepared. In fact, he asked us how he could become a member of the church before we even got the chance to invite him. He was very excited to learn that he could be baptized as soon as October 30th. And when we gave him a Book of Mormon, he wrote on the inside cover "From Sister Warner and Sister Mortensen. Baptism: October 30th." It was so precious.
We also had a great lesson with Candi this week. She's a single mom of three boys: Jared (7), Jordan (10), and Zach (14). She's never been to church or really known about God. In our first lesson we just taught her and Jared about God and prayer. When we came back we brought Sister Orr along and made a special effort to invite the boys to participate. Jordan was gone and Zach didn't want to but Jared and his cousin, Devon (15) sat in for our lesson on the restoration. When Sister Orr shared her conversion story and how she felt such peace the first time she walked into the church, the spirit was very powerful. She said she even heard someone whisper "You've finally come home." It was so great to have her come and share her testimony. We just love having members come along because their testimonies add so much and strengthen mine as well. I wasn't sure how much Devon got out of the lesson because he was reluctant to answer our questions, but after the closing prayer, he asked "When are you coming back?" That really impressed me that he wanted to learn more.
It turns out that hearing investigators pray is still my favorite thing as a missionary. Fairoz is a very soft spoken woman from Sudan that has three cute little kids. We gave her a Book of Mormon in arabica couple weeks ago but were having trouble getting a hold of her again. Well, we stopped by last night and she said she had read some of it but didn't understand. We reviewed the restoration and read some of the introduction with her to answer her questions. We also invited her to be baptized and she said she would if she knew the Book of Mormon was true. She also agreed to say the closing prayer. In that prayer she asked God for help to understand the Book of Mormon and thanked him for sending us. It's moments like that that make missionary work worth it.
The same night we taught Fairoz we taught Elizabeth's family. They are also from Sudan and joined the church about 2 years ago. Four of the six kids have been baptized. Nyan just turned 8 and Bishop wanted us to review the lessons with her so we are having a lot of fun having them teach us. We played telephone to depict the apostasy last week and this week we acted out the plan of salvation and the gospel. At the end, Nyan said the closing prayer. It was short and sweet: "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the sisters coming over. Please help me to keep the promises I will make when I am baptized. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." I just love their family. They get it. They have testimonies and they live the gospel. Plus they are a lot of fun.
I hope everyone is doing well.
Sister Bailey Mortensen