Good afternoon! Sorry this email is later than usual. We have one computer to share between 4 missionaries. The library is closed on Mondays. So, we let the elders go first this week while we went grocery shopping.
I'm glad to hear Miranda made it safely, and she has kept me updated :) Otherwise I would not be too happy with her. The one person I NEVER hear from is Austin. But, it's ok, because I still love him :) I can't believe Charity is married. I talked to this super cute, really old man on campus the other day (I know I'm over the YSA but I couldn't resist) and I asked him if he was married, hoping to get into the Plan of Salvation, but he responded that he had put work over getting married. He regrets it very much now and wishes that he had a family. My heart went out to him. There is truly no success that can compensate for our failure in the home, whether it's neglecting family or never having a family even though the opportunity was there. when will you be moving into the house? I have to send the updated address to the mission home.
Once again, I feel like it was a pretty uneventful week. We did teach an investigator that the elders from last transfer had been teaching. Her name is Jordan, but we don't know why she's meeting with us. She is studying to be a pastor for the Hope Community church, she claims to be open minded (I would differ) and she hasn't decided what she believes. For example we asked her about baptism, and at first she said, Yes it's essential, but then was like well, noo... Someday I am going to write a book on the top reasons people disagree with the church and back it up with scriptures. It is absolutely ridiculous the way people twist the scriptures to fit what they want to believe! Such as "a man must be born of water and of the spirit" (may not be a direct quote). To be born of water is taken to be a physical birth. When Jordan said that our joint teacher, Nate was like "If that's the case why would he say that, we are all born!" Then she was like, except for the fallen angels. It's not a battle one can win.
We have had some good conversations this week. We talked to an average of 10 people a day this week, and got some potential investigators. Hopefully we can meet up with them this week. One kid that I talked to, his name is Sean, he has studied a lot of religion, but isn't really sure what to believe. His aunt was a catholic nun and just passed away this week, so he is headed to her funeral, but agreed to meet up when he gets back to talk about God's plan for us after this life. Sister Stephenson talked to a kid who told her twice that he wasn't interested, but she was persistent and after walking like 6-8 blocks with him he said something about how he probably should put the effort in to find out more. So, we are meeting with him this week. I spent 20 minutes talking to this kid, Matt. He is non-denominational and feels like denominations cause division. At the end he asked what my first name is (many people do) and he wrote it down and said he was gonna pray for me. It was funny. then we were out walking one day and I heard someone say "Oh hey Adrianna!" Yep, it was Matt. Him and a Catholic were standing near a table where a woman was doing Tarot cards and they were talking to people trying to help them understand that it was evil. You have to admire their dedication. So, we ended up talking to Stephen, the Catholic kid for quite some time and he invited us to a Hog Roast and wanted to give us the Catacism in exchange for a Gospel Principles book. He already has a Book of Mormon. So we went, and it was a Catholic outreach thing, and the looks on people's faces as we walked in were priceless! He was super nice.
We met a kid named Nick as well. We were sitting on a bench after talking to people, just getting a drink of water and he walked up to us and started to talk to us about some religion called Hera Christna? Something like that. He offered us a couple books, but asked for a donation. We declined. They were traveling monks. But what was interesting is that he had read part of the Book of Mormon and believes its the word of God, but he also believes that their books are more important than the Bible and Book of Mormon. Apparently the whole world practiced this religion 5000 years ago, and it's what Christ taught. Anyway, the elders traded a Book of Mormon for one of their books.
Yesterday was President's fireside, it was AWESOME. The 3rd speaker really was quite incredible. His name was Richard Madsen. He was in jail waiting for a prison sentence when his sister called the mission and had missionaries sent to the jail to teach him. The elders gave him a Book of Mormon and he read it that night, the next day, and the next night and finished it. He then decided to read it again slower and finished it in 4 days. He knew it was true, it was the change he had wanted all his life. His lawyer told him he was facing a sentence of 32 years in prison and there was nothing anyone could do about it. He would have been 74 when he got out. He had tried praying for help but the answer he always received was "Why would I?" The elders taught him that that was the devil and he would keep talking as long as he was willing to keep listening. So, he learned how to pray and receive answers. The day he was to receive his sentence he prayed that he would receive the amount of time necessary to pay for the crime and to be made ready to be humble and be baptized (the elders had challenged him to baptism). He received only 10 years in prison. On his way he prayed that he could be around LDS people. His prayer was answered and they supplied him with literature to read. He read Jesus the Christ once a year, the Book of Mormon at least once a year, the Old and New Testament once a year, he also read the Miracle of Forgiveness and a church history book. When he got out (just over 2 months ago) it was only a couple days after President Clements had gotten here. The elders called up President and said, "we need you to ask the 1st presidency for permission to baptize this man." He was hesitant but the next morning President knew he needed to do so. The approval came quickly and he was baptized 2 months ago. It was an incredible story as he explained the changes that had taken place. It's amazing how much the gospel will do for you.
My current district leader has been a member for just about 2 years? He also came from a very tough background growing up in Cleveland. But, the gospel was brought into his life and he is now here serving a mission for the Lord. It is absolutely incredible the transformation for good that takes place when people accept the gospel! No one is too far gone to accept the gospel!
Well, I guess more happened than I thought :) haha. Oh yeah, we were biking home the other day (we only live 5 blocks from the institute) and I was waiting for traffic to pass before I crossed the street and when I went to push off my shoe came off, but I didn't have time to hesitate, so I had to cross, park my bike and then wait for traffic to pass again. I just kept praying that no one would run over my shoe. It was rather embarrassing but quite funny. No one ran over it and I got it safely :)
Anyway! I think this mostly concludes my week. Sorry if this is too long. I hope you are all healthy, safe and well! I love you and I hope you have an awesome week!
Love Sister Randall