This week was probably the best week that I've had since I've been here in Mt. Pleasant! A lot of things went how they were supposed to go and so It's been awesome to finally see things pay off.
So first I'll start with our investigator Mary. She wasn't baptized this past weekend, but it's okay. She could have been baptized this weekend, but we didn't want to rush it at all and we wanted all of the members to know about it before we had it. Also we had to schedule an interview with President Stubbs for her to get baptized and we had it yesterday. She's passed off her interview and so she doesn't have to do anything else except show up on this Saturday at 11! She's totally ready to be baptized. I've seen her change a lot since I've met her, and it's amazing to see it. She hasn't had it easy at all either. She grew up Catholic and I don't think she had a good experience with that ever in her life. She has always told us how she would be in Catholic school and she would see kids being forced to write with their left hands behind their backs and when they were forced to go to confession she could smell alcohol on the priest's breath etc etc... (Good thing I'm not Catholic I'm left handed) So there was that in her life for a long time and then she married a member of our church who was Less Active, and 4 months into their marriage, she found her husband dead. She's had it really rough since then and it's been saddening to see all of that happen to her, but the happiness that I've gotten from seeing her change has been much more powerful. She was in a pretty deep depression before but now I see her smiling often, talking about the funniest things all the time with members in the ward, and even making comments in class at church. She wants to live a better life and she knows this really is the true church because it was the only thing that could have helped her from the deep sadness that she felt. I don't think I've ever seen anyone change like that in my life. It's been the best thing to see it all happen. She really is a sweet and kind lady and I know that she's going to be lifted up by the gospel of Christ. Everything is set for her to be baptized and she actually is having Elder Leavitt baptize her because he was the one that found her and knew her before us. I'm going to do the confirmation on the following Sunday and i'm really excited that all the members are trying to fellowship her and come to her baptism!
The Atonement and Gospel of Christ are real and they help us with our real problems. It's not always sunshine and rainbows being on a mission or being someone that wants to follow Christ, but the power that it can have in our lives is incomparable with anything else in this world. I've seen it change me, change others, and even change the world because it really is here to give us happiness and hope. It's something that can unify any two people together, save anyone from saddness, or help anyone who needs it more than anything. It really is true and I know it because I've seen it work. And I'm thankful that we all have a Savior that loves us enough to make all of these things possible. This week has definitely been a testimony to me that Heavenly Father and Christ's gospel is what gives us all true happiness.
Other than Mary's baptism coming up, everything has been great. One crazy experience Elder Bowen and I had was on Friday. A huge storm came in while we were out working and it just poured and poured for hours and we had a lot of fun being stuck in it haha. We had biked and so we biked around to find somewhere to get dry because there was a lot of lightning. We were so soaked that we had to go home and change too. It rained so hard that my shoes filled up with water while I was biking. The second we got home on our porch LIGHTNING STRUCK RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR APARTMENT and it was the loudest thing I've ever heard in my life.... It was really cool though. But the storm was fun and we messed around in the rain a lot.
My week was amazing and this weekend will be great. I've had a lot of trials and failures with people and I'm so glad that I can finally see someone ultimately change and become baptized so that they can be cleansed from everything bad that has happened in their life so that they can start anew with the companionship of the Spirit and the remembrance that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World.
Hope your week was good!
Love Elder Bills
More from Elder Bowen about their week!
Dear Mi Familia,
This week was sure awesome! Dad would be proud of me for what I did yesterday. So we stopped by this Catholic guys house to get one of his Bibles he said we could have. He invited us in and we talked about the Gospel for a bit. As we left their house and stepped out their front door there was a poisonous snake at the door step. It was striking at us. It almost got Elder Bills. I told the guy that I would kill it but he didn't want me to. He said he would get a shovel to get it. I couldn't wait for him so I crushed its head with my foot. I belive it was a cotton mouth or it could have been a viper. As I stepped on its head it was striking my shoe and got venom all over it. It was a cool experience and was very thrilling. It was a cool journal entry hahaha. Another cool thing that happened was we talked to this guy next to a members house. He had a rebel flag flying from his truck. So I commented on how cool it was. He said he didnt know there was any rebel mormons. I said there is at least one haha. We connected pretty well and he seemed pretty open to talking. That is one thing about missionary work is you dont always have to say something about the gospel to gain peoples trust, for them to hear the restored gospel. There is a reason your are sent to the places you are and placed in certain peoples paths. You just have to be your self and you will find people who are waiting to hear the gospel from you. Something else that happened this week was we got soaked in the rain. This happened after we knocked the coolest house in Charelston. The rain came and then we werent dry any more. We had to find shelter because there was lightening striking all around us as well. Once it calmed down a bit we biked home. Right as we got up the stairs to our apartment lightening struck right out in the parking lot. It was the loudest thing I think my ears have heard. If we had been a minute late up the stairs we probably would have been struck. But it wasnt the Lords will so we were alright. This week was just full of excitement and awesome experiences. This week I have also been tempted a lot. I know that when you are tempted a lot that you are on the right path because Satan doesnt want you to continue down that path because he knows there is something great that is going to happen at the end. I believe that that great thing is our investigators baptism. Her name is Mary Woodbery. She has been through a lot in past few months. But I have seen the Gospel change her with the things she has learned and applied into her life. She was interviewed yesterday and passed. She will be baptized this Saturday. So if y'all want to be a part of some missionary work y'all could pray that she will make it to her baptism and confirmation. And that Satan wont have any power over her. I can promise as a reprentative of Jesus Christ that as you do that throughout this week that the spirit will be with you and you will be able to recognize how much the gospel has blessed y'alls lives. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and I have seen it in my life for how it has changed me. To see that as I have lived the commandments the promised blessing that have been extended have come to pass. I know that if this wasnt Jesus Christ church that the miracles and things that I have seen would never have happened. I know Satan works harder on things that are pure and true. And there wouldnt be as much hatered towards this Church from everyone if it wasnt true. I know that all who live the Gospel in the right way will be blessed more than they can comprehend. I hope everyone has an awesome week and know that I love Y'all!
Love Elder Bowen