So this week has been so amazing! I don't even know where to begin. So last week Sister Gunnell and I started to kinda panic because we didn't really have an progressing investigators and we were struggling in our finding efforts. Due to the baptisms that we have had recently we have spend a lot of time preparing those individuals. I think its safe to say that most of our effort went to helping them and so we really haven't been finding new people to teach. When we did weekly planning last week we decided that we really needed to focus on finding new investigators now that we had baptized the ones we have been focusing on. We also took this matter to the Lord and told Him that we wished to find those that are prepared to hear the gospel. Now this is where it starts getting really good...
At the baptism that I told you about last week we had a recent convert in the ward bring some of her family. The family loved the baptism and the Elders started to teach them at the recent converts house. Then we found out that they live in our area so they handed them off to us and now four of them are getting baptized!!! The mom is a less-active who is recommitted to coming to church and then she has four children who want to be baptized. It is so cool. We had an interesting experience with them too this week because we went to have a lesson with them and the mom walked out of the house and told her cousin (the recent convert) that she didn't want lessons anymore because her life was falling apart. Somehow she convinced her cousin to just have one more lesson and so we all sat down and we taught how the atonement isn't just so that we can be forgiven of our sins but that it also gives us strength to make it through our trials. They then explained that they had thought they had bought this house they really wanted and they were so excited but then it all fell apart. The house was in another town and they were all so excited about moving and then it broke their hearts when they found out they had to stay. I know though that if they had moved they wouldn't have been baptized and so I know that Heavenly Father had a hand in that but that's not what they wanted to hear. So I shared with them the experience I had when after my surgery when I couldn't go to college and how devastated I was because I thought my plans were ruined. I told them that I was angry at how things had worked out. Then I explained to them about the prophet lowering the age and that I knew I needed to go right out on a mission and how I realized that God knew everything and that he has a very definite plan for me that I didn't understand at the time. When I was done the mom explained that that was what she was going through. We suggested that she maybe get a blessing of comfort from the elders and she wanted one. While we waited for them to come over we started to sing some hymns and the atmosphere in the house started to change and things started to feel better. I know they could feel it too because they started perk up. The elders came over and they ended up giving the mom and three kids a blessing and everyone was laughing and smiling by the time we left. It was so cool to watch. I am so excited for this family and for the steps they are taking in their lives.
Now another miracle we had this week involved us walking down the road. So Sister Gunnell and I had all of our appointments fall through so we decided to walk to this member's home because she always has non-members there. This was on Halloween night and we hoped that maybe they were having a party or something that we could crash (not a crazy party just some sort of get-together) so we started walking there and then the elders called and said that they were going to pick us up in about ten minutes for dinner. After that I thought to myself that it was useless to go to this house because we wouldn't have time to even talk to anyone. However I had a feeling to just keep on walking there. Funny enough Sister Gunnell thought and felt the same thing but we didn't tell each other. So we were just walking along and there was a group of trick-or-treaters and there was an older girl going around with them. As we were walking by we said hi to the girl and then she said "Are you the mormons? The LDS?" and I said "Yes we are!" but before I could say anything else she said "How do I become a member of your church?" To say we were shocked is an understatement. I could barely think of how to respond. To make a long story short we got her information, went back to teach her, she came to church and loved it, and now she is getting baptized this month. It's the coolest thing ever. Her sister is an active member and she has seen the changes in her sister's life and the happiness that comes from the gospel and she wants that in her own life and that is why she approached us. I know we were led by the spirit because all common sense said to turn around and walk the other way to meet the elders but we both felt to keep walking in the same direction and look what happened. Being a missionary is so cool!
So as you can see a lot of great things have happened this week and the work is really moving forward in the area. I love it here so much and I love my companion. Sister Gunnell is great and we are always talking or laughing about something. I love being a missionary and I love being here in the amazing land of New Zealand. I cannot say it enough. I am so blessed!
I love and miss all of you and I hope that you have a great week!