Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dear Family! (8/24)

 What a week! Again we have experienced miracle after miracle in the area and in the VC. I just love being a missionary and helping others come to know their Savior Jesus Christ. The temple is currently closed this week and that means that it is really slow  the VC and so to make better use of our time we have been working on a modified VC schedule this week and so we have only been in every other day and for half the day. Because of this we spent more time in our area and that was really great. We had a few days of full proselyting and it was weird experiencing it again. I have already forgotten how tiring full time was. There were a few days that we came home and just crashed because we were not only spiritually drained like we usually are, but we were physically drained as well. But despite being tired we were still able to have a great week with many miracles. 
   Do you remember a few weeks ago when I talked about the girl that we had met who told us that she had already prayed and received an answer that the church was true? Well the story gets more amazing! Her Name is Sam by the way (I can’t remember whether or not I told you). So we had an appointment with Sam two Fridays ago to teach her the next lesson and when we went to teach her she wasn't there. We brushed it off thinking that she forgot so we called her can left a message. A few more days went by and we didn't hear from her and it had been over a week since we had heard from her. As the days went by we were more and more nervous and I was praying so hard that things were okay with her. In my mind something had happened with the grandparents who are really strong in another faith. Finally Tuesday morning we go a text message from Sam apologizing for not meeting with us and explaining that she had recently broken up with her less-active boyfriend of two years and she was really struggling with it. We didn't really know what to think because it was his mom that introduced her to the church in the first place. She was staying at a friend’s house Tuesday and so we set an appointment for Wednesday morning. As we were walking up to her house on Wednesday for our appointment I was praying because we were walking in blind and we didn't know what she was going through and I just knew that I loved her and I wanted to help. My biggest fear was that this experience was going to cause her to no longer want to continue going to church. I just prayed that we would be able to help her with whatever she was going through because she is a really special girl. We knocked on the door and she let us in and she seemed happy to see us so I considered that as a positive sign. We sat down and started talking and it came out that she had broken up with him because she realized that the chances of him coming back to church and being active were really slim and that isn't a chance she was willing to take. Can you believe that? She said in her own words “The first time I went to church I prayed to know if it was true and I got the answer that it was and right after that I got this feeling telling me that I was going to marry a ‘good mormon husband’. I have kept that in mind throughout this whole experience and I just realized that my boyfriend probably isn't going to be that good mormon husband that I want.” As she was explaining this I was shocked because she was saying that she broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn't going to be active in the church like she wanted. After she explained this we had the most amazing lesson with her. The spirit was so strong confirming to her that Heavenly Father was aware of the pain she was feeling and that she had made the right decision. I feel like I have known Sam my whole life and she expressed that she felt the same way about us. She said that she felt like the three of us clicked instantly and she was grateful that we were here to help her through this. Sam decided to go visit her mom who lives on the South Island to get away for a week or two and get her mind off things. We have been calling her and texting her while she is gone to keep in contact with her. We called her Friday night and we had a really sweet lesson with her over the phone. Yesterday I was thinking about Sam and how great she is and I had a feeling that we needed to text her and give her some scriptures to read so we sent her a message and I didn't give it another thought. A few hours later we got a message from Sam saying “Thank you sisters so much. I was having a really hard time and the scriptures were just what I needed. You sisters are seriously the best!” NEVER ignore a thought to do good even if you are almost certain that it is “just  you”. I almost brushed off the thought to text her because we were busy and had million other things to do. But we decided to stop and take the time and do it again and it turned out to be just what she needed. We have invited Sam to be baptized and she said yes and now she is praying to know what date to do it. I already love her so much and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead of her in her life. She is going to be an amazing member of the church because she has already sacrificed so much for her testimony and she really wants to do all she can to follow Jesus Christ. 
  Two Monday nights ago we were on shift at the VC and it seemed to be a slow night. I was sitting in another part of the VC watching some videos when I heard Sister Clarke talking to someone so I went to join her. A member couple had brought in their nephew who had recently moved in with them and was interested in learning more about the gospel. Throughout the rest of the evening we taught him the Restoration of the Gospel and he really felt the spirit. He expressed that he had made a lot of mistakes but that he was ready to change his life. The spirit was so strong as we bore testimony that the Savior gives everyone chance after chance to change their life. At the end of the lesson we invited him to be baptized on the 30th of August and he said"Wow that is really soon! Can't I pick my own date?" We assured him that he would be ready and we invited him to pray about it. We also told him that we would followup with him in a few weeks to see how he was doing. This week it was time for us to followup with him but because he doesn't have a phone of his own we called his Aunt to see how he was doing. We started the conversation out by asking if she knew whether or not he was reading the Book of Mormon and the aunt said "You haven't heard? He's getting baptized tomorrow! He had his interview with the mission president last night and the baptism is scheduled for tomorrow at 4." We were so excited because this was a week earlier than we had initially invited him to be baptized! It is so amazing to me how the gospel helps people change their lives for the better. This is another baptism for the Visitors' Center and we have three more investigators that we are teaching over the phone that have baptismal dates set. We are having so much success and it's just remarkable. I love serving there! 

  Well that is all I have for this week! I want to finish by saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY again to my wonderful Mother. I love her so much! She is the greatest example to me and I hope that I can grow up to be just like her. I hope she knows how much I love her! She's the best!!!!! 

  I love and miss you all and I hope that you all have a great week! 

Sister Simkins

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