Hi my family and my friends!!!
Thank you all for the letters, support, and prayers. I can feel your love all the way from Utah and it means so much! I have a pretty awesome family :)
Well I am going to get right into because there is so much to say yet so much to do. But let's just start with: I LOVE THIS WORK!!!!! THE LORD'S HAND IS TRULY IN THIS WORK!!!!
So many people told me before my mission that Heavenly Father has a special place in His heart for the people in Toronto, Canada. I saw that this week :) The Lord is preparing this people, and I want to tell you about a couple of them.
First off, Dave :) I am not using his real name for safety purposes, but "Dave" is AMAZING!!! He is from Iran, with limited English, and a heart of gold. He was a referral from some other Sisters in our area. They met him at a bus stop and started talking to him about the church. We set up a time to meet with him. The first time we met, we weren't really able to talk about the gospel haha because he is a major talker, but we got to know him nonetheless and we build a good friendship. When we told him about our prophets his eyes grew so big and he said "I need to know more about your church!" So we told him about church, an older couple in our ward gave him a ride, and he came to church this Sunday! In gospel principles class, I said the closing prayer and he told me "Every time Bodine prays, I have such a good feeling in my heart. I really like that feeling. I always want to have that feeling." BOOYAH!!!!! Best thing a missionary could POSSIBLY hear! He is wonderful :) Haha he calls us Bodine and Mendenhall - no "Sister" attached. We love it.
Last night the missionaries in our area put together a Resoration Fireside where we sang and shared the Resoration of the gospel. Dave came with the Kellys (the older couple) again and he LOVED it.
Next, Mary :) Mary is senior in high school. When we first met with her she didn't seem interested at all. She is so sweet, but very quiet and timid. We still set up an appointment for Saturday. Not only did the lesson really end up happening, but Mary's little sister Lucy and her cousing Filder came in and participated as well. We we got to the part of the restoration about that fact that we have a prophet on earth today, their eyes went so big and Mary and Lucy said "It's gotta be true! I always wondered why God wouldn't talk to us today. I believe it." BOOYAH!!!!! Greatest thing ever :) We invited them to church. Mary was the only one who could come, and we were a little nervous about how she felt about it. But after church we asked her what she felt, and she said that she could come next week and Lucy was hoping to come too. She wants to come back!! They are so excited for us to teach them God's plan for His children. They asked us so many questions that went along with it, and we told them to prepare for the next time we come. Haha this work is so much fun when you are able to bring a smile and a light to someone's face.
This week I received a witness that Thomas S Monson IS a prophet of God. And all it took was for someone to deny it right before my eyes. We met with a sister named Monica. Funniest lady in the world. The lesson was going great, she loved everything, and everything made sense to her. And then we showed her a picture of President Monson because she wanted to know what he looked like. She saw him wearing a suit, and freaked out. "That is NOT a prophet of God. You're telling me he lives in America, a country that is killing itself and falling to pieces, people are dying, and he is a prophet of God?! You get that man out of his mansion, out of his pretty suit, and into the world where babies are dying and people are being killed, and then I will consider him being a prophet of God...." This went on and on. No matter what we said, she would not listen. There was no changing her mind. During this fiesta, the spirit was so strong. I could feel it pulsing through my whole body. I wanted to just jump into the air and yell "HE IS A PROPHET OF GOD!!!!" That's pretty much what I did haha. She wasn't going to listen, so finally, Sister Mendenhall and i got on our coats, shook her hand, and I bore my testimony, looking her straight in the eye and told her what I felt. I KNOW that President Monson is the prophet of God on the earth today. I KNOW IT. I KNOW IT. I KNOW IT. If you will open your heart and just LISTEN to him, I promise you that you will know it too. We left after that. But Monica hasn't seen the last of us we can tell you that haha. This work is so miraculous.
I better go, but I want to you know how happy I really am. I love these people with all my heart. Every family, every home brings a new story. We see so much poverty every single day in its many forms. Satan is doing his best to bring all of God's children down. Yet amidst this darkness, Christ is shining His light. I love getting to meet these people and show them a love that they have either never felt, or not had in a long time. That is what Christ's Atonement does. It shines a light and brings a glimpse of happiness that these people so badly want/need. When we as missionaries are able to bring that light, there is no greater sight. I love this gospel. I have a testimony of this work. I am learning and growing every day.
Continue to pray. Continue to immerse yourself in the scriptures. Ask questions and search for the answer. Believe in yourself and things God KNOWS that you can do. Smile through every trial and every blessing. And by golly don't forget to keep your standards :) I love you all. I am so happy I get to share pieces of this work with you every week. Praying for you all!