Sister Mendenhall and I get to stay in the London First area for another transfer :) A true blessing from Heavenly Father that we will get to see our dear friends continue to progress towards a NEW LIFE for another six weeks!!! Miracles are going to happen... just you wait :)
So this week was a great one as always. I love this work. I love this ward. I love laughing after a door is slammed in our faces. I love humming a song with Sister Mendenhall when we overhear a swearing fight between two people. I still love running people down. This week Sister Mendenhall and I have loved working on BEARING OUR TESTIMONIES in every opportunity, holding nothing back. If they aren't interested, that's fine - but they WILL know what Sister Mendenhall and I KNOW to be true. I know that later in their life, something will happen, someone will come into their lives, or they will hear something, and the spirit will touch their hearts and remind them of the time they talked to two Sister Missionaries on the street about a "True message." We continue to teach in every possibility that we have.
One of my favorite stories from this past week, is we were going to visit a less-active in our ward and accidentally (not accidentally in the Lord's eyes) knocked on this wrong door. A sweet old man from Germany answered the door. While talking to him, he showed us a picture of his wife who passed away a couple years ago. As I looked at her picture, this overwhelming feeling came over me and I could just FEEL his wife's presence. My eyes filled with tears - I know that his wife is learning the gospel of Jesus Christ in the spirit world right now (D&C 138 is one of the best sections EVER) and she is just waiting for her work to be done and for her husband to accept the gospel. I took that to heart and Sister Mendenhall and I told M... what we KNEW to be true. He still didn't want anything to do with it, so we offered to sing him a song :) After singing "Where Can I Turn For Peace" he looked at us and said "Now that is an experience I will never forget." M... WILL accept the gospel one day. The seed has been planted. What a blessing to be there to see the spirit work on his heart. Someday M......, someday!
Another AWESOME experience. First off, you need to know that it is COLD here. A couple days ago it was -33 degrees with wind chill. Sister Mendenhall thinks I am superwoman because I only ever wear one pair of tights. While I might be superwoman, it's mainly because I don't have the patience to put more than one pair on haha. But anyways. It is freezing cold here. The greatest blessing is that EVERYONE owns a dog or a cat in Canada. And dogs need to go to the bathroom and have the chance to walk outside. So people are outside :) Also, it snows here. And people have to shovel their driveways to go to work. So more people are outside :) Obviously we end up paying them a little visit. So yesterday we stopped to talk to this lady (YSA age). At first, she was completely against religion in general. "If there is a God in heaven, then why does there have to be so much bad in the world? I am never having kids in this world. I could never believe in something higher with all this down here. I wish I could just dig a hole and bury myself in it." We assured C.... that digging a hole in the ground and living in it wouldn't be that much happier or more exciting than the world haha. We talked to her about God's Plan, that we are here to find happiness. We talked to her about agency. We prayed a lot in our hearts :) and oh my goodness I hope in the next life we will be able to rewind and replay experiences in our lives. We witnessed "a mighty change of heart" come over C... as the spirit worked on her. She smiled, she laughed, she came to admit to herself that she did have a belief in God. She gladly accepted a Book of Mormon and was more than willing to pray with us. Before we left she said, "You girls really opened my eyes to something amazing today." That is what this mission is about. That "something amazing" is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is so real and so powerful.
Growing up in the church, it is sometimes easy to think of the Restoration as a nice story/history of the church. You know that it's true, but you don't necessarily think about the impact or the way it will affect someone who has not known it their whole lives. That is something I have been working on this past week. While testifying of the Message, I have been trying really hard to WATCH intently for signs of the spirit working on those we are talking to. It has really changed the way I go about this work. Not just believing that the spirit can testify and teach, but truly LOOKING for signs of the spirit has opened my eyes to the importance of this message.Last story. G... F.... Wow. G... has met with the missionaries several years back, but this has been a different experience for him. He has truly been prepared. G... has been SOAKING up the Book of Mormon and lessons we have been giving him. He looks forward to everything we tell him about the church. He has marvelled at the "illumination" of the people in the church and the church itself. haha. He is SO sensitive to the spirit. We finished teaching him the restoration this week, and he addressed the concern of not knowing if Joseph Smith really was a prophet or just another phony like a lot of people he has met who call themselves prophets. I bore my testimony about how I truly knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, called to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and G.... cut me off by saying "Wow!! Just as you were talking, for a split second there everything in my mind like left me and my mind seemed to have completely cleared. Was that like the spirit of Joseph Smith talking to me or something?" hahahah we jumped for joy and told him THAT WAS THE SPIRIT OF GOD!!!!!!!!! G... accepted to be baptized on March 9. We went through some baptismal questions and he now knows that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I LOVE THIS SPIRIT!!!! G... has been telling everyone and everything about the Church. We talked to a man named C... yesterday and he said that he met a guy in the mall a few days back who started telling him all about the Book of Mormon and the things he was learning. We asked C... what the guy's name was and he said G... F.... hahahah he's a missionary!! G... explained to us that he has had no support so far from friends or family about "learning from the Mormons". But he told us he doesn't care - that he is going to keep going with his feelings rather than what other people say. Such an amazing person.