I love you. (:
So, this week (and the week prior) have been ROLLER COASTERS for two reasons:
1) They FLEW by.
2) Ups and downs..like every week.
Two weeks ago on Tuesday, Sister Edman, the sites director, was rushed to the hospital after having a heart attack during the wee hours of the morning. That left us all in a frenzy, just hoping she would be alright. This woman is incredible, I tell you. So selfless. So determined. So concerned about others. One of the women I taught a while back gave Sister Edman a very fitting nickname... "the mother of all Sisters". Sister Edman is recovering well. She is back at sites and (says) she is taking it easy. I'm fairly certain in saying...she never takes it easy.
We have been praying really hard for opportunities to talk with people who are sincerely seeking for truth both in our area and at the Visitors' Center. The results have been incredible!!!! Previously on chat, we encountered a lot of pranksters which, to be honest, was frustrating. There is this common trait of these "trolls", too...they all have different stories which lead up to a question..."how do magnets work?" Um, I don't know? Apparently there is an Insane Clown Posse song that is a dig on Christianity and talks about magnets or something? Yea, It's weird. Anyways, as we have really focused our prayers on having opportunities to teach those who are searching we have talked with very few trolls! I think only two in the past two weeks. Before it was like 18 in one day...not really 18, but might as well have been.
Two weeks ago we "met" a man who lives in Michigan on chat. He was raised Hindu but has been drawn to Christianity and the Church. He is now meeting with missionaries, reading from The Book of Mormon, and praying to know if it is true. Serving at the Visitors' Center is the best! Although I am called to Ohio, my mission boundaries expand across the world as I am at sites. We talk with people in Europe, South America, Australia...and even...Arizona!..
I had the opportunity to call a woman who lives in Arizona. Oh how I love this woman!! Her friend, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had recently been to Kirtland. So, I called her to follow-up on her visit here and, of course, to see if she had any friends that she wanted us to call to give them a free gift from the Church and an opportunity to learn more. She instantly thought of this lady; her close friend who is "like a sister to her", "a wonderful daughter of God doing what she needs to be doing." I was a little nervous to call for some reason. I just knew how much her friend loved her, and I didn't want to mess it up.
All fear aside (hmm..not really, I just sucked it up..) I gave her a call on Saturday evening. We talked a little bit about faith in Jesus Christ and how it is so hard to explain to someone else who has not experienced it for themselves. She shared some of her experiences, and I shared some of mine. As we were talking, I thought of a scripture in The Book of Mormon that I wanted to read to her. So I did. I explained The Book of Mormon...very briefly. That it comes from God as a companion to the Bible. It's a record of God's dealings with people here in the Americas in 600 BC-400 AD. Heavenly Father loves all of His children. Through The Book of Mormon, I am reminded of that. He would not expose His teachings to one nation and not another. This record was kept safe for centuries and was translated by a prophet in the 1800's. I testified that I know this to be true! Her curiosity peaked, she accepted a visit from the missionaries to bring her a copy of this sacred book.
And here in my little neck of the Ohio, (South Euclid, to be exact) we meet incredible people, too.
Last Friday, we met an older (not old ;) ) woman. She is Catholic. In the last 20 years, she has become increasingly devoted to her religion. She attends seminars and retreats, bible studies and sunday school. She really lives her religion, too. Here's how I know...she invited us in on a wintry day. Over the years, she has visited the Kirtland sites a few times, not for a tour just for the different traveling displays (nativities, sculptures, photographs). We introduced her to The Book of Mormon. She wanted to know why the Book of Mormon is necessary. She wanted a concrete example of how The Book of Mormon helps the Bible. So we talked about Christ's experience of being baptized as recorded in Matthew 3. It was perfect because she has recently been studying John the Baptist in her Bible study group. In Matthew it says that Christ was baptized "to fulfill all righteousness"...but nowhere in the Bible does it define what that phrase means. We find that definition in 2 Nephi 31 where Nephi is prophesying of the baptism of Jesus Christ...
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be aobedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
We are revealed through a prophet that Christ needed to be baptized to show us that example of obedience to the commandments that come from our Heavenly Father. God commands us to be baptized, so Christ heeded to that command of being baptized by someone who holds that proper authority from God.
She was very interested in reading The Book of Mormon and praying to know that it is true.
Just a LITTLE overview of some of the people I get to meet and love. There are dozens and dozens more stories, but I will save them for a later date and let your eyes take a rest from staring at this computer screen.
I love you!!!!
PS...computer is acting up??? Sorry for no pictures...again.