I hope you all had a wonderful week! This week has been absolutely nuts-o here in Fairbanks YSA. We are teaching a LOT of lessons and making a lot of progress with people we teach. We have 5 investigators that we are currently teaching: Walter, TJ, Rachel, Zena and David. They are all awesome!
Walter is doing great! He is getting baptized next Thursday and is SO excited. He has so much enthusiasm for the gospel and cannot wait to become a member of the church. He is going to be an awesome member, too! He loves to learn as much as he can in our lessons and always asks really good questions. Next week will be incredible for him and we can't wait.
TJ is one of the most genuine, kind, loving people I have ever met. He always has a huge smile on his face whenever we see him and he just has this light avout him that I love. TJ shared with us some very personal stories about his past this week. They were stories that he'd only told one other person before and were very difficult to tell. TJ and I have experienced some very similar circumstances in our childhoods and it broke my heart to her what he was saying, or how he felt, because I too have felt some of those things and lived very similar stories. As he was sharing them the Holy Ghost kept prompting me to tell him a bit about myself and my past. I absolutely did NOT want to do that, so I just kept pushing the thought out of my mind. But, just like any other prompting we receive, it kept coming back to me. So, when the time was right, I shared some of my experiences with him. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. By the end of the lesson all 4 of us were in tears and the spirit was so strong. It was an incredible experience and taught me so much about what true missionary work is. When we were leaving we hugged Aubrey, TJ's girlfriend who is a member, and TJ said, "Are we finally close enough that we can hug?" It was so sad! All we wanted to do was hug him but we couldn't. Once we got in our car to head to our next lesson I felt awful. Sometimes it's just so difficult to hear the trials that others have been through or are currently working through. But, that is where the gospel of Jesus Christ comes in. I could relate to a lot of the things TJ has been through, but not all. The Savior, however, completely understands and has literally experienced and felt all of them. Nothing brings me more comfort and peace than knowing that the savior can heal any wound whether it be physical, spiritual, or emotional. I want nothing more than to see TJ come to that realization for himself, and I know that one day he will.
Rachel is doing great! She set her baptism date for November 17th and is very diligent in learning the gospel. She started reading the Book of Mormon at the beginning of the summer and was in Mosiah before we even met her!! Basically, she's solid. Some of her family isn't too thrilled about her decision to join the church. Las night there was a CES fireside that was broadcast from St George and Elder Holland spoke. It was an INCREDIBLE fireside (hint, hint... look it up online and read/watch it!!). He talked about standing firm in our beliefs and not "checking our religion at the door". Rachel acsolutely loved it and said, "It's so true!!" Basically, she's doing great and we love teaching her.
We've only met Zena a couple of times, but she seems to be doing really well. She is full of questions and accepted a conditional baptism date. We're excited to meet with her
more about the gospel!
David is doing pretty well. He's a medic in the Army so he is very busy and has the craziest schedule. We don't get to meet with him very often, because his schedule, but we never stop trying. He's going out for some training excercises for the next months so we probably won't be teaching him for a while. :(
Other than our investigators we are keeping VERY busy teaching less-active and active members. We taught 33 lessons this last week! It was awesome :) I'm really learning to love teaching and finding new ways to present the lessons. (if any of you have any good analogies or object lessons, let me know)
"Fall" has officially hit here in Fairbanks and it's gotten pretty chilly. It's been in the upper 30s, lower 40s this week and pretty rainy. All of the leaces have changed colors and are starting to fall off. I'm definately excited for winter to come, but must admit that I'm a little scared.
I hope you all have a fabulous week and keep choosing the right!
Remember.. "This life is to be enjoyed, not just endured"