This week was... well, amazing! We went from last week where we hardly taught at all, to this week where we taught 12 lessons and picked up four new investigators. Tuesday we took Michael S. the recent convert with us to our lesson with Travis. Travis is one of our investigators whose wife is a member and doesn't really believe in God. We brought Michael with us because he came from basically the exact same background. Turns out that they know each other through work. Michael's company orders tires through Travis. So they got along great and Michael shared his conversion experience and it was great! Travis still hasn't accepted to be baptized but I feel he is making slow and steady progress.
Wednesday we went on an exchange with our zone leaders. I went with Elder Passey in my area, and Elder Stanley went with Elder Flinders in their area. We started the exchange at 1pm on Wednesday. As soon as Elder Passey and I started we wanted to tract a street that I knew basically nothing about. That was the most effective tracting I've ever had on my mission. Almost every door answered and almost none of them were active members. One of them however was a woman that Elder Passey had talked to on the street before in his area. So they knew each other and talked for a minute. We asked if we could share a message and she said her husband wasn't feeling well and she had to go somewhere soon. We asked about that night and she said we could try but she wasn't sure when she would be back. We had a busy night planned with three lessons so we weren't sure if we would even make it, but we decided we would try. It ended up that one of our lessons canceled so we went over there again. She answered the door and said that her husband was feeling worse so it probably wasn't a good time. We asked if he would like a blessing and they both said yes so we went in and gave him a blessing and the spirit was very strong. They are faithful Baptists from Virginia, so their belief in Christ is very strong. We taught briefly about the priesthood and eternal marriage and asked if we could come by again and they said yes. So we taught them again on Friday when it was Elder Stanley and I again. They said they would get baptized if they knew it was true and so we now are trying to help them receive that witness. They accepted a date of February 7th and said they would come to church too. They ended up not coming though so I think something came up. They usually aren't the type of people to bail out like that. We have another lesson tonight though so I look forward to that.
The other investigators we picked up this week is a mother and her son. Their names are Talitha and Christian. They are Cuban. There is also another son named Christopher but he wasn't able to make it to the lesson. Christian has come to church before and has met with missionaries. I think Talitha might have even done so as well in the past but not as recently as Christian. They are friends with their bishop and so the bishop set up to have them for dinner and then have us come over and share a lesson. We did so and it was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever been in. Elder Stanley doesn't want to accept this, but I think he's ready to be senior companion if not train or be district leader or something like that. We invited them to be baptized and Talitha said they had already been baptized. We then, with the assistance of the bishop talked about the Priesthood authority and why Christ went to John the Baptist instead of anyone else and I think they started to understand. We asked them to pray about it and ask if they needed to and they said if they felt it was true they would be baptized. We were going to have a follow up lesson on Saturday with them but it fell through because they were still asleep when we came and then ended up being busy the rest of the day. We set up for this week though.
So those were our four new investigators. The couple from Virginia their last name is Friedline. (freed-line) Ellie came to church this week again. We were especially glad because it was her weekend at her father's house and we weren't sure how easy it would be to get her to church. He dropped her off at a family's house though and had them take her to church (the mother was out of town). So she has come two weeks in a row now and things are starting to look better there. We still haven't had a lesson with her though for a long while. Our next appointment is this Thursday. We also started teaching a few other families who are not as active in the church. Things picked up a lot this week and we look forward to a lot more happening in the weeks to come. Thank you for all that you do! You are all great examples. Keep it up. Have a great week! Love you all!
p.s. the picture is from our zone Christmas devotionals. I am in the top picture on the right side.