This week wasn't THAT long, haha. But I really do feel like week 4 in the transfer is always the longest haha. This week was a pretty good week! We had a lot of "extra" stuff that we had to do, and I'm battling a pretty nasty cold, but all is good! My comp has definitely been taking care of me with all her tough love, haha. :)
And where in the world did August go?!?!?!?! Just saying!
So, we saw Gabriela a couple times last week...she wasn't able to go to church, but I still feel like she is progressing towards baptism. Thursday night was the crazy lesson though! On Tuesday, we taught her the Restoration, and invited her to pray about whether or not the church is true. She asked us SO many good questions about how she would receive an answer, what she could do to prepare to pray, etc. We felt so good about it when we left! So we got there on Thursday...we walked in, she sat us down and said "Let's pray!" We prayed, then she pulled out the two pamphlets we had given her - the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. She had DISECTED those pamphlets. They were all worn from reading multiple times, she had highlighted and written questions in the margins and. Then, she just started going page by page, telling us everything she had learned, what was the same with the Catholic church, her doubts, her questions, everything. And during the whole 15 minutes that we sat and listened to her, I just kept thinking "She's going to tell us to never come back. She doesn't want to learn anymore." But we just listened. And as she finished, she expressed again her doubts about there being one true church, and her doubts about Joseph Smith. When she stopped, Hermana Traylor and I just looked at each other, and then she whipped out a Book of Mormon. We didn't have the chance to give her one on Tuesday due to it being 9:25 PM when we left her house. But we explained it to her, read the introduction with her, and promised her that if she would read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it with a sincere heart, she would receive an answer to all of her doubts. We could see everything in her countenance change as she held it in her hands, like she already knew that it was something sacred. We asked her just to start from the beginning, reading all of the testimonies and Joseph Smith's experience, and she promised she would. We also gave her the Restoration to watch, because she wanted to know more about Joseph Smith. She gave it back to us Saturday night, told us she had watched it many times, and that we would talk more today about it :) I really hope she read, and that she feels like it is true. I'm super excited to see her again tonight. We have grown to love her and her family so much, and I know that they are going to be incredible members one day :)
We also had interviews with President Stellmon this week! It was the very first time that I had talked to him face to face, haha! But he is a great president! I can't even imagine have a calling like that, or even being a wife to a mission president, so I know that it takes super special people to be able to do it. And he and Hermana Stellmon are definitely special people. It was a really good experience for me to talk to him. At one point, he just said, "Hermana Smith, I don't know you. I don't know anything about you. But I promise you that the Lord knows exactly who you are, and for that, I have completely confidence in you and the work you are doing. I know that He knows you, is proud of you, and loves you." I might have cried a bit, seeing as I'm quite the cry baby. Heavenly Father really does know His children. Don't ever forget that!
No one came to church last week, and a lot of our appointments fell through...but there is always hope for this week! God just asks for a lot of patience and diligence sometimes!
For the past two weeks during church, they've talked a lot about the Priesthood and it has made me think about it quite a bit, and what my role as a woman is when it comes to the Priesthood. And I want to share a couple quotes about the Priesthood that I liked from this past conference.
"I have observed three common characteristics of the priesthood holders who are my heroes. One is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest."
- Henry B. Eyring, "The Priesthood Man"
"Priesthood power blesses all of us. Priesthood keys direct women as well as men, and priesthood ordinances and priesthood authority pertain to women as well as men."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood"
A lot of investigators and members have asked us as sister missionaries why we don't hold the Priesthood. I know that the Priesthood is not something that separates men from women in the church, or makes them any more better than the other. Men and women are equal in the sight of God, but with different responsibilities. I know that members that have the Priesthood have a huge responsibility to bless, serve and help others, and I am very grateful for that. And I am grateful that through the power of the Priesthood, everyone can be blessed. I have come to realize that, as a woman, I have to be someone that will help the Priesthood holders to be as Pres. Eyring states - prayerful, ready to serve and honest at all times and in all things. And I know that as a sister missionary, I have the same exact authority as the Elders to teach the Gospel and invite others to Christ. The Priesthood is the power to act in God's name, and the blessings that come from it reach out to all of His children. That's just my little thought for the day, haha.
Well, we're looking forward to this next week, and we hope that the work will keep moving forward. Have a great week, and I love all of you!
Photo: The assistants gave us our "What to Do During a Volcanic Eruption" kits this week. Ha.... We are clearly so prepared.