Not much happened this week. We've been working hard with our ward council and the members to help us to know who we can teach or visit. The week before we only taught 6 lessons, and this week we taught 11. The work has really slowed down here. We've tried to make contact with Chris Vieira and his family. He was technically supposed to be baptized this Saturday. But he's a bit flakey. He's cancelled the last few lessons. I don't know what to do with him. He has a lot of desire, but no follow through. He says he's really excited about what we teach him. He loves the Book of Mormon and is reading it and praying about it. But we can hardly ever get a hold of him. It's tricky to know how persistent we should be or if we should just put him in the back of the area book for other missionaries to work on. Any suggestions?
We also got to teach Angie this week, finally! She accepted baptism. But she doesn't want to be a hypocrite and go back to smoking right after she's baptized. So we're working on getting her to addiction recovery and helping her to apply the Atonement in her life. We teach her again on Tuesday. She is crazy in such a fun way! She's a talker, so it's a challenge to keep the lesson on track. But I'm learning how to relate ANYTHING back to the gospel. haha. Pray for her. And pray for us to know how we can help her the best.
That's kind of all I can remember from this week. There's not much more on my mind right now though. I've been thinking about grandma and all of you guys. Of course I'm really sad that Grandma Raiser passed away. Obviously I cried a lot. But I'm doing okay now. On Friday I was printing off the paperwork to renew my drivers license which was sent to my email. That's when I saw mom's first email about grandma not doing well. I cried a bit then but held it together during our appointments that evening. Strange thing is, we had solid appointments for the evening, which has happened maybe one other time since I've been here. Heavenly Father knew I'd find out about grandma and he helped me to stay busy. After planning and everything that evening, I sat down to write a letter to grandma. That's when I cried the most. It was difficult to write. And I wanted to say so much more, and share so many memories. But the longer I wrote, the harder I cried. I said a good long prayer that night for comfort. I prayed so hard for all of you. Especially for mom, Ginny, and grandpa. I keep thinking of you! I pray that you are feeling comforted. I wish I could be there to hug you all. I've been strangely calm these last few days-that's been a blessing. The only other time I cried was reading the emails. But even now, I'm okay again. Here's what I want to share with all of you. I know that grandma is in a better place. She lived such a wonderful life and truly endured to the end. She is in spirit paradise, free from pain, meeting all of the amazing family that she did family history work for. She's with her parents and son. I know that it is only through the atonement of Jesus Christ that we are all able to see her again and live with her as an eternal family. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of the Plan of Salvation. I am grateful for the hope and peace that it brings me. And I am so grateful to be out here, finding people who lack this knowledge and peace in their lives. I am working hard, and will not lose focus. As Nathan said, grandma will be going on splits with me :) I wish I could be with you all at the funeral, and mostly just hug my family and cry. But I am receiving comfort from the Holy Ghost- which is the next best thing to gaining comfort from you all. How lucky are we that God has allowed for us to have these feelings of comfort? And to know that Christ has felt what we are all feeling right now. He suffered so that he would know how to help us through times like this. Alma 7:11-12 "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." I know this scripture to be true. And please know that I will rely on Heavenly Father and my Savior to help me through this.
I love you all so much! Don't worry about me. Enjoy being together- send me pictures!