I forgot to mention in my last letter about a cool little miracle we had. Thursday night after we taught one of our less actives we were heading out to the car and it was 9 o'clock and we see this guy walking through the parking lot. We walk over and talk to him and introduce ourselves. He looks confused and doesn't answer us. So I explain it again but a little slower and he says "I'm from Iraq. I live here 3 months." So we try to say a few more things but he just doesn't know enough English. So he gets out his phone and types something in Arabic on Google translate and then translates it into English. So then we start typing back and it translates it into Arabic. We wrote that we were inviting people to come to church, and he asks why. So I type out that we want invite people to come and learn more about Jesus Christ and his church, etc. He then says that he love Jesus Christ, but he's Muslim. (They believe that Christ was a prophet, but not our Savior) He asks us what time and where church is at- this is 2 days before general conference, so we gave him the times and the stake center address and he actually came to a session! We tried to get an Arabic translation to play on the small TV they play in the chapel while the English is going, but it doesn't play live, only a few days later. So he literally sat through an entire session in English without understanding anything! I hope he at least felt the spirit. We had a google translate conversation with him afterwards. It was really cool! .... but we haven't heard from him since. Either way- one more person got to watch general conference!
Funny story from this week. We're constantly going to houses of people we've never met but that other missionaries in the past either taught or contacted and they showed interest. So we go to this guy Andrew's house. We knock on the door and his dad is really friendly. We ask if Andrew is there and he says, "Yeah! Come on in!" and starts headed down the stairs to get him, as he's walking away he says, "Who should I tell him is here for him?" I say "The Mormon Missionaries" and he stops right in his tracks, turns around, and just glares at us. He says "Andrew doesn't have time for you tonight." So I say, "Well, we were just coming by to try to set up a time when we could come over." So he says he'll go downstairs and see if he'll come up for that. He literally walks down the stairs and right back up (without even going out of our sight) and says "He doesn't have time for you." And sees us out the door. Awkward! Haha. On the way out we asked if we could do anything for his family and he surprisingly declined! *sarcasm implied* We may wait a week or two before trying him again :)
A few weeks ago a guy in our ward, Marcus, who lives on the Air Force Base invited his friend to come to institute. Courtney has been loving it! We met with her last Tuesday and also had an impromptu lesson on Saturday morning as well. She is basically golden! The spirit was so strong in her first lesson. After I recited the first vision I asked her how she felt and she said "Honestly?" Well yeah! Of course we want you to be honest. So she says, "When I heard the story before I thought it was crazy (her dad is a less active so she's heard bits and pieces) but it just makes sense. God has appeared to men before and called them as prophets. If he did it in the Bible, why wouldn't he do it now?" Finally! Someone who gets it. She's enjoying reading the Book of Mormon and is learning a lot. She loves the spirit she feels at our church. She wasn't able to make it this Sunday but will be there next week (fingers crossed).
Danielle is doing fantastic. I mentioned last week how much she loved conference. Well she is absolutely excited about her baptism now! She told her parents and while her mom isn't too excited she said she wants to come out for it. So she's moving her date to November 8th. I'm a little sad it's being moved back because I'm worried her mom might be trying to slow roll this and just keep delaying. But I'm praying that all will work out. She's incredible and the light that's in her eyes makes me want to go out and find hundreds more just like her!
This week in our lesson with Lau he was telling us about how he is still drinking and smoking weed. My companion laughed for a second because she was just flabbergasted. But the weight of it all just hit me. I very boldly (and hopefully lovingly) told him that he needed to stop right now and repent. I talked about how serious sin is and that kind of scared him, so he confessed some HUGE sins that he committed before his baptism that he didn't fully repent of. I told him he had to talk to the bishop about it and he's scared, but I promised him it would be worth it- regardless of the restitution he had to make. Man, it was scary to have to be so bold but it felt so good afterwards knowing that I did what I was called to do.
We've also been teaching another less active named Josh Nay, but I'll have to write about him next week.
I love you all!!!
Helping Mike Hill move out
Gina Ewing-DiBari and Me
In the boonies of Greenbluff (reenacting the Restoration pamphlet picture)
Wednesday lunch in the stake center kitchen- it's too many miles to go home on our break
Beautiful grove in Greenbluff