we had a lesson with jo and kat this week and i couldn't stop smiling when kat said, "i really feel something when i read." and jo said, "i don't have doubts anymore," and "can we just read nephi? i feel pulled towards nephi." :D unfortunately they've taken a step back since then, and they've been out of town and out of contact. but i'm NOT giving up on them! but i really just have to give it over to the Lord - there's only so much i can do, and they have their agency. luckily i'm not their only option for salvation - no WAY the Lord would let that happen, ha.
it's crazy how many people tell us their life story, even though we just met them. sometimes it's through a screen door - but they just tell us everything! can be good and bad...but i love how quickly i get to know people when we communicate spirit to spirit (to Spirit).
we took a soon-to-be-missionary, morgan phipps, out with us this week and she has her call to Ecuador. i realized: i will learn more here in Washington than anywhere else in the WORLD! :D
SHOCKING statistics about the church: we have a 6% retention rate. SIX PERCENT. and we have 14 million members, but only 4 million are active. i cannot believe it! so heartbreaking! but if every active member of the church brings 4 people back - we will be fully active and will grow. man i'm so motivated to do so much after my mission! i refuse to let "life" get in the way - this is life! this is the only stuff that actually matters!
we had 2 lessons (in a row :)) with our new investigator, pedro, this week! he's awesome. he's a hispanic little person, his friend is in our branch, and he's willing to read what we ask and keep finding out! he's so ready :)
we also had 2 lessons with our other (eternal) investigator, shannon! we found out where her testimony is weak or non-existent, and we're going to start from there. she's a dental assistant and witty and great. she knows with her head what she needs to do and what she wants (the "mormon lifestyle"), but we're working with helping her feel the Spirit more so she can be motivated to actually do what she knows she needs to do. she committed to live the law of chastity and word of wisdom and read and pray for a whole week! that's a great step :) so many people, member and nonmember, just don't have a testimony of joseph smith, the restoration, and the Book of Mormon! it's scary when members are like that...but we all have a path to true conversion, and baptism is at different places on everyone's path. it's frustrating when people don't realize that evidence of joseph smith and the restoration are right there in front of them! all they have to do to KNOW is put in some time and effort and read. i still have to strengthen my testimony by reading and praying daily, and boy has it gotten stronger. this whole gospel hinges on the Book of Mormon - once you know it's true, you know joseph smith translated it by the power of God. once you know he did that, you know he was called as a prophet of the restoration. once you know that, you know there had to be a restoration because there was "a falling away first." and once you know that, you know that the Priesthood authority of God is only in this church! it just works together like one huge puzzle! AH i love this gospel!!! :D
sister morrow and i are finally getting into our groove! we don't get annoyed at each other anymore (or at least we haven't for the past 2 days), we teach and work so well together - this is how it's supposed to work :) funny how transfers are 2 weeks away now! haha but the Lord's will will be done.
also, my stitches are doing great. really really well, actually! they haven't bothered or hindered me at all - what a blessing. i get them out tomorrow and then we can run again :)
some great quotes and insights:
"God works with us at the frontiers of our capacity."
john 4:40 - Jesus stayed because they asked Him.
definition of a mission: it's wonderful BECAUSE it's hard.
there's a difference between doing missionary things and doing missionary work.
Hurrah for Israel!