Greetings from Liberty, Missouri! I think I might die out here. It has started to get cold the last couple of days and it's going to be freezing this winter! But I love this area! Sister Card and I have seen so many miracles. Our investigator, Ben is so golden. We took him to the visitor's center and took him through "God's Plan for His Families". Afterwards, he just cried. We also took him to listen to a talk by Elder Christofferson about how the spirit testifies to our spirit that the scriptures are true. We had to leave early, but our Visitor's Center director, Elder Nelson came over and continued to teach him. Elder Nelson later said that Ben told him every time he gets ready to read the book of Mormon, he reads Moroni 10:4-5 before reading anything else. Wow. Who does that? He is so genuine. We also taught him the word of wisdom and he said, "I get the no alcohol and tobacco. I'm going to have a hard time with getting rid of tea though." He fought us for a little while saying that tea is an antioxidant for our bodies and can be good. After testifying to him that this is for our benefit, he said "Well, I guess this isn't about tea but it's about obedience. If it's what I need to do, then I'll do it." At the end of the lesson, he prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for sending us to him. That is one of the best feelings in the world. Knowing you've been sent to someone needing to hear the gospel. We went to a church bookstore afterwards with him where he bought a triple combination and a book of Mormon study guide. We'll have him baptized soon :).
We met Louis and Kyle, two 18 year old punks who were a referral from a member and we went to teach them. Here walk in these 'too cool for anything' kids with their ears pierced and chains hanging out everywhere. I was cowering in the corner while Sister Card attempted to teach lesson 1. As we started asking questions though, these boys really opened up. They are honestly searching for something. And they came to church! They were really shy at first but then opened up and said they really enjoyed it. I'm excited to teach them about the plan of salvation next.
We are also working with Dannick, an African American guy from England. He's married to Robin, a member and they have two little girls named Lecie and Lexie. They all have British accents and call each other "love". Dannick says he's waiting for a sign to tell him to join the church. We asked him some heaven sent questions including "Do you think Heavenly Father would tell you something that you wouldn't want to hear?", "What don't you want to hear?" and "Do you want the church to be true?" --- All of this regarding him asking to know whether or not this is what he should do. I hope he comes around so this family can get to the temple.
Yesterday, I hit my one year left mark. It's insane! Something I've learned from this is that time is precious. We are only here for a glimpse in eternity and are given the chance to grow and become more like our Heavenly Father and Savior.
We had a zone conference this last week. They are so inspiring and really light the fire to continue in missionary work. Our mission has been given 65,000 pass-a-long cards with the new mormon.org website on the back which is a great tool. Something else our mission will be doing soon is sharing missionary work through texting and facebook. My mission president said "Somewhere down the road, you will be disobedient if you don't get on Facebook." ha ha Wow...who woulda thought?
President Van Komen also talked about becoming a master of yourself. The world gets scarier and scarier each day and the gray area lessens with everything becoming more black and white. "You can't keep one foot in the mission and one foot in Babylon. You've left your old self," is what he says. I think it applies to almost everyone. Once you decide whose side you're on, there is no turning back. You're either on the Lord's side or you're not. I love that. We also talked about how the spirit is very familiar and ancient and at times, the Lord will prompt us to do things that won't make sense. But we should act on those promptings and diligently seek for experiences (1 Nephi 10:19).
I love seeing the growth of missionaries within the mission. At the end of our zone conference, Elder Childs, who is 6' 9" and looks like he could beat up anyone cried like a baby over the pulpit as he shared his testimony saying "My testimony is firm. I could never say that I had felt a 'burning of the bosom' until just barely. On October 21, at 2:37 p.m. in the Kearny building in Missouri. My chest feels like it's 115 degrees." My sweet companion got up to bear her testimony for the last time at a zone conference and said she has been "illuminated by the word" (Alma 5:7) and will always be indebted to her Heavenly Father. One of the greatest miracles is that Elder Cox, who is deaf, bore his testimony for the first time verbally. Ever. And it happened on his mission.
This work is alive and I am so grateful to be a part of it. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!