Hola familiia! Well, and anyone and everyone else that is going to read this :)
So, I have a way awesome experience to share with all of you and I don't have a lot of time to email today because the Hermanas in my district (there are four of us) are singing in Sacrament on Sunday and we were practicing what we were going to sing. We just came up with it and practiced it within the last half an hour haha. We are going to sing "If you could hie to Kolob" a'capella. It sounds so cool. Me and Hermana Peine are singing the Soprano part, Hermana Peterson is singing the alto and Hermana Palmer is singing the tenor up an octave. We are going to record it later this week and I can send it maybe so you can hear :)
Anyway, so yesterday we went to get out visas in Salt Lake at the Mexican Consulate. Hermana Peine and Elder Andersen already got theirs last week so they were the only ones from our district that stayed here but the rest of us left and it was really fun. It was like, super hot though...it was disgusting because I was sweating so much and I probably looked really horrible...and I had to get my picture taken so that didn't help at all.... Anyway, we rode Trax there and back. So here is my cool thing that I'm like, super pumped about!! so on the way back we get on the Trax and there's so many missionaries on there! Hermana Peterson and I were at the end of the big blob of missionaries so we were struggling to find a seat. (Hermana Peterson is the blonde one in the district that isn't my companion, just so you know) :) so we were just standing there trying to figure out where we were going to sit and then there was this man sitting down at a totally empty "cube" or whatever and he told us that we could sit in the two empty seats directly across from him so we said thank you and sat down. So there we are, sitting there across from this stranger and I pull out my Spanish flashcards that I am making for myself so that I can practice some vocabulary. Well, this man in front of us is a little on the heavy side and he has his eyebrow pierced as well as several piercings on his left ear...he was just on his phone off and on and he kind of kept looking up at us like he wanted to say something. Well, he made a comment about the Elders and he said that they are all sharp dressed men and that really impresses him. He said that probably like five times. So then we had the opportunity to kind of explain who we are because he thought that we were students at BYU. We told him that we are missionaries and we don't go to school. We are on missions. We told him that we are going to Mexico to serve our missions in about three weeks and we explained how long the sisters go out and how long the Elders go out and we told him about the MTC and how it is a training center for missionaries. We told him how there are a lot of MTCs all over the world and how missionaries come from all over the world and serve everywhere. He was really interested in that and it was fun to talk to him. Well, before we kind of told him more about us we were just making small talk and I asked him, "So how has your day been?" and he said, "Uh...stressful..." And I guess the concern and the question of "Why?" was just super apparent on our faces because we didn't have to say anything else before he just went off telling us about why his day was stressful. He told us that he is a truck driver but the place he was working at wanted him to do some illegal things for his job like drive way over the speed limit and go to places that were "restricted" that he wasn't supposed to go to and he told us that he just didn't feel right about it and stuff so he was on his way to work on the train and he was about to take a cab to work but then decided to turn back around and get on the Trax again. And the guy that was sitting with him left right when all the missionaries got on and then Hermana Peterson and I sat with him and we started talking and he said that we made his day. We made him so happy because we sat with him and talked to him and he told us about his stressful day. He moved here from Maryland one month ago and he told us that he already noticed the difference in living here. He said the people are friendlier and the streets are cleaner and stuff and things are less expensive here so he really is enjoying his time here in Utah so far, which is good. But, here's something that was really cool that happened. He told us that he believes in God, not like he should but he still does believe, and he said that he didn't want to risk doing any immoral things for money because money isn't the most important thing in life. He said that even though he knows that things are going to be rough for him financially and stuff because he isn't going to go with that trucking company, he knows that God is going to lead him to something better eventually. I just thought that was so amazing when he said that! Inside I was screaming "Yes!! Yes!!! That is so true! You know it! You know it!!" I was sooo excited!! He has faith in the Lord!! That is so important!! It was amazing to hear him say that! well then there was this equally excited Elder across the aisle from us and he jumped in and said that we believe in the Godhead and he talked a little bit about the Holy Ghost and told him that he believes the Holy Ghost told william (the man we sat with on the train) that he shouldn't take the job and that he should just get back on the Trax and William said, nodding his head, "Yeah, yeah. I agree. I agree with that." Ok. WHAT!?? No way!? I was FREAKING out!! How aweesome!!!?? How awesome is that!? I just could not believe what was happening! So then William asked me and Hermana Peterson about why we went on missions and how that happens. He asked if we just ask God if we should and then go or what? So then I had the opportunity to share my experience with him. I told him that I was watching General Conference (we had kind of touched on this topic a bit before so he kind of knew what I was talking about) and I told him that the Prophet announced the age change and I was all, "Whoa! I could totally go serve a mission." And so then I told William that I thought about it and thought about it and prayed and asked Heavenly Father if that was something that I should do and I told him my answer. I told him how I felt so happy and excited every time someone talked about missionary work or mentioned it or anything like that and I just knew that it was the right thing for me to do. Then I shared a scripture with him in D&C. It is D&C 9:8-9 which says,
"But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it our in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it e not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me."
So I shared that scripture with him and told him how it applied to me and how that was a confirmation from God that my prayer had been answered and that a mission is the right thing for me at this moment. He really liked that scripture. And yeah then the Elder across the aisle asked him if he went to any church and William said that he didn't so then the Elder, who was pretty bold actually, asked him if he was looking for a church to join and guess what. William said "Actually, I am." Um...are you serious!? No way! This is not happening right now!! I was totally freaking out! The Elder said, "Ok perfect!" And went on to invite him to go to one of our church meetings and we explained how it worked and who he could talk to and stuff so that he could go to church at our church and William was so excited and said that he had seen a lot of our churches around and that he would go in and check it out. Hermana Peterson and I are dying of excitement this whole time! Everyone on the train was listening to us, we could just tell. But it was weird because it honestly just felt like it was William, me, Hermana Peterson, and the Elder across the aisle and no one else. It was amazing. I honestly felt so much love for this man that I had just met! He is a stranger to me and yet, he wasn't! I already love him and I want to teach him. Hermana Peterson and I kept talking about that after we were all, "Oh my goodness! I love him so much and I just want to teach him and help him. He is so ready!! Why can't we just go teach him!?" Haha we became very possessive of him and it was kind of funny. The Elder across the aisle handed William a pamphlet about the Restoration so that he could read it and learn more about our church and we got his phone number!! He mentioned like five times how excited he was to be getting a phone call in the next couple of days from some missionaries in his area. He is so excited to learn more about the gospel; it's just ridiculous how ready he is! Oh my goodness guys! The church is so so sooo true!!! William is so ready it's not even funny! I felt the love of Christ for William; I felt charity. I had been praying to feel that for a few days and then bam! The Lord blesses me with this opportunity. I had also been struggling with feelings of inadequacy and feeling like I just didn't know what I was doing here already (having companionship issues...) but the Lord made it possible for us to sit with William and to teach him with the Spirit and change his life. Even if we don't get to teach him, someone will. He told us several times that we made his day and that he felt so much better and that he was going to tell his female friend that he met the "most coolest people today". I was filled with so much love and charity and so full of the Spirit that I literally could NOT stop smiling for hours afterwards. I was so happy! I was able to get a taste of real missionary work and true Christ-like love. It was so awesome! Words cannot even describe my feeling of this experience! I am trying my best to tell you what happened and how I felt and still feel but it is just too impossible to describe! I know that God hears us and that He answers our prayers. I know that He truly does prepare the hearts of those that we teach and that the Spirit is the true teacher in all things. Likewise, I also know that it is important to be pure and clean vessels for the Spirit to dwell in so that we can be true instruments in the hands of the Lord; that we can truly speak the things that the Spirit prompts us to so that we can bring others unto Christ. I know that charity is real. I have felt it for a total stranger. I had honest and sincere love for that man on the train and I desired to help him obtain the happiness that this gospel grants us because of our loving Heavenly Father. I bear this testimony in the sacred name of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.
I am so sorry that I don't have a lot of time this week...and I'm sorry I only told you about one experience but it was honestly the best thing that has happened to me here and I am so grateful for that experience! I was able to teach an actual real-life investigator in the real world! And it was awesome! The Spirit was there, William's heart was so soft and so open and accepting and I was able to take part in making somebody feel better; able to help them change their day for the better. Granted, it was all in English....but ya know what? Bringing others unto Christ is bringing others unto Christ, no matter what language it's in!
Ok well, I need to go but I love all of you and I hope that you all have a great week! Pray for experiences like the one I just shared because honestly, it isn't going to just change their lives, it will change yours as well. I can testify of that. I love you!!