We got the news this morning for transfers! I will be staying in Lynchburg and will be joined by Elder Vest the Great! Elder Sawyer will be enjoying his first transfer away from his birthplace with Elder Johnson in Buckhannon, WV!
I love this area, and I’m very grateful to stay. This place is magnificent, and this week we have had incredible conversations with 4 people who are hungry for the understanding and light that this Gospel brings. Yesterday, we sat in a Subway with an investigator, a young mother of 3 and answered question after question as she grilled us on different aspects of our faith. She has been reading steadily and faithfully from the Book of Mormon for about 2 weeks now and yesterday we were able to testify of the necessity of Priesthood authority in governing Christ’s church and in baptizing for remission of sins. She said "So the apostles had that authority, and the twelve apostles now have that authority, but who had the authority between them?" We just stared at her, and I couldn’t help but grin.
"Guys, WHO had the authority to baptize?"
"You’re asking the right question" I replied, nodding my head.
At length, she realized the answer, and asked "But what about all those people who think they’re saved?"
"The way is provided for them" I responded.
I felt the Spirit wash over me as we watched all of these things becoming clear to her. Finally she said, "I think I need to be baptized. Even though I’ve been baptized three times."
We went on to teach her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost in the way that it was described to me recently… by someone… but I can’t remember who. People outside of the church can have the Holy Ghost come to them and visit them, but when you get the Gift of the Holy Ghost, it sticks. He can be there ALL the time. We saw in her face how much she wanted that promise. Today she messaged us the most amazing testimony of the truth of what we are sharing with her. We are watching true conversion happen, and it is magnificent.
I feel very at home here, especially these last couple of weeks. We are finally learning how to make real connections with every member, instead of just the few that we would naturally connect with. We are also starting to see fruit of the seeds we plant as we go, everywhere we go. A beautiful change is taking place in this area as summer fades into fall and school brings new life and shakes up everyone’s routines once again. We are finding people everywhere who have heard of us but know little about us, and are willing to learn more. Lynchburg is a city full of people who need this Gospel and are ready to receive it, but truly do not know it, and we are finding them everywhere we go. I love being a missionary. I love love love it!
We had the most wonderful district meeting this morning as well, as I invited each missionary to play a role and prepare a teaching assignment based on their strengths and our collective needs. I sat in the circle and watched as these often-quiet missionaries taught and bore testimony and led and just felt so grateful for this transfer. So grateful for my calling here. I have watched these 6 missionaries grow so much, (myself included), and I just can never thank my Heavenly Father enough for all of this.
7 Months left. Today is my "click day". And TOMORROW is my baby sister’s BIRTHDAY! MIRANDA YOU’RE TURNING 19! YOUR LAST TEENAGE YEAR!
I can’t believe you’re all grown up! Miranda I hope you know how much I look up to you. How much of an inspiration YOU have been to ME to get here, to where I am today. Truly, you were one of the greatest influences in my serving a mission. I love you SO MUCH! I so look forward to more Ben & Jerry’s and Haribo Happy Colas and 12 Dates of Christmas/Lorax nights, whether in 7 months or in 20 months. I can’t wait! Love love love you Miranda.
TATUM LEE HUSTI I realized that I miss YOUR birthday as well. I got so caught up on the fact that it was my DAD’s birthday that I forgot that it was yours too! I hope you had an AMAZING birthday and that you remember that I do love you and miss you SO MUCH! I carry pictures of you and Tessa and Dominic in my wallet, and every time I open it I get to look at your gorgeous smiling faces! I can’t wait to see you again in SEVEN MONTHS!
I love you all so much. Thank you for being amazing. Keep being missionaries, every day, every minute. I hope you read that article I mentioned last week. I hope you felt it. I hope I still feel it when I get home and get to be a normal-person-missionary! I don’t ever want to forget this feeling or lose it.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is truly Christ’s church. How blessed we are to know that and be part of it. Truly blessed.