I CAN’T STOP SEARCHING FOR MY FAMILY!
It is amazing! I love love LOVE IT! Elijah ROCKS!
I’ve seriously been here for 3 hours… and I’m just now emailing. President Salisbury authorized us to use Ancestry.com in addition to FamilySearch on our Preparation days to work on our family history, and because we’re so actively sharing family history with people we meet, it’s just about all I can do to wait for P-day to do my own family history work, ha ha.
It’s getting SO exciting here working on this. A few weeks back in a dinner lesson we invited the member couple to work on their family history and get excited about it and start sharing it with people they know to help prepare their hearts. The next time we saw the brother he said “you guys created a monster.” Every time we see him now he is super excited to share something he found. The youth of the branch have a temple trip coming up this month as well, so we’ve been working with a few of them to find their own family names.
We’ve set it up so that each Tuesday night we will be working with the Family History consultants of the branch to hold a class and help people do their work. Tonight is the first night. We also have been working with the local community college to set up a booth in the student center once a week/every other week. Elder Sorenson purchased this poster with his 6-generation fan chart to help as a display to attract people. We are SUPER excited about that! Lots of fantastic things happening with family history. =)
My companion may kill me soon if I make him stay here much longer. =P I’m trying to shift my thoughts and find something amazing that happened this week that I can share. OH! Elder Sorenson and I will both be staying in Clifton Forge for another 6 weeks, Elder Anderton is leaving the Covington area and will be replaced (that’s a harsh word, NOBODY can replace Elder Anderton!) by a new missionary! Elder Johnson will be training! Super exciting! Elder Johnson is going to be an amazing trainer, and this branch will be an amazing place to be trained! We are stoked to have the greenie fire in the ward!
OH! So one night, it was 8:00 and we were working on some things in the apartment. We had planned to finish the night making calls and setting appointments and such, and then I felt a prompting to go out. Elder Sorenson agreed and we knelt and prayed. We felt to go see Geoff. As we drove, we passed an apartment complex and I felt like we should go back there. We parked the car at Geoff’s, knocked, and he said he had company. So we bid him adieu and walked back in the cold to the apartment complex. We first went to the door of a potential we hadn’t seen in some time. A man answered the door and we asked if Mary was home. “Moira?” he asked accusingly. We smiled and said “yeah, Moira, sorry.” She came to the door and let us in. “We’ve been drinking, just want to let you know!” Moira said. Moira wasn’t nearly as drunk as Manny was. Either way, they started asking us questions, so we stood and talked with them and answered. Slowly the conversation split, and we were standing next to each other having great conversations with both Moira and Manny. It was awesome. After about 45 minutes, both Manny and Moira had agreed to have us come back and share more with them. Moira was holding the Book of Mormon and saying that she really wanted to read it, and that she needed to come to church. Despite their mental state (or perhaps because of it), we were blessed to go somewhere we were needed that night, and were able to teach and testify to a couple whose hearts were softened in the moment we found them. An odd way to have it happen, but hey, we don’t judge. =)
We were also very blessed to sit in the living room of one of our investigators who is absolutely loving the things we are sharing. He is a very loyal and intelligent father of a very good-natured young man. Each time we go, he commits himself to do something to further his progression. 3 visits ago, we asked him “Trey, have you prayed to know if the things the missionaries have shared with you are true?” He replied, “No, I haven’t. But I will.” When we returned to follow up on the assigned chapter, he had incredible insights and questions. We asked him to be baptized in that lesson, and his reply, after some thought, was “Well my initial response is yes, but I don’t want to commit to anything I’m not ready for. I want to know that I’m doing the right thing.” Miracles are happening in that home, and slowly, line upon line, he is receiving his answers.
I know this is the Lord’s work. I know it is. I know this the Church of Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is God’s word, and that it has power, and that God will tell you individually and very personally that it is His word. I know it. I have seen it happen time and time again, and I have felt it happen to me on countless occasions.
I’m so grateful to be here. The approaching end to my full-time service is very bittersweet. I so look forward to seeing all of you again. For now, 6 more weeks of serving in the best branch in the mission! =)
As President Crawford says: “Give ’em Heaven”.