This week, we had Zone Training. The Graz sisters came into town, stayed at our place, and had a lot of fun:] After interviews on Tuesday, we had planned to have Sister Holmstead and me go visit Bright while Sister Schulze and Sister Jaynes visited Temi. It was a wonderful plan! We could get two lessons done at once! We only forgot one thing. Bright and Temi are friends. Who talk to one another. As most friends do. So, Bright called Temi Tuesday afternoon to chat, and Temi mentioned that we were coming over that night - at 7. Bright also said that she had plans to meet with us - at 7. Oops. So Bright went to Temi's house and called us. I tried to explain that we had extra sisters in town, so we could, in fact, meet both of them at their houses at 7. But Bright was already at Temi's house. So, the four of us went to Temi's house. It was a fun lesson as we explained the steps we needed to take to return to Jesus Christ. Bright bears such powerful testimony, so she was awesome to have there. Unfortunately, we also had to eat (what we think was) horse that night. It didn't taste bad, but it was like chewing on an old boot. I complained to Elder Escher about it, who assured me that if cooked properly, horse meat is fantastic. He is having his mother mail him some so I can try it again and give horse meat a fair chance. Not only did I have to eat horse meat, but I have to eat it again! But it was a really great lesson, and we were able to make out an appointment with Bright for the next day. We were also able to give her a copy of the talk we wanted to discuss so she could read it and be prepared.
The next day was Zone Training, which is always wonderful. We get all pumped up and excited to talk to everyone we see, even though it is below zero and the wind and snow are blowing:]
After Zone Training, we went to Bright's house. We were served chips and Almdudler, an excellent food choice:] We discussed ''The Atonement'' by Elder Bednar. It is also so neat working with Bright. She loves the gospel so much, and just lights up whenever she learns something new. She fell in love with this talk. She showed us the last page and said, ''I really liked this page.'' The whole page had been hi-lighted yellow. :]
After Bright, we went to Binod and Nita's house. Binod was unable to attend as he had been delayed at work. But Sarita was there! We talked about the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. We discussed how much care is put into temples, and how they are the cleanest buildings - both spiritually and phyically. It was really neat watching Sarita light up as she excitedly explained what she also knew about the purity of temples to Nita. Sarita and Om are preparing to go to the temple so they can seal their family together. Nita said she would read the pamphlets with Binod. They are such a treat to meet with each time! They feel the spirit so strongly and have such a great desire to follow Jesus Christ.
On Friday, we had no appointments. We decided we would go try to find some former investigators\less-actives, and then plan in the night when it's dark. We wanted to go by on the Cardenas family first. We wandered around the streets around their house for probably an hour trying to find their street. It was cold, windy, and snowy, but we kept going. After awhile, we practically walked straight to their house. We klingeled and said we were the sisters from the Church of Jesus Christ, and she buzzed us in. We came up, and the mother was very excited to see us. A few minutes later, the daughter came home! She had so much interest, and was able to help translate for the mother. It was neat to see that that was why we had had such trouble finding this place - it wasn't time to go over yet! They invited us back for this week, and they said they have a couple of other family members who will want to meet with us! It was awesome:]
The hugest miracle(s) of all happened on Saturday. On Saturday, we met with Wanni. At the previous lesson, Wanni had had a few questions about revelation. So Sister Schulze and I thought it was necessary to spend a lesson on revelation. We also thought we should point out that you need to have specific questions in mind when you pray. We taught about Oliver Cowdry with translating the Book of Mormon. We discussed how you have to study it out in your mind first, then ask God if it's right. We told her that instead of praying, ''Let my dad let me get baptized,'' to exercise some faith and pray, ''I want to get baptized. I think my dad will be ready at some point by the end of the month. Please help me to know when I should ask him.'' And Wanni said something incredible. ''I will ask him right now!!'' she said. Sister Schulze and I could not believe our ears! We suggested that we get down on our knees and pray for the spirit to be with her so that she might know what she should say. We did, and Wanni offered the prayer. We got back into our chairs, and Wanni said, ''I will send him a message. When I call, he doesn't answer - he is a very busy man. But, if I send him a message, Heavenly Father will make sure he reads it when he's ready.'' She pulled out her phone. She said, ''I should say...'' (and I can't remember what she said.) She thought about it for a few seconds and said, ''No, no, no!! That isn't right!'' She thought for a few more seconds and said another idea. She waited, then said, ''Yup! That is what I should write.'' It was so neat watching her listen to the spirit concerning what she needed to say. Sister Schulze and I made some more suggestions of things to write. She took some, but not others, considering carefully which ones her dad needed to hear. She then said, ''You know, if my dad says I can do the baptize, I could get baptized this Saturday!'' We closed the lesson and walked Wanni to the door. Then we sent SMSs to all of the elders in Wien, Wiener Neustadt, and the sisters in Graz. We asked them to get down on their knees and pray for Wanni. At least 16 missionaries had gotten on their knees and prayed for Wanni. We were a little nervous for the rest of the day, yet we felt at peace that everything would work out.
The next day at church, Wanni was a few minutes late. Sister Schulze was a little nervous that perhaps it had something to do with the message she had sent her dad yesterday. I was a little nervous, too, but I still felt oddly at peace. Wanni came in later, with her cute little grin on her face. She sat by Sister Shulze. She told Sister Schulze that her dad said, ''Wanni, you are old enough now to decide for yourself. Think about it, but if that is what you want to do, then go ahead.'' Wanni could not believe the miracle at all! She asked, ''Why? Why? Why would my dad change his mind? Just a few weeks ago, when I mentioned the church, he said to stop going to church and reading in the Book of Mormon. But now, he says I can even be baptized???'' We told her we had had 16 missionaries (and a joint teach from the previous week) praying for her. Also, she was willing to put ALL of her trust in the Lord. She had enough faith to know that her Heavenly Father would help her out, and she acted on that faith. Wanni will be baptized this Saturday, January 26 at 7:00. That was truly a weekend of miracles!
Binod and Nita are also progressing so well towards their baptism. I am so thankful I have this opportunity to help Wanni, Binod, and Nita make the necessary covenants to return to live with their Savior.
Sister Stephanie Reid