This week was incredible. Period. We had a lot of member-present lessons, our investigators made a lot of real progress this week. It's incredible how out of such small things, the Lord really can bring about great things.
We met with the Nespers on Monday night, and the young women's president came. She is a JAE, and they really liked her a lot. We read President Uchtdorf's talk ''Your Wonderful Journey Home,'' and did a review of the Plan of Salvation with a large emphasis on their potential, individual worth, and divine nature. They really loved the talk, and, as always, the spirit they felt:]
On Tuesday, we were with the Nespers, and we brought Sister Kleiner's mom. She really bonded well with the Nespers. We sat down, and Tina told us she didn't want to be baptized - she has already been baptized once, and she doesn't understand why it would be necessary again. Beate said that she was unsure what to think. A friend of theirs had talked to them, and... Anyway, we said a prayer, and Sister Kleiner talked about her conversion story, and about how she was ''baptized'' twice. We also talked about how they need to find out for themselves, and we committed them to really pray about it that night. Then Tina asked if we drink wine in the sacrament. I have been so scared to bring up the word of wisdom with them because of what happened with Bernie, so I have been praying that it would just get brought up. And it did! We talked all about how we don't drink alcohol, and they said that they both don't drink - life is just better when you remember it, and it tastes gross. Then I asked what she thought of smoking. She said she wished she didn't. I told her we had a program that could help her quit, and she got all sorts of excited and said that Lena and Denise would quit, too:]
We also met with Frau Dackson, and the member we brought was also incredible. Since she was also a young mother, they were able to chat about such things that Sister Brinck and I could offer no such experience. The bond was very cool, and Frau Dackson started asking important questions. She also really appreciated that there was someone there who knew how she felt and to whom she could go with her problems. We will teach her about the atonement next time:]
Wednesday night, we had an incredible fireside with Elder Fingerle. He talked all about member missionary work. He said that when the missionaries do the job on their own, it's like harvesting with a Sichel. That was nice at one point, but this is the 21st Century, and these days we harvest with tractors. The members were so pumped to invite everyone they know to our building dedication next month!
Thursday, we taught the Stop-Smoking-Lesson to the Nespers, and it went really well. We brought our GML and the elders. We gave them Grapefruit juice (you would not believe how hard it is to find unsweetened Grapefruit juice), mouthwash, and vitamin C tablets. Tina was so grateful that she gave Sister Brinck and me both hugs. That was the first time she has ever embraced us, but I think she really could feel our love for her. Then Lena and Denise came home, and Tina told them to sit down and pay attention because they were going to quit, too. They all agreed, and it was awesome!
Tina got kind of sick this weekend, so it kept her from coming to church. But it also kept her from smoking! She said that she had absolutely zero desire to smoke when she felt so gross. The Lord works in mysterious ways:]
Lena and Denise both came to church yesterday!! It was incredible! The young women were also really excited and very good at fellowshipping. We got a call from the mom and grandma (who had not come to church) that afternoon, asking us and the elders to come over that night. We did, and they explained that they wanted us to help the teenagers turn their lives around. They went on about all of these things they had done, and the girls got so embarrassed that they left the room. We told them that our job was not to help troubled youth. We talked about repentance and the atonement and how it really doesn't matter what we have done, as long as we repent and are trying to be better. The girls eventually came back into the room, and we read ''The Family: A Proclomation to the World'' with them, and kind of called the whole family to repentance. The spirit was so strong, and we committed them all to treat each other with respect and love and to hold a family prayer everyday. Then we kneeled for the prayer at the end. And then, the mom said, ''Oh my goodness, we just have to come to church this next Sunday.'' Then the four-year-old started crying because she wanted to go to church so badly, and they told her that she would come, too. As we were sitting in that lesson last night, I just thought, ''This is why we come on missions.'' This family has changed so much since we first met them, and they are changing so much everyday. Tina and Beate are also so excited about their baptisms, and Lena and Denise are excited to come to church next week and the Young Women activity on Wednesday:]
I learned a lot about the atonement this week - we taught it a lot, and I studied it a lot. It's a little long, but your homework for this week is to read and study this talk: http://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/03/missionary-work-and-the-atonement?lang=eng
Have groovy weeks!!
Sister Stephanie Reid