Well I forgot my planner at home so I may struggle with remembering all that happened this week… Sorry!
First and foremost: PAUL NICHOLLS IS OFFICIALLY BAPTIZED! Paul was my super amazing investigator from Humble, who lives in Baytown, who was dating my favorite member Merrilee Davis. Whoa. He’s the one who was super prepared but we had to hand him off to the elders in Baytown since that’s where he’d have to get baptized… but anyways – I got permission from President Crawford to attend. A member drove us the 2 hours to Baytown. It was AMAZING. It was so cool to see someone who I helped teach finally reach this point! He was so excited… We got there at 4, so church was being let out. When he came out of priesthood all the ward members were just acting like he was already baptized; thanking him for his comments, chatting like old friends… It was REALLY sweet to see he’s been fellowshipped into the ward. His baptism was PACKED. We didn’t have enough chairs; people were crowding the relief society room, peeking in from the hall. But it was incredibly spiritual. Paul bore his testimony after he was baptized and I just cried. He loves this gospel. He admits he doesn’t know everything about ‘being a Mormon’, but he is prepared, willing, and excited to accept all things required of him through faith. He always asks me for new rules; “Tell me something else I don’t know that I need to follow!” uhhh… He just really wants to be obedient and follow our Heavenly Father. It was such an honor to be there! The elders who finished his teaching called me a week in advance and said Paul was begging that I be there. It was so sweet (: He almost hugged me when he saw me! hahaha it was a little awkward.
THE CHURCH IS TRUE!
But up here in Woodville… CRAZY STORY:
Well I just hit send on accident… Sorry about that. hahaha
CRAZY STORY: yesterday, our ward mission leader was not keeping the Sabbath day holy and let someone come over to his house to look at a pistol they wanted to by. Ronnie is super old (okay. like… maybe in his 70’s) and is always super careful with his guns. He’s actually afraid of them. hahaha BUT he was taking the bullet out of the chamber and it went off some how and HE SHOT HIS RING FINGER! They were in the wash room so it was super loud. His sister in-law was home (his wife is the one taking us to the baptism…. we’re driving as all this is happening) so she went running and found him so pale and in shock. The man and his daughter looking at the gun were just stunned and shocked; still unsure of what just happened (idiots). So Loretta had to take poor Ronnie to the ER! We’re still waiting to hear how bad his finger is but… Oh man. Kids, that’s what happens when you try to sell things on Sunday. You shoot your finger off.
We got to do some service on Friday for the annual Lion’s Club Mexican Dinner. Ohh man… It was so much fun and the food was so good! Mmm. It was really neat cause we got to work in the kitchen and talk to a bunch of non-members. We didn’t gain any potentials, but we were able to talk about our faith and answer questions they had. So we feel pretty successful in helping them see that Mormon’s are pretty neat people.
So sister allison and I were fixin to go back to our Heavenly Road and find some people to do some teaching with! So we went on Thursday and it just started to RAIN. It was so bad I had to drive so slow… So we ended up leaving our heavenly road and went out to this town called Dam B. We visited a less active family Sister Allison had never met. Ohh man… They were a little off. I don’t even know how to fully describe these people. But their house was pretty much a shack. It was an abandoned gas station… They had a whole bunch of trash out front with a card board sign that said “yard sale”. I was SCARED. I was all, “okay. if this is the outside, there’s no way i can go inside. HEAVENLY FATHER! ahhh! help help help!” So we knocked on the door (we’d driven quite a ways, we couldn’t just chicken out) and their emo son came out. He tried to get rid of us but his parents came to the door and shooed us in. Oh man – if i could send smells home, i’d totally have sent you this one. it was RAUNCHY! but down we sat on nasty chairs and conversation was begun. i was shaking the whole time; i could not get a grip. I was praying so hard in my mind to have help from heavenly father, that i could see them as he sees them and that they are desperately in need of the gospel again, annnd… it worked. prayer works! I stopped shaking, was able to contribute to conversation, and actually had a good time once my nose was numb to the stench. They turned out to be a rather fun family to talk to! They had a lot of woes, they kind of dumped a lot of stuff on us, but in the end we were able to share a great message with them and leave them happier than we found them. I’m even a tiny bit excited to go back!
Saturday night (sorry i’m jumping all over the week) we had a branch supper. There was a non-member boy who’d done scouting with our troop and was getting his Eagle. So our whole branch went to his court of honor and a ton of people from his church in kirbyville came too! So our little gym was PACKED. But we were able to meet a lot of people, eat tons of delicious food, and watch our branch in action as they talked with non-members. it was a really good experience for everyone… I also scared the heck out of sister allison and popped the question on a non-member girl who’s been dating a man in our branch. “So, Lauren, you’ve been coming to church a lot. Would you like to take our discussions?” She seemed a little stunned, but then said, “actually, yes! that’d be great!”. I thought Sister Allison was going to pass out! She was so pale. hahaha BUT we’d been needing to ask that question for a long time. Sister Allison and Sister Mills were too scared, so I just took over and did it myself. Turned out pretty good to meeee…. (: hahaha
My thoughts have been stuck on the bible lately. Specifically in John. I’ve been reading in John 13 annnd… 15 I think. But I’ve been reading about Peter and all that he did right before christ was killed. I would not want to be Peter. At the end of 13 he said that he would go where ever christ went and even lay down his life! Then – when judas comes to betray christ – Peter is all packing a sword and decides to whip it out and defend our savior, chopping off a guy’s ear! Christ is all, “Man, what are you doing? Put that darn thing away!” (I just imagine Peter has a complex at this point; adreneline pumping from being all hard core with a sword then he get’s softly rebuked by christ. DANG.) So then – peter who has claimed he would lay down his life, defends the savior, all of a sudden denies Him three times. ???!! this makes me crazy. It doesn’t make sense! Granted – it does cause Christ totally called it – but why would Peter do that? Then I started to liken this unto myself. How many times have I ever bore my testimony, or boldly claimed that “I AM A MORMON!” and whipped out my sword to defend what I know, but then sheepishly shyed away from anyone who may have ever been truely interested? How many times have I ever not shared the gospel, or stood behind my Savior, because it wasn’t the cool thing or because I may have felt social pressure? Interesting, is it not? CAUSE THEN even Pilate is all, “hey everyone! there’s nothing wrong with this guy! are you sure you want to condem him? wouldn’t you rather have me release him?” and the people shouted, “no! give us barrabbas” haha check out that spelling… but you know what i mean. Oh MAN! How many times to we trade Christ for something way worse? Like – not reading our scriptures before bed but watching hours of netflix? Or not saying our prayers in the morning but catching up on the news? We trade things all the time for righteous works and it makes me sad. I can’t believe the life I’ve lived! Or the fact that I haven’t been zapped yet. Oh gosh… So yeah – that’s just what’s been on my mind. You should go read those chapters. They’re prettying exciting! I really like them.
So that’s pretty much what’s been going on… I haven’t been too sick. Actually – I’m pretty much back to my ol’ self. I’m turning into the fire cracker I once was and sister allison is all, “whoa. suddenly she has energy!” cause I’ve been pretty lathargic(?). I’m having problems with spelling…
Oh – there’s a member who works at a restaurant in town. He let’s us come through the back kitchen door and he gives us food (: But MAN – they make the best fried chicken and chicken and dumpling soup! Ohhh my gosh… I could die eating that soup and be completely fine with it. I’m getting faaat! Sister Allison and I are starting a diet today… We’ll see how this goes. baaah!
Well I love y’all and miss y’all so much! Hope you’re reading your scriptures(: They’re amazing!
Be wise and be righteous in all things!
— Sister Stockinger