Happy Birthday Mom! (Happy Halloween, too!)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!! I LOVE YOU!
Happy Halloween, too.

Oh my word! I can’t believe it is already November. Time flies like crazy. Today is my first P-day in almost two weeks, so we have a LOT to do. I have to keep this email short. My companion, Elder Bledsoe, was taking the SAT this morning, so our P-day got switched to today. Which means we have another P-day on Monday. But we have to fix our car today (I’m not a fan of driving a mission car, by the way. Bikes are they way to go) and do a bunch of other unexpected tasks. Not to mention the fact that we are going to a recent convert’s daughter’s baptism at 4:00 PM. I will email again on Monday and send pictures.

Bad news first. Our investigator Kathleen, who was super solid and awesome, got into some crazy christian witchcraft books and became obsessed with them. And when you invite Satan in like that, he comes. After she started reading those books, she wanted nothing to do with us. She kicked us and the singles’ ward missionaries out of her house. However, she will never be able to forget that she knows the Book of Mormon is true. Hopefully she will soften her heart someday.

And now the good news! We have been teaching a lady named Valleri for a while now. She had always been really flaky with appointments, but at one appointment we decided to read 1 Nephi 8 (the vision of the tree of life) with her and it lit her on fire. She felt the spirit so strongly as she realized she could be the example to her family… and that the only thing that would bring her peace in this life is the gospel of Jesus Christ. She tearfully bore testimony to us that she knew everything we taught was true. She came to church on Sunday and had a simply incredible experience. It was the primary program, and as she watched the children sing she said she felt a peace she had never felt before. She told us the churches she used to go to pumped her up and were the “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord” congregations that she thought were fun, but she didn’t really feel spiritually uplifted until she came with us to church. Our next lesson with her, we retaught the Restoration and asked her to kneel in prayer right there and ask God for the truth. What followed was one of the most sincere prayers I have ever witnessed. She poured her heart out to God, She thanked him for us, for her experience at church, for her family. The she earnestly asked if what we taught was true. Just before she closed her prayer, she simply said, “thank you”. In that moment, we all knew that the Spirit had witnessed to Valleri that everything we taught was true, was the word of God. With tears rolling down her face, she again bore testimony to us about the truth she had discovered. She was going to be baptized the following day, last Sunday, but the adversary threw in his two cents and her oldest son broke his leg shortly after we left her house. She spent all night at the Emergency Room with her son, but was still determined to come to church. As she drove to church after a night without sleep, another one of her sons called from home because he was violently ill. Even though because of these emergencies her baptism was delayed for a week, she remains strong in her faith. We are now teaching some of her children as well.

I’m out of time to tell you of all the miracles I’ve seen this week. The rest will have to wait until Monday.

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The picture with the family is an investigator named Stefanie. Her daughter is the cutest little girl EVER! Besides Adelaide.

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The picture with the man in the mask is our High Priest Group Leader, Brother Horlacher. We had dinner at his house Halloween Night. His wife LOVES Halloween.

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The picture with the man with the Afro is our neighbor, Derek. He is pretty crazy, but we love him. That Afro is fake, by the way. It was just for Halloween. All of our neighbors are awesome. We have barbecues with them sometimes, but none of them are quite ready to listen to us.

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