First off, I updated my contacts list for the first time in a long, long time, so for some of you. This might be the first email you have received from me for . . . well, since I left on my mission. Sorry! You can catch up on what's been happening (lots of reading!) by visiting my blog that I believe is being updated every week! foundedinfaith.blogspot.com
It's been a wonderful week here in the city of Baker City (no lie, that redundancy shows up everywhere, including police squad cars)
Elder Knighton and I had a good experience today. We had just gotten done shopping and I returned the cart. Leaning up against the cart holder was a man. I said hi and in passing wished him a good day. As I walked back to the car, I got the strong impression that we should go back. I got to the car and grabbed a pass-along card with our phone number on it and a pamphlet talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We went back and talked with Phil. He told us he doesn't like how people nowadays don't even say hi to each other anymore. Found out his family goes way back in this area, even toward the pioneer days of the Oregon Trail. A short conversation and we promised him God would answer his prayers and we explained a little on what we do. I'm grateful that we opened our mouths and let the Lord do the talking to help Phil.
The Spirit is just wonderful. We visited a family out near Richland on Sunday. The dad, Amos, is as cowboy as you can get. His heart is truly good. He and his wife Melanie have four kids. The eldest isn't functional, but getting to know the family, it is clear that Jimmy has had more of an impact for good on that family than possibly anything else in their lives. We taught everyone about the Restoration of the Gospel. We focused on the kids and the husband since they aren't members of the Church. The kids love us. We even got a handmade picture from Mary that said "I love missionaries!" Another melt-your-heart kind of moment. Nearing the end of the lesson/discussion, the conversation kind of got off on a tangent. Amidst the whirlwind of words, I felt an impression from the Spirit to tell the mother, Melanie, that God loves her and will bless and strengthen her just as much as the rest of her family. As I began to talk, everything got very quiet and the Spirit filled the room and every heart there. I hadn't spoke very much before I noticed tears coming from Melanie's eyes. I love the Spirit. There is no way I could have known about her silent worries and prayers, about her testimony of the Gospel and her strength and spirituality except by the Holy Spirit. My eyes began to water as well (that's saying a lot by the way) as I realized that God had used me, a very imperfect person, to convey that love God has for His precious daughter, Melanie.
Use your talents and knowledge everyone! E. Knighton knows stuff about horses I don't even pretend to know or understand. After not succeeding in contacting a few people on this one street and getting one pane of glass away from having my hand chomped off by a golden lab, he noticed some horses in a neighbors yard. Making a small comment about them, I asked him if he wanted to see who lived there. Sure! So we went over and met Jennifer. What a good person she is. Answering a few questions she had about the Church, she is allowing us to come back. We don't know what will come of our future visit, but we do know that God answered some of her concerns. Plus, we got to pet the horses! :)
Another lady, Karen, we had been putting off (and by that I mean we kept forgetting) on visiting. We finally did. Again, the Spirit took over and prompted us to ask her about and talk to her about patriarchal blessings. She has hers and simply following a prompting by the Spirit to ask her about it led to an inspired conversation.
There is another family learning about the Gospel. It's a single mother with four kids and my, those four kids are a handful. They are also way cool and super spiritually minded! Jake and Nick love to pray and argue about who gets to say the prayer. Jake said a prayer recently after one of our lessons and in it he asked God for help to "obey all your commands" and he prayed for his brother and family members by name and specifically for blessings for them. His brother Nick is almost 12 and most kids that age don't really want to read scriptures. Whenever it is his turn to read he asks if he can read more than what we've asked him to. They are awesome. I hope my kids turn out like that.
Well, it's time to go. I hope you each have a wonderful week. God is there. He lives and loves us!