Another month in the new year!
Wow, we're already into February!?! Can you believe it? This week has been great. There are a couple of adventures of the week that I'm excited to share. I will start with one that really has no relevance, but maybe somebody will get a good laugh. On Saturday, Sister Brack and I were walking through a parking garage to get to the other side. You know those gates that can close off a road (just imagine if you don't know what I'm talking about :D)? Well, I was walking quickly, behind Sister Brack, and was looking up, not paying any attention to where I was walking. Next thing I know, I walked straight into a horizontal, metal bar on the gate. The pain was SO bad! I am so blessed that the injury is a few inches above my knee cap, because it would have shattered my knee. I have a baseball size goose egg and bruise on my leg and can barely walk right now. I just started kneeling to pray again this morning because it hurt too much the past couple of days. Lesson learned: pay attention to your surroundings :)
We found a new investigator!!!!! Her name is Shantel and she is SO amazing. We met her at a bus stop two weeks ago (I may have mentioned her in my last e-mail). We taught her at her house for the first time this week and the Spirit was so strong. She is 18 years old and still in high school. She just decided a few weeks ago to start going to church and feels like it is a sign that we met her at this time. She is very happy and nice. She doesn't know much about God or religion, but wants to learn. We taught her about the restoration of the gospel and taught very simply. We explained words like "repent" and "agency." When I recited Joseph Smith's first vision, she said that she had goosebumps. When I got to the part where Heavenly Father says "This is my Beloved Son, hear Him," Shantel gasped and then got a huge smile on her face. At the end of the lesson, she handed me back the Book of Mormon and I told her it was hers. She was full of joy and was so grateful to have the words of God. We committed her to baptism (not a specific date yet) and to come to church this Sunday. I am grateful for the Lord's hand in this work. He has gone before us, not just as missionaries, but as members. He has prepared people all around us that we can share our testimonies with, but it is up to us to be in tune with the Spirit enough to recognize those people.
The way home from Shantel's was pretty scary. It wasn't snowing at all when we got there but it dumped about a foot in an hour and a half. We just drove slowly and were fine. It's beautiful outside when it's snowing. We got to have a sister sleepover last night! Sister Evanson (my last companion in North Bay), Sister Brandley (one of my MTC companions), and Sister Cheng (my one-week companion from Hong Kong), slept over because Sister Cheng had a chinese missionary conference at the mission home. It was so fun to be with some of my best friends. Missions are so great.
I will leave you with this thought from Sacrament Meeting yesterday: Having a testimony is the greatest shield you have in life eternal. Nobody will ever take my testimony away from me. A testimony is a gift and needs nourishment. If we do not feed our spirits, our testimonies will fall away. Look at the prophet Alma the Younger from the Book of Mormon. Yes, he saw an angel, which gave him a great awakening, but it wasn't until he prayed and fasted (Alma 5) that he knew the gospel is true. The witness of the Holy Ghost, which comes as we pray, fast, read, ponder, etc. is far stronger than sight. I am so grateful for faith. I am grateful that we are not left to rely on sight only to know truth. God is real. He is here with us. If we have faith enough, we will recognize Him in all. I met a man this week who told me "If you don't see God in all, then you don't see God at all." Look for God in all you do this week. I love you all!
Sister Barton :)