The work is really picking up here in Winnebago! We have done a TON of finding lately. Something our mission has been emphasizing - I'm not sure if I've told you about it yet - is called "First Vision Lessons"; basically, every companionship is to strive to teach Joseph Smith's First Vision at least TWO times every day. We've been promised that as we do so, the individuals who are prepared to receive the gospel will be touched in their hearts by the message, and it will ring true to them. I've TOTALLY seen that to be the case as we go out and testify of Joseph's experience; every time I recite the First Vision, my own testimony of it grows, and I've been able to see people's hearts soften and interest pique as they consider something they've NEVER considered before; that God has reached out to His children in LOVE and called a Prophet once again! It's incredible. (Both the knowledge, and sharing that knowledge. Absolutely incredible!)
Friday was MLC! I LOVE PRESIDENT WILLIAMS. What a man. He's friendly and loves to have fun, but also knows how to get to work and make results happen. The perfect balance! Something I LOVE that he said was, "If missionary work isn't fun, then you're doing it wrong." Over and over again on my mission I've needed that reminder - yes, we are here to work... but we are here to find JOY! And if we're truly obedient and working our hardest, that joy will automatically come, regardless of results! That's something else I've really found this week - even if people reject us, when I've worked my hardest I go to sleep at night feeling WONDERFUL. I'm SO GRATEFUL for this mission thing. Every day, in every prayer... SO grateful. I love this place so much I can't even describe it - I will ALWAYS be eternally grateful that I was called to serve a mission!
Karina is progressing really well! Her baptism date is set for October 8th, enough time to get the ward members more involved. If the Young Women leaders and girls support her, I'm not worried at all for her future activity in the church. If she falls through the cracks somehow... not so much! I feel like I'm shepherding ducklings sometimes - trying to get all the ducks in a row so NOTHING can go wrong! But I know if we do our best, follow the Spirit, and teach Karina how to live the gospel, her testimony and activity in the Church will be fine. And she'll be so SO blessed for it! She's just the sweetest.
The Vandenlangenbergs are LEGIT. They have good questions about our church specifically and religion in general; one of those questions is HOW could there be ONE TRUE CHURCH if there are so many people and denominations who think that THEIR OWN CHURCHES are right? And the only answer I really have is my testimony of the First Vision. I KNOW it happened. Everything in the history of the world points to Christ Himself atoning for us, and to the glorious restoration of the fullness of His gospel here in these latter days so that WE, as children of God, can ACCESS that miraculous Atonement. It's true. I don't know how else to say it - all of this is TRUE.
I love you all. Fall is in the air - my favorite of all favorite seasons - Hope you enjoy it!