Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bye Bye Battle Creek 05/05/14

We got a call from President Hess Friday morning, and he says, we don't normally do this, but the Senior companion is staying and the junior is leaving. I felt like I got punched in the gut! I have been assigned to labor in Grand Rapids, and will be serving with Elder Bell and Elder Koefed. It is still a little unreal to think I am leaving and it is super bittersweet, but I am super excited!

It has been a really good final week. We had 2 lessons with Noah, and he is so excited and prepared to be baptized. He is so sincere and sweet. He honestly feels like a little Brother. He asked me to baptize him, and it was really hard to tell him that I wouldn't get to be there. I am super bummed out about it :( But he is progressing, and he wants to serve a mission! He is the man.

Carenda is so solid. She is another reason I am so sad about leaving. We had an awesome lesson with her on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is now through Mosiah. She knows it is true, and the only thing keeping her from being baptized is her trust issues for the one baptizing her, but she knows that as she keeps reading the Book of Mormon, that concern will be solved.

Simone and Gwen are still some of my favorite people on earth, but sadly they are still not reading the Book of Mormon. They know that they need to, they just aren't. Agency is wonderful, but it is very frustrating. Every time I go there though, they just make me laugh so much! It is wonderful! They are great people! They just need to read the Book of Mormon!

Terry also came to church again, and stayed for two hours this time! He has strengthened my testimony how love and not words change hearts. I swear he doesn't hear a word we say, but the love we have shown him has begun to change him. Love truly is the only thing that can mend the broken heart. We have loved him back to church, and I could not be more excited about it! I am going to miss him!

We did happen to have a miracle this week as well! We got a media referral for man named Martin Smith, who we later found out was a returned missionary. He hadn't been to church in years. He referred himself on because he wanted a Book of Mormon so he could find out if there is really a Jesus Christ. We gave him one and came back later in the week. We planned on getting to know him better and follow the spirit from there. He was baptized at 22 and went on a mission at 24. He served for 13 months, and received a medical release for a couple of severe knee injuries. He became bitter towards God, because he had been doing everything he asked, and he still was sent home. He fell off the deep end from there. He had major issues with the commandments and covenants he had made. After awhile he felt so awful, that he went to the church and tried to get excommunicated. He didn't, but he couldn't bear the thought of coming back. We watched a mormon message on how the Savior wants to forgive. I bore my testimony of my experience with the atonement. I testified with all my heart that I know what its like to be weighed down and trapped with mistakes, and feeling like you will never get out, but I bore my witness that it can and will happen. The savior wants to forgive. I was prompted to say, "I know he is there. I know he is real, and I know that you know it too." He started to cry. In the closing prayer, he thanked our father in heaven for a Savior and his atonement. It was one of the most powerful moments on my mission. I am so thankful for my testimony of the atonement. I am grateful to have been through what I have been through and I am grateful that our Redeemer saved even me. I love him with all my heart. He came to church on Sunday for the first time in years and the ward was so excited to see him again. I love that man. I wish I could stay just so I could keep teaching him. 

It is so bittersweet to think I will be leaving. We have door knocked in some of the prettiest places I have ever been. I have met the most amazing people, and the ward is wonderful. Elder Yates said that if it is hard to leave an area, you did it right. I must have done wonderful then, because it is super hard to leave, but I am so excited to go to Grand Rapids. I am really going to miss Elder Yates. He is a wonderful missionary, companion, trainer, and friend. I am really going to miss quoting Spongebob with him haha He is a great man! 

Life is good! The Savior lives!

Elder Wheat
Martin Smith! What a man!

Grant and Gloria!

The Dream Team

Sister Singh

GRANNY!! The one dog I like here!

This is Terry Deters!

The Carriers! Noah is the one on the left! They have become another family!

Tyler is the man! He just blessed the sacrament for the first time! That is the best to see as a missionary!

Yvonne Jones. Nuff said

Jake Mcnese is like our third companion and served with Jake Tui in Salt Lake! He is one of my mentors!

The Freeloves, one of my favorite families. Johnny, the young man in the black Jacket is the one drives us everywhere. I love that kid! He is a great missionary. Sister Freelove is the missionary mom. She is so great :) I love this family!

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