It was a very humbling thing for me to spend so much time out of the area.. because the area still saw so many miracles without me. Just goes to show that it is never the missionary that makes the work move forward. While I was in Kalkaska for a few days the following things happened in the area. They taught 5 lessons, picked up 3 new investigators, and talked to 60 people. As they were opening planning, they received a phone call from a member who said he has two daughters that need to get baptized and they are ready to go... Yes my friend... We can do that for you!! We also recieved word on Sunday that one of our 17 year old investigators named Simon received permission from his family to be baptized on August 1. One of the biggest tender mercies was this:
It all started on the Fourth of July, when I decided to change out of my dark pants into my grey pants before going out to work.. It sounds crazy but just wait. We went out to work and PC'd for a couple hours at Cherry Festival, which brings over 500,000 people every year. We couldn't even get anyone to slow down... We had a lesson there shine us, but then pick us back up, which meant we had to stick around for about an hour longer than we were planning. Not going to lie, it was very discouraging to be trying so hard and be treated so rudely. Nevertheless we kept on. The previous night, we had decided to check on a few members we didn't know, something we don't normally do, so we opened the Ward Roster, and picked out a few names. We fast from our cars on Saturdays here, so we were walking all day. We came to the street of the member, and saw that he lived about a mile down that road. We began walking when Elder Coziar asked, "Should we knock down to the house?" My first thought was no, but after passing a few houses, I stopped, and felt we needed to.
A few houses in, we met a couple of teenage girls watering their plants outside, to whom we said, "Hey! We are your missionaries! Are your parents home? They went inside and got their mom, who felt so bad that we were out in the heat wearing what we were that she invited us onto the porch for some water. We found out that she had just gotten home from a softball tournament downstate a few minutes before, (Hence why we needed to be at cherry festival so long), and we started making small talk with her. She continued to feel bad for us so she invited us to sit down at a table in the shade with one of her daughters named Maddie (16). Over the course of the conversation, she said that normally says no to missionaries very quickly, (She eventually realized it may be because the black pants and ties are intimidating. Weird.. But hence the grey pants) but she asked us what it is we do. That was the first of almost 3 hours worth of questions about our purpose and the gospel. One of the biggest miracles to Jennifer was that Maddie was so engaged in the conversation. She has major trust issues, and Jennifer was shocked she felt so comfortable around us. The only hold up Jennifer had about being baptized was being immersed in water. Huge miracle.
Their family was the subject of my fast on Sunday was for them and there progression. We waited and waited for them at church, but they never came. We got a text that said that she found something that bothered her on our Website and that she didn't want to meet any more.. I was heartbroken.. One of the saddest moments of my mission. On Thursday however, we got a text from her that said Maddie, of all people, talked her into meeting with us again. Elder Coziar had dinner with the whole family while I was gone, and answered her concerns, and she is back on track. I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear this news when I got back to the area. Halelujah!!! Its going to be a slow process for them.. but things will work out. I am sure of it!
It was an excellent week! Thank you all for all the birthday wishes and the love you have sent to me. I love you all so much! You will never know!!
|Me and the Cake-in-a-mug I made myself|
|Grand Traverse bay on the way home from Kalkaska|