Monday, December 28, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

It feels like I have been in Hampstead for MONTHS!  Rather than just over a week and a half.  But things are BOOMING!  It is so amazing to me to see how the Lord works in our behalf. 

We have been going down the ward roster trying to meet new people, contact referrals we have received, and tract to find new investigators that way as well.  Sister Macrum and I have a great teaching mechanism and we know when to pick up, stop, and come in.  It is fabulous. 
I want to tell you about three people we came across this week, and how the Lord was in the details. First, Danny.  We were actually referred by the Elders to go see his wife. So we park in the driveway, and bow our heads to say a prayer like we usually do.  When I open my eyes I see a BIG man looming outside my window and I jump- do a little girly, 'ah!' and he jumps and does a big manly, "AH!"  I get out of the car and say, 'You SCARED me!' and he laughs back and says that I scared him.  To give you a better idea of the scenario, he is about 300 pounds, 6 feet 2 inches, has a prosthetic leg with tattoos on his arms and hands.  We get to talking about Christmas and what he and his wife had done.  He told us he was preparing  a sermon for church the next day because they had asked him to speak.  Both Sister Macrum and I said we were ALSO asked to speak to our congregation the next day!  (Of which I had forgotten up to that point and was so kindly reminded.) HA! He said that he had always been a church goer and felt blessed this season especially because he had been searching for a job and was just hired.  We praised him and I felt prompted to share Ether 12:27 with him about being humbled and then being strengthened in the Lord.  And although the scripture doesn't really talk about enduring to the end...or holding to the iron rod, the phrase, "We need to hold fast!" came out of my mouth.  I was like..."What?" In my head...
The conversation continued and we found out that the woman we were originally looking for was his wife.  And she had just gotten knee surgery and was asleep inside.  But I definitely felt that it was HIM we needed to talk to.   As our chat came to a close we got his information, set a day to come back, and he says, "You girls be safe out there.  Don't forget"... *holds up his fists and tattooed across his fingers it says, "HOLD FAST".  Oh my gosh....I was prompted to say that because it had significance to him.  It was amazing.  I am excited to see where this goes with them.

Second, Tim.  We were looking for his wife and as we walked up to the garage he was tinkering around in he told us that she had left.  But not just left, ... she 'LEFT....left'.  Took their daughter and walked out.  My heart swells and hurts for him.  (That is what I love about the spirit and being a missionary.  You actually feel how the Savior would feel if he were talking to these people.)  Tim starts to cry and leans against the truck.  I didn't really know how to respond to a grown man crying to us- strangers.  So automatically I turn to the scriptures.  I flip open immediately to Mosiah 24:13 and 14.  He is listening intently and tells us that he is just hurting and what is worse, is that it was Christmas.  He asked us to pray to the Big Man upstairs because he couldn't for himself.  He hadn't been there for God, so why would God be there for him NOW?  He also relayed how he felt about his communication with God...that is wasn't the best and he didn't know how it could get better.  I LOVED this because this is EXACTLY what we address as missionaries.  We both testified of God's love for him, and that no matter what was going on, Christ was listening to him and could feel his pain.  We told him we would come back and address this more with him.  There are so many people out there who are hurting and don't know how to find God.

Third, Stephanie.  A middle aged widow who is actually BAPTIST.  But the nicest one you'll ever meet!  She let us in her home and was telling us about her constant search for God and the things she has studied and read to build her relationship with him.  She had several versions of the Bible, and said she had actually read about Mormons and knew a few.  She had no hard feelings and said she would be up for reading the Book of Mormon and seeing how she felt.  IT was great to feel so successful.

Then we were able to meet a part member family and start teaching a 14 year old girl named Ezzy.  She has come to church twice and ASKED if she could be baptized.  (Jaw dropped open on that one!)  We extended a baptismal date and she accepted.  So hopefully all will go well and we will have a baptism this January :)

Not so FUNNY things of the week. 
- Our apartment has a flea problem and I currently have 18 bites on my feet and shins. 
- We were driving in the pouring rain, got stuck in the mud, had to get pulled out, and felt SO dumb.  I don't have great luck with cars these days...

Great Service opportunity!
We went out shopping, put together stockings for three needy kids in the ward and dropped them off on Christmas eve.  The Family we were eating dinner with drove us and their kids did the 'ding-dong-ditching'.  It was so fun and fulfilling. The family who did it with us thanked us for letting their kids be a part of that neat experience on Christmas Eve :)

Then on Christmas Day we went to the Bishop's house and opened gifts, ate food, went to the BEACH because it was 77 degrees outside, and sunny!  Skyping the fam was definitely the highlight.
I am so thankful for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It allows me to repent, be with my family forever, and never question or doubt my relationship or personal revelation from God.

For New Years I am setting a few goals for myself: spiritual, and physical.  What are your resolutions to come closer to your Savior?

Lots of LOVE!
Sister Golden

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