A Week of Miracles

Hi everyone,

We had an AMAZING week! Lots of miracles:)

pumpkinsSo the week started off great because for zone p-day last week, Sister Kastner and I convinced the zone leaders to let us carve pumpkins, and they made it a contest and let us be the judges!! Yayy!!!!:) The luchador on the end won:) And ours is the third one in the line-up. He’s named Alfredo and he was so cute. But now a week later he’s saggy and moldy and scary (see the second picture). 😦 Oh well. He had a good life.

alfredoThen on Wednesday an appointment fell through and we both decided simultaneously to go see another of our investigators. I’ll just call him L. We dropped by his house, and he was really excited to see us! He grabbed his Book of Mormon and we all sat down out in the front yard. We had assigned him 3 Nephi 11 the last time we met with him, and he had read some of it. We all decided to start at the beginning of the chapter and read through it together. He was really really touched by the account of Christ’s ministry among the Nephites. He started to cry as we were reading, and Sister Kastner and I just kept going through the chapter, but we were both kind of tense and wide-eyed with wonder as we let the Spirit do His work:) Then when we were finished, we had a discussion about the Spirit, the priesthood and baptism. We invited L to be baptized, but he wasn’t that interested. He did, however, ask if we could keep reading. We just looked at each other and were like, “Well YEAH of course!!” No sooner had L read the first verse of chapter 12 than he put down his Book of Mormon, stood up, and declared, “I’m convinced. I want to get baptized.” He then proceeded to tell us about a small creek nearby and to ask if the priest figure could come and baptize him right then and there! Sister Kastner and I stared at him and then at each other and then at him again. Then we finally remembered we should say something:) We told him how we were so happy and excited for him, and then we explained the preparation that would be necessary, and also the doctrine of immersion:) So he should be getting baptized in a few weeks!!

I'm drawing Esther. I'm not done yet.
I’m drawing Esther. I’m not done yet.

After L, another appointment fell through. So we were driving down the road and we passed this huge field where a group of six teenage guys was playing baseball on the far side of it. Sister Kastner slowed down and then stopped. We looked at each other, then at the guys, then at each other. We thought about how we were supposed to talk to everyone. “How awkward would it be,” asked Sister Kastner, “if we walked straight over to them, across the whole field, and interrupted their game?” “Very awkward,” I replied; “We should do it.” We laughed awkwardly and excitedly, said a giggly prayer, and got out of the car. We marched across the entire field, straight for those boys. Then we called to the nearest one, “Hey! We’re missionaries. We want to share a message about Jesus Christ and His restored church with you!” The guy was understandably taken aback, but HE SAID YES and THEN he called in his four friends (one had left during Sister Kastner’s and my deliberations) and told them that they were all going to listen to a message about Jesus Christ! And THEN when they came in, ONE WAS A MEMBER. How much more perfect could this be??? And so we shared the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ with them, and then we gave them Book of Mormons, and the member was there to add his testimony to ours, and a couple of them seemed really interested, and we’re meeting with them this week! The Lord prepares people to hear His word, and He prepares situations so we can meet them. It is amazing to see:) Also my new motto is that awkwardness brings miracles.

Then another miracle happened with our investigator C. We met him recently and shared the Restoration with him, and he was really interested! But when we came back for our return appointment, his mother answered the door. We had woken her up and she was not happy. Like really not happy. It was a little frightening, to be honest. So the next day we were like, “We need to see C really bad. But what if his mom answers the door again?” So we did what any self-respecting missionaries would do. We went back to our apartment, put tootsie rolls in a cute jar and made it all adorable, grabbed a movie about the Restoration (because who doesn’t like movies?), and went back to C’s house armed with our peace offerings. tootsierollHow could C’s mom be mad at us if we were giving her a cute jar of tootsie rolls and a movie??? She couldn’t, that’s how. So as we drove up, C actually was right in front of us and we saw him go inside. So we put our gifts in our bags and went up to the door and knocked. C answered, and he was really happy to see us! He was really sorry about the day before. His mom had told him about it (indignantly) and he had defended us. And he wanted to hear a message! We were able to share the Plan of Salvation with him. Here’s the miracle. It’s actually a sad one but it’s amazing. As we were talking about the Plan of Salvation, C told us that his friend had passed away the week before. So he had been thinking a lot about this sort of thing. He felt the truth of our message, and I think it brought him a lot of comfort and peace. The Lord had prepared us to be in the right place at the right time to give C the message he needed when he needed it most.

embaptism1And then on Saturday, something exciting happened. Like really exciting. WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!!!! I mean I didn’t teach
him that much and he had already decided to be baptized before I arrived in Colorado, but still!:) So the man who was baptized is M. His wife K was baptized a couple months ago. I can clearly see how the gospel is blessing them because they are going through a lot, and this is getting them through it. M had been down a long road of preparation leading up to his baptism, so it was especially wonderful to see him be baptized. He had an amazing day and was able to feel the support of the ward. Sister Kastner and Sister Harker (the missionary who was here before me and taught M and K) gave the talks and I played the piano:) Now I want to baptize everyone!!

learningspanish
We’re trying to learn Spanish. We recite Joseph Smith’s First Vision and Doctrine and Covenants 4 in Spanish every morning after we say them in English:)

Then on Sunday we had a Spirit-filled lesson with our investigator J. Her mom R has been investigating the Church off and on for NINE YEARS, but we just started teaching J too. She is the sweetest person ever and I love her so much!! Sister Kastner and I were blessed to have a member there for the lesson, and it was so good. J accepted the Book of Mormon and has been reading from it, and in the lesson we talked about the Restoration. After we talked about the restoration of the priesthood, we invited her to be baptized. She was unsure, so we talked about it for a while. She definitely feels the desire, but wants to get a little more comfortable with everything first. She loves learning about the gospel and discussing it with us, and she feels like she really needs it in her life. After the lesson I was just super happy and filled with the Spirit:)

So as you can tell, the Lord is working miracles here in Strasburg, Colorado! And not just here. He is preparing people EVERYWHERE. The field is white all ready to harvest. El campo blanco esta ya para la siega. (I’m pretty sure that was wrong. It’s something like that though.) So go ask the missionaries if you can go out with them! We love that so much!! And it helps our investigators more than you know. Think about how much the gospel has blessed your life. Read Ether 12:4. Then think about which of your friends/co-workers/acquaintances needs that anchor for their soul. Then bring up the gospel with them! If you don’t know how, email me or send me a letter or something and I’ll help you. Or ask the missionaries in your area! And seriously, overwhelm your missionaries with offers to help. Missionary work has blessed my life, and I know it will do the same for you!

alfredoo
He scares us. And yes, that is a picture of the famous missionaries Sister Anna and Sister Elsa in the background. 🙂

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true! And we need to help build Christ’s kingdom on the earth:)

I love you all!! You are amazing and I’m grateful for your prayers:)

Love,
Sister Stratford

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