Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Series of Really, REALLY Fortunate Events (Dec 11)


THAT WOULD BE A WHITE BAPTISMAL DRESS! :D :D YEAH BUDDY!! IT was seriously the craziest happiest week EVER!!!! President asked me to tell the whole I will just send you that same email below. :)

Here is our miraculous story of our investigator (now member!), Sister μ •!

It all started at the end of October. It had been kind of a rough day, and I really didn't have the desire to open my mouth or share any copies of the Book of Mormon. We were walking home from our church and up ahead we saw a lady walking in front of us. I had the prompting come, really just in the form of a passing thought, to go talk to her. I really didn't want to, but I thought about my purpose as a missionary, and decided that I should talk to everyone. So I picked up my pace, caught up to her and started chatting with her. Soon Sister P joined me, and we were able to share our testimonies, a Book of Mormon, and we also got her phone number.

After that we tried calling several times during the week, but nobody answered. This happens a lot as missionaries, so although we were sad we shook it off and didn't think much about it.Two weeks later, much to our surprise, she called us! She asked us, "What time do you worship on Sundays? I want to go to your church!" WE WERE SHOCKED! We had been praying so hard to find new investigators, and God answered our prayers. She came to church that Sunday, attended all of the meetings, and even joined the ward choir preparing to perform at stake conference. When she came to church, the elders were so surprised -- apparently they had seen her on the street that very same week and had 전도d to her, but got rejected. We asked the elders what day that was, and SURPRISE! It was the same day that she called us back and said she wanted to come to church with us. The elder's testimonies must have re-sparked her desire to meet with us. TEAMWORK and also definitely God's plan!

We met with her frequently. As it turns out, she, like Joseph Smith, had attended several different churches throughout her life, but still hadn't found the right one. She was so prepared for this gospel! Since Sister P and I have been reviewing the 12 Week Program lately, we had recently read about setting a baptismal date on the second time meeting with an investigator. So, we exercised some faith and...IT WORKED! We set a date on just the second lesson. We went alone to her home to teach her several times during the week, and although our ward members are busy on weekdays, we were able to do member lessons on Sundays during Sunday School time. Working with the members was awesome -- I wish I would have realized how powerful teaching with members is earlier on in my mission. Teaching with a member by our side magnified the Spirit, added a witness to what we were teaching, and helped μ • feel more comfortable at church. 

The ward choir and other activities (such as helping making our ward Christmas party invitations with members) also proved to be a vital part of μ •'s progression and relationship with the ward members. Because of the choir practices, she came out to the church several times a week and was able to meet and build friendships with the ward members. Luckily, she lives right by our church, so coming often was not a problem. And when GwangJu Stake Conference rolled around, our lovely μ • was singing loud and proud, front and center of our tiny Mokpo Ward choir.
The members prepared wonderful food for the baptism!
She continued to progress, keep commandments, and exercise her faith -- she even gave away her two giant Costco-sized boxes of coffee! Woohoo! Just one month after calling us and saying she wanted to come to church, she was baptized. That was yesterday! :D I can't describe the happiness that Sister P and I felt. Our little Mokpo Ward did an awesome job of coming out and supporting the baptism. During the talk of a member who had helped us teach μ •, gave a talk, and μ • silently cried and cried. After μ • was baptized, we (Sister P, μ •, and me) went in the bathroom, and there μ • just stood, dripping wet and crying, saying that she felt so much peace. As strange as it sounds, that bathroom was a holy place at during that time for us three...the Spirit was so STRONG! After she was dried off, she shared her testimony with the attending members. As part of her testimony she said, "The reason I am crying is because I feel God's love, I feel all of your love, and I feel really warm!" Everyone who attended that baptismal service was sure to have felt the Holy Ghost, it was SO POWERFUL!

Today was a little stressful at first. μ • was supposed to receive the Holy Ghost, sacrament meeting was starting, she still hadn't showed up, and she wasn't answering our calls. We prayed, and waited a little longer. My tummy started feeling sick because I begin to doubt that she would come. But SHE CAME! During the second verse of the opening song, our beloved μ • came! Our chapel is on the second floor of our church, so we tried to hurry her up the stairs, because it was almost time for her to receive the Holy Ghost. While going up the stairs, she stopped and started digging through her purse. "There is no time for this!" I thought, but finally she found what she was looking for: she handed us a handful of dollar bills and said, "This is my fast offering!" I can't really describe how special and sweet that was, but I hope you can imagine. It was wonderful, and also quite a happy shock. Soon after that, she became the newest member of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was straight up BLISSFUL!

I have learned SO MUCH through all of this. First of all, I am thankful for the quiet thought that helped me forget about myself, refocus on my purpose, and go talk to her on the street. That definitely was the Holy Ghost, not me! It scares me how I almost didn't talk to her...the Holy Ghost really does just communicate with us sometimes through a simple thought. Second, I am so thankful for the challenge given by President Madsen to give out more Book of Mormons. I otherwise probably would have just shared a pamphlet with her, because for whatever reason, they are easier to give! But there is POWER in the Book of Mormon! And I believe that sharing the Book of Mormon with her is a big reason why she called us back. Third, I learned the truth of what President taught about the church being the "center of strength". 전도ing by the church helped us find an investigator who literally lives around the corner from our church...which made it easier for her to come to our church often on Sundays and also for choir practices. It also allowed the elders to re-meet her on the street, re-전도 to her, and it motivated her to finally call us back after two weeks. I have also learned how extremely important members and ward activities are in helping investigators feel welcome, loved, and involved. And last but most importantly, I learned that this is God's work, God's miracles, God's timing, and God's plan. And I am forever thankful that He allowed me to be a part of that. There is nothing happier than assisting somebody find the truth and happiness that the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ brings.

President & Sister Madsen visited yesterday evening for interviews. They visit often--they are so great!  Here is a pic of me and Sister Madsen. So sweet!
Well family, we have so many more miracles that happened this week, but I am too lazy to write more. But please pray for a girl named J and her mom. They also have a high potential of getting baptized soon. They want to join a church. J is 19 and has such an open, accepting mind to the gospel. She has been praying every day and feeling peace. She accepted the soft baptismal invite, which Sister P gave like a BOSS! It has been such an incredible week!  Some of the happiest moments of my mission! And now I must go...

Sister Beckett

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