Hey hey everyone! Man what a great week this week! I hope y'all have been enjoying your summer and have had a super good week this week! Next week, I will hit my year mark. It's so weird to think that I've been a missionary for almost a year, it most definitely doesn't feel like it at all, time is flying!
So this week we have focused on finding a lot, because we've had more than a few investigators tell us they didn't want to take lessons anymore. So Elder Alfred and I set out this week to find some more people to add to our teaching pool, and the Lord definitely accompanied us in our finding efforts this week!
We have a super solid part-member family, the Swint's. Brother Swint is a member, but Sister Swint is not. All of the kids except the oldest, Thomas, are also baptized. We have been really working with Thomas and Sister Swint the last few weeks. Thomas is going to be a senior this year and loves cars and working out, so we've gotten super close the last couple weeks. Sister Swint is the most active non-member I've ever seen! She even holds a calling in the Primary Presidency and she isn't a member! It's crazy! They're doing so well and are progressing tremendously.
So the CRAZIEST thing happened! We were at the Swint's and there was another kid there who is 20 and I've never seen before. We introduce ourselves and sit down and jokingly I asked "so how do you know these goons?" and he went on to say that he was adopted! So Brother Swint put him up for adoption 20 years ago, and they had just met like 2 weeks prior to that night! It was crazy! So Brother Swint asked me to share my story, and my story was SO similar to Spencer's. For the last 13 years, Spencer has lived in the same Stake as the Swint's, they've even been in the same building at the same time! Also, Spencer lives literally 2 miles away from Brother Swint for the last 13 years. I lived like 15 minutes away from my biological father for 13 years. His birthday is , mine is . We are the same build, brown hair, blue eyes. He just got off of his mission from Florida (we lived there at one point). It was just so surreal. We had so much in common and made so many connections. I never thought I'd hear a story like mine, and then I did, and it was so cool to relate to Brother Swint and Spencer. We really built a bond with that family. There was lots of emotion that night for sure!
The thought I'd like to share this week comes from the Book of Mormon, in Moroni chapter 7 verse 16.
"16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."
We all have the ability to feel the influence of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. The Spirit has many roles, like comforting us, teaching us, and inspiring us. Here in this verse, the Spirit invites us to do good. All good things come from God, and God communicates to us through His Spirit. When we feel peace, happiness, comfort, and when we receive inspiration, or promptings to do/not do something, along with many other feelings, that is our loving Heavenly Father reaching out to us. He is putting forth that effort to show us that someone is always watching over us, that someone always has our back. Brothers and Sisters I testify of the tremendous and unconditional love our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ have for each and every one of us. They love you. They want you to be happy. They are there to help you. The Plan that God has created for all of us is something so great, yet so simple. This Plan is a testament of God's love for us. God knows we make mistakes, because we are human. He knew we'd mess up, so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for our sins, our pains, our suffering. Then on the 3rd day, He rose from the dead and was resurrected. Because of that, we too can be resurrected, we can one day return to live with our Father in Heaven, and we can live with our families forever. That is the message that the Gospel brings. I challenge each and every one of you to go out and share that message. Be daring. Be BOLD! God will stand behind you, and witness to you and to those you speak to, through the Holy Ghost, that this message is true. I extend this invitation, this call, and this challenge, to everyone who is reading this. Take that step, and share the Gospel with someone you know. Do not be afraid, the Lord is on your side. Who knows what kind of change and difference you will be able to make in someone's life, just by opening your mouth and sharing the Gospel with those around you. Your potential is great, you have the Spirit with you, and you are more than capable of fulfilling this calling. So what are you waiting for? :) I testify that our Savior lives and reigns. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is the word of God, and it goes hand in hand with the Bible to bring us the fullness of the Gospel. I leave these things with you, with a humble heart, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.