Monday, October 21, 2013

3's a PARTY!

We were given our third companion this week! The Lord typically sends His servants forth two by two,... but three's a party! Missionary work is fun, but being in a tri-panionship as a missionary is Fabulous! Sister Snow is from St. George Utah, she is the oldest of 4 girls, and she has a powerful testimony of the gospel! She has been out for about three months, but she teaches like she has been on a mission forever! I am blessed to have the greatest companions in the world, Sister Williams and Sister Snow are a rich blessing in my life. We love laughing, studying, and working together to hasten the work of salvation in Buckhannon.

Wednesday evening (the night before we picked up Sister Snow), Sister Williams and I had to run to WalMart to get some sheets for the extra bed we set up in our apartment. As we were rushing through the aisles toward the check out, a young woman walking in the other direction, froze in her steps when she saw us. Her eyes grew wide and her hands were thrown up in the air as she exclaimed, "Mormon Sister Missionaries?!" We faltered in our steps, taken aback by this unusual, excicted greeting of a stranger, but we regained our composure and responded to her with smiles and nods. She introduced herself and told us that she had met with Sister Missionaries in a nearby town and wanted to be baptized. However, when she moved to Buckhannon a few months ago she completely lost contact with the church. She told us that since she moved to Bukchannon she has been searching for an LDS church building, and she has been looking for Sister Missionaries everywhere! She eagerly gave us her phone number and told us to call her. We gave her our phone number as well, and she thankfully accepted it. Her husband and her mother, whom she lives with, are against the church, but she loves the gospel and wants to learn more! Sister Williams and I floated out of WalMart in a dazed cloud, thinking,"what just happened?" I know that the Lord is preparing His children and then placing them immediately in our path. He guides His servants and by small and simple things, like getting sheets at (WalMart) great things come to pass.
Last week when we met a 12 year old girl named B_____. She had asked for a Book of Mormon, not knowing what it was, and said she wanted to read it.On Saturday one of our appointments fell through, and we felt that we needed to follow up B____ as a backup. We knocked on her door and her Dad answered. We were almost surprised when he warmly invited us in to see B_____ and to meet his two other daughters. B_____ was very excited to see us, and she reported that she had started reading the Book of Mormon! It was fairly confusing to her, but she loved the pictures in the front of the book. In fact, her four year old sister had torn some of the pictures out of the Book of Mormon, and B____ had treated the torn pages with care and taped them in the front of her Bible. Her favorite picture is the one of Christ appearing to the Nephites in America. We talked with B____ and her father for a while about God and about prayer, but her father had to go outside to watch his four year old daughter who was playing in the front yard. 

B_____ told us of some very special experiences she has had with the stories in the Bible. She loves the story of Christ atoning for our sins and dying for us because it always makes her cry as she understands the love her Savior has for her. We invited her to the baptism of one of the Elders' investigators that night, and she was eager to come! Her dad was fine with B_____ and her 11 year old sister going to the baptism, but he chose to stay home. At 5:30 Sister Williams, Sister Snow and I returned to their house to walk to the church with them. We talked about the Book of Mormon and about church as we walked, it was wonderful! 

We arrived at the baptism 45 minutes early so we did a church tour with the girls. They love the beautiful paintings that warm the hallways of the church building. In the chapel we explained what Sacrament Meeting is, and then we taught B____ about the restoration of the gospel and the Priesthood authority of God that is once again on the earth. She felt the Spirit very powerfully, and as we invited her to be baptized, her eyes filled with tears and she excitedly accepted! She is on date for November 2, and she tells every person she meets how excited she is for that day! During the baptism she was able to feel the Spirit as well, and she recognizes it! She understands that her Heavenly Father loves her and wants to bless her!
On Sunday one of the members gave Brittany a ride to church. She was very excited to be at church, and she could recognize the Spirit during the meetings! It was fast Sunday and she wanted to bear her testimony in Sacrament meeting, but she was too nervous, so she wrote it down on a piece of paper instead. She already has a beautiful testimony of the gospel and of her Savior! Brittany has a spiritual gift of recognizing and feeling truth. She is only 12 but she understands the feelings of the Holy Ghost! She has powerful faith and a desire to do what God wants her to do. She is reading the Book of Mormon, and although it is difficult to understand, she is trying as hard as she can, and she is aware of the gospel principles being taught! The Lord has prepared her to receive the gospel at this time, and He placed her directly in our path so that she could receive the blessings of making sacred covenants with the Lord.
Miracles are real, and our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs, our desires, and our efforts. "There is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness" (Alma 38:9). It is a joy to be in the service of the one who is the source of righteousness and truth!
I love you!
Love, Sister Shumway

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