B***'s baptism was really great. She is much more quiet than her sister, but has a fun personality. She asked me if I would give a talk on the Holy Ghost... and if I would do the Missionary Minute which is were missionaries share the restoration. I was a little nervous because I didn't just want to wing it. I wanted to make my talk sincere and heartfelt. I ended up sharing about how the Holy Ghost is our comforter and I shared the story of how I felt reassured that S**** and I*** (From Sierra Leone) were taken care of through teaching and baptizing both her and T***. I was pretty emotional just because I love the people in Africa so much and I know they are in serious need. The spirit was really strong though and that was the first time I had shared with either of them that they were an answer to MY prayer. Before we had even met them they wanted to switch missionaries so that they could have sisters teach them... but they were in our area so the sisters had to pass them to us. They told me that the first time they met us they knew and felt that they were suppose to be taught by us rather than anyone else. It was really special to be a part of their conversion. There are no Coincidences with God and I know he had this planned from the very beginning.(Just an FYI, Cody found out this morning that a family from Sierra Leone who was recently baptized has been impacted by the Ebola Virus. The mother passed away 2 weeks ago, the father on Saturday and the baby yesterday. There are still 5 children in the family who now are without parents. Cody loves the people there very much and this impacts him more than it does us because he knows these people who are all living there with this threat).
So Tuesday, while my companion was filling out some teaching records... I was randomly flipping through the area book when I stopped on a former that had been taught by missionaries 2+ years ago. I had a strong feeling to write that specific name down and the address. We have over 100 formers and I only wrote that one name down. We were out doing our thing that day when the thought came to me to go and visit that house right now. So we drove over and found out that the address led us to a trailer park. So we wandered around looking for Lot number 29. We had made it all the way around the whole trailer park and it seemed as though nothing existed after like 26. We kept wandering and finally found lot 29... The whole time I was thinking to myself.... they taught this lady... C*** J***.... so long ago and this is a trailer park so there is nooo way she could still be here. we could hear the Television on inside the trailer so we yelled out Knock Knock. We were just about to leave when a hand flew out the screen door and a man with a handle bar mustache came out. I thought he was gonna yell at us. He asked what we wanted and we told him we were wondering if C*** J*** still lived there. His response was a little muffled and he said "I wish.... she died this last December....She was my wife of 15 years." After saying this we could tell he was pretty tender. He said that she had died because doctors told her she needed to stop smoking or her lungs were going to give out and she wouldn't stop. He asked us if we wanted to go inside and see her ashes and the little shrine he had put up to remember her. We went in his trailer... surprisingly... it was completely spotless. He had an entire shelf in his bedroom dedicated to her. He obviously hasn't been able to let her go in the least degree. As he talked about her he began to cry quite a bit. He showed us a pillow that he found after she had died that he had never seen before that said "Angels are among us" and he took that as a sign from her that she was still around. I shared a brief message about the plan of salvation and I testified with all my strength that I knew he would see her again. All three of us stood in the trailer together and pretty much wept. It was so sad to me to see how a lack of gospel knowledge left this man hopeless of ever seeing his wife again. We asked if we could come back and share more and he told us that he wanted us to come by and be his friend... but he needed a little more time before he wouldn't be mad at God. As we were leaving he told us that while we had been there he was able to feel her presence. I could feel it too. As we walked away we could hear him bawling inside his trailer.
Please.... Please don't take this gospel for granted. The knowledge that we carry with us is life changing. So many people live in this world with out hope or faith of a next life. We must live in a way that when we pass we are capable of receiving all of our Heavenly Fathers eternal blessings.
The next incident is also pretty cool. We were out street contacting and tracting in a neighborhood we just barely discovered. Within the first half hour we had already taught the restoration to the first person we met, placed 2 books of Mormon with return appointments and gotten rejected by a Jehovah's Witness through a side window! haha So we felt like we were on fire with missionary work! We decided to swing down onto another street and see what was happening there. There was a guy on the other side of the street smoking a cig and I kept having the feeling to talk to him... but he for sure looked like the kind of guy were you say hi and they freak out and start swearing at you so I walked by.... but I had the same feeling again. Just then he yelled to us and asked if we would come over. He asked us if we had ever experienced anything with demons and if we thought they were real. We told him that satan is definitely real. He shared an experience he had a month ago when he saw this girl he was with pretty much get tossed around by some sort of Dark presence. He said it scared him so bad that he hasn't been able to feel safe in his house. He said ever since then he is a full believer in Jesus Christ. I asked him if he wanted us to give him a blessing of comfort and he agreed. We went into his house and I kid you not... there was a repeating thumping sound that we had no clue were it was coming from. He took us to his room and got a chair to sit on. He told us that this was the room that the experience had happened to him and I could feel it because of the erryiness that accompanied it! I gave him one of the most interesting blessings I have ever given. My mind was blank as I spoke but words were just flying out. I prayed that any evil spirts and dark presences would leave this man and the house. When the blessing was over... both Elder Harper and I noticed that the thumping had stopped and the feeling in the room was completely different. We then chatted for a little bit and I found out he use to be way into snowmobiling so I shared with him how boss my mom is at snowmobiling. The feeling when we left and when we arrived were like night and day. It was pretty intense. We also gave him a book of Mormon and he said that 2 minutes before he saw us he was talking to his ex wife.... who is a Mormon... and she told him he needed to go get a bible! Well, I love being the answer to someone's prayer!!
God is real... Satan is too.... We know who will win in the end... so who's side do you want to be on?
I love following the promptings of the spirit and seeing miracles come from it. I have never turned to my father in heaven for so many things. He cares about the details of our lives... so make sure to include him with everything you do!
Love you tons!!
Elder vandal the Crandall!