Soooo things are pretty amazing here in Lakewood. We are working so hard at being exactly obedient, because we know God will bless us and we'll see miracles. And we have! The work is hastening and we have been able to see God's hand in our lives every single day this transfer. I LOVE IT!!!
We have been tracting a LOT lately. We don't have a ton of people to teach, so we're focusing on finding those who have been prepared. Instead of traditional tracting, we do a "Survey Approach" where we ask people if they'll take a quick survey. It has 10 questions, like "Do you believe in God?" and "Is a close, strong family important to you?" and "Have you ever asked yourself questions like 'Where did I come from,' 'Why am I here,' and 'Where am I going?'" That kind of thing. It works really well, and people are way more likely to listen to us, and then we can go from the survey into teaching them about the Restoration of the gospel. This past week we were able to find 10 new investigators through the survey, which is pretty much unheard of here. The most I've ever gotten is 8 in one week. But we surpassed that, and all of the people that we found are amazing!!!! I'm so excited to continue teaching them!
I don't have a ton of time to write so I just want to share some miracles that happened this week.
On Monday night after p-day, Sister Duprey and I decided to do the survey. We didn't really want to, and we were tired and not super motivated, but we pushed through and did it anyway. We were able to find this guy who seemed super interested, and he was really nice. We had a great chat with him, and then I felt like I should tell him to watch the video the church put out around Easter titled Because of Him. We asked if we could come back and teach him, and he said no...disappointing! We really thought he would agree! Then, two days later we had to run into McDonald's so that my companion could go to the bathroom. I waited outside and looked up......AND SAW THE GUY WE TAUGHT TWO DAYS EARLIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so cool! He waved and I walked up to him and asked if he watched the video. He had, and he said it was really powerful! He had more questions, and we said we would love to come over another time and answer all of them, so he let us come back last Saturday. It was really cool. And so random!
On Saturday we went to try and contact this family after dinner. No one was home, so we went back to the car and decided to try another family. Sister Duprey said a prayer and we were going to pick another name to go try. While she was praying, I felt like we needed to be on a particular street. Then I remembered that there was a family on that street we knew, so when she finished the prayer I looked at the list and found that family. Then I realized it was the people we had just tried…and we were parked in front of their house still haha. I didn't know what to do because I still was thinking about that street, and I couldn't get it out of my head! So I said "I need to say a personal prayer" and Sister Duprey thought I was really weird lol. But I knew that we needed to be on that street, so I ended my prayer and said "I think we need to survey this street." It was raining, and we were tired, and she clearly wasn't super stoked about it, but she trusted me and went with it. She's a good companion :)
The first door we knocked on, this guy answered. He was so nice, and did the survey. He was in the military, and his daughter goes to UW, and we just had all these connections. We quickly told him about the restoration and asked if we could come back and teach him and he said definitely. So that was cool!
We were really excited about the street at that point so we kept going. I just felt pumped. Finally we went up to the very last door on the street and knocked. I saw this little boy peek his head through the curtain and I waved, and then he disappeared. A minute went by and no one answered...awkward! People do that a lot. Finally when we were just about to leave, this woman answered. She agreed to do the survey, and OH MY WOW it was amazing.
Her name is A and we asked her if she believes that Christ is the Son of God and she said "Well I'm Muslim, but I do believe in Christ." We asked if she thinks the Bible is the word of God or just a history book and she said the word of God, and that she has read it because she went to a Christian school. Then we asked if she prays and if she thinks God hears and answers her prayers and she said definitely, and then told us all about living in India and all of the horrible things that she saw and the things that happen there. It was so sad. But she said God helped her to realize how much she had and how blessed she was, and that God helped her get to America safely with her 9 year old son.
Then we asked if she would like to be happier than she is now and she said "Yes. I'm all alone and I have no family and I was so sad. She shared some really personal things about how hard things were and then told us, “And then you showed up. You're an answer to my prayers." I just had to stop and hug her. We told her that by following Christ she could be happy, and that she could live with her family again forever and we could teach her how that was possible. Then Sister Duprey pulled out a Book of Mormon and told her about it, and how it could help her. We bore powerful testimony of it and of Christ, and she was getting emotional. When we handed it to her, she knew it was special. She WANTED it - like she needed to know what was in it. We asked if we could come back and tell her more and she said definitely, and said she would start reading the Book of Mormon right away. We are scheduled to see her on Saturday. :) The Spirit was so strong, and she is ready. She needed us! And she was so grateful that we came, and her son was so grateful as well. We hugged her again and just told her how much we loved her and how much God loves her, and then we said a prayer and left. It was amazing. I was almost crying as we walked back to the car.
President Monson once said, "The sweetest experience I know in life is to feel a prompting and act upon it and later find out that it was the fulfillment of someone's prayer of someone's need. And I always want the Lord to know that if He needs an errand run, Tom Monson will run that errand for Him." I felt that, and I want the Lord to know that I, Sister Koenig, am willing and ready to run any errand for Him. It's the best feeling!
Sister Duprey and I are really trying to involve the Lakewood Ward more in missionary work. It's not the members who are supposed to assist the missionaries - it's the missionaries that are supposed to assist the members! We come and go so frequently, and we don't know this area or the people here, but the members do! The members around the globe (myself included) really need to change their mindset on that and realize that there is sooo much work to be done and we all have the responsibility to do it. We are going to be bringing a lot more members to lessons, and we are going to bring members out tracting with us! We think it will help light that missionary fire in all of them, and I know it will make our area boom. It will be awesome! Tomorrow we are taking Sister D tracting with us - she is 78 years old, and she is amazing and hilarious. She's always going going going and I swear she never stops! I told Sister Duprey that I wanted to invite her to come with us and she said "Do you think she'll be able to keep up with us?" And I turned and looked at Sister Duprey like she was crazy and said "I don't think we'll be able to keep up with her!!!" haha and it's true! It's going to be a blast. :)
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS give missionaries referrals. Talk to your friends about the gospel and about what you believe! Share your testimony of Christ! Invite people to activities, and to church, and introduce them to the missionaries! Everyone deserves the chance to hear about the restored gospel and the blessing it is, and we have the responsibility to give them that chance. I believe in all of you! If you pray for opportunities and then LOOK for them, you will always find them. And what's the worst that could happen? Someone says they're not interested? That's ok! And best case, they are interested and ready and it's exactly what they needed at that time in their lives! Maybe you will be an answer to someone's prayer too!
Love you all!