Last night we saw the G’s. Brother G was supposed to be baptized on December 6, but yesterday at church his daughter told us that he was still drinking coffee and he had to quit at least 2 weeks before his date. We were super discouraged.
In Sacrament meeting one of the speakers from the High Council spoke about Elder Oaks' talk from conference and told this story from it:
"At a stake conference in the Midwest about 10 years ago, I met a sister who told me that her nonmember husband had been accompanying her to church for 12 years but had never joined the Church. What should she do? she asked. I counseled her to keep doing all the right things and to be patient and kind with her husband. About a month later she wrote me as follows: “Well, I thought that the 12 years was a good show of patience, but I didn’t know if I was being very kind about it. So, I practiced real hard for over a month, and he got baptized.” Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting. Her letter continued, “I am even trying to be kinder now because we are working on a temple sealing this year!” Six years later she wrote me another letter: “My husband was [just] called and set apart as the bishop [of our ward].”
Sister Keavali and I had a view of the G’s from where we were sitting and Brother and Sister G kept whispering to each other and it was so funny. We texted Sister G and said "'Kindness is powerful!'" haha. It was perfect timing on that talk though.
That night, President L from the Stake Presidency came with us to the lesson, and it was ah-MAY-zing!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. I don't know what the heck happened, but angels were definitely involved. We had fasted that day, and we had asked like 5 members to fast with us as well. We were fasting for Brother G to be able to give up coffee and chewing tobacco, and also for him to pray out loud. He has never done that.
President L just started right in and started asking all these truly inspired questions. It was incredible. And Brother G was actually answering them!! He usually just says "I don't know." But he was giving good answers and really verbalizing his concerns and stuff. It was amazing!!!!!!! And then Pres L asked him about his baptism on the 6th and Bro G said it was too soon. So then Pres L asked him to pick his own date and he decided that he will give up coffee and tobacco this next Sunday, and he'll be baptized on the 20th of December!!!!!!!!!! HE PICKED HIS OWN DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think you can realize how huge of a miracle that is unless you know him haha. This man has been going to church for 14 years, he's married to a super active and wonderful member, and all of his 10 kids are members. But he's never ever committed before. EVER. And now he is picking his own date, and actually admitting that he WANTS to get baptized, and he was telling us how much he appreciates everything we do, and admitting that he loves Sister Keavali and me! It was so sweet. We cried haha.
Then I asked him if he had prayed about being baptized yet. He said he had once. He has never prayed out loud before, and that one time he prayed was just in his head. So President L asked him if he would pray out loud with us. Brother G said "I don't know." and President L said "Well that's not a no! Let's do it!" and we all kneeled and went around and each of us said a prayer. Pres L said the first one. Then BROTHER G PRAYED OUT LOUD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! His wife has never even heard him pray. And it was a powerful prayer. And a funny one - he said "I'm grateful for these Sisters who are as stubborn as I am and don't put up with my crap." hahaha oh man.
So keep him and his family in your prayers, please. He is so ready, and this truly is his time, and the Lord is with him. I called President Murdock (my Mission President) this morning and told him all of that and he said "Man! You could do nothing for the rest of your mission and you would still have accomplished more than enough." and I said "I know! But I'm totally not going to do that!!" haha Oh President. Oh and he's going to come out for the baptism, which is in 26 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THE LORD AND I LOVE THE GOSPEL AND I LOVE THE G’s!
Anyway, nothing else really matters because that is just so fantastic. But yeah we did a bunch of stuff this week and taught many other wonderful people and found some new investigators and it's great. Oh we just started teaching this 82-year-old woman, W, who we have already invited to be baptized and she said yes! So that's pretty great too. We are going to see her tomorrow. We left her with a Book of Mormon yesterday and she promised to read it. :)
As much as I miss home, I wouldn't give up these experiences for anything. Being a missionary is the best thing I have ever done.
Thanksgiving is in a few days and I just want to express my sincere gratitude for all of you. I love you all so much and I truly appreciate your support. I am also thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and for His Atonement. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father, who is the best Father I ever could have asked for. I'm grateful for the many wonderful people I have met here in Colorado, and for all the wonderful people I have met throughout my life who have shaped me into the person I am today. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and for the Bible, and for all the people (both prophets of old and prophets today and other honorable men and women) who made it possible for us to have these sacred texts. I am thankful for the Restored gospel on the earth today, with the proper priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism. I am just so thankful for all the things that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do for me, and for each of us here on this earth. I could go on and on. I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and that you take a moment to think about all of the wonderful blessings you have received.
Here are some scriptures I really like this week: