This week was wonderful, it was very much back to the “normalcy” and bliss of mission life that I love and missed for a little bit. So, Nadine has been to church three times so far. I think she loves it and is so excited to get baptized. We took her to see another convert’s baptism this weekend, and she was telling everyone how close she was to her own date. She is so fun to talk to, and she certainly is a talker. On the way out of the baptism, she was telling us: “I can’t believe I lived in contemplative silence….because I just love to talk!” I loved it. She tells us about some of the reasons she left the monastery, and I have written about some of them in past emails, but this week, she told us another reason why she felt called to leave the monastery. As a child, she was taught that it was good to be a mother, but better to live a celibate life doing the Lord’s work. She had some questions about our life as missionaries. So naturally, a lot of our lesson that day was about chastity, the sanctity of marriage, and the importance of the family. We left her a copy of the proclamation to the world on the family. Anyway, during our discussion, she told us that during her time in the convent she had such a strong desire to be a mother. She described beautifully how becoming a mother was the most spiritual and beautiful experience she has ever had in her life. She loved being a mom.
Nadine has felt for a long time that one of her callings in life is to write her life history. We’re excited, and think her story would make a great book. So hopefully we can find a way to make that dream a reality. She’s going to need a scribe first of all. I think we’ve got some good resources beginning to line up.
We just finished a lesson this morning that was amazing. (That’s why this email is a little later than usual. The next three emails you get from me will probably be later on a regular basis because this particular investigator wants to meet on Monday mornings.) Anyway, we had talked about original sin the last time we met, and in the meantime, he read 2 Nephi 2, and 9 all about the fall, Moroni 8, watched the film “The Restoration” and read a big chunk of “Our Search for Happiness.” All in the past 2 weeks! (Transfers and his trip out of town through our meeting time off a little bit.) But he basically taught us the lesson today, and has such a great understanding of the necessity of the fall, agency, and the atonement. Awesome. He’s like a Brigham Young, in that he may study the church out in detail for a few years, and analyze everything, but I think he will be baptized because he grasps these principles so well. I love teaching people with a Catholic background more than anyone else, I think, because the restored gospel fits in so well, with the organization of the Catholic Church. They seem to understand the doctrine so well. We need to get him a triple combination so he can study our pre-earth life in more depth. That is another one of those doctrines that is unique to the restoration. I’ll have to call the distribution center today and see if we can get one within the week!
Ok. Funny story. We stopped by another investigator’s house this weekend and assigned him Ether 2 and 3 to read. I wish I could describe this guy in such a way that I could give you a mental picture of what he’s like. I’ll just say, he’s the nicest guy ever, but he might appear to be kind of rough around the edges, for example, he hasn’t had electricity in about 2 years. Well, a couple hours after our visit, we get a phone call from him. “Hey, I ran into some critters I don’t know.” Sister Barello was on the phone and was wondering what he meant. Was he asking us to come rescue him? Did he need a ride? No, he was reading the scriptures! In Ether 9:19 it talks about cureloms and cumoms. “I thought I knew all the animals,” he said. It was super funny. But he’s doing awesome. He told us that he started reading the assignment, and decided to keep reading until he lost interest, and he hadn’t lost interest yet. “Well, if you get to the end of the Book of Mormon,” Sister Barello said, “just start back at the beginning!”
We tracted into another young man this week that seems to have great potential. We gave him the first lesson on his doorstep, and showed him the Book of Mormon. “Would it be ok if I keep this book?” he asked. He really wanted to read it! It’s all his.
Also, one lady we’re working with is moving to the DC/Virginia area this summer. Isn’t that awesome?
I also had my last Zone Conference this week. It was kind of weird. It was President and Sister Anderson’s last one too… and that was interesting. They were so funny. But President shared a story with the mission that he shares with all the departing missionaries. He showed a statue of Christ that sister Anderson made for his Christmas present, years ago. It was glued to a Plexiglas base that his son made. He talked about how it was the combined best efforts of two people he loved and how, that principle is the same with our Heavenly Father. When we put forth our best effort, although it is imperfect and flawed, it becomes the perfect gift to him. That is so true of the mission. We all make mistakes, but Heavenly Father just wants us to continue to try.
Thanks for your letters this week. So a homecoming talk on June 27th. Ok. I don’t really know what principle would be good to talk on. I know a few experiences I want to share as far as the power of the Book of Mormon in people’s lives, and I’ll definitely probably want to share some of Nadine’s story. But I think mission experiences can be tied in to just about any principle of the gospel…in a roundabout way…whether it’s prayer …or revelation ….or scripture study …or the atonement …or faith…so long as the topic isn’t about something totally obscure…like boy scouts….or gardening…or the history of the relief society. Yes, all topics we’ve covered in sacrament meetings since I’ve been in the field…L unfortunately. I let my companion read the letter you sent dad, and it was pretty funny. I had to explain that you were in the bishopric….otherwise it would have sounded pretty presumptuous.
I’ll try to get better at getting out some letters this week. I’ve been delinquent lately in responding to mail.
Well, I love you all. Have a wonderful week!