Newport News 6-24-13

This week was a trip. Last Monday we found out we would be getting another companion straight from the MTC, so Thursday we went to go pick her up. She’s super sweet and already pretty fluent in Spanish, so that’s good. Wednesday, we had a lesson with a girl we’re teaching. She just graduated high school and had been dating the Branch Mission Leader’s son for a while, so they introduced us and we started teaching her. She’s amazing. Two weeks ago we asked her if she would be baptized, and she said she would have to pray about it but didn’t feel ready yet. So last week, we had a lesson with her and asked her if she thought she received an answer, and she said no, she didn’t get a yes or no. But before we could be too disappointed she said, “But, I just stepped back and looked at the big picture and how much happier I am now that I’ve been meeting with you, and I know it’s true, so I think I want to be baptized.” So we got right to work setting things up and we’re having the first baptism in this branch in about a year this Friday! I’m so excited and it’s just been amazing to see one person progress so much in such a short amount of time. And that just tells me again that this Church really is true. This is the same church that Jesus Christ established when he himself was on the earth, and it will continue to be the same, because He directs it through a living prophet. How amazing is that?? So already the week was going really well. Then Friday we were able to split up with some of the Hermanas from Richmond, and cover twice the appointments. My temporary companion and I went to teach a man that we met the first week we came to Newport News. We had to drop him for a while because he didn’t keep any of his appointments, but last week out of the blue he called us and said he was ready and set up an appointment, so we went. And he was there, but he was pretty intoxicated. We talked to him out on the street and he told us lots of things about his life. It was really sad actually. He’s alone in the country and misses his family and he’s a drunk so he doesn’t deserve respect and promised God he would go to church but didn’t and so he’s not good enough etc. We tried to show him how much Heavenly Father loves him anyway and wants to help him, but it was difficult to get a word in sideways because he would interrupt and couldn’t focus. Throughout the time he would laugh at me and tell me how bad my Spanish was, but after the 3rd time I had had enough. It was difficult to have the courage to say anything back because my Spanish really isn’t that good and it was hard to say what I wanted to, but I think the Lord helped me out a little bit, because I suddenly had all the words I needed to say “Look. We are not here so you can judge our Spanish. We are not here to argue or fight. We are here to help people come closer to Christ and use His Atonement to live with their Heavenly Father again. If you are not prepared to listen to that message, there are many people who are. We know what we have to offer is very important, so if you are not willing to accept it, we will just leave you now and teach someone who is.” And all the sudden he stopped talking, immediately asked for forgiveness, and promised to come to church and listen to us because he knew it was what he needed to do because the only person who could help him was God. So ultimately, even though we walked away reeking of alcohol, and weren’t sure he would remember it in the morning, I was grateful for the opportunity to let the Lord help me and give me the words to use like He promises He will if we just listen to the Spirit. So it was a good experience. Then Sunday we had Elder Lancing, an Area 70 come and speak to us, which was really cool. One of our investigators who I believe I mentioned last week, came and just loved all 3 hours of church and was so excited to come next week. I hope he does. It’s been a busy, good week. And I think next week will be even better. I miss you all and thank you so much for all your prayers and support. Love ya’ll!

Hermana Karson

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