Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away.....and Take the Humidity With You.

Beautiful Iowan Sunset after a rainstorm.
Hi there!  This week's been crazy, great, wet, and spiritual and all of these can be explained in 2 good stories that I want to share, and both of them involve the terribly frustrating Iowa weather :)

Story #1
The random, lesson cancelling, rainstorm.
We were super excited to teach our potentially awesome new investigator named Brinda on Friday.  Elder Shipley found her with Elder Pulver on exhanges and she was super excited to learn more about the Gospel and the way to find more happiness in her life.  The only problem is that she's a single woman so the only way we can teach her is if we bring a male member with us (which were all working at the time) or teach her in a public place like a park.  So planned to meet up at a nearby park but right when she showed up, the big ol' Iowan sky started to sprinkle down rain.  This park was dumb and had no pavilion cover thing so we, being smart and using our heads, asked her if she wanted to meet us at the church, where there this is a pavilion cover thing.  (What are those even called?)  So we met at the church and were getting ready to start talking to her when the "sprinkling" turned into buckets of water falling from the sky with 40 mph winds, which blew the water at us like giant waves.   We quickly hurried and rescheduled the appointment, ran back to our car, and went home to dry our clothes off before another appointment.  My pants were drenched, my shirt was see-through, and my tie was dripping.  It was like I'd been thrown into a pool.  As soon as we got home to dry off, the sun came out, the sky stopped dumping buckets and the 40 mph winds turned into a nice breeze.  Apparently Heavenly Father didn't want us to teach that lesson...  

Story #2
As missionaries, we have a certain amount of miles that we're allowed to drive every month and Elder Shipley and I were almost out, forcing us to start walking more.  However we still had appointments scheduled, one of which being at the church which is a little less than two miles away.  So we started the trek towards the church in 82 degree weather with 50ish% humidity which feels like a summer day in Saint George.  We got to the church wet with sweat and tired and realized that we still had a 1 and 1/2 hour lesson with Jose before we could go home, shower, and crash.  But one thing I've learned on my mission is that the Lord blesses those who make sacrifices for the progress of His work.  That hour and a half with Jose was the most powerful hour and a half we've had with him in a long time.  We just sat back and let the Spirit teach him.  We literally sat in the Chapel in silence for 5 minutes and just allowed him to focus on his feelings and think.  When he was ready, I asked him, "How do you feel?" 
"Good," he said," Really good.  I feel lots of peace."
Elder Shipley and I bore witness that that was what the Spirit feels like, and that is what he could feel if he came to church.  We asked him how he would like to have that feeling with him forever and he said he'd like that a lot.  We then invited him to be baptized on the First of January, 2015, AKA the day his probation ends.....AND HE SAID YES!!!   He said he'd been doing lots of reading in the Teachings of the Prophets books, looking for where it talks about those on probation cannot be baptized and what he found had nothing to do with that.  What he found said that Baptism is a commandment and that its necessary for Exaltation.  He said, "Well if its like that, I'd better be sure I'm ready, huh?  I think I'll be ready by January."  

The nice thing about being in an area for 7 months is that I've been able to see seeds of faith be planted in these people and be able to watch them grow.  Jose is the greatest example of that.  Seeing his progress that he's had in the past 5 months since we begun visiting him has made lots of trials worth it.  I hope I'm around Sioux City somewhere in January so I can be here for his baptism.

I love this area.  I love you.  I love serving the Lord.  There's no better thing to be a part of than His work.   I hope you have a great week.

Lots of Love,
Elder Zack
Elder Shipley crashing during personal studies.

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