A lot of good stuff happened this week, so I'm just going to get right to it!
On Monday, an appointment fell through and so we tried a couple of potential investigators. We had a potential investigator, Steve, who Elder Kimber and I saw a few weeks before whil on exchanges and it seemed like he was going to get dropped. So, for whatever reason, we went to Steve's again. He invited us in and we started talking.
He started out by telling us that we showed up at the perfect time. He said his conscience was telling he's guilty and he wanted to change and follow the truth but he didn't know HOW to do it. During our conversation, he said something like, "So you two are like Jesus, if He were here right now. And I should do what you say because it's going to help me." We were both astounded and said, "Yeah! That's exactly right! We're going to teach you the exact things Jesus would teach you if He were here." After we invited him to be baptized, he said, "As I understand it, I'm supposed to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Here is a 49 year-old man who most people would be scared to talk with (he has some ragged, dirty clothes) and he understands the Bible more than 95% of the preachers in Oklahoma. Oh, that's another thing he said: "I think there's a difference in knowing the Bible and UNDERSTANDING the Bible." He is GOLDEN! We're just helping him quit smoking and then he'll be okay.
Yesterday at church, we had 5 investigators come! They were: Brother and Sister Thacker, Steve, Leslie Youngbull (wife of a part-member family) and Craig Richardson (a member referral). Steve liked how everyone was so friendly! Everyone else liked it too! Especially the Thackers! We saw them at 3 PM yesterday and talked about what they thought of church. They LOVED it! They felt that everyone was there because they genuinely wanted to follow Jesus Christ. Also, my testimony of using a Progess Record was strengthened! Here's how the story goes:
A few weeks ago (the week before General Conference), we had a PEC meeting and talked about the people on the progress record we had prepared for the meeting. We told them the Thackers were planning on coming to a session of General Conference, most likely the Sunday morning session. So the Bishop and everyone knew who Dan and Sharon Thacker were. Before the Sunday morning session of General Conference started, Brother Thacker showed up! The Bishop greeted him and our ward mission leader and a couple others introduced themselves to Bro Thacker. Yesterday, about an hour before church started, we asked our ward mission leader to notify some of the ward members about the investigators that were coming to church. When the Thackers came to church, our Bishop and ward mission leader said Hi to them and called them by name. When we visited with the Thackers yesterday, Bro Thacker was VERY impressed that people remembered his name, even after a few weeks of not seeing him. He brought it up 3 or 4 times during our visit and they definitely plan on coming to church more! HOORAY FOR PROGRESS RECORDS!!!
Yesterday, we also visited the Youngbull family. They're a small, young family. The husband and wife are Eagle (aka "Frankie") and Leslie, who are both only 20 years old or so. The have two kids, who are 2 and 3 years old. We've been working with them, helping them get into the habit of reading and praying together. They've got the praying part down, but haven't started reading. We emphasized again the importance of reading daily from the scriptures to build our faith and keep it strong. After a few minutes of that, Frankie started pouring out his soul to us about how when he was younger he wanted to be missionaries like us, but now he can't, and also about a lot of his past struggles in life. They committed to read one verse a day, just to get them into the habit of reading daily.
The real lesson for me, however, came as Elder Garner and I biked away from the Youngbulls' apartment. We talked about how the visit went and then Elder Garner said, "Now we just have to get him to open up to God the same way he opened up to us." I thought about what he had just said and wondered, "Do I need to do the same thing?" I began analyzing what my prayers have been like and discovered that lately, I've fallen into some routine prayers. I decided that I need to open up to God, too, and just tell Him how I feel and why. I love being a missionary :)
That's all for this week! I love all of you and thanks to those who have written letters and ESPECIALLY to those who have sent packages!!! You're awesome!!!
Elder Woolley :)