This week I have a couple of really fun stories to tell right off the bat.
We had a mission conference this week in which Elder Kacher of the Quorum of the 70 came a spoke with us. The conference I attended was the last of the ones for this mission and the last of the tours he is doing in the United States. He's heading to Russia next! Elder Kacher was incredible! He told us that we were among the best missions that he has ever visited and he attributed the good characteristics that we have to President and Sister Anderson. I could not agree with him more. I am so blessed to have such an amazing mission president and wife! I know that they are meant to lead us. They have taught and blessed me so much in the 8 months I've been out here and I cannot be more grateful.
Next is Dadrien. Dadrien is a 16 year old boy that we found contacting potential investigators. He's awesome. That's all there is to it. We left him with a Book of Mormon. Things happened and we weren't able to meet with him, but when we stopped by to set up another appointment he told us that he read the whole introduction and then started looking things up online. That can either be really good or really bad, so I got a little bit nervous. I pulled out a card so I could give him the church produced websites for if he had more questions and it turns out he had read on Mormon.org and loved it! This teenage boy went out of his way on his summer vacation and researched our beliefs and we now have a time set up to go and see him and I am so excited!
My next story is about the couple, Matt and Stacy, that I mentioned last week. We were able to go back and visit them and boy, that lesson was one of the most spiritual lessons I've had on my mission. We focused on the gifts that Heavenly Father has given us to bless us and our families. We talked about the gospel and the Atonement and then really focused on the Book of Mormon. Matt told us that he had the book, that his friend Ben, who was there with us as the member present, gave him one years ago. Our conversation was able to lead to Ben sharing such a powerful testimony of him sharing something precious with his friend. Matt also told us about when he had briefly met with the missionaries before, he said that he had felt something that he had never felt before and it scared him. We testified of the power of the spirit and how the Holy Ghost had been speaking to him that night. It was such a special lesson and I know that Matt and Stacy both felt the spirit touch them as we all learned together. Every day it becomes more and more clear that I'm not the teacher. These people aren't being changed because of me. I'm lucky enough to be a part of this great process, but I'm merely an instrument in the Lord's hands. We all are! And that takes work and patience and great listening skills, all of which I'm working on, but the reward is far greater than the sacrifice because when we're really listening the spirit will work through us, and that is a feeling unlike any other.
That's all I have for today, but enjoy the pictures! The first 2 were at a pizza night that we had with members of the ward. They used to own a pizza shop and have a real pizza oven and everything!
And the next is a picture from after we went shopping today. We are close enough to Amish country that people have specified places where they can tie up a horse and buggy when they go to the store. It's an entirely different world here!
Sister Rachel Petrick