Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Samara - Week Seven - "A Mighty Change of Heart"

September 8, 2014
All is well,
Oh my goodness did we see miracles this week. 

We decided that we would spend the evening trying to get more acquainted with our less active members. One family in particular has about 6 people in it, that is LARGE. No body has been able to get ahold of this family for YEARS, no body even has their number AND their domaphone doesn't work. Now here comes a list of miracles :) A man was walking out of the flat as soon as we walked up to it and let us in. Then as we are standing outside of this family's door we hear yelling coming from the other side, however, we decided to knock either way. A woman opened the door and the look on her face said, "what on earth do you want??" it took her a moment to realize who we were. She then got very upset and began to yell at us, telling us how she would never come back to church. We stood there silently and waited for her to get all her anger out. Suddenly her demeanor began to change, her shoulders slumped down and she began to cry... and then proceded to tell us about how she has a testimony that God answers her prayers. She began to list off all the blessings that she's had in her life because of the gospel. She told us that she loves the missionaries and that we are welcome to come visit her and her family another time. She then gave us her number :) This all happened as we stood there, literally silent. We did no convincing, no pleading or begging, in fact we probably only exchanged about 5 sentences. I have never seen such a transformation in a person in such a small period of time. I have never seen the Holy Ghost influence somebody so strongly. We did nothing, we only brought the spirit by being there, he did the rest. It was a huge testimony builder to me that the teacher is the spirit, in fact, the spirit can teach by himself if he wants. Our job is only to invite the spirit.

Another miracle we saw was with a member who hasn't consistantly come to church in 7 years. We have been trying to get ahold of her as well, calling or dropping by to have a lesson, but we hadn't heard anything from her. Yesterday she randomly showed up at church and declared to everyone, "I am back, I have returned for good." We asked her.... Why? How...? And she simply said, "the Holy Ghost." God is everywhere, he is working on people even when we cannot see it. 

A little update on a couple investigators. V. is going no where... we haven't met with her in forever. She's just busy. K.: Well we met with him about 10 days ago. I can't believe I didn't write home about this? Usually we aren't supposed to meet with people for more than 45 minutes. K. needs way more time than that.  So we set aside an entire evening to talk to him. What ended up happening is that we lovingly taught him that there is more to the Bible.. We also took turns reading verses in 2 Nephi 29, I made sure that he was the one who would read verse 3... pretty sneaky. ANYWAY, in short the lesson could not have gone better. He has asked that we not contact him for 2 weeks and during this time he will pray to know about the Book of Mormon. Which means that we'll be meeting with him this week. About that mom we met on the bus... we were supposed to meet with her 2 days ago, that didn't work out unfortunately. We have a good pool of investigators right now. About 5 or 6 that we constantly meet with, but that also includes a less active. 

We were just informed this morning that there are about to be some serious problems in this branch. There are only about 15 active members, about 5 or so of them are actually keeping the entire branch from collapsing. But let's just say that there is an enormous problem that we were just informed about with our branch president. Unforunately, we will most likely be getting a new branch president sometime soon. Satan is so nasty, he is so real. And he is working as hard as he can to tear this work apart. Pray for the tiny branch of Balakovo. 

I have noticed that I have made a HUGE mistake in this companionship, and that is that I am not CONSTANTLY looking for the good in my companion. For the past two days I have been diligently seeking to see good in her, and then I write down the good things I see, and WOW I am so surprised at all the things I didn't see before! I am developing a lengthy list :) she is so wonderful and one thing I think I have looked past is that her desire to be a good missionary is so evident. I think one thing that we could all work on down here on earth is realizing that we are all here for the same reason. Recall the plan of salvation! Every single one of us decided to come to earth. We all want to get back. Remember that the next time you want to argue with your parents, when you are frustrated with your school teacher, or when your friends hurt/betray you. Remember it when you look at every person you see. Some of us just forget it from time to time, and some of us don't remember it at all :) That's what I'm doing here in Russia, just restoring a couple memories!

Thanks for your love and prayers,
Sister Wilson

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.

The Holy Ghost works in perfect unity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, fulfilling several roles to help us live righteously and receive the blessings of the gospel.

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