Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How Great Shall Be Your Joy

Hello my dear friends and family,
Exploring Downtown Lynchburg 

I hope everyone at home is having awesome lives! It would be cool if I could hear about it from you ;) *write me letters*

We had some AWESOME lessons this week. Last week I talked about a lesson that we had with John. Well we had two more awesome lessons with him this week... And he also came to CHURCH! WHAT?!  So we stopped by his house (It is such a blessing, because he literally lives right around the corner from us.) and we set up an appointment for Friday. Then we talked with him about prayer and why it is important, out on his porch. He told us that he will pray for others, but he doesn't like praying for himself. We committed him to pray for himself regardless and we also committed him to read 2 Nephi 31 before our lesson. When we went to our appointment with him, we met at the church and had a lesson in the Chapel. I LOVE having lessons in the Chapel because the spirit is always SO strong in there! So for John we have some really awesome fellowshippers. There is Tom, he got back from serving a mission about 3 years ago and he is also our Ward Mission Leader! He is a really awesome guy. Then the other friend we have for John is Zach. He is a recent convert of 11 months. He was baptized last May! He was a friend of Toms and that is how he was introduced to the church! They are both really cool. Anyways, we had a great lesson with Zach there, he and John really hit it off! We taught John the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was so awesome, because Zach had lots of personal experiences to share about when he was taking the missionary lessons. We talked with John about the scripture we had him read and asked him the things that stuck out to him. He said that he really liked verse 13 in 2 Nephi, where it talks about "acting in no hypocrisy". John explained that he liked that, because it means that we are "real" and we live what we teach. We talked a lot about Enduring to the End and how this Gospel is a way of life! He liked that about our church, that we aren't 'Sunday Christians'. After our lesson we got to give John a tour of the rest of the church! It helped him be more familiar with what we do, and he said he would come to church on Sunday!
Missionary Tag Pictures are a Thing, Right?
So Saturday Night we decided to call John just to make sure and remind him of church. He answered the phone and I said, "Hi John, this is Sister Willis! We just wanted to remind you of church tomorrow. It starts at 9 and we will be in the parking lot waiting for ya!" He said "Yeah, I'll be there at 8:45. I just picked up an outfit today!" WHAT?! So tomorrow rolls around and he is there! He rolls up in his big black Dodge truck with his Book of Mormon, wearing a red plaid button up shirt and khaki pants. He stayed for all three hours of church! He sat with us and with Zach in Sacrament Meeting. It was a great day for John to come to church, because it was Ward Conference! There were some awesome talks that were given. Our Bishop spoke about Baptism (which was perfect for John) and a member of the Stake Presidency spoke about the Sacrament and remembering Jesus Christ. It was just such a good day! Relief Society was let out late (as usual, woman like to talk :)) and so John was already gone. We stopped by his house on our way to our next appointment. He talked to us outside. We asked him how he liked church. He replied with "It was good, it was better," meaning that it was better than any other church he has been too. Again, WHAT?!
Backwoods Virginia #1

We had a lesson with him last night again and this time we had Tom with us. We watched the Restoration Video to help John build his testimony of Joseph Smith (before we teach him the Word of Wisdom) and to kind of review, because it was a few weeks since we taught him that lesson. It was really cool, because after the video we were talking and he told us that since he has been meeting with us and trying to study and pray he feels like he is doing better things. He also said that he feels like he is starting to do more things that live up to what God's purpose is for him. So cool! The lesson actually ran a little long.  Sister Alligood and I had to quickly wrap things up and say a prayer to get home before curfew (9:30 if you are teaching a lesson). Later at about 10:20 Tom texted us and said that he and John had been talking in the parking lot for an hour! He said that 'John was a cool dude'. It is so awesome that John is building these friendships because that is what will help him have a lasting conversion. Missionaries get transferred and leave, but the members will always be there.
Backwoods Virginia #2

I am so grateful for this time I have to be teaching John! He is awesome and so nice and I wish that every single one of you could meet him. I know that this truly is God's work and he does in fact labor with me and all the other missionaries. Missionary life isn't real life, and it can be so hard sometimes, but it is truly the most rewarding. "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"  - Doctrine and Covenants 18:15

#Ponderize 2 Nephi 16:8 "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me."
A Street Post in Downtown Lynchburg

I love y'all!!

XOXOXO

~Sister Kayla Marie Willis

410 Alta Lane #11
Lynchburg, VA 24502

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