This week was filled with miracles! My companion and I (elder Raban), have been praying day and night to recognize miracles. We promised the Lord that if we did, we would thank Him fervently, and write them in our journals. Writing in my journal has been a great blessing. It's changed my attitude about the things that happen around me dramatically. It's so much easier to see the good in everyone, and to be thankful for the smallest things in life.
Miracle one: We've been teaching Isabella for a few weeks now. In our latest lesson with her, we invited her to be baptized on the 21st of September. She accepted! I was beaming for the rest of the day. Our next step is getting her and her father to church, gosh dangit!! We've invited them to come for the past 3 weeks, and every time they say, "we'll be there, we'll be there!"... Surprise! They didn't attend. They'll make it eventually, though. :)
Miracle two: Elder Raban and I trackted into a guy named Josh six weeks ago. We handed him a Book of Mormon, and invited him to read. He just barely got back from vacation, so it had been a while since we talked to him. We decided to go visit his home two days ago, but no one was there. We opened up our planners and saw that we had scheduled to visit the Glassettes, a really kind member family just down the street from where Josh lives. They weren't home either. We were walking back to our bikes, when I saw something moving behind a thicket of trees. It looked like someone getting out of there car. Something told me that it was Josh. I dismissed the thought; there was no way it could be him, it's just too coincidental. I kept my head up, though, still searching for who the mystery person was. Lo and behold, there was Josh, carrying groceries! I pointed it out to Elder Raban, and we taught a great lesson about the importance of the Book of Mormon.
Miracle three: Yesterday, Elder Raban and I planned to go finding for a few hours in an area called Harbor Park. We set a goal to have taught 1 lesson and have 6 potential investigators by the end of the day. The work was long and arduous. Harbor Park is filled with apartments, each 4 stories tall. I felt like I was tackling mountain after mountain. Well, more like hill after hill. There're no such things as mountains in Virginia. ;) There were a lot of unanswered doors-most people are either on vacation, or at work during that time of the day. I was astounded at the end of the day when I saw that we had taught 1 lesson, and had 6 potential investigators.
My testimony of planning, prayer, and listening to and following the Spirit has grown so much!
Thank you all for your prayers and support on my behalf. I'm praying for each of you, as well.
One funny story super quick!
Elder Raban reached his 6 month mark last Monday. According to ancient missionary legend, it's tradition to burn a tie on the sixth month. Elder Raban had a terrible silk tie to get rid of, but nothing to burn it with. Except for a stovetop. Elder Raban whips out the frying pan, and turns the burner to 11. The air filled with a rancid, smoky smell, and our fire detector went crazy! I thought I was going to get lung cancer.
Elder Raban and I opened every window and door, and turned on every fan we owned (including the microwave and bathroom fans). For the next 3 days, we aired out our apartment. We didn't dare sleep at our home, so we carried our mattresses across the parking lot to the other Elder's apartment. We put our beds together Joseph Smith style. 4X4, all in a row.
Elder Raban's tie never burned, (it smoldered), and our apartment still smells like death. :)
I love you all!