Talofa, friends and family!
There was a miracle this week in Bloomington! And I am so happy to be here to tell you all about it!
We had an appointment a few weeks ago with a man named Joe (name changed). When we showed up for our appointment, no one was home, no one answered the phone, and we just put smiles on our faces and tried not to be disappointed. From what we had heard, it wasn’t that surprising to find that he wasn’t keeping his appointment. But we had been determined! A little while later, however, we got a call from Joe. He apologized profusely, saying that he had just completely forgotten, and that he wanted to reschedule. He really wanted to see us, he said. So we rescheduled for the following week (this was last Wednesday). When we arrived for our appointment on Wednesday, the same thing happened. The member that was with us to be a fellow-shipper told us that this was typical. But we were still determined.
We thanked our fellow-shipper for coming and went on our way. We met with another neighbor, a member of the ward, and asked her about her relationship with them. She said she would invite them to church and we were happy about that. We left and went out into the neighborhood. We had no car at the time, so we decided to walk around and knock on doors in the neighborhood. As we did that, a white mini van pulled around the corner and drove past us. The people waved at us. We didn’t recognize them immediately, so we just waved back, assuming it must be members saying hello. Then the white van pulled back around and stopped next to us. It was Joe and his wife! Joe again apologized and told us that he had mistakenly thought the appointment was later that day. He was so sorry he had missed it. They insisted we come back right then and there and that they would make us lunch. It was already time for us to find lunch and head back to the Visitors’ Center. So we had our first discussion over hamburgers and fries and chocolate milk and talked about Joe’s relationship with God. At the end of the lesson, we had him committed to be baptized on March 8th, to read the Book of Mormon, pray daily, and we set another appointment for the very next day.
The miracle continued yesterday, when Joe went to church! He had been really hesitant to go since his wife had to work and someone needed to stay with the kids. We told him why it was so important for him to go and he said he’ll do whatever it takes; he really wants to be baptized. So he made sure someone could be with the kids, and he went! And he sat with his neighbor, a former bishop, and said that he had a really good experience.
There are big things in store for Joe and his family and it is our privilege to be a part of this! This isn’t even close to being about us. It’s timing, it’s the Spirit, it’s the return of a child to their Father in Heaven. We just get to encourage and facilitate it. It’s incredible!
Well, in other news, this last week was Valentines Day! Elder Watkins, Director of the Visitors’ Center, bought us an enormous chocolate cake and a dozen roses. They sat out on the front desk for a few days. As they’ve withered, the bouquet has gotten smaller. Now we are down to six, but those six are still beautiful and still kicking! He said, “Everyone should see a rose on Valentines Day.”
As we went to work on that day, an incredible and sweet family in our area gave us a bunch of chocolate covered strawberries they had made for us to take to investigators! So sweet! We took them to a few people, including our investigator, Hank (name changed), who is 94 years old and one of the most charming and classy gentlemen I’ve met! He was so happy to see us and to get the strawberries and the Valentines Card. We were so grateful that the kind people who made the treats had given us a chance to bring a little love and cheer to our investigators!
Well, I love you all! I hope you have a fabulous week and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!
Much love and rice and pickled garlic,