This week was pretty incredible! We were able to meet or exceed the goals we had made regarding; member present lessons, other lessons, LARCs, and new investigators. Of the 6 new investigators we picked up, 4 of them are in one family! We found them because the father ordered a Bible from discover.mormon.org. When we went to deliver the Bible, he invited us in but his wife wasn't there, just his twin 13 year old daughters so we couldn't go inside. The daughters seemed interested in what we had to say but didn't want to stand outside in the cold, so we started introducing the Book of Mormon to the father (Anthony). After just a couple minutes the Anthony's wife pulled into the driveway. She had just gotten back from the grocery store so we were able to help her bring in her groceries and then go inside and talk with the whole family. Anthony works every Sunday, and he had requested the Bible because he wanted a Bible he could bring with him to read at work. His wife and kids go to the local church every Sunday. We were able to re-explain what the Book of Mormon is and teach the Restoration. We extended the baptismal invite to Anthony and he said he was happy with his faith, but agreed that if he felt like God wanted him to join our church then he would. That's all we ask! They all wanted copies of the Book of Mormon, and agreed to read and pray about it. When we asked for a return appointment one of the teenage girls eagerly said yes! Her mom gave her a surprised look but then agreed that we could come back a week from that day. I've never had the experience of picking up a whole family of investigators at once, but I know it had to do with the emphasis that the mission is putting on finding father led families!
Another first for me was having a member refer us to her neighbors and then go over with us and introduce us and get us in the door to have a lesson with them! Unfortunately they didn't seem that interested and they are about to go on vacation for two months, but it was wonderful to see that member involvement!
This week we were able to meet with a lot of the less actives we have been working with, and we are seeing real progress with a lot of them. We even had 7 less active members at church yesterday including a family where the father hadn't been to church in over a year despite the fact that his wife has started coming back on her own. We extended a bold invitation to him by reminding him that he should be the spiritual head of the household and that his kids aren't going to want to go to church without his example and encouragement. And apparently it worked!
It was a week of miraculous missionary moments and also classic funny ones! I went on exchange with Sister Clarke to her area in Tom's River and we taught an investigator they have who I actually got to teach on my exchange with Sister Clarke last transfer. He is a really cool guy with good intentions and a member from the Tom's River ward was coming with us so we were excited! We walked in and saw the Book of Mormon open on his table next to another big, open book. We figured that was a good sign because that meant he was reading the Book of Mormon right? We asked him how his BoM reading was going and he said it was going good, that he had really been studying it. Then I ask him what the other book he is reading is. He picks it up to show us the cover and we see that the title is "A Kingdom of Cults". Oh boy...needless to say, we changed our plans from studying 2 Nephi 31 with him, to trying to help him understand that his way of "researching" the BoM wasn't going to help him find out for himself if it is true. It was tempting to try prove wrong all the specific things that the book said, but instead we just "(bore) down in pure testimony", Alma style! When we tried to clarify his misunderstandings from things he had read in the book, he just tried to come back with another thing that the book said. But when we simply bore testimony and invited him to take his questions to God there was nothing he could say.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!