Wow. What a week. I've actually been thinking about what to write as the week has gone on, because it's definitely been an action packed week to say the least. I don't think I'll quite be able to express what I want to because there's a lot of emotion involved in it, so I hope you can understand even though you can't hear me talking.
But we stopped by the Putnams after to say hello. One of the highlights of the week was knocking on the door and Blythe answering and then screaming and trying to tackle my legs while saying "Sister Steele is home! Sister Steele is home!". I really do love that family :) and it's always a bonus when people remember your name :) then we went and dealt with Baton Rouge traffic to get back to Hammond, where we had dinner. This is where my story of the week starts, because it's so true that the Lord puts things in motion before we even need them. So here we go:
So, at dinner, we were going to show this member some Mormon Messages called "Patterns of Light" which is about receiving revelation and are quite good. But her computer froze up as we were pulling it up, as did her tablet. I was joking when I said "maybe we just need to share something else tonight" and so I pulled up one of my favorite talks, "Lord, I Believe" from April 2013 Conference from Elder Holland, and we shared that. It was good, and the spirit was there, but the other one would have been just fine. No life changing anything. But we go on our merry cold little way back and are planning for the next night.
Now, the next night we have a dinner appointment with a family that I absolutely ADORE. The husband's not a member and has been investigating the church for 12 years or so. I have always felt really really connected to them for some reason. Probably because the family situation (mom and kids members, dad not) is really similar to my own. I had this....desire....I guess, not really a goal, to find a family like my own and help them in some way. I'd found a few families like that in Prairieville but had gotten transferred away before I could make too much of a difference. But the family is one of my favorites and I am really really close to Joe, the husband. Probably because he reminds me of Dad.
Anyways. We were calling the Elders to see what we should teach, because they taught last week, and we were bouncing ideas off each other and came up with the idea to watch the talk "Lord, I Believe." Then we made the decision to invite him to be baptized. Which is really scary, because if we push too hard he'll push back and we'll have to start over. So we were going to try and invite him to be baptized on a specific date, and we came up with the 28 of February. So we hung up the phone and Sis Monk and I decided to pray about it. It didn't feel right anymore, so we sat looking at my calender for about 15 minutes, thinking about every Saturday from January to April. The only one that felt right was the 24 of January, which was 16 days from when we were seeing them. Crazy fast. But we prayed about it and it felt right, so we called the elders back and told them and we were going to fast for him the next day. We also got all the missionaries who knew the family to be praying for us as we went over.
Thursday rolls around. We have to plan ZTM with the Zone Leaders, so we do that. Then the moment comes, we're going to dinner. One quick prayer in the car, and in we go.
The atmosphere is completely wrong. The kids are being teenagers and there's just tension in the air. We set our stuff down and I look at Sister Monk and we kind of read each other's thoughts, then we decide we're still at least going to show the talk and we'll see how it goes from there. Dinner goes well, and we sit down and are watching the talk. The whole time, I am praying my HEART out that the Spirit will be present. I still feel like I should go for it, and that's kind of scary. I don't think I've prayed more earnestly in my entire life. We're talking about what we liked from the talk, and Joe gets up and starts pacing. I can feel my heart racing, but my mind is completely focused (thank goodness, that was a gift from God.) I look him directly in the eyes and basically say "Joe, are you ready to lead with your faith? We know you have questions and doubts, but you also have seen the blessings." (he's been coming to church every week, paying tithing, everything.) Deep breath."Joe, will you be baptized by one holding the priesthood authority of God?" Silence. You could hear a pin drop. He's still pacing. Finally, he answers "Yes." Okay, step one out of the way. He'd always said he'd be baptized. The next quesiton is the hardest: "We have prayed and fasted to know when to invite you to be baptized. Would you be baptized on the 24th of January?" Then I explained why we had chosen that day, which was really really soon. Again, silence. And then....
After which I then promptly burst into tears.
Some other stuff happened that night, we called a bunch of people and got a bunch of stuff figured out, and I couldn't stop shaking because the adrenaline finally kicked in and I could finally feel it. But this man, who I love so much, had finally decided to take that step closer to the Savior--and what's more, his reason behind it is so that he can be sealed with his family a year from now in the temple. I cannot wait for the 24th, and I cannot wait for next January when I get to come back. So, 2 weeks before I go home, I get to have the honor of singing at his baptism, the song that started it all: I am a Child of God.
I was really really tired....we had to get up early and plan our whole instruction because of Joe's lesson the night before we hadn't gotten the chance to plan anything.
I also got my flight itinerary that day which cued a panic attack, haha. I flip flop between being trunky and freaking out. I look super gross in this picture so don't judge.
But we came home and kept doing missionary work and just had a really good Sunday. I don't want to come home! I love being a missionary and while I miss y'all, this has been the best experience of my life and I am so sad my time here is ending.