It's been a great week!
It started out on our Preparation Day when Sister Jones and I decided to hit up Target to get a few essentials. As many are well aware...when you go to Target...just getting the essentials you planned on hardly ever happens. First we saw the Birthday cards as we entered the store, so we went over there and ended up curling in laughter from reading some of them. Then, we decided to look and see what they have for Halloween since we decided to dress up for our District Meeting on Halloween. Sure enough, we came across Batman (with yellow capes attached) and animal onesies. We had to decide, so we decided to get different but similar costumes. Goodness...the little things that we find fun. :) That honestly had to be one of the most fun Preparation Days!
On Tuesday, Sister Jones and I went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders. I headed over to Belmont with Sister Fernando, who is from New York/Sri Lanka. Do you remember Susan who I was telling about, who I saw at the most recent Transfer meeting, as she was the one Sister Patterson and I met a while back at CVS in Waltham? She lives in Belmont and has been taking the lessons since I left Weston 1st ward. Sister Fernando and I had a lesson with her on Tuesday, where we taught about baptism and Eternal Marriage. We set a baptism date with her for November 15th! She is so excited! A little less than an hour after the lesson she told us she and her boyfriend set the date to get married before then on the 28th of this month (when I met her she wasn't planning on it until next summer in 2015.) It was so neat to see how one person we reached out to a while back, just through a compliment and then a series of follow-ups at the local CVS has come this far.
Sister Jones and I had the opportunity to attend the temple twice--on Wednesday after our "Return and Report" meeting for all trainers and the missionaries they are training, as well as yesterday since it was a Monday holiday. I'll tell you, my testimony and love for the temple grew. On Wednesday, I hadn't been since Patriots Day back in April, so it was the first time in about 7 months. I took many matters to the Lord for that temple session that day. He opened my understanding to what I was feeling lately, and His giving grace stepped in immediately. While waiting in the chapel, I was given the understanding of something I need to improve on. When I prayed right then for the help, I immediately felt strengthened, even as if I were physically pulled up, feeling lifted. I don't believe I would have had that same experience had I not attended the temple, as I was in a place of security to allow me to receive marvelous revelations and understanding. The temple truly is a place of revelation, peace, comfort, direction, and literal transformation. I was reminded of my love for the Lord's sacred home of refuge that day.
Later in the week, our Zone (which I don't believe I have told you is nicknamed "the Dirty South" here since we're Cambridge South) and the Cambridge North Zone met together at our Stake Center for a private screening of "Meet the Mormons." I'll have to say, it was good at first but it ended up being very moving and powerful! It's amazing to hear it made the number in the Box Office! Have you all seen it yet? (Mom, I was wondering what you thought of the Missionary Mom's part of the movie because of myself, Josh, and soon Brandon being on missions?)
Last but not least...Kyle was baptized!!! Yes, the miracle happened where Cambridge 1st ward had its first baptism in about 1 1/2 to 2 years!!! It required a lot of planning, fingers crossed, and prayers beforehand. Miraculously, seriously miraculously, it all came together. The room was packed. A few of Evie (Kyle's wife)'s family, Kyle's brother, Andrea who we are team teaching, Susan from Belmont, and members from our ward were a few who attended. It was a tiring day with a lot of running around the church as Sister Jones, Julio, and I set up. Evie's sister gave a great compliment--that never before in this ward had she seen that much support from the ward involved in a baptism. We planned and created the picture we wanted for this baptism and it happened. Kyle was beaming and on his toes in excitement the whole time as he carried a different light about him. The spirit was felt, as it was a special baptism. Afterwards, we enjoyed what turned out to be the exact amount of desserts and Costco pizza that Julio and another member brought. Just about all of it was gone afterwards. The following day on Sunday, after Kyle was confirmed, Evie, whose baby is due very soon, had left, as we found out she said her water broke. It turned out to be a false alarm, but she is due any day from now. Their family has a lot of big changes happening all at once!
We're still visiting with Andrea as well to do scripture study, and her baptism is set for October 26th. She is still progressing without measure and even wants to call/email you mom and dad. You may soon get a call or email or both from her.
We also taught Justin the Restoration last night with the Moore's, the Boston Elders, and the same member that came last time. It was a little scattered but it all came together and the spirit was powerfully there. He is going to pray to know if it is all true, as he is sincere about it.
Sister Jones and I are still working hard. We set goals with Julio to work on our Finding Pool Google doc with one of our ward missionaries, looking for opportunities to serve the members and auxiliary leaders, and to get to know all of the members here to create stronger relationships and trust. We had an incredible ward council meeting on Sunday, as we only have it once a month. It was completely focused on individuals, including how to help Kyle and his family progress with members' help, how to help Al work towards his desire to be baptized, and more. Everything seems to be in the works but it's all working out.
In closing, I would like to bring up my love once again for the Lord's home. Find time to attend the temple, as it is a place to draw closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have come to appreciate attending even more as it's not something we can do whenever we would like here. I've also come to understand that as you put the Lord first in everything that you do, as you give everything you can to him as He gives us everything He can offer, then the commotions of life come together with greater ease and life becomes more enjoyable.
Always remember how much I love you and pray for you.