First Miracle: So if any of you don't know, we teach a free English class at the church every Tuesday and Thursday. We have been having great success with it. Well one of our students, David is his name, he has been interested in our church since day one. After the first English class he walked around with one of our members just completely admiring the paintings. One of the well known ones of Christ in the clouds with all the angels around was his absolute favorite. He took a picture of it on his phone and set it as his background. And then a little while later he agreed to come to church. He came to church and his first sunday was my favorite sunday of my whole mission and it was incredible and we had powerful speakers that sunday. Then the following sunday came and he came again. He loves church. Well this past Tuesday after English class we taught him lesson 1, The restoration. And oh my gosh, ahhhhh it was soooo good. The spirit was soooo strong especially after Hermana Binks did the first vision. I asked David how he felt and he just totally went on about how it was the Holy Ghost and he recognized that feeling since the first day he walked into our building and he has felt it really strongly on one specific occasion in his life. It was incredible. Then we asked him when he knew these things were true if he would be baptized by someone holding the proper authority of God.... and he said Claro que si... bahhhh thats like a saying in english where we say Of course. BAHHH!!! HOW COOL!!! We are so excited for him.
Second Miracle: Friday Hermana Hafen and I went on an exchange. Hermana Rodriguez went to Bradenton and Hafen and I went down to Sarasota with Hermana Birch. The first person we met her name was Tania. She is incredible. She has 2 sons. One is like kindergarten age and the other is maybe 9 months old. We taught her lesson 1 as well. It was amazing!! The spirit was sooo sooo strong and we taught her about the Prophet and the role of him and what a the prophet has. And let me just say I have never met anyone who understands it and just gets it as much as Tania got it. She was like oh ok we have to follow the prophet because he has the power of God and then we asked her to be baptized at the end of this month. BAH!! She said yes!! We were so excited. And even though she isn't Hermana Hafen and my investigator I am so happy for the Sarasota sisters. It is so cool!!
Miracle 3: After Tania we went to a less actives house. And I didn't really know her. I had seen her maybe once before. Well Hermana Birch was kind of telling us about her and that her husband isn't a member and wants absolutely nothing to do with the church and he is just kind of grumpy. Well we went in their house and met her and then he walked in and asked if he could join us. I had never been there or met him before so I didn't know how he normally was but in my head I was thinking if he wants nothing to do with the church why did he ask if he could join us. I was just confused but we said absolutely and taught about the book of mormon where it came from and how Christ came to the America's. He loved it. We got out of that lesson and I asked Hermana Birch if that had ever happened before and she said no never. That is HUGE he never is a part of our lessons. But he came by himself. Ahhh so cool!!!
And we had a great exchange. It was really fun to see a different city because I have only been in bradenton. So it was fun and it was great to be there with Hermana Birch and Hafen. I learned a lot and had tons of fun!!
Miracle 4: Saturday was an awesome day. We received a referral from the Elders. Who received a referral from Headquarters. His name was Antonio. We planned on going to see him that night. All we knew about him was that his sister was either hearing the discussions or was a member in Mexico we weren't sure. So we go there. We meet him and his is AMAZING!!!! He is a single dad of 4. And he remembered when his mom was in the hospital in Mexico that the Elders from our church went and visited her and gave her a blessing. Well he remembered that because he is going through a very hard time. So we meet him and one of his kids out of the 4. Let me just say Antonio was prepared by God for us. He just wants to change his life and he has already made some steps. He hasn't drank in like 3 weeks. And thats amazing. He said that he has taken sundays off from now on because he is going to give at least one day to the Lord and so he has been going to church for a few weeks now but he doesn't like that his church isn't giving him the support that he needs. It just doesn't feel right to him. So he said he is open to coming to ours. And little did he know he was going to get exactly what he had been praying for. He came to church, we thought he wasn't coming because he came late but in they all walked. And we were so so excited. After church Our Branch president and one of the counselors and the ward mission leader just swormed him and gave him a book of mormon and books and just everything. It was amazing and he got the support he needed. It was so cool to watch. And his kids loved church. Its so amazing to see the gospel bless families so immediately. We are teaching him tonight about the restoration with a member family. SUPER STOKED!!
Miracle 5: WE HAD 7 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!! That is the most we have ever had. It was amazing. David came, Magali and her family came, and Antonio and his family. It was such a beautiful thing. And sooo many less actives that we have been trying to get to church came. Sacrament meeting was packed and it was a beautiful sight!!!!!
Miracle 6: The work is picking up super quick. Ever since we told the members we can't knock on doors anymore, they have really stepped up. We keep finding those prepared people and its just the best thing in the world. They are coming teaching with us and giving us referrals and they are just amazing. Our branch has totally changed and is still changing. Its the best thing to see it go from ok to just totally on fire. And its not perfect but its sure darn close to it.
I am sooooo soooo grateful for this church and what it brings to families. I know it has blessed my family and I have seen the affects of it on families out here. It brings such a peace and happiness that you can't get anywhere else. I love this mission, it is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am grateful for all the trials I am going through and have gone through because it has made me that much stronger. And I am so ready for the challenges ahead. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. I love my family and am so grateful for all they do for me. I know that if we trust in the Lord He will help us through anything and we will receive blessings from it. I love this gospel and I love all of you, thank you all so much for everything and especially your amazing examples!!
Have an amazing week full of Miracles!!!! :) Keep Smiling!!!
All My Love, Hermana Marisa Daines