Considering it to be the week of my birthday last week, it was a very eventful past seven days. Elder Porter and I have seen many miracles, setbacks, good times, bad times, and just plain craziness. We currently have five people on a baptismal date, none of them prepared to be baptized before I leave. Elder Porter has possibly broken his ankle as of yesterday playing volleyball. To finish it off, we have been praying for our goal of baptizing three people before I leave for the past three months... We are have been praying for clarity and confirmation about our goal and have been comforted multiple times concerning the goal. I have definitely felt and seen over the past several months the Lord show me that he doesn't work by statistics or formulas, but by miracles. That being said, I have been learning that He wants me to trust in Him regardless of how dire the circumstances may seem.
This week we had 5 people who were planning on coming to church and none of them showed up... which was a bummer but also might have been a blessing because the fire alarm went off twice during church on Sunday. No one knows the cause of the alarm going off but it went off once during sacrament as I was bearing my testimony over the pulpit, and then again during the third hour.
Maurice and Racine are still doing good, but in our last lesson Racine randomly announced that she wanted to get baptized oninstead of September 19th. She said that is her twins' birthday and wants to be baptized on that date. Maurice is still waiting for his answer to come and reads and prays daily. Racine got a job that requires her to work Sundays so that leaves Maurice without a car to get to church and he refuses to get rides... So we are working on that.
Maria and Vikki finally came on a church tour this week and they both loved it! Vikki is still excited to be baptized, but Maria now has decided that she is going to stay Catholic. She believes the church is true but feels more comfortable just staying where she is at... Stubborn Italians!
Some great miracles happened this week while finding though!
One day we were headed to a lesson in an apartment complex called "Irish Hills." The lesson ended up falling through, so we went around and contacted several potentials we had, but no one answered. So we decided to just start knocking. By this point we were really far into the complex and the fourth door we knocked, a man named Terrance answered the door. He invited us in and as we taught him the Restoration he expressed to us much of his religious views and they all lined up perfectly with the Restoration! He is about 50 years old. Used to have a really rough life living in the ghetto, but had since found a better way and had dedicated himself to God. He prays all the time and lives by faith. We had an amazing time discussing the gospel with him.
As we recited the first vision to him, he said multiple times "That's what's up!" We committed him to baptism and even though he already belonged to a church he said "of coarse I will!" Then we taught him the Book of Mormon and he expressed that he always felt that Christ had visited other people around the world and would often get in arguments with other religious people over the matter. We committed him to read from the Book of Mormon and when I asked to read him a verse he took the book and said "I have a better idea, how about I open up to a random verse and see what it tells me." In a matter of a second, he opened the book up to 3 Nephiwhich reads:
"Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
... We all looked at each other and were in shock. He was elated by that point and was claiming that it was true. We committed him to be baptized on September 19th and he accepted. He then proceeded to tell us that he had been having some bad experiences at his church recently and felt that we were led to him. God is preparing people everyday to receive the gospel. We must be willing to always look for them, even when we don't feel like it.
Thank you for all your love and support!