This week was a really great week for us here. We found some more new investigators and talked to alot of people. Unfortunately, we didn't make our teaching goal . . .yet. haha We're continuing to work hard this week and are hoping to get it off to a great start and just keep the stone cut from the mountain rolling all week. haha
The miracles we have been experiencing here are so amazing! The Lord has provided new people each week for us to add to our teaching pool and now the challenge is just to know what each of them needs to hear and keep helping them progressing down the path to our Heavenly Father. You all have heard about Micheal before in some of my emails and this week it's the same story with him. He knows getting baptized is something he should do, but until he has a change of heart he can't go much further. We are probably going to have to have a "Do or Die" lesson, as I've heard it called, with him to tell him how we want to help him but that will only come if he helps himself. I don't want to have to drop him, but sometimes that's what it takes for people to realize and recognize the change that has come in their lives so far and make them want to continue changing. It's a tough call but with the Lord helping I know we'll be able to do what's right.
This past week some of those amazing miracles I had mentioned was that we picked up some great new investigators. Two in particular that we are so excited to work with! They both came because we just stopped and talked to them on the street. Russ is a guy that is deaf, so our original street contact was very interesting, but luckily for us he's good at reading lips and texted our number we gave him on the pass-along card later so we could talk to him little better. We had a lesson with him Friday that was such an amazingly spiritual experience. We have a certified ASL interpreter in our ward and a couple other members that know sign language, so the lesson went alot better with the interpreter there. He doesn't really have any religious background or understanding of who Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ really are, but he has such a desire to learn and build that relationship with Them. It's so cool to be able to participate in sign language lessons and even more cool to watch them pray. He prayed at the end of our lesson with such a sincere heart we could all feel the spirit fill the room. He even came to church yesterday and sat right up front with us so he could watch the interpreter and tried to sing the hymns with her too. He seemed to be enjoying and understanding it and would look over occasionally at us and just smile with a big thumbs up. haha It was a rough day for Sister Neilson because it was Ward Conference and she had to interpret all the sustainings and spell out all the prophet, apostles, general authorities, and other leaders names for him. haha She made it through and afterwards he came up to us with a big smile and tried to talk to us. We're excited to continue to help teach him and help him understand that he is the son of an Eternal Father in Heaven that loves and wants to help him. The other new investigator is Pierre. Pierre is a living testament of the Lord preparing people all around us. On the original street contact he talked with us on the sidewalk for 30-40 minutes asking all sorts of questions and with every response we'd give he'd bring up one or two more questions. haha We had a lesson with him last night at the church and got to hear his whole life story and change he's made. Pierre is a living Alma the younger in these days. His line he kept repeating was, "I hate the things of the world I used to love and love the things of God I used to hate". He's been going to all sorts of churches searching for truth and not being able to find it. He talked about being "spiritually hungry" and that the other churches aren't feeding him. He kept saying, "I just want to be fed". So we gave him The Book Of Mormon and said, "try this feast and see how you feel" haha JK. He is excited to not just read but he told us "study" the Book of Mormon. Normally lessons should be between 45 minutes and an hour, but Pierre talked to us for 2 1/2 hours just about questions he has a answers he's searching for! He had us get some chalk and eraser just so he could write these things down and filled the chalkboard with it. It was so intense but the spirit was so strong as he talked about these sincere desires that he had and wanted to learn for himself. We were so excited and so thankful to be able to find someone like Pierre. I just hope we can answer all those questions for him now haha. He's very very smart and knows the Bible, so with each answer he wants to know where he can find that in the Bible or most of the time he knows a reference that supports it. Personal study time this week is going to be pretty intense for us, but I know the Lord will help us to help him the best way that we can.
That's just a little bit about the things here in "The Hood". haha Elder Haupt and I are still working hard and doing all we can to measure up to the success the Lord had prepared this area for. There haven't been any crazy events this week. Or at least nothing crazier than normal haha. It sounds like everyone's busy and doing well. I can't wait to hear from you all again soon. Thanks for the love, support, and prayers! I love and miss you all!
Love, Elder Craft