Hey Family and Friends!<3
HAPPY EASTER FROM SUNNY, 70-80 DEGREE WEATHER IN MICHIGAN! (THE LAND OF THE FLOWERS, POLLEN, AND ALLERGIES IN THE SPRING! YAY!💐🌸💮🏵🌹🌺🌻🌼🌷🌳) I feel like God's way of giving me grace, is giving me flowers, because we all know those don't exist in Arizona! Haha!:)
This week was literally beautiful! Physically with the weather changing, and spiritually with all the miracles that we saw!:)
Marla went to her own church for Easter! It is hard to help her understand in order to get an answer that the church is true she needs to be coming EVERY week, for the FULL time. I have a strong testimony that God doesn't help us or answer our prayers if we aren't doing our part. But she is still reading the Book of Mormon and she is praying to know when and if she should be put on baptismal date. She has listened to all of Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and she is in Alma in the Book of Mormon, so that is stellar!:D
Brother Pendergrass and two of his kiddos, came to the ward Easter Egg Hunt Saturday morning and that was really fun! 900 easter eggs on 4 acres of land (it was at a member's house), pancake breakfast, crafts, and a pony! I love this ward! I am not going to lie...seeing all those families made me trunky for a family! But it was so fun and we were so glad the Pendergrass' could come! Brother Pendergrass also came to church the next day with only 2 of his kids! The goal is to get all of them going each week! Prayers for them! And that we can meet with them on a regular basis to help them work towards their goal of being baptized May 27th!
Shawn got major anti'd, but we had a good Plan of Salvation lesson with him this week and he left a lot happier with a completely different spirit. But he hasn't gotten back to us yet, so we will see how that goes!......
Jim, our Jehovah Witness friend, is doing all of our "homework" assignments (as he calls them). Haha. I grew a lot of love for him this week. He showed us this huge binder full of pictures because he is this legit rock climber and rescuer. It was pretty cool. And he expressed to us he is reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, but if he changes religions he will be shunned by all his friends. It is a big deal. My heart grew for him in knowing that he is really searching for truth, and is going to be persecuted and go through a lot of trials because of it. Pray for him. And cool story.....Sister Summerix, a member of the ward that came and taught him with us, said she had been praying the night before to know what to do to strengthen her testimony (because she is a convert of 2 years). She said she felt like her testimony was a little weaker and wanted to strengthen it, and then the next morning we called her! Crazy answer to a prayer! So cool because I had never used her to come teaching with us in the almost 7 1/2 months that I have been here! It made us all tear up to know we could be an answer to her prayers.<3
Miguel and Alondra, sadly, were doing great, until they stopped texting us back a couple days ago, and we got this heart-wrenching text from Miguel this morning pretty much telling us thanks for helping change his life, but life has gotten harder and he's had more trials coming closer to God, so he's just going to stop altogether. We sent him this long text about how Satan always works harder on us when we are going down the right path (tempted Jesus Christ after he had fasted 40 days, overcame Joseph Smith before he had the 1st vision, etc.) "Life is hard, not the gospel" my friends...please always remember that....
Onna is doing ok. She wasn't at church because she had family stuff on Easter, which was a bummer, but she was at mutual on Wednesday so that is good!:)
We also had trade-off's with the Big Rapids and Grand Rapids Sisters and that was really fun! I got to get a new goddaughter, Sister Winks, and then be with my granddaughter, Sister MacArthur! It was cool to see how much Sister MacArthur has grown! We had so much fun together!:D
So Saturday we were praying that someone would invite us to Easter dinner, because the person who had signed up to feed us moved last minute to the Grand Rapids Ward (out of our boundaries), so we were stuck in our apartment with our good ol' quinoa and chicken for dinner. Because of General Conference and then Stake Conference, the missionary meal calendar didn't go around, and we didn't want to just invite ourselves over to someone's Easter dinner. A member at the Easter Egg Hunt told us she would've loved to invite us, but had no room in her house. She said if we didn't get invited by anyone else, she would bring us by dinner later. So we kept our faith up and hoped that someone would invite us. So after the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday morning, we went door knocking and on this one street we door knock into Dawn. She is super sweet and knows a family in our ward and starts asking us all these questions about our mission. She says her daughter is super religious and has some set-backs with the Book of Mormon and would probably love to talk to us sometime. So we gave her our contact info, but she wouldn't give us her's, so we kind of don't think twice about the whole situation.
Well.....a couple hours later we come back around door knocking the opposite side of the street and we hear someone yell, "Girls!" It was Dawn and she asked us if we had a place to go for Easter and then we told her no and she invited us over with all her extended family even being there! IT WAS SO FUN AND THEY WERE SO NICE! (They didn't even bible bash us and we were nervous!) They are such a good, Christian family and it was such a cool answer to a prayer. Literally, she fed dinner to two random girls from Arizona that knocked on her door. Dan is her husband and he told us, "Well, if my girls were in Arizona, I would hope someone would feed them on Easter!" It almost made me start crying! They literally treated us like family!
And there was even a humbling experience before we went to dinner at their house on Sunday, we were door knocking a couple streets over because we still had like a half hour before we had to be at their house for dinner, and we door knock into Dave. He's in his 60's, not married, and both of his parents had died on Easter years before. We started all testifying about the resurrection and we told him about the church. He said he had a Book of Mormon and he wanted to pull out some of his parents' old record players and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that night while he was eating dinner. He wasn't interested in our message, but we left him with a prayer, and he totally gave us a hug (I didn't even try stopping him at this point). And then me and Sister Osmond walk away in silence. I say a gratitude prayer before we go into the Krieger's (Dawn and Dan's house) and just start bawling. I felt that Heavenly Father was teaching me a very important lesson yesterday. I was feeling a little home sick that morning and I just felt the Spirit testify to me that I didn't have life all that bad. Many people have it so much worse. I just couldn't stop crying because of Dave who we just talked to who had no family and nobody to spend Easter with vs. the Krieger's inviting us over to Easter dinner the day before. Gratitude and sadness just filled my heart and I couldn't keep it together. I will forever be grateful for that lesson I learned. Yesterday by far, was the best Easter of my life.
I am so thankful to know Jesus Christ lives and because he lives we can, too! I will forever be thankful for my Prince of Peace!
Have a stellar week! I love you all so much!<3
Remember the church is true and I love you!