Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 82 Big Changes In Our Mission

It's been an amazing but absolutely crazy week! For starters, we had a major announcement come to our mission just a few days ago. Our mission will be going through a Boundary Realignment! We'll be losing one of our stakes and picking up two new stakes, both in Pennsylvania. All of the missionaries that are serving in those stakes get transferred to a new mission! All 28 of ours that we lose will be part of the DC North Mission, and we will be picking up 44 missionaries from the Pittsburgh mission! It's going to be a crazy week...Elder Fisher and I will be going up there this weekend with President and Sister Christiansen to meet all of our missionaries! It'll be sad to lose our missionaries though! It'll be an exciting experience for everyone though. We now cover places like Gettysburg, York, and Lancaster Pennsylvania! 

Elder Fisher and I did two exchanges this week, one in Woodstock, VA, and another in Randallstown, MD! While Elder Fisher was down there in Woodstock with one of our zone leaders in our mission named Elder Gorman, they had a pretty awesome miracle. They got a call from the Spanish Elders down there in Virginia, saying they had just met a man named Warren and that he wanted missionaries to come to his home. So, Elder Fisher and Elder Gorman headed over. Upon meeting him, Warren told them about how 3 years ago, he had been taught by missionaries. He was preparing for his baptism, but moved to Guatemala all of a sudden, because his wife wanted to move down there! After moving, he lost contact with missionaries and didn't make the effort to get back in contact, and never being baptized. He said that just a few weeks ago he had got divorced and came back to Virginia. That day he had just been walking and saw Elders walking around and felt prompted to talk to them again! Well, Warren is getting baptized in just a few weeks!! The Lord's timing is so amazing to see. Another miracle that happened in Woodstock with timing is LeRoy! LeRoy is somebody that Elder Mumm and I used to teach when we served together in Shenandoah Valley. His girlfriend is a member and he wanted to learn more so we had been teaching him, but he had moved during that. Well, he now lives in Woodstock, and he got married to his girlfriend! So they are teaching him now and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets baptized soon as well.

Spent some time with our friend, Jason Wright
He loves Haribo Gummy Bears & the Ducks are a
reference to an article he wrote.

Mary Cole continues to progress towards her baptismal date, which is now July 17th, because she is out of town for a week and a half right now! But this last week we got the opportunity to see her a few times. On Tuesday, we read through Alma 32 and 2 Nephi 32 with her, talking about the relationship between faith and prayer. At the end, we asked if we could have a kneeling prayer together and if she would offer it. She has been very hesitant in offering her own prayers, she usually asks us to do so. But this time was different, and she offered such a heartfelt prayer about joining the Church and if it was right for her and it was such a Spiritual experience. She is doing so great! She's been to church a few times, came to Stake Conference, the Members love her! This week before she left for out of town she texted us and explained that she'd be having a lot of quiet time on this trip and that she wants us to send chapters from the Book of Mormon that she should be reading! Her testimony of the Gospel, of the Book of Mormon, of everything she has learned about has grown every single day! Her husband David has become much more open to us as well, and so we will be teaching him as well, hoping that he will get baptized in August!

One of my favorite miracles from this week was the miracle of Ferris Watson. On Friday, we got a call from the Sisters that serve in our ward with us, saying they had just met this kid that seemed interested. They gave us his address, so we stopped by that night and met Ferris! He is 17 and from Cameroon. We talked a little about the Restoration and set up an appointment for the following night! I didn't get to be there for that, I was on exchanges but Elder Fisher told me how it went! They took Brother Cannon over to meet him, he is the Young Men's leader for our ward. They taught more about the Restoration, the Priesthood, Joseph Smith, etc. Ferris loved it! He talked about how he would love to have the Priesthood, so he committed to be baptized. On Sunday, we went with Brother Cannon to pick him up for church and he came! He absolutely loved church, even knew some of the Young Men already, and now is getting baptized on July 16th! We'll be seeing him again tomorrow. He moves to Ohio on July 31st, so we're trying to work with the mom and the rest of the family as well before they move.

Mark came to church as well! Mark was the one that we have been teaching for a few weeks, he is a much quieter guy but very nice. He's in his 30's and grew up here in Baltimore. He loved church as well! Sometimes it is SO hard to get people to want to come to church, but as soon as they come and get to meet everybody and feel the Spirit, you can see such a change in them!

One more miracle involving Brother Cannon! The people that he home teaches in the ward recently got changed to a man named Brother Herman Cooper, who doesn't normally attend church. Brother Cannon gave him a call though, and found out that he is interested in returning. Not only that, he has a 40 year old son and a 9 year old grandson that are looking for a church! So we'll get to meet them tomorrow night as well!!

Also, Brother Elliott is a member in our ward that got baptized about 2 years ago. He's in his 70's. Well, he recently was told by his doctors that he only has 3 to 6 months left to live because of a few diseases that he has. We visit him about once a week because he has a lot of friends that he always wants us to teach! He's awesome. Anyways, this past weekend he got to go to the temple and do his work for almost 16 close relatives, and get sealed to his parents! I'm so grateful for Temple Work, for the knowledge that we have about the family unit and that families truly can be together forever! 

We continue to see the Lord's merciful hand with all those that we are teaching. After seeing Francis' baptism in April, Sydney's wonderful baptism last week, we now get the opportunity to see Ferris baptized on July 16th, Mary on July 17th, and Mark towards the end of July! It's been such an amazing experience to get to work with all of these wonderful people and I'm so glad to get to see them make these changes in their lives!

What a week! Thanks to everyone for the wonderful support you give :)

-Elder Leavitt

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