Well it has been another great week! I'm still trying to get settled in, and meet with people. I'm really enjoying it though, and love digging in trying to get to know people.
This last week I have been able to give a couple of blessings. Those were some moments I won't forget. I was going to tell you about some of the experiences.
The first one was about a lady named Judy Stockton. We were at a members house eating dinner, and they had their friend over, Judy, and she was an older lady. Anyways we had dinner, and were all casually talking in a sun room. It wasn't a formal thing. There were people coming in and out. It felt like thanksgiving. For some reason there were a lot of people. Anyways we were just having a conversation, and somehow we were slightly talking about church and someone said the word "atonement." I'm not sure who it was, but Judy asked the question, "what is the atonement?" From there it was a flood gate. She told us of the things she is going through. She recently had her only 2 sons commit suicide, and her grandkids moved out of the country and has no contact with them. She has been through a ton, and asked a lot of deep deep soul questions that have weighed her down. I really felt something about her, and with the spirit, was able to give a little peace to the questions she had. One was pretty much if God was all knowing, and all loving why would he let this happen to me? It's been so hard on her she said she hasn't prayed in a long time. We talked with her for probably a good hour! She had so many questions that have boiled up with all the horrible things in her life. We were able to help her with some of her concerns, and just really testified of the Atonement, and the plan of Salvation. We gave her a pamphlet and really encouraged her to read it, and try praying to God, and If it was something she was interested in learning more about to let us know and we will help her. She was such a sweet old lady too. She mentioned how she had a lot of pain in her chest and felt like she was going to have a heart attack. We offered to give her a blessing and she accepted. She had physical hardships, but even more emotional and spiritual weight. I was the one who was able to give it. It's a moment I won't forget, the feelings that were felt. I felt Heavenly Father's love for her, and concern. It hit me pretty good. She was grateful for the blessing and we headed out. Two days later we found out from the member that she had felt no pain since the blessing,k and that she would be interested in taking the lessons! It was such great news to hear!!! The power of God is real, and he is still working in people's lives. We are meeting with her this Wednesday. It will be a long process. She said that she is/was Jehovah witness, but is willing to listen. She is pretty much questioning religion in general. The answers the restored gospel gives, I know will fill that gap in her life. She is really struggling, but I hope she sticks with it and tries this. It'll change her life.
The other one was another tender moment. We got called in the night that a lady needed a blessing in the emergency room at the hospital. We went over there with a member to give the blessing. It was an older lady probably in her 90s, and she was in rough, rough shape. She was in the ICU. Again I was the one who was able to give her a blessing. It is the closest I've seen someone so close from leaving this life on earth. It was a special sacred moment, and you could just feel that the veil was thin. I don't really remember much of what was said in the blessing, but I remember peace, and I remember feeling an overwhelming amount of care and love for this lady. Two of her granddaughters were there and they were bawling, and were so grateful that we came. They were both older and less active as well. The spirit was real that night, and I know they felt it. Hopefully it gets them wanting to change. I am not sure if she is going to make it or not, it was a scary situation, but whatever happens it will be for the eternal benefit. Just from these 2 experiences I felt so much. My eyes were more open to how much God loves every individual. Not just me or you, but every other person. I could really feel it, and it just will always stick with me. I am grateful that I was able to be a part of these.
It's been a good week! I really learned a lot from these experiences it was powerful! I'm loving it here, and all the great people. I feel like I am still changing and becoming a little better each day! It's been amazing! I hope you have another great week and stay warm take care!
I forgot to mention in the email that it was the autumn leaves festival this weekend. We heard it's the biggest one in North Carolina? It sure was big for me! We spent a lot of time there trying to be seen, and we were definitely seen alright. We had some weird glares the whole day. I am glad that it has ended ha.There was a lot of really great food there I'm sure y'all would've liked it. It had all sorts of crafts and things. Here are some pictures.
Also, I found this picture of Maddy on Facebook. It looks like they made it up to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! I'm sure it was a special day for her.