Every Praise is to our God.
That's a great song by the way, gotta love that southern gospel music! This week was another miraculous week in the mission field. We found a couple people, we had a great Sunday-which for missionaries translates to investigators at Sacrament Meeting-and we are well on our way to introducing technology in the mission.
Jumping right into it, we were able to make contact with a lady named Keke who I had previously knocked into. We asked if we could come in and share our message and she invites us right in. As we were talking with her we found out that she had not been baptized so we started the Restoration excited to invite her to be baptized. Then, as we were talking about Christ's life and His Atonement and suffering on the cross she was asking questions about what He felt. It was really cool being able to explain that Christ suffered for each of our sins, pains, sicknesses, infirmities, and everything; he suffered for all of it because He loves us. The Spirit was really strong and we invited her to be baptized at the part where it may have not made sense logically, but spiritually it did. I just love teaching about the Savior and it's become so real to me that He truly did suffer something so indescribably bitter because of the unconditional love He has for us and the unconditional love our Heavenly Father has for us. Since then we've been by a couple times and she's reading and we are excited to see her again tonight. Her husband works out of town throughout the week but she has great potential!
We were also able to re-contact Alandus and teach him again. Before going into the lesson I told Elder Canty that we probably wouldn't be able to get in because he's been super stressed and busy. Then when he answered without hesitation he asked us to come in; story of the last week or so. He is doing good and we are planning on going to see him tonight as well. Super honest guy and I know the gospel and the Book of Mormon will hell his life. He express that he is looking for peace and comfort in his life.
The boys, Jabori and Javon are progressing well. They are coming to all sorts of activities and we are helping them get prepared for baptism. Our goal is to have them prepared by the 31st so that when their Mom lets them be baptized they can cannon ball in (figuratively of course). They both went to the pinewood derby on Friday, activities on Wednesday, and church again on Sunday!
But, that's not even the best part. Theresa, their mom, showed up the last 5 minutes of Sacrament and stayed through Sunday School! She loved it and had a great time and learned a lot. During gospel principles she basically bore her testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon and how it gives us guidance and direction and most importantly shields us from destruction. That was a big step for her and hopefully will start to soften her heart.
We had a couple technology trainings that we went to this week and I get more excited to use technology every time we watch some of the prophetic prophecies about mobile devices and other online means hastening the work of the Lord. It's been so amazing to feel the testimony that we are all prepared and called for different things at different times but that we are all prepared and called to the Lord's work. He knows us.
We ran into a guy named Chad the other week as well who is a member of the church. We tracted into his roommate and we were talking to him when Chad walked up. We set a return appointment with Chad because his roommate speaks un poquito Ingles and figured out that he was a member. We've taught him a couple times now and he came to church yesterday. We also had a really cool lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and we called in one of the missionaries that taught and baptized him back in 2005 via Facebook Messenger. It was awesome to see technology in action and I look forward to similar experiences like that. It was great for Chad to reconnect with her and listen to her continue to bear her testimony and strengthen others even after being home for 12+ years.
On Friday after our Technology Training Elder Krupa and I went out on an exchange. There wasn't a ton of plans but we had a few follow-ups to make. So as we were going around we knocked a few doors and as we knocked on one door a lady named Virginia walked up the stairs. We said "Hello" and I told her that we were servants of Jesus Christ and asked if she knew Him. She said of course she did and we had a good conversation about how her faith has carried her throughout her life. When we asked if we could pray with her she invited us in and we talked about her family and then my eye caught something colorful... She had a Rubix Cube sitting on her table! So I asked if we could show her something cool and then we taught her the Restoration with it. By the time we ended she wanted a Book of Mormon and we will hopefully be able to see her again.
Walking through Walmart this week I ran into Crystal. She looked a little different but familiar enough for me to recognize her. I stopped her and said hello but she wasn't really having it. It was kinda sad to see her because I think the biggest difference was that she seemed sad. I remember when we first started teaching them and as she read and learned and began to change her life started to drastically change for the better. And now not having that has made her lose the Spirit, and has dimmed that light she had. It's the saddest part about missionary work.
We went on a couple exchanges this week and every time I am amazed at the strength of the missionaries we have in this mission. I know that the Lord sends his best missionaries here and so I know they are not as great around the world as they are in Alabama but I'm sure they are just as powerful. Missionaries are the best of friends to have! We also went on splits again with Bishop and had a couple good visits with member of the ward. Hopefully some potential to start working with! This week we were also able to stop in Prattville and visit with a couple members and individuals there that Elder Canty and I both got close to so we have pictures of those. Also, we were invited to visit a "KeepOnRollin'" conference with John Bytheway, Hank Smith, and Meg Johnson which was awesome. Got some pictures of that as well so I'll send a few of those. (HUGE shout-out to Elder Canty for taking pictures by the way).
Always Gotta Laugh:
- We knocked on this guys door and he banged on the wall and mumbled but we didn't understand him so we knocked again. He came to the door and was like, "Maaaannn, I was using the bathroom man!" *Shuts door... Locks door*
- Elder Foster: "Oh no you guys are out of toilet paper! Oh wait, there's more. You guys are the worst."
- We met a lady named Rosslyn who was a little drunk; just drunk enough to kinda flirt with us. She wasn't super young either. But she did comment that I just look like someone warm, like someone you can trust. It was weird haha! When I gave her my number she thought I told her my name: "Elder 2427??" Elder Canty and I were having a quite side conversation. She thought Elder Canty being from a small town in Colorado was "cute." That was a good one.
- A lady got baptized in Selma this past week but only on the conditions that all her missionaries got to come back for it (which typically isn't allowed but we are trying to save souls and she wouldn't get baptized otherwise). So President gave permission and put us in charge of arranging how to get 11 missionaries down to Selma, AL, which is at the southern border of our mission, without their companions. Well, they took the Transit Van and Doc was baptized.
- We ate chitlins this week. If you don't know what that is... Google it.
- Sister Bainbridge forgot that I served on Prattville and didn't know who I was.
- Throwback Story--Elder Canty told me that when he was in Prattville Sister Kidd mistook him for her husband and it was really awkward.
Elder McKeon and I went out together on Saturday while our companions took a road trip down to Selma. We knocked into these two guys who were Southern Baptist and were asking questions about the differences between Mormons and other Christians. They were leaning more to bashing but it was a good conversation. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Trinity and Prophets and Priesthood but all in all we gave them a Book and invited them to study. As we walked away we talked about how the Church and the Restoration just makes sense. Chad, the guy who is recently wanting to come back to church shares everytime we ask about his testimony how it just made sense; how is was convincing. I think that the Spirit is how we gain our testimony but I also think we have to logically understand the message first. (D&C 8:2-3). Since being in my mission I have come to love the Bible, especially the New Testament, and I have come to love talking to people about Christ and His gospel and His Restoration. It is His, and it is true, and we all are children of God who can get closest to Him but coming to know of the reality if His Atonement and Restoration.
Hope y'all have a blessed week!
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"Michael S. Milius"
ELDER MICHAEL S. MILIUS
ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM MISSION
"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." ~3 Nephi 5:13