I'm pretty sure this has been the fastest week on my mission so far. I feel like I just wrote an e-mail yesterday!
First item of business - Eliza passed her baptism interview and is set to go for this Saturday! We're so excited!
A little bit of background on her: Eliza is 17 years old and awesome. She was introduced to the church through a friend of hers, who was baptized about 2 years ago. Her friend lives in a town about 30 minutes away, outside of our area, but she drove down here a couple months ago to take Eliza to church so she could meet the missionaries. And the Sisters have been teaching Eliza ever since. She's so cool - whenever we teach she just kind of soaks in everything we're telling her. We saw her on Saturday and we were talking about the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost (same thing, different names), and the differences in how it can influence you before being baptized and recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and how it influences your life afterwards. It was so cool to hear about how she had recieved a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that the church and the Book of Mormon were true.
Something else really cool that happened this week. Yesterday, Sunday, we had a 'cottage meeting' at our ward mission leader's (the Smith's) house. A cottage meeting is essentially dinner, a spiritual messsage, and then dessert. Super casual, super low-key, just a fun opportunity to get together with people, get to know people, and talk about the Gospel.
There were a few investigators there, a couple less-active members, and a few active members. As well as the three of us and the Elders in our ward. We ate dinner, then Brother and Sister Smith showed us a couple Mormon Messages. The first one was probably my favorite. It was one called "Waiting on Our Road to Damascus", which is so cool. It's all about Saul, and his conversion while walking on the road to Damascus. It then talked about how each of us are walking on our own road to Damascus, and the importance of recognizing those things that help bring about our own conversion. After showing the video, the Smiths kind of opened the floor for comments, questions, etc. It was miraculous; a lot of the people there shared their own conversion story, and it was amazing to see the different ways the Spirit speaks to people. Long time members, recent converts, active members, less-active members, investigators - everyone had their own conversion story! And the part that stood out to me most about all the different stories people shared were that although everyone had different experiences, they were similar at the same time. And one of the biggest similarities is that no one had an angel appear to them. All too often I think people expect some big, wonderous, huge sign, a giant billboard that pops up on our drive home saying "YES, THIS IS TRUE." But that rarely happens.
It just reminded me of Alma the Younger, in the Book of Mormon. Alma was a punk, who was going around doing terrible things. Eventually, he had an angel appear to him, who told him to knock it off because he could be so much better. And Alma did change. He became an amazing prophet! But the coolest thing about Alma is that he didn't change and become converted because an angel told him to. It definitely was a wake up call for him, but then, in Alma chapter 5, verses 45-48 Alma tells exactly what it was that caused his conversion. It wasn't the angel; it was study, and prayer, and fasting. So just the little things that are kind of easy to forget were the things that turned Alma, who was a horrible person, into a prophet!
Kind of mind-blowing, isn't it?
So, that's my insight for this week. Don't forget the little things. Because, after all, it's the little things that help prepare us for the big things.
Now go read your scriptures.
Love you all!
Sister Lindsey Berg