Monday, April 28, 2014

Carissa and Ryan's Baptism















What a week it's been! The beginning of the week was pretty rough. Sister Grenfell was really sick so we didn't get to go out and work all day Tuesday, which is usually our busiest day of the week. Wednesday we took it easy again and were only able to go to a couple appointments. Thursday we had district meeting and we talked all about the Grace of God. What is grace to you? It was a really great meeting and I learned a lot about how much grace really can change us AND save us. I feel like every day I come closer and closer to understanding how the Atonement works in my life. It reminds me of the lyrics of come thou fount "Oh to grace how great a debtor, daily I'm constrained to be. Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee. Prone to wander lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." That's the prayer I have in my heart every day, Heavenly Father, make me what you want me to be today. I feel so much better when I know what I'm doing exactly what the Lord would have me do. Friday we found a new investigator, his name is Anthony. When we first met him, it was by a member referral, and he kind of had the attitude of wanting to prove everything wrong that we were talking about and as the lesson went on he changed more and more. When we recited the first vision the spirit was so strong. I knew what we were testifying of was true, and we both felt like Anthony felt it too. We are meeting with him again this Friday.

 Saturday was amazing, Carissa and Ryan were baptized at 9 am and it was the most beautiful thing I've ever been a part of. It was amazing to see the instant change in them as soon as they came back up the stairs after their baptism. When we talked to Carissa in the bathroom right after she said, "I've never been so happy in my life. I feel so happy right now." She was so touched and Ryan was too, he was so much more reverent and peaceful. Amelia-Rose (Carissa's daughter) gave the closing prayer and she said, "we are so thankful mommy and Ryan got bapaaatized". It was soooo cute, and really funny. I never felt so fulfilled in my life, any pain or frustration that's come from being a missionary was completely swallowed up when we got to see her be baptized. I finally understand what it means in the scriptures when it says "If you bring but one soul unto him, how great shall be your joy" ITS SO TRUE. Carissa and Ryan, children of Heavenly Father were brought into his fold, saved from sin! HOW GREAT IS BEING A MISSIONARY AND HAVING A CHANCE TO BE A PART OF THAT! 

The rest of Saturday we spent in meetings. All the missionaries in our zone were invited to go to the Priesthood session of stake conference. They talked about members and missionaries working together to hasten the work. They said that that's the only way the work will truly be hastened. Then we had transfer doctrine. SISTER GRENFELL AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER IN EAST LAKE AGAIN! 3RD TRANSFER IN A ROW! We are so excited! We have decided that it's for a reason and that the next six week are for us to work miracles here in east lake, the Lord has kept us here for a reason. Then we had the Saturday evening session of stake conference. All of us missionaries sang Hark All Ye Nations, it was awesome! Then President Toombs spoke. He talked all about members and missionaries as well. He said that he only has 24 missionaries placed in this stake but that the stake president has 3000, and that in order for things to really progress and hasten we need the members to work with us. He promised our stake that if there is a member at every single lesson we teach the number of convert baptisms will double in the stake.... WOW! What a promise, right!?! It was incredibly powerful! 

On Sunday we went out with Annie Pitts, bishop's daughter that just got back from college. She is going to Frankfort Germany in July! SO COOL RIGHT! She's amazing! Having her with us reminded me of when I was home and was always with the Sisters. It was so cool to give her opportunities to share her testimony. We are teaching her the second lesson this week to prep her to teach one of our investigators with us. I wish I would have been more involved with the missionaries before I came out. It was overall a great experience, we took her contacting and everything. It was great. 

But what I learned this week was that my Heavenly Father never forgets about me, he knows me perfectly and knows exactly what I need and when I need it. He knows my struggles and my strengths alike, and gives me trials to help me improve and grow. I love Him and I know He loves me. I am so thankful to be a missionary. I am thankful for your love and support that helps me each day. I love you dad! 

P.S. Bishop Pitts is going to be in Philly this Tuesday through Thursday. I don't know if it'd be possible, but it'd be really cool if my family in PA was able to meet my family out here in East Lake. Maybe y'all could meet up for dinner and go to Geno's for a cheesestake. Mom has Sister Pitts e-mail if you want to get in contact. 

Mom's note****We are meeting him tomorrow night for cheesesteaks @ Geno's.  (NOT PAT'S, lol)***

I LOVE YOU! 

<3 Sister Hoopes

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