I love you all so much. This week was pretty incredible.This week has been a lot better and we've seen a lot of miracles in our Area. We know that ups and downs are just a part of the mission, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to endure well our stresses and trials. But the higher the ups are, the lower the downs are, but they all fluctuate incredible fast, so I’m just hanging on tight.
We have one investigator who is very special. Brother Manuel. We met him while trying to find a really old referral from some extremely not-progressing investigators. I don’t even know why we were trying to find him again. He wasn’t even interested. But Sister Natarte felt we needed to try again. While we were outside his gate, Brother Manuel walked passed and went inside the gate to find the other man for us. He found him and he just invited himself into our lesson with the other man. The other man was still not interested, but we set up a return appointment with Brother Manuel. During our second appointment, he told us that his wife passed away last year and when he spoke about her, he was extremely humble and saddened. We immediately felt the presence of his wife and pulled out our little booklet about Temple Preparation. We only had it with us because we were going to show it to another ward member. We showed him a picture of the baptismal font in the temple and told him that his wife was waiting for him to help her be baptized into Jesus Christ’s Church. He started weeping and committed to be baptized and start preparing to enter the Temple. He is very poor and 60 years old, but he has come to church two weeks in a row. He wants to learn every day and reads more from the Book of Mormon and the pamphlets every day than we do. He literally reads every line and every scripture and soaks up everything he can. He will be baptized onand we are so grateful for his example to the ward members around him who sometimes need a push. One day he asked us why the ward members were talking and texting and taking phone calls in the middle of the sacrament. He was almost in tears as he bore is testimony of how sacred the sacrament should be (like teaching us). We explained that not everyone is perfect but we are all working to be better at showing the Lord our dedication and service. He has two sons who are not ready to listen to us, but we are hoping they at least come to his baptism. They are both young single adults and still like to just hang out and drink. Brother Manuel has already changed immensely, and we want to help his family and his wife as much as we can. We can feel her presence around us as we plan for him and teach him. One morning we were doing a “practice teaching” during companion study for our lesson with him, and I just started weeping as I felt prompted to promise him something from his wife. Sister Natarte, who was pretending to be Manuel, started crying too and that lesson was one of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever had on my mission. We are so blessed to not only be helped by the Lord, but also to be helped by the family members and ancestors who have passed on. They are guiding us to their family members who need the truth and we are never alone in the search for those that are ready. I know that this church is true and that this work is so important to the Lord. Thank you for your birthday letters and words of encouragement. I love you all so much!
Love, Sister Smoot