Things are just wonderful here! The only thing that isn’t is the HEAT. I often feel like the water I’m drinking immediately comes out in cascading waterfalls of sweat. Sorry, that sounds pretty gross.
People are doing well. Some are progressing well, some are not. It’s so true that we are all eventually backed up to a wall of faith. It is then that we must decide if we are in or out. I think several of our investigators are at that point. And I wish that we could make the decision for them to be baptized and keep their commitments! But the world keeps having an even greater influence upon people, and it’s quite sad.
Phyllis’ mom is still here. Well actually we are going over today to see. We are going to help her weed some of her garden and we’ll see if her mom is still in town. She has missed way too many sundays! We miss her so much at church!
Joshua is just awesome. We didn’t get to go to the temple with him. We had other appointments come up but he did go with the youth for their monthly trip. He started seminary today which makes me and Sister Heaps feel so proud! Is that what it is like to watch your kid walk off to kindergarten!? Haha
The O family’s baptism is probably going to be pushed off. We are going to wait and see if the oldest brother desires to take the lessons and get baptized. If so, we will wait until they can be baptized as a family, if not, then the baptism will be soon!
Richard (A man who hasn’t seen the missionaries since 1960 and is a marine from the Vietnam war) is one of the coolest guys ever! We have visited him twice now, and he is a character. He was paralyzed while in Vietnam and has been in a wheelchair for years and years. But he is super active and happy and healthy. He has the beautifulest plants outside his home that he is so proud he has raised them since they were seedlings. We taught him the restoration on friday, and WOW. That is probably the second most spiritually uplifting lesson I’ve ever been in. As a mission we are changing the way we teach to be more along the lines of Master Teaching, as Christ taught. We tried doing so. We just listened to him and felt questions come to us. As we asked him the questions, the truth was drawn out from within him. (Because the truth resides in us all). The Spirit was guiding us, but more importantly, it was guiding and testifying to him. We also brought Brother and Sister Brown and they just added so much to the spirit that was felt in the lesson. The cool thing is that Brother Brown and Richard hit things right off. They grew up in the same area, both fought in the war, and had many connections. Richard is a talker though. I have had to be lovingly bold to keep things on track for lessons. The first time we met him, I just said (mostly jokingly and politely but confidently,) “hold on Richard! We have a message to share!” He thinks I am the funniest thing and tells me I’d make a good marine. We had texted him to set up our second appointment and he responded with, “don’t know which one of you two sisters is text’g me, but i gather its sister jeppson? am i correct? you’re the spunky one, respectfully pudd’g.” He is like my fourth grandpa.
This area is just super awesome. I am loving serving here and am excited to continue helping these people grow closer to Christ! You can see the change in them. The light around them grows in intensity and brightness the more you visit with them and the more they keep their commitments and progress.
Zone Conference was thursday. It was my first and I just loved it! I was nervous because they told us that we would be randomly picked to give a talk. I was given the topic of Apostasy (the hardest topic ever!) but lucked out and didn’t have to speak. PHEW! I was also nervous though, because we were told we were going to do role plays for about an hour. I don’t necessarily like role plays and feel as though they don’t have much of a benefit. I quickly learned of their benefit. We started off the role-play really rough, trying to implement the principles of Master Teaching (asking inspired questions, listening, drawing the truth out from the investigator, establishing control and guiding the lesson). It was pretty bad and rocky. 10 minutes into the lesson we were role-playing they switched who was teaching, so the other companionship across from us began teaching us as if they were teaching us all along. It was better. We were beginning to feel the flow of the lesson. 10 minutes later, we switched back. Sister Heaps and I were to finish off the lesson and invite them to do whatever we felt prompted. It was amazing. I felt the flow of the Spirit through me, guiding my questions. I listened to the person we were teaching. We drew the truth out of her. She was sobbing. It was really powerful, for just a simple role-play. I still don’t like role plays because they are usually awkward and uncomfortable, but if everyone involved is in tune, then they can really benefit.
President Mortensen addressed us about the restoration and put together a timeline of the world and how the bible and book of mormon are involved in history. It’s pretty cool. I’ll draw it out and send it to you.
Bridgeland is just awesome. I am loving it here. This area is full of so many great people and I am so blessed to be a part of the work here.