CONGRATULATIONS ASH AND JIM! AHH :)
And Happy Fathers Day Dad! You are the best! Love You All
God was so good to me this week. My goodness. :)
I feel truly blessed by all the amazing miracles and life changing events that happened not only in my life, but in the lives of those we are working with.
Seriously. The Lord was way too good to us. Right after we emailed last week we ran to our appointment with our wonderful and beloved friend and sister. When we went over there we started to discuss Joseph Smith. She said she had heard about some of the persecution he had faced and we decided we should discuss with her the problems he faced, but because he continued on great miracles occurred. We talked about how almost every time something good happens, Satan will try to stop it. He doesn’t want us to be happy and he doesn’t want us to succeed. We didn’t know exactly why we were discussing this but the spirit knew and he continued to prompt us to keep going. Then as we were talking I got the STRONGEST prompting to ask her what was holding her back from getting baptized. I had hesitation immediately come into my mind because we had asked this multiple times but, we decided to listen. We asked and we paused, she was looking at the floor and I thought for sure she was going to give us a negative response, but I just felt to have faith.
She looked back up at us and she had tears in her eyes, and she said “Sis, nothing is holding me back. I want to get baptized. I’m ready. I woke up this morning I just felt ready.” I started to just weep like a little baby. My goodness, embarrassing. But then I looked at my companion and she was doing the same. We were completely shocked but so happy all at the same time. After a couple of more tears were shed, we discussed it and she said she wanted to get baptized this weekend! Ahhh! YAY!
We didn’t know why the spirit had invited us to talk about the persecution that Joseph Smith had faced, but we realized later that week why. Literally every day as we made daily contact with her, something bad had happened. Her daughter, her brother, her friends, her neighbors, were all putting pressure on her to not go through with the baptism. She was completely alone besides us and her youngest son and the members. But she was strong. She faced the future with faith and she told us every day, “I’m still going to get baptized. I don’t care what they say. It’s my choice.”
Ahh I love her to pieces. She had the most beautiful baptism on Sunday and it was absolutely amazing. A lot of the ward members were there and we filled the chapel. The spirit was so strong and she was so happy. She said she felt so clean and light. It literally was miraculous.
This was certainly a growing process for her, but also for me. I had to really work on my faith. Every week as we would plan the spirit kept prompting us she will get baptized, just give her the time she needs. It was so hard to patiently wait for the Lord’s time. I think I prayed harder for her than anyone in my entire life. I gave my heart to her, and the Lord blessed her.
And as it says in Alma 31:38
38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.
The Lord does provide, as He always will when we put our faith and trust in His hands.
We had so many other miracles this week but I can’t begin to tell them all. But one amazing one that I thought to share, which is my practice this week of teaching as the Savior taught. On that same Tuesday we went to follow up with one of our potential investigators but he ended up being in bed sick, but his wife came out, along with their 3 daughters. It was about 7:45 at night and freezing. But they came out and ended up talking to us for about 45 minutes. We got to know them actually really well and we were able to teach some of the Plan of Salvation. They are an amazing family and they invited us to come back. When we went back on Saturday to follow up with them, hoping to be able to meet Adam, the husband, they all came out and chatted with us and we taught the Restoration and the spirit was powerful. We found our Golden Family. :)
Later in the week we also followed up with a potential in the area book that had been there for a couple of years but the Lord said, go visit this man. So we decided to go on Friday night and oh my goodness! He is amazing. We were invited into his home and we started by discussing his relationship with the Savior and with Heavenly Father. He got tears in His eyes as He expressed to us how much they had helped him in his life. At one point in the lesson the spirit so strongly prompted us to ask him if he had ever been baptized. We heeded the prompting and we asked, he said no. And so we decided to invite him then and there on the first time we had even met him to be baptized. And he said YES! I Know the Lord guided us to him at this time in his life. There really are miracles, miracles everywhere.
We love to say in our zone that this zone for along time has been the sleeping giants. There is so much potential here and as a zone we say now that the giants are awake and we are ready to give it our all. I have felt the spirit so much, as my constant companion, guiding my every word, every thought and action. I’m so grateful for the incredible gift of the Spirit.
I love this work and I know it is the Lord who leads and guides us!
Sister Alexis Benjamin