Monday, September 21, 2015

Hey Everyone!

This week has been amazingly crazy! Something cool that we were able to do was meet with a Baptist Preacher!! And he totally became one of our new investigators!! Ahhhhh!! So it sounds super cool.. but the reason for why it happened is not quite as cool.. So do you remember me talking about Jeremy West a couple of weeks ago? Well he just got baptized at the end of August. However he started his religious journey with the baptist church 2 years ago. So he has some deep connections with some people there. Especially with Pastor Chris Osterbrock.. So he continued to go to the baptist church in the morning and then he would come to ours in the afternoon. He continued to meet with his old pastor while still meeting with us. We were teaching him the new member lessons, while Pastor Chris was teaching him why we were wrong..  It really began to shake Jeremys testimony! It was really sad to see! So he told us that he wanted us to meet up at the same time at the same place, so that he could see both sides at the same time. We brought President Bradford with us.. yup we brought the BIG guns. He is a former mission President, and is about to go to another mission on October 12 to Palmyra, New York. He is in the Eastgate ward though.. so we ward hopped. Haha. He was President Porters councilor for a few weeks until he got called to Palmyra.  Anyways we had an awesome discussion. Pastor Chris came with all sorts of anti material. Most of it was on the book of Abraham. He had these dead sea scroll books that he kept trying to bring up. We had control of the conversation though and didn't ever let it get into bashing! I learned so much that day! Pastor Chris was shaking and looked like he was on edge the whole time. We gave them material to read to better understand the truth. As we were leaving our discussion pastor Chris turned to us and asked us if we could meet with him again. We still to this day aren't quite sure what his intents are.. but we will let you know next week. So we set up a return appointment. Yup we are going to start the lessons. He is getting baptized. The the whole Mt. Washington Baptist church will follow(: I am so excited! 

So we are also working with John Casey. He is just the greatest guy. We have taught the Book of Mormon lesson this week, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ, 10 commandments, and the Sabbath day. He is on date for October 9th as of right now. However our leaders just let us know that they want us to push up the date to the end of this month.. they talked about doing thatnext Tuesday night.. however that is right after the transfers. So we are going to try to push it up to Sunday night so I can be there. I am so excited! Johns baptism was one of the main reasons I didn't want to go home this transfer because I have such a love for him and want to see him make that step in his life! So I am PUMPED!!! Hopefully the ward will be okay with that too. That would mean Jane wouldn't be my last baptism.. but John would.

Jane Tumey got baptized on Saturday!!!! Man oh man! She is amazing! She seemed like a member of the church before she was even baptized! She always said "I will" to any commitment we left with her, and she did it! She was definitely elect, and just waiting for somebody to share this message with her. Everyone in the ward has just been on fire with all of the missionary work that has been going on! Miracles are not in short supply!

I have loved being an instrument in the Lords hands so much! I know He lives. I know it! I have felt His help here in the OCM so much! I am just taken back on how much God loves me to give me the opportunity to serve a mission. I have never felt closer to Him. I am anything but perfect. Definitely FAR from it, but I know as I am trying my best the rest is taken care of. I have been so blessed to have president Porter in my life. He has changed my life. I have never met anyone quite like him before. Every single person that meets him comes up to us and tell us that they have never seen a mission President like President Porter ever! They have seen many mission Presidents in their lives, but not like him. I swear he is going to be a general Authority someday. I can't believe how much I have been blessed for my service. You try to do something back for the Lord, and what does He do? Gives you a million more blessing! Ha! He is just the best!

Well thanks so much for keeping up to date on my missionary journey. I hope everyone who has been reading my emails the past bit has felt the reality of what I am saying. I hope you have gained a desire to serve the Lord more fully in your life, because that's were pure joy comes from. That is how I have been so happy. I could do this forever if it wasn't for my weak flesh. It is going to be so hard to say goodbye to the land of miracles. To say goodbye to the power behind my calling. But I will be a missionary for life. My mission has taught me how to do that. Well I will see you all sometime soon.(:

Love always,

Sister Steffani Stokes

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