Sunday, July 17, 2016

5 July 2016 Lafayette Life

Well hello there. I hope everyone's 4th of July was good and happy! Ours sure was. So my life is completely different now! I am the furthest south I've ever been haha and I live in Cajun Country. The college's mascot here is the Ragin' Cajun... haha My companion is Sister Nelson, she is fantastic. She is from New Hampshire... Everyone here is so excited that we are both from the North East! She has been out for 5 months and is a stellar missionary. Lafayette is such a wonderful place and already we are seeing miracles! A couple of the main ones are we got a referral for someone who wanted a Bible, but it was 25 miles away in a small town named Rayne, LA. Sister Nelson decided we should go and deliver it so off we went. We ended up on a gravel road in the middle of crawfish ponds and fields when the GPS announced that we had arrived at our destination.... We just started laughing but then were bummed because now there is no way for us to get a hold of this guy. So we decided to look in the area book for other people in Rayne, since we had come all this way. Sister Nelson found a former investigator named Rose and I found a less active member named Ray. So we called Rose, told her we were in Rayne and that we would love to meet her and asked if we could come over! She answered "Absolutely! Come on!" I hung up the phone and just smiled huge! Dang, that was a first :) So we headed right on over there and she was waiting for us on her front porch. We chatted with her and got to know her a bit and then got to talking to her about the Book of Mormon and its significance. She had no idea what it was but once we told her she was like "You mean God spoke to more of His kids!?" She was so interested in knowing what was in the Book of Mormon! We committed her to read the introduction. We her if she would pray before we left and ask if the book was true... she hesitated and then told us that she had never prayed out loud before. We taught her how to pray and encouraged her to pray for herself! She decided she would. The feelings and emotions that came next will never ever be properly described. She opened her prayer and when she did the spirit flooded us. She began to cry as she had just for the first time in her life called out to her Heavenly Father. She then very carefully chose her next words as she asked if the Book of Mormon was true and if we were sent from Him. Then she closed her prayer and looked up. Sister Nelson and I were crying with her. I then testified to her that she had just literally been overwhelmed by the Spirit of God and that the Spirit cannot lie. She was so happy and just smiling huge, I asked her when we could come back and she said "ASAP!!" We left her a restoration pamphlet to read and before we were even driving away we could see her reading through it. She was sure to let us know that the timing was perfect! It was a miracle! I have thanked God for that experience because it was life changing!
Then we moved on to Ray the less active. We knocked on the door and his grandson Chad answered the door. We asked if Ray was there and he let us know he had passed away about a year ago. Sister Nelson and I had decided that we would share a Mormon Message with this family before we even went up to knock on the door. So Sister Nelson quickly decided that the video from this Easter would be best since it talks about being reunited with our loved ones who have passed away. So we go in and Chad's mom is there. Chad is probably 30 and Ms. Nan, his mom probably 50, we watch the video and then ask how they felt during it. Ms. Nan says "Nothing, I felt nothing." We weren't sure how to respond but the spirit told us exactly what to say. It was so amazing. She told us she wasn't a Christian. Sister Nelson and I just talked to her and you could literally see the spirit softening her heart with every word that was being said. She admitted that she does believe in a God and she does still pray to him. We talked about her difficult life and how at times it seems unmanageable. I turned to Sister Nelson and asked her what she did when life got hard. Sister Nelson bore such a powerful testimony of being able to call upon the power of the Atonement to receive strength and help. Then Sister Nelson asked "Ms. Nan, do you believe God sends signs?" Ms. Nan just stood there, thinking, you could see that that question hit home and sunk in far deeper than anything else. You could see that EVERY barrier that was between us and her fell down. She then said "Yes, I do. You are never going to believe this, earlier tonight I was standing by my bed praying hard and I asked God to just send me a sign so I could know what to do!" I then asked her if she thought we were that sign from God. She began to cry and said "Yes, I do, and I never would have guessed He would answer me so quickly." I then said "It's because He loves you!" and I gave her a big hug. She laid her head on my shoulder, I whispered in her ear a question I asked her "Will you let us and God help you?" She said in a weak tearful voice "YES!" We then sat down and had a lesson about our Savior Jesus Christ and talked about how he wants to heal us but its a journey, its a process. We have to commit to Him and if we do then all things are possible. Once again, another LIFE CHANGING event. We texted Ms. Nan to remind her of her commitment to change and to work on making Christ apart of her life. She texted back "The devil is working hard here, but I still remember what happened!" and her son Chad also texted us to thank us for helping his mom's faith! It was so sweet.
Life as a missionary is not glamorous and its not easy but man o' man is it rewarding and empowering. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this plan and I love His people. How lucky am I to labor among these people, sweat and cry along side them. I have come to realize that repentance is the GREATEST gift that has been given to us. Because it offers the peace and freedom Nan, Rose, me and you are all looking for. I love yall so much. God Bless and allow yourselves to be changed this week. The miracles are all around us, whether we see them or not is up to us!

Sister Kerr

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