Hey, you & me both!
I wish you had taken pictures of the flooding that occurred this last week in Ohio! Ironically, we had quite a storm yesterday in Billings. Our storm did not last very long, and it did not cause flood damage. But the hail was incredible!
Sister Bateman & I were rushing from a lesson to our dinner appointment. We noted the nasty storm clouds and the rain, but we didn't know what to expect. Just as we parked the car, the most NASTY hail that I have ever seen in my life came pouring down. Golf-ball sized hail. We opened the doors for half a second and immediately closed them because it was evident that one hit from the hail would knock us out. I was worried the hail would break the glass on our car, because there wasn't anywhere for us to park to get the car out of the storm. The storm passed reasonably quickly, though, and fortunately we were okay and while the car suffered several dents, it's okay too.
But this experience brought a whole new meaning of Helaman 5:12 to me. And from the sounds of your stormy week in Ohio, you can relate as well.
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that is is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his HAIL and his mighty STORM shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
The elements have TREMENDOUS power. And so can Satan have great power over our lives if we let him. But we are promised that if have Christ as our foundation, we cannot fall. So then how do we have Christ as our foundation? Something that has been pressed upon my mind lately is the importance and the blessings of keeping the commandments.
"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual" (Mosiah 2:41)
Security, safety, and blessings are provided as we keep the commandments of God. They are NOT suggestions - they are commandments, designed to bless our lives. I asked one of our investigators this week why it was important to not sin. He actually provided quite a profound answer. Almost verbatim, he said, "sin sets you back in whatever plan God has for your life". It's TRUE!! Sin & breaking commandments sets us back in life. God is waiting to bless us. Keep the commandments!!
Okay, I'm off of my soapbox now :) Not sure where all of that came from, but hope you enjoyed it!
Hmmmm what else in life?
We did A LOT of service this week. The Montana Special Olympics was in Billings this week, and so we spent hours helping. We even got cool t-shirts for volunteering!...sorry I don't have any pictures... :/ BUT there was this cute 11 year old who was going around trying to scare the missionaries. It was the greatest thing ever. She kind of reminded me of myself since I take great joy in scaring/creeping people out haha So we helped in escorting swimmers, cheering & awards, and making lunches. Good experience.
In other news, we had SEVEN investigators at church!!! :) There is this sweet younger family that came for their first time. They told us that they enjoyed church, and they also ended up knowing some of the members in the ward!!
So here's an update on some of the people we are teaching:
Mr. X: He's still throwing out tons of anti-Mormon stuff at us at the end of every lesson. I just keep referring him back to the Book of Mormon, specifically Moroni 10:3-5, and whether or not Joseph Smith was a prophet. And a I bear my testimony. He even told us he was beginning to expect what our response to some of his comments would be. Ha!
Young family: Oh, they are so great! They are the ones who enjoyed church. I actually wasn't at their lesson this week because I was on exchanges in the Skyview ward. But they are really wanting to be able to make changes in their lives and strengthen their family.Â
Native American: Did I tell you about him yet? Probably not, we started teaching him just this week. He also is wanting to make changes in his life, to get back up on his feet and find a foundation for his life. He loves what we are sharing because it is all so positive, and he enjoyed church this week. We actually kind of had a mini miracle with his lessons this week :)
There are others, but that's the highlights. I actually have to go, we need to start recording call-in numbers and such.