Wow! This week has been quite the week here in Russellville. To start off, we had a baptism this last Sunday in the ward! His name is Phillip and he is quite an amazing guy. His wife is a member and they have two lovely children that are twins, a boy and a girl that are probably around the age of one. They also are expecting another coming very soon! For a couple months now, Phillip has been coming to church to support his wife and provide a good environment for their children, but he hadn’t been baptized. A couple weeks ago, however, he walked up to the Bishop of the ward after church and said that he wanted to be baptized! The bishop told us immediately and we were extremely excited. For a while, he had been listening to lessons in church and what his wife was sharing with him and he knew that all of it was true. So we have been working very hard in the past few weeks to get him ready for his baptism! And it all culminated yesterday when he was baptized. It was a really great service and what is even better is that now he will be able to bless his household and his children more than he could ever have before. Soon he will receive the priesthood and his family will be able to feel the power of the priesthood in their home. After the baptism, we all got to eat chili cheese hotdogs provided by his family and they were really great as well!
We also had another really cool experience this past week while Elder Faustin and I were out knocking on doors. We had been knocking on doors for a while and we were in a neighborhood that was particularly hilly. What made things even worse was that is seemed liked there was a house just about every quarter mile so we were doing a lot of walking. But we got to the top of this one hill and we saw a house with lights on inside so we approached and knocked on the door. The door opened and a lady answered and we introduced ourselves and told her we were missionaries and asked her if we could step in for a minute and share a message with her. She promptly told us, “no thank you” and right as I tried to ask her another question she shut the door right in our faces.
So we began to turn around to walk away and then all of a sudden the door behind us swung back open and the same lady was standing there. Before we could say anything she quickly said, “I am sorry! That was pretty rude. Don’t you guys get that a lot? Why do you still knock on doors when that happens?” We were taken very much by surprise! I had never to that point on my mission had a door slammed in my face and then have it immediately open again with the person behind it saying they were sorry for slamming it! It was super awesome!
So we began talking with her and told her that we knock on doors because we have a testimony of what we want to share with people and that drives us to try and share it with as many people as possible. She told us that she recently left her church because she felt like not all of her questions were being answered and she wanted more. We then stood on her doorstep for about a half hour answering questions. Her questions ranged from what are your basic beliefs to why can’t women hold the priesthood in your church. It was amazing! She explained to us that she really wanted to know more about our church in particular because we are categorized separately from other Christian churches and she wanted to know why. And before we could even explain to her what the Book of Mormon was, she asked if we had one and if she could borrow a copy. From this experience, it is obvious to me that Heavenly Father is preparing people for us to teach and softening their hearts. From what she was telling us, it was obvious to see that many things had lead her to that point of reopening her door to talk with us a little. We didn’t tell her this, but the best answer to the first question she asked us (Why do you guys still knock on doors?) is that we are trying to find people like her – people that are searching and seeking for more truth and light. People who aren’t as happy as they think they could be and think that there is more to life and the life to come. I know that there is and that is why I knock on doors, to maybe help change one person’s life. We now have a return appointment with her and she is reading the Book of Mormon! I know this church is true and I love and miss everyone back home and hope that you have a great week!