This has been another wonderful week here in Russellville. I am going to title this past week of my mission the week of “member missionary work!” It was rather incredible how much of the week we spent with members by our sides while we taught people. We have a member here in the Russellville Ward named “Cesar” and he is so awesome. He is about my age and just recently came to the United States from Honduras. He is struggling to learn English, but has been a member the majority of his life. He loves the missionaries and doing missionary work with us!! He has basically become a third member of our companionship. He calls us all the time and tells us about people that he has contacted at restaurants and places near his home. He invites these people he meets to take the missionary lessons and then we go over to their homes with him. Why can’t we all be like him? He feels no shame sharing his religion with others and is always talking about the gospel with everybody he sees and inviting them to listen to the missionaries. I hope to be like him when I return home from a mission!
So we had one really cool experience in particular from this past week that I would like to share. Two Sundays ago, there was a man who walked into the chapel that I had never seen before. So I went up and introduced myself to him and he told me his name and I asked him if he was a member of the ward and he told me that he didn’t think so and that he hadn’t stepped foot in a Mormon church for almost 40 years! From there, he went on to tell me that he had been baptized when he was 17 in Pennsylvania and was going to serve a mission, but then went into the military and was no longer active in the church once he did. So we set up an appointment to see him later in the week. We went over (with Cesar) on the appointed day and sat down and talked with him. After telling us his life story a little more in depth, he bore super strong testimony of the church being the only true church on the planet. He said that he knew the church was true when he was baptized nearly 40 years ago and that Heavenly Father had brought him full circle, back to the church he started in. For a long time he had been praying about a church to go to in the Russellville area and that the spirit would always tell him that he needed to go back to the Mormon church. So that is what he did this last Sunday! We have seen him three times since then and are re-teaching him everything about the church he may have forgotten in the past 40 years of his life. He is now working to be temple worthy and do baptisms in the temple for his loved ones. His story is an absolute miracle, an amazing tender mercy from the Lord. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to meet him and get to know him! I am so grateful for all of the experiences I am having! I love and miss everybody back home!