Monday, July 21, 2014

July 14, 2014

Dearest Family!
        Oh my goodness gracious this week has been LONG! So so good but long! Where to begin...ok So I remember telling mom about Austin in a short email..but not everyone else, so let me begin with Austin! Last preparation day Austin called the mission home and wanted to learn more. He is from Washington, but is living in Bozeman. He was on the phone with Sister Kite a senior missionary and he wanted to learn more right then, so literally right after I sent out my main email Sister Kite ran in and said, " I need you to teach a lesson right now!" So I went out and grabbed the phone. I asked him what his questions were and this was his response" Well...maybe my questions don't have answers or maybe I am not allowed to ask, is it ok to ask questions?" He was so nervous on the phone, and So I shared just a little bit of the Joseph Smith story with him and explained that if Joseph did not ask his question that we would not have this wonderful gospel on the earth. That made sense to him and this is when he started to feel the spirit. We transitioned phones, so we could talk to him on our cell phone on speaker to teach him. We went into the lobby and he asked his question. He asked "Where do we come what is the point?" And that is where the plan of salvation came in! We started explaining how Heavenly Father loves us and that he is our father! That we needed to come to earth to keep learning and progressing. We mainly taught about where we came from and why we are here. He was so happy, and felt the spirit so strong. He explained that when he called he did not realize that this would be happening. I can guess that he thought he would just get a school like answer, but instead he felt the spirit. He was crying on the phone and trying to explain the holy ghost to us... He had no idea what it was. He said, I have never felt this before. We opened up to Galatians 5 and read the scripture that described the fruits of the spirit and he said "That is it! That is what I am feeling!" We explained that it was the Holy ghost and that the holy ghost testifies of truth, so that he knows that this is true, what he is learning is true! He just completely broke down and was crying. We asked if we could send missionaries and he said yes..but his girlfriend is not very happy with him.. cause she told him he could look into any church except ours..she is baptist. He was leaving the next day for a business trip so we scheduled another phone lesson for 10 am the next day before he left. Then when he comes home we will turn him over to the elders. That was honestly one of the most powerful lessons of my mission..if not the most powerful! Teaching him just flowed so well..Sister De Bry and I have never taught that well together..not like we are bad..but that lesson was just great and I know it is because of the Holy Ghost testifying to Austin that what he was learning was true.
     On Monday Dallas..our homeless investigator called us and told us he wanted to be baptized so we ran over there and we put him on date for the 26th..but before I get your hopes up...we had to take him off date..cause he admitted some stuff to us that he had done in the past and can't be baptized at this time. Our lessons went crazy with him too...he thinks we are scared of him now and won't talk to us...Sister De Bry wants to see him and teach him....but I feel like if he is in this depression...we need to be safe our selves cause we have heard stories about what he does when he is angry. I have felt really scared about it...but finally today I feel a little better, so I guess we will go see him...with priesthood holders. Dallas bark tends to be a lot worse than his I doubt he really would do anything...but I have just had this bad feeling...ya know? So we are going to be very cautious.
    Now back to Austin! On Tuesday we taught Austin again! It was amazing! We wanted to make sure the Bozeman elders knew what was happening since he will be their investigator, we planned a lesson with them, to make sure they knew what we would be teaching .We planned on teaching the restoration up to the apostasy, but we wanted to save the Joseph Smith First Vision for a face to face visit. Well we started teaching him the first lesson, and it made total sense to him! He just ate it up. We taught up to the apostasy and it just could not end! We felt so prompted to continue with the lesson. I had the privilege of quoting the First Vision.  Honestly I have never felt the spirit that strong, not even joking. It is so amazing that even though he was on his way to the airport in a car in Bozeman, that we could have this wonderful lesson over the phone and the spirit was still so strong! Austin broke down again, and bore his testimony to us! About how he knows that that is true! Sister De Bry asked how he felt and he said "It is that same feeling from yesterday!" We testified of the holy ghost and committed him to baptism, he accepted :) This is seriously the coolest experience of my mission! We explained that we have prophet today and his name is Thomas S Monsen. I have never heard such a wonderful reply to that, usually it just throws people off but his exact words were "This is so exciting!" I honestly don't think anyone could ever be quite as prepared as Austin! haha!  He is amazing. We taught about the book of Mormon and he told us he needed to begin reading it right then. But we had no way to get him one right then, so we told him about the book of Mormon app he could download, and he did. He asked where he should begin and we told him just the beginning. He offered the closing prayer and it was wonderful :)
          Tuesday evening we had another phenomenal experience. In my last email I think i mentioned Natasha. She came to church with the elders last week. Well she had gone to church 3 times with them and once with us. Yet she had not been asked about baptism, so Sister De Bry prayed about if she was ready, after all she has been taught for a while right...? haha,  So we prayed about a date and July 19th came to our minds. We both had a confirmation that she could make that day and be prepared for that day. We had a wonderful lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ with her and at the end we talked about baptism. She accepted, and then we talked specifically about July 19th. She was a little unsure about that, so we asked if we could pray about it. Which I have never actually done with an investigator who has told me no...So I was a little worried. Natasha said the prayer, and after we all just sat quietly with our heads down, to ponder. She was the last one to lift her head up. I will admit sadly I was still nervous and I want it to be the right thing for her, so I asked her if it was right or if she had a different day. She looked at us with confidence and said "Well I just had this feeling like, if God can change someone in one minute, than he can change me in two weeks." AMAZING!!!! That was so powerful to feel the spirit there when she answered the question, cause she received her answer by the holy ghost as well :) We found out later that she called the elders who used to teach her and told them about her baptism and she was so excited and told them she knows it is right.
      We taught Natasha on Wednesday as well. We taught her the word of wisdom, and she accepted it...she was like "eh I don't need coffee..I only drink it once a month anyways." She is just amazing! We taught Austin again on Wednesday, he texted us and said  that he had read the intro and the testimonies and the Joseph smith testimony! That was impressive! Usually people take a while reading those. He told us the last two paragraphs of the intro were his favorite cause it just showed how serious it was to read the book of Mormon. (These are the invitation paragraphs we share with so many people, and he loved them without us even mentioning them! That is cool)! He asked for another lesson, so we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and he again cried. I just think that is cool that over the phone we can still feel the spirit even over the phone. He told us he would try to go to church on Sunday..and guess what! We got a text from him yesterday, he is in St Louis, on his business trip and he found time to go! He went to church and said it felt like home! Sister De Bry and I have already decided that when he is baptized we are going to Bozeman to be there! haha, I just have to be there! He is so awesome!
      On Friday it was the ward temple trip, so they went to do baptisms. I got special permission to go because Korrin was going for the first time and Eliza Cannell was also going for the first time and I have worked with them since I got here. Sadly It was at 6 pm..and we had dinner at 5 at Red Lobster all the way across town..and restaurants always take forever, which don't get me wrong I am so grateful that someone fed us dinner haha. But we did not get to the temple till 6:45. When we got in I saw Eliza and her wet hair in the waiting room :) So even though I missed it I was so thankful to see her there...she so great! I was able to give a huge hug and talk with her, she loved being in the temple :) We then went further into the temple close to the font, but we found out that Korrin had already been baptized as well. Which was sad, I so wanted to be there, I know how much this meant to her. She has been literally waiting years for this moment. In order to watch the baptisms they wanted us dressed in white, but I figured that they were done, and so we just went out to the waiting room again and talked with Eliza. It ended up being exactly what needed to happen though, because Korrin forgot something and so her mom ran in to the front desk, so they could give it to her. I grabbed her before she could run back out and had her just stay in the waiting room with me. I know she really wishes she could have been in their with her daughter. I had her sit and we just talked about everything. She told me that her and Korrin used to park out side the gates and just talk and feel peace. So sweet :) This was actually the first time that the gates had been opened when they came, so the first time the gates were opened for them was the same time Korrin was able to go into the temple. I thought that that was pretty dang awesome! I talked a lot about family history with her and temples and how temples are made to fit into the culture of the area. Korrin then came out and we all just talked. Korrin and I explained what happens during baptisms for the dead, cause her mom was curious .  So that was my long but good week.  I hope you all have a great week too.

-Sister Draudt

( This is a little more I added to my email) 

Korrin and I explained what happens during baptisms for the dead, because her mom was curious . It was really amazing to have Korrin and her mom together in the temple. Korrins mom Dana was telling me that she wants to be baptized when she is dead if she is not baptized in this life. But no worries, cause honestly things will work out :) she is awesome! After being in the temple we talked around the outside for a minute and we took pics :) so I will have to send those home :)
      On Saturday Ben and Natasha came to a baptism for this sweet family who was baptized in another ward. Natasha loved it. It was so cute, she and Ben both kneeled down by the little kids to watch. Ben congratulated the little girl in the family after the baptism! That was adorable. Ben asked if we could go to the temple after and so Randy, who is the assistant ward mission leader drove him to the temple and we met them. We had a lesson on Heavenly Fathers love and just all other things also. It was so sweet. I asked to show Ben my favorite part of the grounds, so we went and sat by the beautiful stain glass widow that is in the celestial room. We asked Ben how he felt and he told us he felt calm, and good inside. We explained how that was the holy ghost. We talked about how Heavenly Father is our father. Then the sweetest thing happened. We asked if we could pray with him right there. So he offered the sweet adorable kind of Ben prayer that he does and after he was quite. Then he said "I can really feel more right now that Heavenly Father is my father" and his voice cracked and he almost started to cry. That seriously was the sweetest thing every! I pray that one day Ben will be baptized. He doesn't necessarily need it but he really wants it, but his parents won't let him right now. One day though, one day it can happen. Miracles are always happening and that is something I have really learned this week :)
       Well I love you all so much :) Have a great week :) and I will send pics :)
                            -Love Andrea

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