T'was a long week, not too terribly eventful.
We attended a funeral for the father of one of our recent converts. The recent convert is only a 10-year-old little girl and her father was pretty young, too. It was a sudden and unexpected death, and the funeral was rather sad, as many of the family and friends that attended were not members of the church, and so the grief was so strong it could almost be felt. But the Bishop then shared some very uplifting words about the Savior and the Plan of Salvation, and he invited the audience to turn to the Savior in these times. I really hope that they were able to take something away from that.
We met a man this week that, when we first got out of the car, began to scold us for trespassing. Apparently we passed two "no trespassing" signs on the way up his driveway. We didn't think anything of it, however, because quite frankly, everyone in these parts has a "no trespassing" sign. But after we began chatting with him, he softened up and apologized for snapping at us. He turned out to be an extremely intelligent man, many of the subjects he began talking about were way over my head. He was a "staunch Presbyterian" and was very educated in his own faith, so he wasn't interested int he gospel, but it was good to meet him! Haha He just gave me a scare at first!
We may have found a new investigator this week! Her name is Kathy, and I had already met her husband a couple months ago, and he wasn't interested, very bitter against God, etc. So we weren't ever planning on going back there, but one night I just felt like we needed to go there again. So we went, me being rather reluctant and wondering why we were wasting our time on this guy. But his wife was the one who opened the door and let us in! We had a great conversation with her and she really wants her kids to grow up knowing God! We are going back this week to see her again!
A little soap box moment:
My friends. Please please please do not forget about those in your ward and in your neighborhood that have recently accepted the gospel. You might think that now that they are a part of your ward, they feel a part of things. You may assume that they already have a solid testimony. Maybe you think that they have had enough people befriending them, or that now that they are baptized, you don't have to try so hard to include them.
My friends--my dear Brothers and Sisters--Please do not drop these individuals off your radar.
One of the most difficult things to do in this life is change. When someone joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, they go through of the most difficult and life-changing processes that one could experience. They don't just need help and support prior to baptism, or a few weeks or months after baptism--they need permanent support. Solid friends whom they know will be there for them through thick and thin. Someone that they know they can come to for questions or for help with something. You can be the support that new converts need. Ask yourself, "when is the last time I invited this new move-in to our ward/recent convert/less active/returning member to a church activity in person?" "When was the last time I invited this person to my home?"
Lately I have heard some very disheartening news about converts from my last area. These families are very near and dear to my heart, but it breaks my heart to hear that they have not continued to feel support, encouragement, and love from their wards, and have since stopped coming to services. The missionaries are doing everything in their power to help my dear converts to continue following this very difficult path that they tried to change their lives to be on. However, with the missionaries constantly changing, what these families really need are friends. Real, true, loving friends. My plea to you is that you please reach out--please find ways to support the continuing growth and progress and testimonies of these converts.
I love you all very much.