Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I hope you had a fantastic week!

This week in Van Nuys we have seen many, many miracles.  Our Bishop has been very good at giving us assignments to go find 5 people each week that are Less-active. This week we had names that we were very familiar with.  On Thursday we got a phone call from a Sister that was on our list. We had not tried to contact her yet and so we were surprised that she was calling us. She explained that she has been extremely sick for the past 6 months and would like to have a study with us to get her ready to come back to church. In our appointment with her we discovered that she had seen Elders Ginez and Searle (Spanish elders we have in our apartment complex) and had flagged them down to get ahold of us. When we explained that we would have been contacting her within a few days she almost cried. She said that she had been feeling forgotten and that everything that had happened was an answer to prayer. It was a miracle! She came to church on Sunday and truly enjoyed it! We had a total of 3 less-actives we have seen this week come to church yesterday!
Another miracle: There is a couple in our ward that we have come to love very much. He is Jewish and she is a member. He has liver cancer and has been in the hospital for a month now. The day before he went to the hospital we went and visited with him. We had been told he wanted to take the lessons. When we asked he said I'll never change my religion. I was born Jewish and I'll die Jewish. We thought well we wont argue with him. However through the last month with several priesthood blessings and many visits from ward members and constant prayer for him he has agreed to take the lessons. Last night in our lesson the spirit was sooooooooo strong! He had tears in his eyes and as we shared the first vision there was a very distinct reverence that over came us all. It was amazing! He agreed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. It hit me very hard last night that one of the promises we are given if the Book of Mormon is true is that we will know Jesus Christ as our Savior. He really needs to gain that witness that its true. In the end he said, "If I get better (aka if I get over this cancer) I'll be baptized. I'll even scrub the floors with my own hands." (in a British accent =) ) It has raised some concern for us but I believe that as he has other miracles in his life and as he reads the book he will have that desire to be baptized regardless if he is "cured." I felt very strongly to have him read 2 chapters as an assignment, Alma 32 and Alma 5. I have never felt that strongly about having anyone read those but I trust that the spirit will work within in him and teach him the things he needs to know.
These are just some of the miracles that we have seen this week. There have been so many more! We found out that another person we visit who is LA is a freakin' genius. He has an IQ of 190. Normal IQ is 120. He is so smart and funny! He lives in a mental group home. We aren't sure what he has but honestly it doesn't matter. On Friday when we met with him we were talking about some random things and suddenly he says (with a Texan accent mixed with a lisp), "That's all I have to say today, Goodbye!" It made us laugh so hard! We love him so much!
There is something that I find funny but isn't really funny. There is a family that we have tried several times to go see. They are less active and in talking with the husband there is no reason for them not to come to church. Anyway, the 2 times we have gotten in to the door the wife has been on the phone crying. Both times someone has died that has a deep connection to the family!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have decided that we are very nervous about trying to keep contacting them, just because we will always be associated with someone dying in their family! funny right? yet not funny at all........
All in all we have had a really good week. Sister Bray and I have talked a lot about what it means for her to be almost done with 12 week. She is extremely worried that she wont be prepared or ready to accept an assignment to train right away. She understands that it may not come but I also must say that I need to take responsibility if she doesn't feel ready. We have talked about some things that I can do as her trainer to make sure she is prepared. These things include having better evaluations of role plays, lessons and studies, and having her take the lead more often than she already does. We are getting there one day at a time.
I am looking forward to the next week. There are going to be so many more miracles!
I hope you all have a good week!
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell

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