Well sweet mercy! Before I jump into the great moments of this past week . . . YES Elder Holland's talk was SOOO good! No when my little incident happened, I didn't think about writing the general authorities, but man, it hit home and I really appreciated what he shared. That man literally must have been my best friend in the premortal life - not. even. kidding. General Conference is seriously like christmas morning as a missionary. I absolutely loved all that was shared and I couldn't help but think "Ah! my family is sitting in that audience!" I did for a moment miss you guys a lot:]
But, like I was saying this week was just FULL of miracles! I truly feel so incredibly blessed to be serving a mission. One night we were trying to get in contact with one of our former investigators at the gas station she worked at.. well it ended up being a huge hot spot for us! We were able to contact and talk to a lot of people that were coming in and the best part was later this week when we went to follow up on a mother and daughter named Ella and Jennifer, we were able to teach the first lesson powerfully and invite both of them to be baptized on May 10. They accepted the invitation:] I have a firm witness that Heavenly Father really will place prepared people in our paths as we show our obedience and faithfulness to Him.
So here in Montgomery we really push to have a member at EVERY lesson, which at times can be kinda stressful but someway and somehow the Lord always provides. One night our appointment fell through as they often do, so we took our member out tracting. As it was getting dark the member said hey let's just try one more. We went and knocked on the door and the lady said she was having a rough day and now wasn't really a good time, then WAM the member starts bearing a powerful testimony on the Book of Mormon, that she was a daughter of God, on and on and the lady just started crying. It was a really incredible experience to see this member just take off! Sometimes I feel that their testimony is much more powerful then mine, mostly because with the badge people expect me to just testify of Christ all the day long, but coming from a normal woman it had a totally different impact:] Members, you are so great! Never never doubt what you are capable of.
Mickey and Glenda are still just moving right along! We watched the Sunday afternoon session with them and it was such a spiritual moment. I appreciated SO much when L. Tom Perry started sharing his story with the horses, it spoke right to Mickey and they loved it. As we were talking afterwards Glenda blurted out, I just love this church! Mickey had just one question . . . he said growing up me and my daddy were like this, we were always close . . . will I be able to see my father again after I die? How grateful I am for the Plan of Salvation. It was such an incredible moment to be able to share my personal testimony that yes, he would be able to be with his father again and that his father was probably a lot closer to him than he realized. As we shared our testimonies on eternal families Mickey started tearing up. I know that families were meant to last through the eternities, I know that we were placed specifically in our families to help in our journey back to our Heavenly father.
So sister Bonner is the STL and that means that she has leadership meetings and exchanges about twice a week so yeah sometimes I feel like I've been left in the dust to figure things out. This past week while she was gone, I had no idea what to do so we took some time knocking doors . . . well we go up to one . . . knock knock knock . . . me: "Hey! We are the missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" . . . (cut off) Lady: "You mean the Mormons?" Me: "Haha yeah that's kinda become our nickname, but what we do" (cut off) . . . Lady: "There ain't no way in hell we are talking to Mormons I am a Baptist and I have heard plenty about y'all". . . (slams the door). Well my goodness! Angry, pregnant, baptist ladies are definitely not on my favorite people to talk to list! In Montgomery there are literally like 7 churches on every street and a LOT of Southern Baptists. I guess that a lot of the preachers will preach against us and warn their congregations about the Mormon missionaries . . . Yikes. Well, it's nothing that a little softening of the heart won't fix:]
But seriously things are just catching fire down here, I've absolutely loved it and I am absolutely so tired every day! I love this gospel. I know that Heavenly Father truly is a father to us, he loves us. Jesus Christ is His son and our savior. I'm grateful for living day prophets and the HUGE impact they have had on my life. Being a missionary truly is the greatest thing, everyday I'm so grateful to be out here. I now see things from such a different perspective. The greatest decision I have made so far was to give up something I loved so dearly, to a God I loved even more. I feel that He has never forgotten me for it, and has brought greater blessings than I ever could have expected:]
I love you guys so very much! You are in my prayers and I hope that you do the incredible this week!
Love, Sister Bowden