Aloha and iakwe friends and family!
This week's been like a roller coaster. I've had some high highs, and some low lows. We had two of our investigators call us this week and tell us that their boyfriends don't want them to meet with us. They thanked us for what we had taught them, and said hopefully sometime down the road, they'd be able to start taking the lessons again. That happened within an hour of each other. Then that night, we had a lesson with our only with date, Georgia, and found out that she semi-lives with her boyfriend, so they have to get married before she can be baptized, so we have to push her baptism date. But she's doing really well. She just recovered from her illness which the doctors determined was withdrawls from her quitting smoking cold turkey. She really wants to change, and has a real desire to be baptized! So we're excited for that.
We are also teaching this couple, Kelton and Kehau (friends of Brandon from my letter last week). They've been coming to church every week and are currently living with a part member family. They're completely changing their lives around. They've given up their friends, drinking, smoking, drugs, and are completely making a change for the better! During our lesson this week we asked them what they thought the next step was in continuing to follow Christ. The boyfriend, Kelton said "I want to be baptized!" Kehau wasn't so enthusiastic, but she said she'd pray about it. We then taught the law of chastity to them and tried to help them move closer to marriage, so that they can eventually be baptized!
We also had this lady Haunani who has social anxiety disorder, so basically, she's too terrified to leave her house. She had also told us in the past how she doesn't even have a car and doesn't have a way to get to church, even if she wasn't scared of going out in public. We worked long and hard with her and finally got her to commit to coming to church. I felt like I should tell her that if she had faith and prayed for help, she would have a way provided for her to get to church. My companion and I prayed really hard that night for a miracle... The next day we got a phone call from her so excited we could hardly understand what she was saying. She told us that she had just received a check in the mail from some company had made a mistake in some situation with her in the past. She said she had enough money to pay off all of her debts and even to buy a car! She also said her son was coming to town so she had a ride to church on Sunday! It was a really cool experience.
And just yesterday we had a member bring a girl he had just met the day before to church! She stayed all three hours, accepted a book of mormon, return appointment, and is coming back on wednesday to do family history work at the church!
I guess the main lesson I've learned from this week is that when the Lord closes one door, he opens many others. We were pretty upset when we lost those two investigators, because we don't have that many in the first place. But we kept pressing forward, trusting in the Lord, and He provided a way! It's easy to get upset, depressed, and even angry when you have an opportunity taken away from you, and that's why it's so important to turn to the Savior and put your trust in Him, because he knows perfectly how to help and comfort us, and in turn, will present us with opportunities and blessings which largely outweigh those which were seemingly taken from us before. I love my Savior and am so grateful for His hand in my life!
I hope you guys have seen, and continue to see the Savior's hand in your life!
Ippen Iakwe, Elder Merrill