Wow, what a fantastic week. It truly was a wonderful one.
So the two weeks prior to this one, Sister Mitchell and I noticed a lull in the progression of the work in our area, so each week during our long weekly planning session we would come up with a new "focus" for the week. Still, for the last two consecutive weeks nothing seemed to be moving forward. So we tried it again with a new focus this week and we finally hit the nail on the head as to what Heavenly Father would have us do (at least we think so), and thus our handy-dandy "Less-Active Initiative" was born. It doesn't sound as fancy as it is. It is really fancy, I promise.
We developed this cool five-step reactivation program to focus on the members in our south area who haven't been to church in who-knows-how-long, and prayed for about 28 or so families/names, on whom we're now focusing our time and efforts. We hope to be able to teach their families and friends as well (meanwhile maintaining our regular finding/teaching of investigators). Since a lot of these people have been MIA from church for years and years, they are entirely unknown by most of the ward.... So Sister Mitchell and I have taken on entirely new characters to conquer this new investigative task required of us: Nancy Drew (yes, we're both Nancy Drew.... You learn to share a LOT as a companionship...). We were studying people's footprints on doorsteps, interviewing members of the ward about people on our "Nancy Drew list," wearing 1950s sunglasses, writing observations down in our handy-dandy-notebooks (maybe Nancy liked Blue's Clues, okay?), etc. It's been loads of fun. The cherry on top of our new plan was when we were conversing with our bishop about it yesterday and asking him about some people, he asked if he could be a Hardy Boy. Of course we agreed. Clearly we're having way too much fun. And clearly we lack sources or normal entertainment.
We taught a lesson to a man named Jude this week who is Pentecostal. What an experience that was. He was speaking in tongues, shaking, demanding that we "SHUN THE MESSIAH" and delighted us with the privilege of looking into his eyes, declaring that we were "looking into the eyes of salvation." Lucky us. Yeah, we're probably not going back there anytime soon.
Heavenly Father truly helped us magnanimously in his work this week, and we are hoping for Jane, Josh and Michelle to all be baptized on August 4th. We had a wonderful service activity at the church where we cleaned up the grounds and three of our investigators came and LOVED it. There are two separate less-actives and their families we have been working with who are finally coming to church this week after 10+ years, and we are being blessed incredibly in our finding, far beyond our own efforts. I have learned a lot the past two weeks about the beauty of service, and the blessings that come to those who serve. This last Saturday and the one before that we spent several hours performing physical service with a crew of people for those in need. At both of those events were less-active members and investigators we've been working with, as well as members of the ward. There is something special - a unique bond - that is formed whilst serving together. I think the Lord pours out His spirit upon us when we are serving Him and His children and we're able to come together like never before. The strength of each testimony for those who were involved has grown, no matter it's original level, just because we all served together for a few hours. And we've done that two weeks in a row.
So Sister Mitchell and I are creating a "Service Crew" to go out serving for 2-3 hours each Saturday morning - to perform needed acts of physical labors for various individuals: strangers, ward members, investigators, less-actives etc. (the Crew will be composed of myriad people in these same groups). It'll be awesome. Stay tuned.
As you can plainly see, I get really excited about a lot of things, and get really into them. Such was the case with the fantastic LES MISERABLES CD I FINALLY GOT THIS WEEK. Thank you family, it seems like you really do love me after all :) Sister Mitchell is finally figuring out how lucky she is to be with me:
"That is already quite a dramatic play, but I imagine it's significantly more dramatic when you sing it"
Don't worry, she loves it ;)
Things are kind of clearing up from the flood, but we're still having some storms and some damage control. We were almost struck by lightning this week.... But all is well :)
P.S. The photos are of the MOLD in our parking garage that is forming after the flood (it smells so nasty), and the garden my crew replanted this Saturday during our church grounds clean up :)