Tuesday, June 9, 2015

May 18, 2015 Powerful Week!

Hiya Fam! 

Hope you all had a good week! We sure did! 

First off, I got that package with the goodies yesterday! Along with two letters from you! I liked the Irish words! They're mostly accurate! And thanks for the "20 reasons I love you" part too. :) Elder McPherson found that part, and I've had a few laughs explaining. I'm glad you like my package to you!  Cadbury's is HUGE here!  Everybody hates Hershey's.  They taste the same to me.

Life sure sounds crazy! I'll keep praying for everyone! Dad is such a busy guy, what a great man. I admire him so much. I don't know how I'm going to be so diligent when I get in his shoes. Just keep it up I guess.

Belfast is an interesting place. It's surrounded by green hills; completely covered in green grass. And you've got the ocean next to you.  There are reminders of the fighting that took place here all over.  There's only one castle in our area, and apparently it's not really a "castle", so much as a building with a roof that looks like a castle. BUT I AM DETERMINED to go see it. 

After a suggestion from our District Leader, Elder McPherson and I have started to pray about the streets we consider to chap. I used to do that, but I've unfortunately slipped off from that. Anyhow, it's been great!! Such fantastic experiences! We've felt the Spirit guide us to places and people. Three in particular. Two of them we're seeing within the next two days. The third is John.

We were walking down a street (later than we had planned because of various reasons) to get to where we'd felt like we should go chap. He started talking to us. He was really drunk, but he told us a bit about himself. He had been a multimillionaire! But he lost his money, and his family, due to his alcoholism. He'd gone to our church when he was 15 back in 1965! He said that experience had stuck with him his whole life, and he didn't know why. He didn't particularly enjoy going to our church, yet it stuck with him. Within the past few days before he'd met us, he'd been praying for him to find the true church. "And then I met yous! Crazy isn't it? You know what, there is no such thing as coincidences. What time does your church start? I'll be there! And you know what, I'll bring my friend with me! She's searching for the truth too. And if you guys want, you can come over and I'll feed yas dinner!" We gave him a Book of Mormon and a card with our number on it, and scheduled a dinner appointment the next evening!

In all honesty, I didn't think he'd be there the next day. Or, if he was, that he'd tell us to go away, he wasn't actually interested. But he was there! He let us in, and he fed us lasagna! He was Presbyterian, and his whole family was too. He'd spoken with them after meeting us, and they told him that "You let those Mormons in, they'll never leave!" He said they told him a lot of stuff about us and he asked a lot of questions. We tried to teach the Restoration lesson, but every time we tried he'd ask a question that'd be answered by the Plan of Salvation lesson! So we tried teaching that lesson, but then he started asking questions about Joseph Smith! It wasn't our best teaching appointment, but he said afterwards "Even if this doesn't turn out, you've totally changed my perspective on Mormons. You are good Christian people. And I'll tell my Family that too." He didn't come to church, unfortunately, but he's called us twice since the appointment, and told us that he enjoyed our company and he's reading the Book of Mormon. 

So for Hilaire, we met with him on Saturday, and we taught him about Baptism. We committed him to be baptized, and he agreed! But when we put forward our date (June 6), he declined, saying he'd have to think about it, and pray about it. We're seeing him again tonight, so hopefully he'll have an answer by then. 

So I have a question to ask you all!! I've thought about it and I think I have an answer but I'd love to get your thoughts on it. Why do you think the Jaredites crossed the ocean in barges while the Nephites crossed in a ship? Neither of them were seamen or mariners, and both were commanded of God to build the boats. So why did God have one build barges and the other build a ship?

Love you all! Miss you and can't wait to hear from you again next Monday!  ! I hope everything starts to smooth out a bit! Is there anything you'd like me to pray for?

Elder Bates

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