Howdy, howdy, howdy, howdy! (No I didn't have beans for dinner...just saying howdy...nothing more...)
Today was a great day! I always look forward to the Sabbath. This one was particularly wet and stormy. It had been very dry here since the beginning of June until a couple of days ago. The weather has sure made up for it! We have gotten a ton of rain and some good thunder. Yesterday we had a good bit of hail. It was only dime-size but it lasted for several minutes. We went out tracting after Church today and hoped that we wouldn't get too wet. We were sure surprised when the clouds parted and the sun actually came out for the first time in several days. By the time we went in for dinner there wasn't a cloud to be seen anywhere in the sky. It was quite pleasant if I do say so myself! We had a great lesson with a guy named J. Several weeks ago I was on exchange with one of the zone leaders, Elder Williams. All of our appointments had canceled and I was searching through the area book for the address of a former investigator that I remembered seeing earlier that week. As I browsed, J's teaching record jumped out at me. At first I just kept flipping through looking for the other record, and then went back to look at his. He hadn't really been taught much. He'd never come to Church or accepted a baptismal invitation, but I still felt like we should go see him. Elder Williams and I went to see him and he accepted a return appointment. We went back that Sunday with our ward mission leader but he wasn't there for our appointment. Usually that's a sure sign of a lack of interest, but my companion and I felt like we should keep trying for a while. We went back a couple of times but he was never at home. We gave up for a couple of weeks until a couple days ago. We felt that we should go back one more time to see if we could catch him at home. He was at home but didn't have time to meet with us that evening so we set up a return appointment for tonight. I'll admit that I was a little skeptical as to whether he would show or not, but we felt like we should still give him a try. He was there for our appointment, but was passed out asleep on his couch. We knocked and knocked and knocked trying to wake him up. We weren't giving up this time, haha. Anyway, he finally woke up and invited us in. We had one of the strongest lessons I've ever been in on my mission. He was very very receptive and excited about the message that we brought. He accepted the invitation to be baptized and bore testimony of the truth that he had been searching for his whole life that we had just taught him. He loves the idea of having a living prophet and the restored priesthood authority. He was pretty funny. When we invited him to be baptized he said "you know, I don't really know anything about what y'all believe or even what church you go to or anything, but I feel like there is something more to y'all and I want to be baptized." It was really neat to see the Spirit working in him as we taught him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. It was a lot of fun! I love teaching the Gospel when the Spirit is present. One of my all-time favorite scriptures is D&C 50:21-22 "Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth? Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." We were all edified and rejoiced together.
I love you all!!!
Elder A. Raymond