What an exciting week! I will not wait until the end to tell you the bad news, I'll let you know up front. Elder Douglas and I are not working with John Perry anymore. He knows our purpose and he is not willing to come unto Christ (at the moment), so we dropped him so we can spend more time with those who have the same purpose as ours of coming closer to Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end (Kevin, Chapter 1 of PMG is all about "My Purpose"). Now to tell you the events that led up to dropping John.
On Monday evening we taught him the law of chastity. John recognized the significance of the law and has already been living it and committed to continue to live it.
On Wednesday we had a wonderful opportunity to have one of the assistants to come work with us: Elder Bowles! It was so exciting to be able to work along side my trainer once again. We had a great day. We taught John Perry lesson three (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) and the light finally clicked when we were talking about baptism and the authority that is necessary in order to officiate in that sacred ordinance with God. John said, "So you are telling me that I am going to hell because I have not been baptized by a Mormon Elder?" We answered his question and he really enjoyed the lesson. He committed to us that he would have an answer by Friday of whether or not he should be baptized. We also were able to teach Doreen and Becky with Elder Bowles. It was a great first lesson. We had taught different principles in the first lesson, but this was the first time we were able to teach them the entire lesson. We committed Becky to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and she said an honest, truth seeking prayer. After she prayed, she broke into tears as she was describing how she felt. It was a very spiritual lesson. Doreen had a similar question to what John had asked earlier that same day, "What happens to all the people that were on the earth in between the death of the apostles and when Joseph Smith was chosen to be a prophet?" We promised her we would answer that question the next time we came by.
On Thursday we had zone interviews. I love being able to talk to President McConkie one on one. He has so much understanding and he follows the spirit in all that he does. The trainings by the assistants were great. We were trained on properly preparing our investigators for the baptismal interview; dropping "eternal" investigators; becoming "mission"aries, not "wish"onaries; and applying the atonement to our lives and changing so that our investigators will change their lives as well. I was spiritually uplifted and ready to work. After the meeting was finished, Elder Bowles and I had a return appointment with John Perry. He still was confused about the "one true church" doctrine, but he committed to pray to receive an answer.
On Friday Elder Douglas and I had our return appointment with Doreen and Becky. We taught them the Plan of Salvation. It was another spirit led lesson. I know it was not my own words, but the Lord who spoke. To be completely honest, I'm afraid of teaching the Plan of Salvation. I always get stuck in the Fall. The people of the south have been told their entire life that Adam and Eve screwed everything up. That if they would have obeyed, we would all have been in the garden "chillin' with God." As we taught the Fall, I had a prayer in my heart that they would comprehend. After we finished explaining the Fall, Becky said, "I feel like this is déjà vu that I've argued with you about this subject, but this time, I believe exactly what you said." It was truly a miracle. Doreen really comprehended the spirit world, and how EVERYONE gets a chance to receive the gospel, either here in this life or after. Right before we taught about the kingdoms of heaven, Doreen asked, "Can family relations continue after we die?" I asked her what she felt the answer was and she responded, "I hope so, I don't think God would put us together for just a short period of time." It was so great to be able to teach the truth that their family can be sealed together and that they can all live with Heavenly Father.
Sunday, Doreen, Becky, and two of Becky's children came to church. They had a great time and we are going over on Tuesday and Thursday. :) The Lord has blessed us greatly. I'm so excited to see them progress in the gospel. The only hold up is that they cannot read the small print and I called distribution and large print Book of Mormon's are on back order until JUNE! I ordered one anyways, but I want them to begin reading now, so I think I'm going to buy them a magnifying glass. :)
I love the gospel and the great opportunity to be here upon the earth to learn and grow. I love being on a mission. There have been so many things I've learned and I'm continuing to learn each and every day. I love you all!