Back at it again! Another fantastic week in the work of the Lord! It was the best week of my mission for sure. Last Monday in our morning meeting with President, he told us that he has had more positive feedback from this round of zone conferences than from any other conference he has had! The mission is really starting to go places! We went to the Raleigh zone activity after our meeting and we had a blast spending time with the missionaries. We visited Rich afterwards and he is amazing. We talked about repentance and really using the atonement of Jesus Christ in order to overcome addictions and challenges. He committed to repent and hasn't smoked in 6 days!! A new record for him. Quickly on his way to baptism. His date is for the 24th of this month, he's going to make it! We traveled up to Durham on Tuesday for our zone conference and it went very well! The district leaders there gave some very inspiring instructions and we are excited to see the future success from their zone. The conference went pretty long, but we raced back once it finished to go to our follow-up lesson with the woman we taught with President James at the tennis courts! We met her husband and he is even more interested than her! We're excited to teach them this week. We taught a few more lessons and then drove down to Fayetteville to spend the night there. We had another zone conference the following morning with the Fayetteville West zone and we did all we could to motivate them! Some of them got really excited to put into the practice the things we shared, but other missionaries just seemed dead! We're hoping their zone leaders can help them get more inspired to work hard! We stopped to get dinner at the Panda Express there in Fayetteville (one of the only few in the mission) and it was delicious! While we were eating there, I saw a huge body builder eating alone in the corner of the room. I got a prompting to go sit with him, but was pretty intimidated! I brought it up with Elder Barlow though and remembered that I want to baptize! And if I ever want to see miracles, I have to follow every prompting I receive. So I stood up, walked across the room alone and asked the man if we could sit and eat with him. He looked up at me, gave me a pretty confused look, and then said yes! We sat and had a great conversation with Brandon. He's super nice and promised that if missionaries ever knock on his door in the future, he will let them in and listen to their message! We drove back to Raleigh and had a great night teaching repentance. Thursday was amazing as it was the only full day this week we were able to dedicate to working! We role played teaching the restoration in 4 minutes during our morning studies and then were able to use it with our first contact of the day! We met a man named Chris and he is strong! We're going to teach his whole family this week! We kept knocking in his neighborhood and found a girl named Nix next. She is a perfect candidate for our message, she fits it perfectly! We found a few more people that day as we tracted and then taught Q, one of our investigators. We had a great lesson about the Priesthood with him! As we were ending the meeting, he told me that I have gotten better since my first time there at the beginning of the transfer. I've definitely seen a change in myself too! We visited Rich again Friday morning and watched some Mormon messages with him. He was in tears! We went to the mission office to get some things done and ended up going to lunch with the office staff! We actually ended up chauffeuring them around in our huge shuttle bus! We went to a Mexican place called Torrero's and it was to die for. I got chorizo con huevos with a horchata. A dream come true. We then went on exchanges with the Apex zone leaders and I learned a lot! I was with Elder Chiu in Apex and he is a great teacher. We tracted quite a bit and also taught some investigators! Saturday was a long day with our meeting with President going again from 9-6. The transfer board is coming along though! Huge things are about to happen to this mission. Big changes are coming. We are calling it "The Great Awakening". It's going to be legendary. We visited a few investigators after our meeting and then had to quickly plan out some things for next transfer. Today of course has been amazing, isn't every Sabbath day? We had quite a few people come to church and then we had a linger longer afterwards. Rich hurt his back last night, but we went over and gave him a Priesthood blessing and he was able to come to the linger longer and meet many more members, he is getting fellowshipped so well by this ward! I also especially appreciate the power of the Priesthood and the sacred privilege we have to exercise it when occasion permits. Tonight we've been stuck planning for some upcoming meetings and weren't able to do much proselyting. Although it pulls us out of the work, it's been a huge blessing to be able to administer here in the office, and I think it makes me appreciate the times I get to minister that much more. Preaching the gospel truly is a blessing. It brings me so much joy!! The gospel is real, the church is true, and faith does indeed bring miracles.
Appreciating the blessing of knocking doors,