Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 18, 2013

[Thanks to Sarah for transcribing this letter]

Heeeeelllllloooooooooooo family!!!

Well, another week gone by, if you can believe it. I had another scary moment this morning thinking about how fast time is going by. Gotta make the most of it!

Well, I hope last week’s letter arrived safely and found you all safe and sound. I hope you were all able to crowd around and read my awful handwriting. We keep seeming to run out of time on P-Days lately, so I’ll have to write quickly.

We’ve had a pretty amazing week, this last week. The Lord has blessed us with some incredible people to teach and He has prepared them so much! They are so prepared, it’s insane! It’s so great to see them begin to progress in their testimonies of the Gospel.

First of all, Ruth. Ruth is incredible! She has so much faith and love for the Lord. She has said more than once that she is looking for the way to Salvation. The way to the Lord. We met with her this week and she said she has been reading a book about Joseph Smith that a member gave her. So she already knew a lot of his story, but we watched the Restoration video with her nonetheless. She really liked it and afterwards she said that with all she has read and heard about him, she knows that Joseph Smith was called of God, that he was a prophet. Wow. How cool is that? What a solid start to a testimony. She was less sure about this being the one true church of Jesus Christ and the way to Salvation, but we invited her to pray about it. She came to church for the second time (late again, unfortunately, she has a bit of a punctuality problem). She is progressing really well and was really excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon. We really have the help of the members to thank for her as well. We found her through the members and they’ve really reached out in love and kindness to her since.

We also had a really col experience with Ouvenal. Friday we met with him (this time it was us that showed up late, a half hour!). We were really worried, but he was cool about it. He confessed that he hadn’t read any of the Book of Mormon and when we kind of brushed it off he said, “No, it’s not okay. It’s bad. I need to read.” It really surprised me, but in a good way. We watched the Restoration video with him as well and he was really into it, asking us questions after and everything. He prayed perfectly at the end of the lesson and then after he almost got a little emotional. He thanked us very heartfelt-ly for all we were doing for him. He said that he lost the way of God, but that thanks to us he was getting back in it again. He said that we were like family to him. It was really touching. We expressed our love for him as well and let him know that we are there for him no matter what. Unfortunately, he slept in again and didn’t show up for church so we’ll have to get after him about that.

Finally we taught Jose again as well. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about him. He is from Bolivia, has a wife and daughter and is super prepared as well. The first visit with him was amazing. He has such simple, sincere questions about if God exits, if there is life after death. His face lit up as we told him yes and taught about the Restoration and God’s relationship with us. He has been truly looking for the truth and he sincerely wants to know if this is it. It was a really spiritual lesson, even though we were teaching the same things we always teach. In the second lesson he had read all of the pamphlet of the first lesson. He understood it all, but he hadn’t prayed about it. We reviewed it and committed to pray and left him some chapters in the Book of Mormon about the plan of Salvation to read. I’m really excited to teach that this week. Unfortunately he works on Sundays so he hasn’t been to church yet. I’m very excited for him through. I know when he gains a testimony it will be so strong that there won’t be any problem getting him to commit to live the Sabbath day. (Or whatever you call that.)

So that’s how things are looking right now. We have some really incredible people we are teaching and I feel better about the work than I have in a long time. We need to find more people to teach still and balance our time, but I feel like we are doing pretty good. Everyone has such a different way of doing the work that sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m doing a good job or not. But I feel good, and I love the people we are working with and want to do all I can to help them so I think that’s right. I’ve been thinking a lot about how powerful the message of the Restoration is. To a person who has never heard it, it can be completely life changing. Seeing that God answers prayers as he did with Joseph Smith, that there is a prophet on the Earth today. Those are huge things! It’s so amazing to see that knowledge change people and bring happiness to their lives. There is a joy in this work that can’t be found in anything else. I never want to stop doing it, even after I get home. Alma 26:32 “This is my life and my joy.”

Those are my thoughts for the week. We are among the most blessed of Heavenly Father’s children. I am so grateful to Him for everything, especially for my amazing family. I love you guys so, so much. Much more than I can say. I pray for you lots and I thank the Lord for the blessings he sends your way. Thank you for your prayers. I hope everyone is happy and safe and I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving! I love you! Until next week.

Elder Cousins

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