I hope you all had a great week. We had a pretty good one. Once again, though, I'm short on time. :/ I'll try to give you the cliff notes version.
We went to a dinner and a service at Anna's Episcopal church! It was really pretty and the people were super friendly. And she cooked, so of course the food was super good. I like going to other churches. Although my favorite part always seems to be coming back to our church afterwards. There's such a difference in the Spirit I feel at ours. And she is making progress. Thank you for all your prayers. Actually this week she made a little comment that stuck out to me. She said "it took me 50 years to leave my last church. I hope it doesn't take me that long this time."
We had stake conference on Sunday, which was really good. This really cool area 70 from Atlanta came and spoke. He could've been a black Baptist preacher. He was awesome. And Elder Maynes from the presidency of the 70 came too. They both gave some really good talks. One thought I really liked was from Elder Maynes: "Why don't we treat our children and those under our stewardship the same way we treat investigators, with the same level of attention and care and planning and effort?" As missionaries, we put a LOT of thought and planning and care and preparation into each individual investigator. It would make a huge difference if we all did that in our other church callings and roles in life.
Dusty and Amber didn't come to church. :( Actually Amber has all of a sudden decided she's not interested at all. But we're still in contact with Dusty and he's still interested, at least we think/hope so. We'll keep trying. Prayers would be appreciated.
We finally had a lesson with Jon! He REALLY wants to get baptized. And he came to church again this week. So that's awesome.
Also - I heard from our new zone leader, who just came from Rockwood, that Ronnie is on date for baptism!! Do y'all remember him? He was the first person I ever talked to about the gospel on my mission. He let us in because we mentioned we play guitar. And we could never get him to pray. Well, they finally got him to pray, and apparently it was such a powerful experience for him that he started crying right in front of them. And afterwards he accepted a baptismal date! I was so happy. :) And the area sounds like it's really blossomed. The Jennings had their baby too!
My message this week is to follow the promptings of the Spirit. The Lord has a marvelous work to perform and He has a crucial part for each one of us to play. If we will all do those small things He prompts us to do, even if we can't see the full picture, He can use us to bring about great things. For instance, I've been told that on average a convert has positive contact with at least 7 members of the a Church before being baptized. If any one of those members didn't speak up or live up that person might not have been baptized.
Gotta go. I love you all! Make yourselves a great week!
Elder Alex Swindler
P.S. Everyone go watch and share the new Easter videos, Hallelujah and Follow Him! They're awesome.
1) Here we see the Tennessee missionary in his natural habitat
2-5) We found an old house or jail or something in the backwoods and thought it was cool that they knew about the Restoration too :)
6) The Hillbilly 10 Commandments