Monday, April 20, 2015

This Week's Life-Changing Events: Bingo, Avery & A Whole Lot of Love and Patience

Me and Avery and our photo-bomber friend in Old Town Alexandria

Hey Everyone! 

This week was life-changing for a few reasons. 

Life-Changing Event #1:

I am an official BINGO CALLER for the Sunrise Living Senior Center. Yep, you read that right. I called out Bingo a couple days ago and by the end of the night, I could barely talk. My loud voice was finally put to work. We did about 12 rounds of Bingo and I had to literally yell each time I called a number so that they could hear the correct number. We also gave some of the residents manicures. I did my first French manicure! 

Life- Changing Event #2:

I had such a fabulous Preparation-Day (P-day) today because my dear friend AVERY from high school met up with me in Old Town! I love that girl so much and it was such a blessing to see her! We walked down King Street and caught up and I told her all about my life as a missionary: the good, the bad and the embarrassing ;) 

Here is the picture Avery sent to my mom's phone.  

Life-Changing Event #3: 

Last but not is what made me cry tears of joy this week. 

Whitney is our investigator who has been taught the missionary discussions since November. She is amazing. This girl comes to church every Sunday, goes to Young Women's activities every week, bears her testimony at stake activities, is applying to BYU, wants to go on a mission, wants to get married in the temple, and gives us celeb updates every week. I literally count the hours until we get to go to her house every Thursday to teach her. I consider her one of my dearest friends. There is something so special about her. 

Whitney's mom would NOT let her get baptized. President Riggs made an effort to talk to the mom in person. Our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader have tried multiple times to talk her mom, and believe me....we as missionaries have tried multiple times. Nothing has worked. Her mom looked me straight in the eye last month and said, "There is nothing you can do or say that will make me change my mind. Not even your big boss (President Riggs) can persuade me." 

I was so distraught. But something told me to never give up. Whitney deserves everything and I would never give up hope. 

When my new companion, Sister Maw arrived in our area, I made it clear not to push Whitney's mom. I encouraged Sister Maw to NOT GIVE UP HOPE.  

On Sunday, I fasted for her mom that her heart would soften, especially because our Ward Mission Leader's son, who happens to be Whitney's best friend, is leaving on a mission in May and wanted to be able to baptize Whitney before he went. Our ward mission leader wrote Whitney's mom a letter. After reading the letter, her mom said, regarding Whitney's baptism, that she would "think about it."

This was HUGE. But not huge enough. 

So on Thursday, we planned to talk to Whitney about only the most recent General Conference. You know, something light and non-threatening. Her mom sits in on our lessons and observes. When all of a sudden her mom starts talking about the letter she received from our Ward Mission Leader. 

Soon one thing led to another. It turned into a debate between me and Whitney's mom. I pleaded with tears in my eyes for her mom to allow her daughter to get baptized. Whitney then burst into tears and told her mom how much she wanted this, of how she would never leave the church, and that what she knows is true. 

Her mom wouldn't have it. But between me and Whitney, the spirit was so strong. 

It was then that sweet Sister Maw asked her mom a question. Sister Maw was speaking with such a powerfully strong spirit, that we don't even remember what she said. 

But all we know is, at that moment, everything clicked with Whitney's mom. 

It just clicked. 

And her mom agreed. It's going to be Whitney's 17th birthday gift. She is getting baptized this Saturday

All of us cried. The spirit was strong and we know it was the Lord's timing. Miracles happen and fasting is such a power. This baptism is such a miracle. PRESIDENT RIGGS is coming. He FREAKED OUT when we told him. 

Saturday is going to be such a special day. 

I am so grateful for Whitney. I am so grateful for her mom. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ who lets these life-changing things happen. 

So get ready BYU. In two years you will have an amazing Cougar coming your way. She's a great one.  

Love always,

Sister Kelly

Sunrise in Alexandria

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