It's been an interesting week. We had a Zone Conference and the Mission President and his wife revealed the exciting news they learned at the seminar in Texas.
Remember, they were at a Mission President Seminar in San Antonio, Texas with all the Mission Presidents in the Southwest Region and their wives along with some General and Local Authorities of the Church including Elder Anderson and Elder Callister. They learned many things and heard some exciting news. They returned on Sunday. Elder Clark and I went to the Office on Tuesday to work on the blog and the training videos. They were very excited but said they couldn't tell us why for another hour. During that hour, they called all the zone leaders to tell them the news. After which, Sister Sweeney came in to tell us all of it. So there are 50 missions in the United Sates selected to be a part of the FIRST wave of iPad missions. 10 of those 50 are in the Southwest. 1 of those 10 is the Arizona Scottsdale Mission. They will be fazing them in, and we will have them by no later than February. There were a few other things but that was the really exciting one.
There is a woman that has been learning about the church for over a year, and she is very close now to being baptized. She has made huge progress this week and has been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon. Previously, she would use the Index to find a verse of two that talked about how she was feeling or what she thought she needed. She is now reading entire chapters and even multiple chapters on her own. She has gained a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and she knows that Joseph Smith is a Prophet. It's very exciting to see her get to the point she is at now. We even invited her to share the Book of Mormon and her testimony of it with her mom. After many attempts (we had only expected her to try once or twice) she has now decided to get her grandmother involved in the church so that the two of them can work together to share it with her mom. It's amazing to see the faith that she has and the desire that she shows in sharing this with others that she cares about. I suspect that she will make the decision to be baptized in the coming month.
So on Thursday, the family that was having us over for dinner wasn't able to so they dropped food off for us at the apartment. While we ate we heard a noise that we couldn't identify. We quieted down and listen more closely. It was a woman's screams. I walked over to look out the window and Elder Clark looked through the peephole. I couldn't see anything in the courtyard so I figured it must be next door. All of a sudden, Elder Clark saw quick movement towards the door followed instantly by loud pounding. It startled us so bad that I fell off the bed I was on and he ran into the next room. I finally gathered my senses and looked through the peephole to see our neighbor and what I assumed to be her boyfriend that she lives with arguing on the door step, and he shoved her back and slammed the door. We stepped out to see if we could help, but she was so much in shock that there was no hope of getting any information from her. The door to her apartment opened again, and she walked in so we went back into ours. We felt that we should not yet leave. This was about 7:00 PM now. We then began to alternate looking through the peephole and listening in at the shared wall for the following 45 minutes. We could hear argument and yelling for a while but most of that time was filled with silence and no visible activity outside of the apartment. At last the door reopened and she emerged with a garbage bag, a backpack, and a duffel bag. We waited a minute and went out to find her sitting on the stairs (she said she sat there waiting for us because she knew that we were men of God that could help her). She expressed the need for a place to stay and immediately we thought of one of the people we teach. This man is so generous and serves others every day. We knew that he would sympathize with her situation and that he would be able to assist her. We called him, and he of course, wanted to help. The three of us walked out to the front of the complex to wait. We tried to figure out how we could get all of us over to the man's house (he's married and has 3 kids, by the way). It was now a little after 8PM. We waited a long time for him to come get us (not remembering that he didn't have a license, and he didn't mention that until way later). When he did finally mention that he couldn't drive, we called another set of missionaries to see if they knew of a member of the church nearby that could drive us to the man's home. This was at 9:20PM. We finally made it up to his house, and he agreed to shelter her for the night and to get her to the airport or bus stop in the morning. So we travelled back home and prepared for bed. It was now 10:20PM. The next day, we went by the home to see if everything went ok. They said that everything went fine and that a friend had come and picked her up and taken her down to Tempe. She plans and heading back to live with her parents in Northern California. It is such a blessing to be used by the Lord to help another person in need. Although we were exhausted from all the effort and prayers we had put in, we felt very good about what we had done for this young woman.
I know that our Heavenly Father is aware of each of us and knows how to help us. I invite each of you to look at you life and try to recognize the many times that the Lord helps you and blesses you. I love you all and I'll talk to you again next week.