Hello mom and dad :)
This week we had some good stuff happening, but one of the best lessons was with my buddy J, an 18-year-old member who we've been talking to about going on a mission. This lesson at his house one of his younger friends (not a member of the church) was over and stayed to listen to the lesson. We've basically been going through the things J needs to know for a mission each lesson to help him prepare, so this lesson was about the Word of Wisdom. We covered the principle, and as I expected, simply talking about the gospel brought up lots of mostly off-topic questions about missionary work that we were happy to answer. J is a bit reluctant to accept the idea of him going on a mission because he claims his English isn't good enough, but I told him he has a heck of a head start on where I was with Slovak when I came out. Then his buddy sitting next to me starts to testify of this as well, supporting the idea that J should go on a mission. I was kind of thinking that this was the reverse of what usually happens where the member testifies to the non-member, but I wasn't going to complain in the slightest. Things got even better. As we talked and J asked questions that we gladly answered, his friend started to join in, too. These questions transitioned into ones about Joseph Smith, the friend saying he didn't believe anything about that. We'd talked to J about this topic before (that it was one we need to know well as missionaries), and I could tell he recognized what needed to be discussed. He basically started the message of the Restoration, and as we taught about it he continually added his own input about it's truth. It was a bit funny because the roles had totally reversed--now J was the one testifying of something the other didn't exactly want to intially accept. His friend really listened well to us, and J then brought up the Book of Mormon, which we explained to his friend, who was a bit reluctant to accept it. Then from the other room walks in J's non-member father, a long-time investigator of the church who believes it wholeheartedly but struggles to give some things up that he needs to. J's father just starts testifying about the Book of Mormon and truth of the church, while J tells his friend that he reads every day from the book. I was thinking to myself during this part that I almost didn't need to be there. God was taking care of things in quite an astonishing way. The non-member was encouraging the member, the member the non-member, and the investigator encouraging both of them. Wow. The friend ended up accepting the Book of Mormon and the challenge to read it, and Jan came away from the lesson with a great missionary experience that will hopefully help him desire to serve a mission himself. I walked out of that lesson feeling pretty good, to say the least.
That's my week's highlight in teaching, and I know that God works through many ways to bring His children unto him. I hope you all have the chance to be a part of that--look for the oppurtunities and pray for them to come. I know they will. I love you very much and am continually grateful for your loving support in this great work of joy. Looking forward to hearing from you next week, and with much love,