Last night I got to call Mom, and she put me on a conference call with Dad who was in St. Louis with my sister-in-law, Chloe, and my little niece, Bridget! It was so fun. President Wilkey entends the rule to allow us a full hour of phone call time, and my gosh it sure does go fast! But it was great to hear from my family and about how they are all doing (I love you all and you are all in my prayers!), plus I got to share some more detail about miracles I've witnessed here, and the blessings I've received. I also got to get some advice from my parents as to how I can help a Sister in our ward with her smoking addiction, as well as bear my testimony to them and have my father close our call with a prayer. It was amazing to see how, for the first time, I felt the Spirit while in a conversation on the phone. Well, next call will be around Christmas, and that sure will be an amazing call to look forward to! : )
So I've been doing really great about staying focused here and working hard, even amidst all the things that remind me about Chelsie. I'm proselyting in her stake, in an area about 40 minutes from her. Any anxieties that I have had regarding Chelsie are completely gone now. I know she's fine. I am full of faith. And now it's time to get back to work; it's time for me to become the best missionary I can be, and that's what I'm prepared to do!
The rest of Thursday was absolutely amazing. We had an opportunity to help a couple in our ward move some furniture. It sure has been a long time since I've done any heaving lifting, haha, that sure was tough, but I love doing service. Then later, we had an awesome experience teaching at the Fernandez family home. Sister Fernandez is an inactive member that wants to come back, and Brother Fernandez and their son, Junior (9), are not yet members. They also had their cousins, Kaelen (11) and Kiana (14) Pinzon, and their friend, Briana (15), with them; and Kaelen and Briana are not yet members either. We had a great evening with an awesome Dominican dinner, and we had the Stake President's son, Michael Watson, with us. When it came time for teaching, I realized that this was my first time on my mission actually teaching the lesson of the Restoration in a setting that I had expected. So at first I was a little nervous, but Elder Ahumada, Brother Watson, and I did great! We all worked really well together, and the lesson went excellent. Brother Fernandez and Briana were especially interested, and we were so humbled to have had the opportunity to invite the Spirit into their home; plus I gave out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon, so I think that's a total of 8 so far : ) We are very excited to meet with them again and discuss the chapters that we left for them to finish reading, and to teach them more about The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One cool thing that we've realized is that in this last week and a half, every single time we have gone into a store for more than just a few minutes, someone spots us out and talks to us. For example, on Tuesday, we randomly stopped by a little pawn shop, and ended up talking to the owner about the Book of Mormon and how the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored (he's been reading the B.O.M. and we are going to teach him more tomorrow : ). On Wednesday, a less active member that actually used to have some responsible callings in the church came up to us in Salvation Army and we got to talk a lot with him about meeting with us and coming back to church. And on Saturday night, on our way home from a full day of appointments in the Newbury-Ipswitch-Essex area, we stopped in a little grocery store to use the restroom, and a man there started talking to us about how he is a former investigator, and we talked with him about meeting with us again and coming to church; we are meeting with him tonight!. And these are just a few of the incredible blessings we've had lately, and oddly enough they have been from stopping in at a store for a few minutes!
Some of the other huge blessings we have recieved lately have been from our ward (we are in the Georgetown Ward). We feel so much love and support from our ward, it is just amazing. The members are always so willing to help us, take us in, feed us, give us referrals, and fulfill our needs. Seriously, our fridge was almost empty last week, and this week, it is packed full!
Elder Ahumada (who, btw, is amazing) and I have been doing great out here, and we have been so grateful and to humbled to see all of the amazing blessings that we have recieved from our diligent work.
Thank you all for your love, support, and prayers; they mean so much to me!
From New England with love,
Elder Dustin Carr