Hello my loved ones,
Well this week has been crazy! I'm going to try and remember everything so I can let in on everything that is happening in Beaumont . It finally snowed. The first snow fall of the year was on Thursday (only about an inch if that and it hasn't stayed.) It's getting colder though.
Let me start with our wonderful progressing Investigator Geno. We taught him a couple times this week. At one of our lessons we read with him 1 Nephi 8 (Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life). It was such a great experience. As we read we applied the story to him. He told us that he wanted to get baptized with his family (but none of them are taking the lessons right now. They aren't quite ready to.) As we read the account of the Tree of Life I pointed out to Geno that Lehi partook of the fruit before any of his family and after he did then Sariah, Sam, and Nephi partook. We likened that to him and explained that he is like Lehi, he should partake of the fruit (be baptized) first then he can share it with his family. It was wonderful. He looked at us and said, "I want to get baptized. When is the soonest that I can?" That was like music to a missionaries ears. :) We extended him the date of November 26th and explained that he would have to give up coffee completely for 2 weeks before he could get baptized. (He is yet to give it up). He was very excited to get baptized. The next time we met with him we talked about the commandment, Follow the Prophet. We showed him a clip of President Monson's closing remarks at the last conference. The whole time he watched he just smiled and nodded his head. After we talked about President Monson and Geno said, " I know he is the prophet." We showed him some pictures from the Conference Ensign and when he saw the Salt Lake Temple he was blown away. He just held it in his hands and stared at it. It was so great to be able to introduce him to the prophet and the apostles. We had another lesson planned with him later in the week, but when we called to confirm he had to cancel. He said, " I can't come today because I got the job to lay the tile in the temple. Have you seen this building?! It is so beautiful. This is the nicest tile I've ever worked with!" Sister Jones and I were so excited for him. It's not everyday that your investigator cancels your appointment because they are working on the temple. :) Well on Sunday we called to confirm him coming to church. We asked him how he was doing with coffee and there was a long pause on the phone, "I drank coffee yesterday and Friday." He sadly told us. My heart ached. :( I told him, "Geno, we understand it's very hard to quit, but we want you to know we have been praying for you and we believe you can do it. However, because you drank coffee we have to push your baptismal date back." He was devastated. We were devastated. But we knew that this would be the best thing to motivate him to quit. You can really tell how dedicated a person is by if they can give up those bad habits. We will be setting a new date with him this week.
There is a Less Active family in the ward. Her name is Cindy and she is a single mom. She has two kids, Destiny (4) and Beau (2). They are so cute. Well we've had another family (The Purnells) in the ward fellowship them and we stopped by their house last night to share a message. They have 2 kids the exact age and gender as Cindy's. When we asked the Purnells if there was anything we could do for them they said, "yes, can you play Santa Claus." I was a little confused by this and they explained, "We know Cindy probably doesn't have a lot of money or time to get Christmas presents this year so we had our kids help pick out presents for them." Their little girl and boy then went to the table and grabbed a doll and some toy cars/ planes. Sister Purnell turned to her kids, "Give them to the missionaries." The little girl brought us the doll, but the 2 year old boy had the hardest time giving us the cars/ planes. When he finally did he just cried. It was one of the most tender moments. Then their little girl turned to her mom and said, " Mommy, I feel really good inside but I want to cry." The love this family had for another family that didn't have much, was so tender. We went over thinking that we were teaching the Purnell's but the Purnells were teaching us. What Charity and love they showed. Then, to add to it, in conversation, somehow it was mentioned that we didn't have any blankets (don't worry family, I have the sheets and one fleece blanket that I brought with me- I'm fine, so no worries.) They immediately said, "You don't have more than that?! We can give you blankets." Sister Purnell stood up and went to the linen closet and pulled out a blanket. Brother Purnell said, "We can't give them that ratty old thing. We will buy them 2 blankets tomorrow." We insisted that we were fine, but they wouldn't let us say no. As Sister Jones and I left their house we were in awe by their sincere generosity. This family is such an example of the pure love of Christ. We talked about it on the way to our next appointment and we realized that we are representatives of Jesus Christ. We literally wear His name over our heart. Why people give us their best food, dessert, or blankets is because it's a way for them to serve Christ. Just like the wise men gave Christ their best gifts, so do many of these members. It was a great conversation and learning experience. I'm really excited for the Christmas season and the spirit that the season brings.
Well I love you all! I hope this email finds everyone well. Thanks for your continued prayers.
Love, Sister Leanna Thompson