We have had several opportunities to serve this week. We were able to complete our tuberculosis screenings. We also have not had any negative effects from the flu shot we got so I am very grateful for that. The weather is once again going down. It has dropped to about 5 degrees and the wind is still going strong but is off and on. Yesterday it was 8 degrees and the wind was going constantly at about 35 miles per hour and had gusts of about 50. It almost pushed me into Elder Jacobs and I had to walk sideways with my head towards the wind and my feet towards Elder Jacobs to keep from being blown into him. Luckily, we are able to take breaks. There were also several stop signs that blew over in the wind. That was what amazed me. There also was a big sign in front of a hotel that had the name of the hotel on it that blew partially over and was only held in place by the cords on it. It is CRAZY windy here at times.We got welcome news that Jerry's daughter Michelle has also chosen to be baptized on February 1st with her father. This is a very special occasion and I'm very grateful that I get to see it happen.
Jerry is still doing well. He had an experience this week that has made him firm in his conviction to follow the Lord until the end. He now understands what true repentance feels like and is a very changed person. As I've looked back on the past 6 months almost, I have wondered what has changed Jerry so much. It couldn't possibly be two 19-20 year old boys, so what was it? It was because he started to read the Book of Mormon. Even if he doesn't completely understand the words in the Book of Mormon, there is a power in that book that invites change into our lives and lets us realize what our Heavenly Father truly wants for us. He was able to feel this power. Getting him to read the Book of Mormon steadily wouldn't have been possible without some members of our branch fellowshipping him and sharing their personal experiences and testimonies of the Book of Mormon and its truthfulness.
We were able to get two new investigators this week named Randy Hall and Jessica Countryman. They are prepared to receive the message of the Restoration. Sister Countryman's ex-husband Charley Mirey is a recent convert in Miller, South Dakota who referred her to us. He has had conversations with her in the past about the church. They didn't feel comfortable in any of the churches they have been to so far and feel that something is missing. This is a great blessing from the Lord as Jerry is getting baptized and now we have new people to teach who also are looking at being baptized eventually. I feel abundantly blessed as I work hard in the Lord's vineyard. They live in Kimball, 20 miles away from Chamberlain.We went on exchanges on Friday with the Zone Leaders in Pierre. I stayed in Chamberlain with Elder Slater. He conducted the baptismal interview for Jerry. It was exciting to be able to see the faith that Jerry has and his willingness to accept every principle and commandment we have taught him. I truly love him and know that God loves him as well. He is a wonderful person and I'm glad I've been able to meet with him and help him on his road to repentance and continued activity in Christ's true Church. He is the happiest now than he has ever been in his life and describes Church as a familiarity and sense of welcoming that he really likes and which he has not felt in other churches.
I have to apologize for the statement about we being the only church that uses the KJV (King James Version) bible. There are others. I jumped the gun on that one after I heard a retired protestant minister say it and I thought it was interesting. I thought it was proved by the bible study, but the next week lo and behold here comes someone reading the same words that are on the page of the bible I was using so I apologize.
Elder Jacobs has some raw unsalted peanuts that taste a lot like sugar snap peas. I decided to fry some of them in vegetable oil adding salt occasionally. The result tasted like popcorn which I thought was really weird. So I tried roasting them in the oven with the broiler. This turned out to be a big mistake because they burned really fast and tasted like burnt popcorn kernels. It was still good though and a great learning experience. We also used our crockpot for the first time this week making little smokies in barbeque sauce. They turned out great. We might explore more options for crock potting in the future.
Elder and Sister Schill (a senior couple in charge of housing) came to our house on Saturday to inspect our apartment. Luckily, we had cleaned it on p-day the week before so we really didn't have to worry too much.Yesterday we had dinner with the Felicia family. We also were able to go back to the retired minster's home to visit and give them service as we did so. It was great. We didn't get 50 ties, but we did get something better. He gave us a new suit each. It has hardly ever been worn and is also a lighter color than black. The Lord is really blessing us. I know that he will bless anyone who puts their trust in him and places him before the world. I love each of you.