November 11, 2013
Such big miracles have happened this week!!! As you know, Sister Pitts and I as well as Sister Damato were all bugged that Ed's baptismal date wasn't until the first weekend of December. Sister Damato and I had talked about it quite a bit and then I got a letter from Dad asking me if I had talked to Ed about moving it up... Sister Pitts and I had talked to Ed and Michele about moving it up... but they said they wanted to keep it in December. ugh... I was so sad and so frustrated about it!! I have been praying for a long time about what to do... and this past week Sister Damato and I felt impressed that we needed to talk to him about it again. We sat down and went through the baptismal interview questions and Ed was choking up as he answered everyone. The spirit was so strong! At the end of going through the questions, we told him, "You're ready Ed!! You don't need to wait for another month!" We told him that we didn't want to pressure him into moving it forward and that we would respect his decision but that we felt obligated to tell him about our impressions. He immediately said that he would get baptized now if he could.... so why are we waiting?! hahaha Ed said that we needed to first talk with Michele because she was the one that had had worries. We talked to her a little later and she said that these past couple weeks she has felt like Ed is ready for it!! We set up an official baptismal date for November 23rd at 6 pm :) :) I'm SOOOO happy you guys!!!
I am learning the importance of having faith in the promptings that we receive from the Holy Ghost. God will move His work forward the way He has planned :) We planned it for November 23rd so that Ed could quit drinking alcohol. We gave him a date to be totally done drinking by November 15th and both Ed and Michele were more than confident that he could do that.... On top of all that excitement... we were just shopping at Walmart and ran into Ed and Michele! Ed started off the conversation by saying... "You guys, I'm not going to be able to stop drinking by the 15th..." My heart sunk.... but then he said, "because I actually quite last night!!!" Hahahahaha… So mean of him...! but I'm SOOO happy for him!! He wants to get baptized so much. He is so ready and has such a strong desire to make those covenants with Heavenly Father. Ed is such a big miracle. I really hope that you guys get a chance to meet both Ed and Michele one day. I love them so much.
I have been praying so much to do the Lord's will and not my own will when it comes to Ed's date and I truly know that it was the Lord's will. Before the date change, I was just worried sick that transfers were going to come and that I was going to miss Ed's baptism by 5 days and then if Ed and Michele were to go through the temple next year... I would have probably missed being there by DAYS because I would most likely be home! But now, I will be there for Ed's baptism AND there is a bigger chance that I will still be here in Florida to see them go through the temple and get sealed next year. What an amazing way to end my mission! This experience reminds me of 3 Nephi when Christ knew the thoughts and righteous desires of the 3 Nephites' hearts. I just know that God knew of the righteous desires of my heart as well as Ed's and He helped make it happen.
Another crazy story about Ed and Michele... I took pictures of family and friends to share with them at a lesson this past week. I don't think I've mentioned this... but Ed kind of looks like a redheaded version of Dad... no joke. haha! It's so awesome!! I showed them a picture of the family and Ed immediately choked up and said that Dad looks like a spitting image of Ed's dad that passed away a year ago this month.... whoa. Kind of freaky. Michele was shocked by it as well. How cool is that? Michele then said, " Ed, there is no doubt that Sister Kirkham was sent specifically for you." ....and I couldn't agree more. I never thought that I would actually come to know WHO I was to touch with the Gospel... but I have no doubt that God sent me to Orlando Florida for Ed. Hopefully there will be more people I can touch out here... but I would be so overly grateful for Heavenly Father for just letting me help Ed. I have learned to love Ed and Michele sooo much and I'm going to miss them so much when I leave New Smyrna Beach. I've had the scripture in D&C 18 repeatedly run through my head:
"And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto thispeople, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy withhim in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto meinto the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"
This past week we had a Zone Training Meeting in Deland. I was asked to play a musical number. I played a pretty version of "I Know My Heavenly Father Loves Me" on the piano. I was a little nervous to play because not only has it been awhile since I performed something... but it's been more than 5 months since I actually played something other than hymns! How sad is that?? :( I felt really good about my performance though. I miss the piano... it has definitely been something I have sacrificed by being on a mission. But I don't regret it. There are bigger more important things to be doing... like helping people like Ed and Michele. :)
In the Zone training Meeting two exciting things were announced:
1. Our October goal of reaching 33 member referrals reached an actual of 68 member referrals!
2. President Berry has announced that we are going to start internet proselyting soon. He said that not everyone will start using it all at once but that it is now becoming part of our mission. I have a feeling that I won't be one that gets to use Facebook- at least not immediately- but I'm okay with that for now :) haha I don't know if I want to get on Facebook... that would be so weird. haha! Speaking of Facebook, will you check my account every once in a while and make sure that you add people from Florida that are wanting to be my friend? Thanks :) I would love to keep in touch with them after the mission!
Well, I better get going... but know how much I love you guys!!! We had a pretty busy day today and I don't know how much I'll be able to write today but I'll do my best. You will be happy to know that I finally got all of my pictures on a CD's and I'm mailing them home!!! :) Please take good care of those pictures! I've been too afraid to delete them off of my camera... ahh! Haha!
I hope that everything is going well. Thank you so much for all of your prayers on behalf of Ed and Michele. They have been heard!! You do so much more than you will ever know. I love you!!!