Monday, October 13, 2014
Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee. What an incredible day!
THE WOODDS DID IT! They are so incredible! I asked if I could share their story and they were more than happy to share.
I don't know what the time frame has been for them but they have been through so much. Both have gone from growing and selling drugs, being addicted to them as well as alcohol, being homeless, in and out of jail, on probation (for most of mike's life) and losing their children to CPS claiming the kids to be adoptable, all this to being the happiest, most humble family I have ever met. At his baptism he shared with us that the day they took his children was in the parking lot of the same church that he was getting baptized in was the worst day of his life. He told us that it was on that day that he lost the one things that was most precious and important to him in his life. He had become homeless and family-less. He told us that the day of his baptism was the best day of his life being at the exact same church. They now have their family together, they are free of addictions, they live and honor the law, they are married, they have a gospel centered family where the spirit of the Lord dwells, and the head of their home is now a worthy, pure, and humble priesthood Holder. He Can now bless the sacrament. His boys pass the sacrament each week. And Olivia is the most incredible mother of 5. She was never supposed to get her kids back and now her goal is to be sealed to her family in the temple in a year from now, and to raise her children to be missionaries. They have family home evening every Monday night. They pray together, and they read the Book of Mormon together. Mike and Olivia have read the Book of Mormon more than 3 times and are moving on to read other books of scripture. Whenever Sister Harper and I are having a hard day we can always count on feeling the spirit in their home. The day they met the missionaries, Mike was outside and saw an elder with his head down who looked really sad. He had just been unkindly rejected by someone. Mike had never met missionaries before and called the Elder over to talk to him and ask why he was so sad. Mike told all of the missionaries in our mission at a conference where a Elder Falabella of the seventy presided to never get discouraged, and to never loose hope because there is a family like his out there who needs to know of their Savior.
On the day of the baptism both Mike and Olivia were beaming from head to toe. The next day on Sunday I cried as they were officially confirmed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They told us over and over again for weeks leading up to that day that all they wanted was to be Mormon. It was so cute. Then after Church Mike was ordained a Priest. I floated home yesterday after church in awe of the love of God that has pored out upon that family.
I am so happy today.
One day this week while tracting we were in a retirement community and kept talking person after person who was nasty and mean. I got to the point of being on the brink of tears, so I told Heavenly Father that I couldn't talk to one more mean person or I would probably bawl on their doorstep. The very next door the sweetest lady answered. She was not interested in learning what we had to share but she was so warm and pleasant. Her kindness brought me renewed hope and I felt like I could keep on going. It was a tender mercy from the Lord.
Moment of the Week:
While filling out Mike and Olivia's baptismal records every small mistake mike would make on the paper he would exclaim, "Well, too bad, looks like I'm going to Hell" On the day of the baptism he couldn't find the right suit to wear and said, "forget it, I'm going to Hell." Then we were sitting in the bishops office waiting for all his kids to come in for the ordination and as we were waiting, he said "Well, we can't find them, forget it, I'm going to Hell." Haha he is so funny! Him and Olivia crack me up.
I love being a missionary.