I have an awesome story for you all about being in the right place, at the right time, and doing the right things. This story starts about 6 weeks ago. I didn't want to mention anything because I didn't want to jinx it and good news: I didn't!
So our second week here, Sister Willmore and I were going to make some copies at this copy center (it's super cheap and they do it for you, so you can't mess it up.. simple and easy). Well it was closed, so thought about going to the church to make them, but since the church is 4 miles away (so far, right?) we didn't want to do that. But I had this feeling that we really needed to make the copies. So to the church we went. We got out of the car and Brother Barrowes was talking to this kid. I heard Brother Barrowes say, "So you've been interested in the church for about a year now?" And I thought about going over there to jump into the conversation, but I didn't want to scare the kid off, so we just went inside. Well, as we were making our copies Brother Barrowes walked in and introduced us to him. His name was George. Then we set up a time to meet with him at the Barrowes' home for his first lesson. And I invited him to church. His response to my invitation was, "I'm allowed to come?" And so we reassured him that he was DEFINITELY allowed to come and we went our separate ways. Then he came to church the next day! We were so excited. We taught him that , set up another return appointment, and invited him to start reading the Book of Mormon. The he was at church again! And then the we had our lesson. He told us that he had already read through 2 Nephi! We were super excited for him and invited him to keep reading. He was just eating up the lessons. Our second lesson we invited him to be baptized on November 10th and he accepted. We started having two lessons a week and he was seriously just cruising through them! He read the entire Book of Mormon before he was baptized (in 4 weeks. seriously, he's a champ) and he came to every activity that he could. And yesterday, he was baptized. This is probably going to be one of my favorite stories from my mission just because the timing was so perfect. Heavenly Father is so mindful of every single one of His children. His plan is so incredibly perfect for all of us. This just reminds me that Heavenly Father is definitely in the details of every single one of our lives. There are so many other factors to this story that just make it even more amazing, but I don't have the time to write it all out here.
The other amazing story of the week ALSO happened yesterday. After Church and George's Baptism, we went to the YSA activity for dinner-- one of the families in the ward just had a son return from a mission and it was like his "homecoming party" shin dig. Side note: I've been working really hard at learning sign (I could definitely do better, but I've been trying really hard), with watching the interpreters at church and going to the classes and practicing at the apartment by praying and trying to sign as much as possible-- when I remember to. Well, one of the YSA kids (Jeremy) is deaf and nobody really signs. He's super patient with them and usually they just write everything out to communicate with him. But anyway, I knew that I needed to practice so I told him that I was learning sign and that I needed to practice so he was patient with me and we started talking. One thing led to another and then bam. I was in charge of interpreting for the night. I WAS SO SCARED! I only know a little bit! But I tried and he was so nice about my mistakes and struggles to understand him when he would respond. But then Jonathan (the recent RM) was going to give his spiritual thought for the night. So I continued to interpret to the best of my abilities. And it just came. I was signing. And I was signing fast. I kept up pretty well. And I was remembering signs we learned a while back. The Spirit completely took over. It was such an amazing experience. And then Jeremy asked me how long I had been learning sign for and I said, "6 weeks." And he told me that I was better than his brother who has been trying to learn sign his entire life and he's 23! haha. That was just an amazing experience for me that I will never forget.
This week has been amazing. I know that Heavenly Father lives and that He loves me. I know this Gospel is true. I know that Jesus is, in fact, our Savior. He loves each of us so much. I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us. I know it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and we have a living prophet on the earth today. The Spirit is real. It changes lives.
I love you all so much. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary. The last 10 months have changed my life so much. I hope that each of you gets the opportunity soon to be able to help someone else come into the fold of God and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.
This work is so true.
Sister Sadie Leavitt
P.S. Here is Sadie's current address if you'd like to write her a letter. She loves mail more than anything.
Sister Sadie Leavitt
325 W State Apt 5A
Jacksonville IL 62650