NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
November 25, 2013 A whole new world
Well I feel like this week has been incredibly long and incredibly wonderful! I am getting all adjusted to the new area and I love it. It is extremely different! But Gods work is the same everywhere. He has the same purpose and goal- our eternal salvation! This week we had Zone Conference and it was 6 hours of spirit packed counsel from the 12 and the first presidency. There has been a huge shift in the energy of the work here and specifically among the stakes, wards, and members. Our stake president was at this meeting and the goals he has for the stake are the same as ours. Missionary work is everywhere in this new ward. There has been members that resist it and say they are being pushy with it, but I remember that whether it is from he Mouth of the Lord or his servants it is the same. This push and hastening of the work is from the Lord and he is asking that we do more.. me included. So Sister Ellis and I set some awesome new goals and got to work! It can be so easy to waste time, but here on the mission it is the Lords time. And actually if you think about it.. mission or not it is the Lords time.. Anyway highlights of the week..
Tuesday- We went and visited a less active from the ward. Her sister is serving a mission in peru and this sister wanted to share with us an email or two that her sister sent. I sat in her living room and read this email out loud and had to have Sis Ellis start reading because I began to cry.
As I was sitting in relief society I felt a tap on my shoulder from the lady sitting behind me. I turned around to see a cute little old peruvian woman, and she whispered to me "will you accompany me to the bathroom?" I said "of course!" I followed her out of the room and as we started walking down the hall she lovingly linked her arm with mine and we made our way to the bathroom. She said "you've been working really hard haven't you? I saw the bottom of your shoes when you had them tucked under your chair." when we made it into the bathroom, she proceeded to take off her shoes and said to me "try them" a little confused and not knowing exactly why, I put on her shoes. She then hurried to put MY shoes on. My sweaty, dirty, worn out shoes... I didn't even realize how horrible they looked until I saw them on someone else. She hugged me, then walked away in my shoes! They were way too big for her and they clicked when she started walking down the hall because the rubber was completely worn out on the bottom. I made my way back to the class room and sat down looking down at my new shoes..I could tell she had just bought them. I looked up to see her leading the music to the closing hymn...standing in my dirty worn out missionary shoes. She looked at me and smiled, standing tall, looking proud. After the closing prayer I went up to her and gave her another big hug and expressed my gratitude. She told me she would pick a servant of The Lord's shoes to walk in over her new shoes every time! The next day I saw her walking down the street still wearing my worn out holey shoes with a smile on her face. The humility and kindness of these people never cease to surprise me. Always thinking of others before themselves. I know they are just shoes, but for her they were not just shoes... they were the only pair she had. I learned a lot from her, about sacrifice. Missions are a sarifice, living the gospel is a sacrifice. Time away from family, school, friends, other things we desire, sacrificing our heart mind and strength to the Lord. Every day the Lord expects us to sacrifice worldly things in order to keep his commandments and build his kingdom. I learned that we can give a little here and give a little there but sacrificing everything all at once to the lord is a lot easier. Just like this little peruvian woman, if we sacrifice even the last we have...the lord will bless us. Sacrifice with faith. Sacrifice with confidence. Sacrifice with hope. Sacrifice for the Lord!
I want to echo her testimony. That as we make Sacrifices for the Lord he opens the windows of heaven and pours blessings on us. I know the greatest thing we can do as Thanksgiving comes and the Christmas season is to make Sacrifices to come closer to the Lord and give to those around us. My heart was also touched because this missionary I know is praying that her sisters life will be touched and that she will make it to the Temple. I know as missionaries we pray for our families and friends especially those who have lost sight of the joy and peace that can only be found in the Gospel. We pray because we know this church is true and that it is the only way back to our loving heavenly father. We pray because we love them and want more than anything for them to be by our-side on that amazing day! God has asked us to do more and reach out more.. not to increase in numbers or baptisms, but to help his children receive the blessings of the Restoration and the Saving Ordinances of the Temple. We open our mouths and share our testimonies because we love our brothers and sisters. I love being a missionary and I love getting to serve and love Gods Children and my brothers and sisters. Two more stories real quick!
Our investigator Linda is AMAZING!!! we had an incredible lesson with her this last week where she began by going through the baptismal questions and telling us how she felt about them and asking us for clarification to resolve doubts she had. She expressed that the reason she prolonged her baptism is because she was afraid of slipping up. The spirit was so strong in the room as we testified with the member of the power of the Atonement and the opportunity we all have to repent and be forgiven of our sins each time we slip up. Linda is going to be baptized on December 7th! So excited!
Last story- So the Santa Monica 2nd 2 sisters came up to us the other day and said a woman showed up at church on Sunday and she wants to come to your ward- shes a non member and Golden Call her! So on Friday I pick up the phone and call her and Dana answers. Dana is incredible! I stayed on the phone with her for probably 30 minutes at lunch as she told me her story of how her career, faith, and family life were falling apart and how she had reconnected with some friends in Utah and they took her to the SLC VC where she watched the Joseph Smith Movie and talked with some sisters there. She said that while her family and friends don't think its a good idea to join the "mormon cult" She said she felt the spirit of the Lord there and cant deny it and said this is between God and her and that she feels like this is where she needs to be. She especially touched my heart when she talked about the immense love she feels here and said I think you all will probably be my new family. We took her a Book of Mormon and some Hot cocoa (she was sick) and she is reading in the Book of Mormon and will be at church on Sunday. She is amazing and a testimony that God prepares people! What did slightly tear at my heart was when she told me she grew up with Mormons, but thought your family had to attend with your family to go and since her family wasn't religious she didn't go and then lost track of it. I wonder how many opportunities just pass us by. We have to be willing to open our mouths and share with those around us! We truly never know until we try.
I am incredibly grateful to be a missionary and to see the Lords work rolling forward. I know that This is his work. I know that because of Our Savior Jesus Christ we can each change and become better. I love my Savior. I feel like everyday he carries me and lifts me. I am grateful for the blessings he has give me. the Restored Gospel and my eternal family. I love you all and pray for you everyday. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!!