No car accidents this week!! we are in the clear!
On Monday we had the chance to have 4 other sisters stay the night with us for mission leadership council the next day. it was a PARTY. It was a fun night, i got to see one of my best friends, sister Hurley! everyone calls us twins. I don't know how people kept us straight in Nagshead. MLC was great, we learned a lot about having the faith to find new investigators, and how people have prepared for the gospel, how WE have been prepared to share it, and how members have been prepared to invite. This is one of the most important lessons i have learned about missionary work. without help from members, it is near impossible. We need help from the members to invite their friends to learn more. There are so many misconceptions with missionary work. Before I went on a mission I thought it was preaching to people about my church, but as members it is our responsibility to OPEN our mouths and invite. The missionaries can do the teaching :) so much less pressure! it has been very interesting to work in three different wards so far to see how their focus is with member missionary work... this ward is probably the best I have served in. Most of the members are fearless when it comes to giving us referrals... but when it comes to inviting, that's when the slack comes. But it is all good! We are working so hard to help hasten the work and to find new people to teach as we work with the members of the ward!
We taught a man names E this week. He really struggles with organized religion, and so does his girlfriend. They both have really been burned by past religions and are on the verge of giving up hope. So many people believe that all you need to do to be "saved" is to have faith in Christ and try to be good. There is SO MUCH MORE than that!! We need to live our lives in harmony with the commandments and be baptized and receive other sacred ordinances (or ceremonies where we make sacred promises with God) with the proper priesthood authority! We taught this to E and the spirit just took over and he had a complete change. He told us he was so curious and he loved what we told him about church, how there is no paid ministry, no pastor. People from the congregation get up and speak. He told us he was going to have to talk to his girlfriend about coming and learning more, but she was very open from the time we talked with her until she had to go to work. Keep E in your prayers!
We got to talk to the youth on Wednesday about preparing to go on a mission. Sister T and I were in awe at how many of the youth...especially the sisters were planning on serving! The focus has totally shifted. I could probably think of 3 times people asked me if I was serving a mission growing up. Now its normal conversation!
C is doing very well! his baptism is now the 21 of Feb. Oh my goodness family... he is SO prepared. He really has changed SO much. He is humble, he keeps his commitments, he is eager to learn more. he makes being a missionary even that much more worth it! He accepted the word of wisdom without any hesitation. He's so great.
N and J, oh man. one of the most awkie lessons of my life. We were on exchanges with the hermanas and we had to do an exchange midday, so we didn't have a chance to do any companionship study. It was not very unified. I basically taught the lesson. We had 2 couples there, one was a couple who experienced a lot of opposition from her parents before she got baptized. We brainstormed together lots of options N could do to tell her dad that she was getting baptized. Nancy said she knew that this was something that she wanted to do. she just needed to ponder how to tell her dad. So that was the good part of the lesson.... I asked how they were doing keeping the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. "J"'s face got all red and N shook her head. "Not good..." apparently when "J" comitted to live the law of chastity he didn't realize how "hard it would be." oh man.... I made some comment about removing your self from tempting situations but it came out as a super awkward comment that sounded so bad... oops. #awkwardmissionaryproblems.
So to keep this making sense and an update on what is going on....
Chris, Nancy, and Alantis are getting baptized within the next couple of weeks.
they need your prayers... Chris is all of a sudden having to work Sundays which he said has NEVER happened before... It is a common trend... right before we are about to take big spiritual steps in our lives, the devil will always try and stop us. We will face a lot of opposition. But we receive no witness until after trial of our faith. We need to exercise our faith and push along and hold strong and we will never regret the big spiritual step we took. It's such a testimony builder to me of the importance of baptism, and of the truth of this gospel. Why else would Satan be trying so hard to stop it??? Good news is... he never will.
We had a miracle at church on Sunday... during the opening hymn the ward mission leader from the other ward came and got us and told us a woman in our area is looking to be taught by the missionaries and she came to church today. People are falling in our laps for us to teach. Heavenly Father is too kind! We are so excited! We have an appointment with her on Tuesday, her hubs is a member (less active) and she said she knows she needs to take the first steps to lead her family and that will kick him into shape. She already wants this church in her life. There you go... evidence right there.. the Lord is Preparing people! We have just got to be doing our part, keeping the commandments, living worthily of the spirit, and opening our mouths to invite others to come unto Christ.
Jacob 4:7 this is my theme the past week. Satan is really trying to keep me down and make me wallow in self pity about my many weaknesses... but I know that he has no power over us. We need to chose Christ and cast out those negative thoughts about ourselves! It is SO hard changing. And SO hard to grow. but I have never been more happy and closer to my Heavenly Father than ever before.
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers these past weeks... my headaches are GONE!! I am finally back to full capacity. The concussion is healed!!!! what what!!
CHANDLER!!! congrats on BYU HAWAII!!! love you. stud!