Great story for the week!
We were out tracting and a man we were talking to told us he wasn't
interested and went inside. We heard is son say, "they were really
pretty." "They were, weren't they?" #itsthespirit #awkotaco
Also, for the first time, Sister Vance and I attempted Facebook
tracting! Super creepy, but I am actually undecided about what form of
missionary work is the most creepy... (Stalking your cyber self or
your real home... Hmmm...) you basically find people within your area
and send them a message. No success yet, but it is to be continued...
President Russell is awesome and had every zone throw Olympics! Here
is our lovely pic to document the moment :) love these people! And
yes, the segregation is real :)
We had a pretty good week. There is a SUPER prominent lady in Coquille
who we are friends with, (named Pam Smith) and we do a lot of service
with her. She introduces us to EVERYONE in the town as her friends
(she isn't interested in the gospel, but we meet so many people
through her we keep in touch.) We are always out in the community
cleaning up, meeting women on the city council, on and on... A couple
weeks ago we were doing service and one of Pam's friends started
asking me questions about the gospel. We aren't allowed to proselyte
while serving, but if people ask questions we can answer. Anyway, I
answered all of her questions and honestly didn't think anything of
it. This week, we did more service, and her friend told me... "I have
been thinking a lot about what we talked about. For the first time,
Mormonism makes sense. People use to always tell me that you had the
Book of Mormon, then when people started to question, you decided you
also believed in the bible. From what you told me, it sounds like you
were questioning the bible so then you needed the Book of Mormon to
clarify. So anyway I was just wondering, could I borrow one of your
books? I promise I will give it back after I read it." Umm... We only
loan them out for a month, so could you please have it read by then?
;) #godisgood #thisishiswork
Another miracle! Julie is another lady we had been meeting with. Our
lessons with her are always SO SPIRITUAL. She always just cries and
cries! One day she told her mom that she was meeting with us, and her
mom got SO MAD. (granted, Julie is like 50) Her mom told us a lot of
horrible things about us. Last week she called us and told us she
doesn't want to meet with us anymore. She wanted to start going to
church because she remembers the spirit she felt there, but just not
our church. We were devastated, but had a large print Book of Mormon
we wanted to drop off anyway! We went to her house and started talking
about the Book of Mormon and how she felt when she read it. She
explained to us that she felt closer to God while reading the Book of
Mormon, and it helped her a lot in her life. (THAT IS THE SPIRIT) We
got talking some more and we felt impressed that she needed to pray
about the Book of Mormon right then and there. She was apprehensive,
but eventually did anyway. It was the most POWERFUL PRAYER I have ever
heard/felt. Looking into Julie's eyes I understood what "holiness"
means. She was a little taken aback as well! However, she still is
going to attend a different church, then come to our church and make a
final decision. I testify, however, that the power of prayer is real.
We can all continually receive that confirmation that the Book of
Mormon is true.
I love you all!
P.S. Sorry, I didn't get to send this to everyone because I am sending
it from my lovely iPad. In the states we are spoiled ;)
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
HAPPY OCTOBER EVERYBODY!! We got transfer calls and I am staying in Coquille with Sister Vance! WOOT WOOT! Coquille is my home away from home, and I never ever want to leave!
Kersha is still AWESOME. She alone makes everything worth it! In the past as she has met with missionaries she has had an issue with tithing. This week she responded, "I was thinking about it... and actually tithing isn't that big of a deal." She wants us to make a list of all the things she needs to start working towards in order to be baptized :D She cracks me up!
Tell Aunt Cheryl that banana slugs are definitely real!!!
This week we had a hilarious lesson with a less active. We showed up and the entire house was in upheaval... She was swearing at her kids, and everyone was screaming. I went into "fix the situation" mode and made everyone in the house sit down. Kim instantly started telling me about everything which was going on and I stopped her and said, "Tell me something postive." She replied, "I can't think of anything positive." As she was telling us her stories Sister Vance and I started pointing out positives and yelling, "DING DING! THERE IS A POSITIVE!" We started twisting EVERYTHING into something positive and everyone in the house started laughing at us! By the end of the lesson everyone was on good terms and the spirit was back into the house. It was a really cool experience to watch how drastically people can change once we accept and listen to the Holy Ghost!
Conference was seriously the best thing ever. Sister Vance and I were SO EXCITED Saturday morning.. you would have thought it was Christmas. Really though, I think that conference on a mission is the same thing as Christmas back home! Sister Vance and I were convinced that President Monson had something SUPER HUGE to tell us since everyone was talking about "listening to the prophet," but I was pleasantly surprised by his message that we all just need to live "Christ-like lives." That is the answer to this crazy turmoil of a life!
My favorite talk was in the Saturday morning session when they talked about, "Which way do you face?" Our mission president has challenged us to study 10 of the Saviors miracles before December which has been a really amazing experience for me. Something which stuck out to me while I was studying reiterated this point. Throughout Christ's ministry he would always say, "Tell no man" after performing a miracle. During the height of the Saviors fame, there was a group of people were going to force Jesus to be their king. The Savior ran away into the woods. (Let me confess a sin... if a group of people wanted to make me Queen, I probably wouldn't run away.) Christ wasn't looking at gaining worldly fame, he did EVERYTHING to appease the Father! He never, ever, did ANYTHING to glorify himself. If everything we did was ALWAYS to please God, a lot of the problems in our life would vanish. Are we facing the world, or are we facing God?
I love this gospel! I love being a missionary! I love you all :)
Sunday, October 5, 2014
MY WONDERFUL FAMILY!
This week we have had the highest of highs as well as the lowest of lows! Strap on your seat belts ladies and gentlemen... welcome to the life of being a missionary! It is just a constant roller coaster of ups and downs! Luckily, the ups make everything worth it :D
FUNNY MOMENTS OF THE WEEK
Sister Vance found a cigarette butt in our apartment. That is so gross. She picked it up, screamed, ran, and chucked it outside. How it got in their I HAVE NO IDEA. I think one of us must have stepped on it and then dragged it inside... luckily we didn't have apartment checks ;)
Also, we came home from lunch one day and the door was locked. I looked in the window... and noticed the keys were sitting on my desk. Inside the apartment. Don't worry, a meal at the hospital and a subway card later, we broke into our apartment. We figured it out all by ourselves.. so now only all of you know what a true ditz I am. Since you all probably knew that anyway I figured I could tell you :)
UPDATE TO OUR RUNNING RECORD OF SONGS THAT ARE ACTUALLY PERTAINING TO MISSIONARY WORK
Phantom of the Opera, "That's all I ask of you." Really this song is talking about missionaries who are leaving commitments with their investigators. Sometimes it is said through gritted teeth READ THE BOOK OF MORMON, "Darling, that's all I ask of you."
This is my great district. They are the best! Elder workman is our DL and he is the one doing the hang loose sign. Every transfer he asks us trivia questions and at the end of the transfer the winners get a bag of Starbursts... Needless to say the Sisters have beat the elders every time. No big deal. ;) Sister Vance is a rock star and I learn so much from her every week!
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Just a week and a half ago, we taught a lesson to a mom in her 30's who has two kids and a significant other. (No one here is married) We left her with a commitment to read Alma 32 and honestly didn't really think anything of it. She sent us a text which said, "I read Alma 32. Then the introduction. Then I started from the beginning. I can't put it down! I have been reading for the past 2 hours and am halfway through first Nephi. I have been trying to read the bible my whole life, now this all seems so clear!" Sister Vance and I could not stop screaming! The only visual I have for you is a little high school girl who just got asked to prom by the football captain :) We met with her twice during this past week, and Kersha is GOLDEN! Let me list all the reasons why.
1. She can't stop reading the Book of Mormon
2. She has received inspiration and has noticed more peace in her life through doing so
3. We committed her to be baptized and she said, "Yes. But first we have to make sure I will go to church after I am baptized."
4.She told us, "Before I get baptized I want to go over the ten commandments. How many times do we need to be meeting so that I can be read?"
5. She came to church and was super overwhelmed, but it was fast Sunday and she felt the spirit so STRONG! She can't stop telling us, "I don't know why God sent the two of you in particular to me, but I thank Him everyday for sending you and opening and softening my heart to your message."
I could actually keep going on and on. Needless to say, Kersha is willing to do what is best for her kids, and she knows that this is it :) :) :) Pray for her husband though, his heart needs to be softened! This is a perfect example of God preparing the people!
After writing Kersha's amazing story I don't want to talk about the Low, but it must happen.
Mindy (our investigator who was on date) might have dropped us. I honestly don't blame her, the three Sundays that she came to church in Sunday school they bashed on people who are gay. (Mindy has a gay daughter.) I am really frustrated with the ward, but we keep trying to convince we her we "love everybody." From the way the ward was acting, I wouldn't believe us either though. The people in the church aren't perfect.. but the church is.
Stephanie and Emily (our other investigators on date) are avoiding us. *SIGH* There is still hope! They know the church is true, so they just need to act on it!
Now, to discuss the title of my email. (I am about to go into rant mode, bear with me! :)
Laman and Lemuel were right. THINK ABOUT THIS, their life was hard. They left behind all of their comfortable possessions in Jerusalem. They were almost killed twice. They wandered around in the wilderness for eight years. Their wives were giving birth IN THE JUNGLE. They almost starved to death. Finally, they get to the ocean, and Nephi says, "I am going to build a boat." I wouldn't trust my younger brother to build a boat, hop inside, and sail into the unknown. (sorry Braydon) They didn't know if the world was flat, round, or even if their was another land beyond the ocean. PHEW, these people were going through a lot. LAMAN AND LEMUEL COULDN'T ACCOMPLISH THIS TASK. They were right.
Nephi also understood that the task laid before him was hard, and that it was impossible.. ONE HIS OWN. Without God's help, it WOULD be impossible. The difference between the two is that Laman and Lemuel tried to do everything by themselves. In this case, it would lead to failure. Nephi understood that by himself it was impossible, but with the Lord's help it is possible. Anytime we complain, think that things are too hard, we are acting like Laman and Lemuel. We are saying, "The task laid before me is too hard, and I don't believe that the Lord can bring me through it." When we yoke ourselves to God and Christ, the seemingly impossible task becomes possible. That is the miracle of the atonement. 2 Nephi 22:2 states, "God is my strength and my song." With God on our side, we can accomplish the impossible.
We are all journeying through a wilderness.. it is hard. We will starve. We will get so tired we don't think we can walk any longer. We will have trials and tribulations set before us. But this is how we truly learn to make God our source of strength.
THE GOSPEL IS TRUE. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.
P.S. We were in church this Sunday and all of a sudden there was a loud BANG and the whole building shook. Someone ran into the building HARD with their car! It cracked the chapel from the ceiling all the way to the floor :) Kind of an exciting moment ;) everyone was safe, don't you worry!