Dear Family, April 21, 2014
Say hello to Utah for me! There are times when I miss that place. I never thought I would ever miss Utah but I kind of do. I'm glad you're able to take full advantage of the week. You all really need a break.
WHAT A WEEK! I love love LOVE being busy! As a companionship, we have been trying to implement a new way of planning (rather, planning as suggested in "Preach My Gospel") and we have had a MUCH better week because of it. Our days are a lot more full and we have better plans. Instead of getting to the end of the week and realizing we haven't visited 8 of the 10 people we wanted visit that week, we use weekly planning to schedule specific times on specific days to see less active members, potential investigators and times to door knock. There have been several times this past week when I have said to Sister Mortensen, "Why weren't we doing this last transfer?" You would think the Brethren were inspired or something when they wrote "Preach My Gospel"....
(Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House)
Are you ready for the best news of the week?? WE HAVE TWO INVESTIGATORS!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! :D :D :D This is the best thing to ever happen to me thus far on my mission! We have been so blessed by the prayers of our district, the members and our families! We know that it is not just our faith working miracles! We met with Larry last night and he's reading the Book of Mormon. AGAIN. I think that Spirit is working with him and I can really see him accepting the gospel this time. He and his wife are truly amazing and we love them already! The other investigator we have is a lady named Sherisse (pronounced like "Charice"). We met Sherisse when we were meeting with a less active member and Sherisse came over to pick up a child for a play date. Jodi (our less active member) just blurted out, "Hey! Want to learn more from the sister missionaries?" Awkward? Yes. But a miracle? Yes, definitely yes. We taught a lesson to her yesterday which was really entertaining. We got lessons mixed up and what started as the first lesson didn't finish as the first lesson. The whole time I was praying that she would just feel the Spirit because even if we didn't make sense, hopefully the Spirit did. We have a return appointment with her so maybe it wasn't all bad? The moral of the story is communication with your companions is key.
Probably one of the harder things of the week was our "breakup". We have been trying our darnedest to work with a part member family. Sister Mortensen and Sister Anderton found them the transfer before I got here and they were able to teach a lesson to their family who showed interest in learning more. It has been a goose chase for the past three months. We finally got the members of our ward involved and we were sure that this was going to start really progressing but when we went over to their house this last Thursday, the news came out: the church was not for them. Missionary work is one of the most heart breaking things you will ever do. You spend months pouring your heart out in prayer and doing your hardest work to help people accept the Gospel and then they use their agency to reject something that you KNOW FOR A FACT will bless their family in ways they can't comprehend. People don't understand what they're turning down. Our experience with this family reminds me of Jeffery R. Holland's talk from this past General Conference: "Sadly enough, my youngfriends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much,comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, thentell us to run along and pick marigolds." Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ requires people to work hard. It requires us to sacrifice. It requires us to be better than what we naturally are as humans. But it is SO. WORTH IT. Why can't more people see that? We bore our testimonies to him and walked away with heavy hearts. Sister Mortensen and I were really bummed the rest of the night. But do you know what? God doesn't close one door without opening compensating doors. (See "Trust in the Lord" Richard G. Scott, October 1995) There must be some great miracles ahead!
I have felt nothing but gratitude this morning: gratitude that I didn't have to wear a coat yesterday or today; Gratitude for my Savior; Gratitude to be a missionary in the best mission on earth; Gratitude to have the Holy Ghost as my companion in addition to my two amazing companions; Gratitude for the difficult things Heavenly Father asks me to do; Gratitude for charity; Gratitude for the sunshine. I am seeing that there are a lot of things to be thankful for. What have you been thankful for recently?
(An object lesson gone awry, and awfully cute!)
I love receiving emails from all of you every week. I always read my "business" emails first and save the best emails for last. I savor each one and I am grateful for your love and support. I have the best family ever. I love you all so much!
I hope you all have a fantastic week in Utah. Please stay safe!
Go forth with faith!
Go forth with faith!