What a wonderful week it was to be finished off with General Conference! I wish it could last forever. Sister Sherksnas and I were talking about how we hope the Spirit World will be like that; just drinking in counsel from God's servants. That would be paradise!
As you have probably guessed, I am staying in Beach ward again with Sister Sherksnas! I get to finish training her, which is nice. There were only 8 companionships in the entire mission that remained the same this transfer! Lots of change!
This week has, of course, flown by time wise, but has been a little slower work wise. We have recently had a few investigators stop progressing or just stop meeting with us, and so we have found that our teaching pool is lacking a bit... we have been trying this whole week to find the people God is preparing, really focusing on how having HOPE for something is EXPECTING it to happen, not just wishing. We know God can do anything. We know people are out there. We thought we had a couple promising potentials at the beginning of the week, especially a young girl named Jasmine. She was so sweet and when we asked how it would change her life if there was a prophet on the earth today, she just lit up! She said she would follow him anywhere. When we told her that, as a matter of fact there was a living prophet, she just beamed even more. It's a really wonderful blessing to be able to be a part of someone’s journey to divine revelation. She was very interested in learning more, especially about the Book of Mormon. We set a return appointment for the next day. When we came back, her parents answered the door with her... They were very kind and sweet but said that Jasmine already had a church and would not be meeting with us. Oh man that broke our hearts! Here was a beautiful, kind, bright family that was unknowingly rejecting the only thing that can bind them forever! I am so thankful for teaching records, etc. Jasmine and her family will not be forgotten! They will be ready when they are ready and other missionaries will reap the seeds we have sown.
Tuesday was a pretty busy day! We got to have lessons with Karie, Alisa, Emily and Yohann, Gabe, and Butch and Bo Capps (a less-active couple in our ward). Unfortunately, we did studies outside and had 2 of our lessons outside so... I got pretty burnt! It's okay, it's just a tan now. I guess I should start wearing sunscreen... Emily and Yohann gave me some aloe though, so that was nice!
On Thursday, we had a great lesson with Mandy and Kerry. They are 10 and 12 and getting ready for baptism! I had an idea, inspired from district meeting, to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ using the Book of Mormon. I found scriptures that answered the questions of what is faith? What is repentance? etc. As we read the scriptures, the girls got out their copies of the Book of Mormon and marked them with whatever stood out to them. It was probably the most they have ever understood in a lesson! They said that they loved it! Something I have learned is that people do not learn the same way, which of course I knew before seeing how I always learned a different way in school than other people. But, an amazing lesson plan for Gabe about the gospel of Jesus Christ could mean nothing to Karie. Everyone feels the Spirit differently and it is up to us to find out what works best for them, and make it happen! Ultimately, we are not the teachers, the Spirit is. So we have to find out how to connect them with that Divine power.
We also had a great lesson with Gabe at Brother Stoughton's house, our ward mission leader. We watched the 20 minute restoration video and he loved it! He wants to learn more about Joseph Smith and his life, I'm excited to see all the doors that are opening for him right now.
Now on to the good stuff! GENERAL CONFERENCE! We got to watch the Saturday morning session with Mirian, a recent convert, and the Merrils. Mirian has been distancing herself from the Gospel lately and we challenged her to come to conference with a question or two. She took that challenge and was elated to find that her questions were answered! She has such a sweet spirit and is the most earnest, grounded 15 year old I have ever met!
In the afternoon, we watched at the Capps home. They have not come to church for a long time because of health problems, and I'm pretty sure a couple other things. I can always tell that Sister Capps misses it, and she really loved getting spiritually filled at General Conference! They are so sweet and good to us.
On Sunday, we watched in the morning with our Bishop's family, Bishop Ravsten. They had breakfast for us, which was so sweet. The spirit in their home really set the tone for revelation; my hand could barely write notes fast enough to keep up with my brain and divine counsel. In the afternoon we were going to go to the stake centre to watch with Karie, our investigator, but she enjoyed watching at home and she was in the groove so we went to the Phillips house instead. SOOO sad to see conference end.
At 4, I had felt a strong prompting to go to a very specific street and literally just walk up and down it for an hour. It was a weird prompting but if I learned anything from conference it was to be obedient no matter what and to act on the first prompting! So we went and met a nice girl named Brittany, taught her a short lesson and sent her info to the YSA elders... and kept walking. I knew we were supposed to be there, to find or maybe to test my faith, I dunno haha. In the last 10 minutes before dinner, we found Anthony. Anthony is a homeless person who grew up in a group home in Utah and has a brother who is a member. He was quite nice and has a strong belief in God. We set up a time to meet him on Tuesday so we will see how it goes! Everyone deserves a chance at Salvation, even the scabby sheep! We must tend to them and show them love, even though we may think, “what a sheep!”. I loved that talk too :)
That evening after dinner at the Bishop's house, we went to see an older lady we had been trying to meet with for a while. She has always been very nice but was always busy. Tonight we decided to use the old "may I use your restroom," routine. It worked. We got in! I came very quickly to realize that the words of Jeffrey R. Holland in PMG are true," if you listen with love, you won't need to wonder what to say." We were able to talk about families and the sealing power that binds us together eternally and share a copy of, "the Family: a proclamation to the world," with her. She is going away for a while but we will follow up when she gets back!
I love this great work I have the privilege of being a part of! I never want to leave! I hope I can make the most of the short time I have to serve!
The Church is true!
|Good thing there is a lot of aloe around.|
|So for some reason I'm obsessed with this whole Boss Baby movie. So I had to get a picture.|