Monday, May 26, 2014

May time to waste

Every Monday night, for the past few weeks or so, we have been going to the house of this older couple to help them strengthen their testimonies. It has turned in to what we call miracle Monday. We all start off by sharing a miracle that happened that week whether it was big or small. Then we ask what they call a "golden question", basically it is a question that gets them think deep about a gospel principle. For example, how do you know when you are feeling the Holy Ghost, or if you could focus on one Christ like attribute to work on which one would it be. These questions usually turn into sharing experiences and it is so amazing to hear the things they have accomplished in their lives. The sister shared with us something that I am going to hold on to for a long time. She said if youre ever getting a thought to do sometime and you dont know if it is you or the spirit, if it is good, just do it.

Tuesday we had a pretty good time. We were invited to have lunch with this couple since our dinner calendar is already full. They were a super awesome couple, they are really wanting to help out the missionary work in their ward. After lunch we went to the Provo Rehab and Nursing to teach our 94 year old. But I totally spaced that it was Tuesday and that she would be in physical therapy. So we headed out to contact some other people. We got to teach Jessica like we do every Tuesday and there was something about this lesson that was special. Usually she is pretty quiet and reserved but the past few times we have been over there she has opened up a lot more. She now has this glowing countenance that is amazing. She told us earlier that she used to struggle to avoid coffee at work, but she has been working really hard on quitting because she really wants to make it to the temple. She also told us about the reason she came back to the church, it was all because her brother kept loving her. After that we had dinner with a couple that served as mission president and wife in Columbia. And after dinner we got to go teach Malakai, it was his last lesson before his baptism. We were teaching about tithing and we asked him to read the scripture from  Malachi 3:10 and after he finished reading it he said, "and I said that." It was so funny coming from a 9 year old. Later that night we decided to contact one of our less active families we haven't seen for a little while and we actually were able to catch them at home. We then went and contacted a referral that we got from the ward mission leader. On our way home that night we walked past a house and the family was out working in the yard. They were Samoan and were really excited to see sister missionaries. They ran in and got us each a box of cookies and a thing of juice to take home. It felt like such a wonderful day!

Wednesday morning we got to do a service project for the mission. We helped plant bushes and plants at the mission office and put in bark around it. We also got to clean out the rain gutters on the street around the mission office and sweep out the parking lot. It took a good part of our day but it was fun. I am finally starting to have some color to my skin. The weather has been beautiful and I love it. After the service project we had lessons scheduled for the rest of the evening. The first lesson was with this sister who is trying to help her friend learn more about the gospel and so she was to get more active and have a better understanding so she is more helpful. She got really excited when we told her we could Facebook or Skype her friend to get her started with the missionary lessons. Then we got to teach Alan, he is doing so much better, he got a letter that day telling him that now he has been full fellowshipped back into the church he has the full power and duty of a Melchizedek priesthood holder. He also has been reading his scriptures more often and can feel and see the difference in his life. For our lesson with the Petersen's we did something a little different. We decided we wanted to teach about Christ like attributes and so we wrote all of them down from Preach My Gospel on post-it notes and had each of them pick one they wanted to work on. We then talked about each one and read scriptures to go along with it. Something that was quoted was "You are not punished for your sins you are punished by your sin."- Neal A. Maxwell. I really like this quote when it comes to the reason we are obedient. The spirit was so strong in the lesson and it definitely made me want to continue to develop Christ like attributes everyday. When we got home there was a bag of Samoan food sitting at our door. I guess the poly elders were given to much food so they brought some to us.

Thursday was a walking day. We seriously walk all day trying to find people at home and ready to be taught. We had two appointments that both fell through. The first one got stuck in bad traffic on his way home from work and wouldn't make it on time. And the second one was interesting, we were in his house ready to teach but he got a phone call right before we were going to get started and so we had to leave. He helps this boy down the street who is in a wheel chair and he needed help. So we did some more contacting of empty houses. Even our meeting Thursday night was strange. Usually we have at least 2 or 3 ward mission leaders show up. The meeting started at 8:00 and no one was there until 8:20 and he was the only one to show up.

Friday started early because we had a lesson at 10:00 and the DTM at 11:00. The lesson was super interesting. It was with these two Mennonite women, one who was older and one that was a little older than me. The one around my age actually didn't grow up a Mennonite, she was converted when she was in college. They love the Bible. They had a lot of questions about our religion and they always made sure it matched up with the doctrine in the Bible. We got to teach them about the Book of Mormon, and they committed to start reading it so they could find out if it is God's word. They also asked if we had set lessons about the basic doctrine in our church. So we are going to be teaching those, actually we won't be because she doesn't live in our area, but we are going to be handing her off to the other sisters. DTM was fun, we played Preach My Gospel jeopardy. Then we went to Costa Vida as a district and it was so yummy! Friday evening we went and taught a less-active and her girls, and we got to help clean the house. The youngest girl is 3 years old and she had a little boy from her daycare group die this week. What she said was the cutest thing, she said that Tyler is sleeping with Jesus now. I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation.

Saturday was baptism day! We had a baptism at 11:00 for Malakai, he was so happy and so ready. The talks that were given at his baptism were very spiritual and inspired. After the baptism we went home and ate lunch, then did weekly planning. After weekly planning we tried doing more contacting and we actually went to this one lady's house that we have been trying to contact for awhile and she let us in. We wanted to show her the "Because of Him" video but she didn't want us to. She wanted to know how we knew Jesus, not what we know about him but how we personally know him. She was quite interesting to teach because there was some points where she was trying to convert us to her faith. She is from Africa and she really likes how safe Provo is. After her we had dinner with this couple that has seriously been married for only 2 months, we have been eating with a lot of people like that. After dinner we went down to Springville for one of Sister Lani's investigators baptisms. The was a huge turn out. They had all us missionaries stand up and be recognized and it was super awkward for me since I didn't know her at all. But that is the joy of being a companionship.

Sunday was probably one of the most successful Sunday's we have had in a while. We went to church at 9:00 and one of our less actives was there so we got to sit with her in relief society, and then after she invited us over for lunch. We were able to have a lesson about the importance of centering our homes on Jesus Christ. After her we went and did more contacting, and found a less active at home. We taught her the restoration and she said was an answer to her prayer. She told us that the only things she struggles with in the LDS faith is Joseph Smith's story, so when we got done teaching today she said she really wants to pray about Joseph Smith so that she can have a testimony. After her we had dinner and then a drop by to another less actives home. We had some fellowshippers from the ward come with us and at first we didn't think the family was home, but we knocked again and they answered. We were able to get to know them more and also teach them a short lesson about the Book of Mormon. At the end I felt prompted to ask them if we could go through all the discussions with them and they agreed that it would help them a lot! We then spent the rest of the night contacting more people.

Today we got our transfer list, and here is what is going to happen... I am going to be a sister training leader in North Orem with Sister Coleman, who is from Kennewick! I am going to miss being here in a walking area so much and all the AMAZING people! 

Some things I noticed that I love this week are the following:
- I love the reaction we get when we pull out our iPads to share a spiritual thought. So many return missionaries get jealous.
- I love members that feed us good. I feel pretty lucky to get fed every night and to be honest I haven't eaten anything to weird.
-I love my companion, she is seriously the best. There is not a day that goes by that she
doesn't make me laugh and smile.
- I love that everyday me and my companion coordinate our outfits so we can match.
- I love being honked at, even though it startles me every time. But it is people showing that they love missionaries.
- I love that as a missionary I can go into a strangers house and come out and feel like I just made a best friend.
- I love that we have iPads so that me and my companion can take pictures and videos all the time.

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