Monday, March 16, 2015

A Wonderfully Exhausting Week: 8/18/14

In the mission field,  you have all these plans of who you want to see and appointments of people who said you can come back. The plans never go like you think they will. Most the time, all the plans fall through. The appointments that you think are going to be big "make it or break it" moments are actually quite small. The moments that you never anticipate are defining factors. 

The Lord has blessed us a lot. We have been able to see the scripture in D&C 127: 17
"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

I think it is important to stand still. Just stop and recognize that God's all loving arm, his all loving plan is being revealed. 

When we got here to Gardnerville, in reflection, we really had nothing. We had nothing to work with, no clue what we were doing, and no real progression in the area. But for some reason we pressed forward cheerfully. We had no reason to be cheerful, but we were. Now we are truly seeing, with the utmost assurance, God's arm being revealed.

Highlights. Moments that make it worth it:
-We got dropped by a supposedly golden investigator that we have talked to since we got here. One of the couple even agreed to baptism. For some reason it didn't matter though. Since they cancelled on us, we were able to spend more time with the grandkids of a less active convert to the church. Her grandkids had no clue who God was. By the end of our meeting we taught a ten year old how to pray. She thanked us in her prayer or teaching her. It was so tender. I knew we were suppose to be there instead.
-Sister Lolies told us a story: She was at a race, I believe it was a marathon. One of the runners fell and was seriously endured. Instead of finishing, one of the racers near the lead turned around, ran back to where the other runner had fallen, picked her up, and helped her over the finish line. Then Sister Lolies looked at us with teary eyes and said, "That's how I feel about you two. You are picking me up and helping me to finish my race." It's moments like that. They make it all worth it.
-We were biking down the road. We see a guy outside. Friendly. We stop to talk. Not interested at all. We asked if he knew anyone who could use "an uplifting message about Jesus Christ". Most people just blow us off and say no, we offer service, they say no but take our card. I'm about to get the card out of my pocket when he gives a half-hearted, "The lady two doors down. I don't know the story or her very well, but she's looked a little down lately". We only had 15 minutes before we had to be somewhere. Sister Anderson jumps on the bike to head to the church when I just say, "Let's contact it now!". We talk to another not interested neighbor on our way to the door. During our talking over the fence, Elizabeth opens the door. We introduce ourselves and ask if she needs any help. She begins to get teary eyed. She needs hip surgery soon, she can't bend down; she had been praying all day for someone to be able to turn on her water for her to water her lawn. She had been praying. All. Day. It's true. God is real. He answers prayers. Being a missionary, God makes sure that you are at the right place at the right time to answer people's prayers. Sometimes we are blessed to find out (usually down the road) when that happens. 
-There's a little girl in a family the we have gotten very very close to. The DuPont-Moore's daughter got baptized this week. In the program, there are a few minutes between the baptism and when it continues because of needing to be re-dressed. We felt so honored  They asked us to say the opening and closing prayer, as well as share a message during the break. It was such a lovely baptism. I know the Lord was guiding us on what to say and do, because the spirit was so strong.
-Josh told his mom that he is coming back to church. Oh man. I just can't imagine. Can you imagine being that mom and receiving that news! That is better than a baptism.

There are so many highlights. I can think of at least two more moments like these, but I have to be closing off here soon if I want to send any other emails today. But it has been just a magical week of being on the Lord's errand in a labor of love. I do love being a missionary. This week is proof of it. Last week my mom wrote me about how hard it was for me to be away. She said something along the lines of "No one tells you how hard it's going to be, I just thought I'd be proud to have a missionary out and it would be like you going off to college". I miss being home. I miss my friends and family. But, it's worth it. How could this not be worth it?

I hope everyone has a great week! I think I say this about every week, but it's true.

Here are some things you may be interested in.

This is the Mormon Message (short video clip) that we showed at the baptism. It talks about how the Lord is always with us and to keep going. This may be a weird thing to show at a baptism, but we felt inspired to share it. It will make you laugh, and it may make you cry. I love it. We felt it connected because of the people of Alma who were baptized. They then fell into bondage and were heavily persecuted (Mosiah 24). But the voice of the Lord came to them saying, "Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions. " us and to keep go I know that it is through those covenants or promises that we make with the Lord that I have been sustained through life's challenges.

THIS IS MY STAKE!!! Remember that storm that knocked out the power and I couldn't email? Then it rained hard a couple of times after that. This lead to a lot of flooding. There was a huge stake service project for it. This is on the border of my area, but it's on the other side of the road so they are in the other ward. Therefore we were not invited to help out. But tons of people from my ward went and I believe are mentioned in here!

This is an article from our church magazine I really like. Especaily the part quoting Thomas S Monson. But it you are short on time, definately watch the first link before this one :)

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