February 24, 2014
Can I just say how perfect your profile pic is? (by the way you DO know that it is your gmail pic for EVERONE you email to see, right? just checking :)
Thank you for Aunt Sharon's email! I am happy that you all got to celebrate Grandpa's birthday and that you are all able to go to temple work for Aunt Tess!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have such a strong testimony of family history work and its importance. I love how modern revelation makes it possible for us to do work for our dead.
This week we met with Nikki once more and learned that she has neither progressed nor worsened her smoking habit. We showed her the first half of a CES Fireside about the structure and organization of the church, but she became troubled by the assertion that there is only one true church upon the face of the earth. We reaffirmed how the FULL and complete authority had been restored through the prophet Joseph but she asserted that Revelations explained that there would be no church only one faith. We told her the need for organization in order to help strengthen the saints and accomplish God's work throughout the rest of the world and she agreed. She is also stuck on the fact that she has always had the Holy Ghost with her since she was baptized at birth. Although she cannot fully grasp the concept of the priesthood authority she still believes that the Book of Mormon is true and that what we teach is true as well. She just believes that authority exists all over, not just in Christ's church. So we are not sure what to do with her. We are going to teach her the Articles of Faith and commit her to pray specifically to know if the church is true and that Thomas S. Monson is truly God's prophet on earth. She is waiting for one of the members that she feels comfortable with to return from a trip before she goes to church again.
Now time for the good news: GUESS WHAT???? We might sort of almost have a Golden Investigator! Yesterday at church, we met a young woman named Jorie. She is a frequent visitor who dated the son of one of the members and wanted to learn more! We introduced ourselves and asked if she wanted to take discussions. She said yes! So we are meeting with her on Thursday. I sincerely hope that she will continue to want to learn and open her heart and mind to the gospel. It was funny, the Elders called us up talking about her because they went to dinner over at the member's house she's staying with and talked to her a little about the church, then asked if they could meet with her. She said she was already meeting with the sisters...BURN!! Haha Sister Anderson was so competitive about asserting that she was OURS, because she was the one who asked her, but we all laughed about it and we thanked them for setting the stage for us to teach her :)
Zone Conference was the BEST!! I love being spiritually nourished about how I can spiritually nourish others. While there I found my scripture case I have been missing since I've been here, just lying on the floor under a desk in the hallway. It's been there since I arrived a month ago!! It was the last place I would have expected! Miracles happen! Sister Hassler (or something like that) a missionary-minded hilarious speaker whose whole family has baptized more that 70 people in Madison, Wisconsin thanks to their member missionary efforts and a sweet prophecy about their family given by Gordon B. Hinckley, spoke to us about the need for social conversion first before the doctrinal can be fully applied. (She served in Kennewick, WA! I think it was Kennewick...) She told us to tell members we ask to keep us informed if ever they invite someone to an activity or church. It is the members jobs to invite, it is missionaries' jobs to teach. I thought of Dad the whole time: INVITE, INVITE, INVITE! I have her "The Missionary Next-door" CD and am probably going to send it to you it is so great!!
We were able to apply the principles and finding efforts learned at Zone Conference when we visited the Gardner’s in our ward last night and ate dinner with them. Sister Gardner wants me to sing next month at the mission-farewell of a young man from our ward. I told her I would love it!
[Side note: Our investigator, Dee, always wants me to sing for her when we are over, so when she made me sing Celtic Woman's "The Voice" when Sister Gardner was over, I kind of dug myself THAT hole (I should start committing Dee to baptism before I let her make me sing).] Anyways, I digress...
OOOh!!! Speaking of the Gardner’s, guess who their Sign-Language Mission son is serving with??? Levi Mitchell!!!! She showed me a picture and I almost died. She said she told Sis. Mitchell and sent her a pic of my companion and me. Tell Cathy, she was asking me about it. It was great and I have to tell Austin.
On Wednesday we had exchanges where Sister Anderson went to serve in the YSA for a day in Milwaukee and Sister Hurst from the YSA was sent here (she told me she's my great-grandma, a.k.a she trained the sister who trained my mom/trainer Sister Anderson). She was so awesome! So positive and brought the Spirit wherever she went. For example, we went to go visit a less active sister, but when she wasn't home, Sis. Hurst moseyed on over to a young man who was standing outside the apartment smoking. We said hi and he said "Hi sisters!" We asked if he had ever talked to missionaries before and he said that his mom inside was a member. I asked her name and he said Sister Renteria (from our ward who I had only heard about but never before met!!) So neither of us has met her, but were guided to her and once we were inside, we met her son's friend, Nicole, who knew nothing of the gospel. SCORE!! So, naturally, after finding out that she was about 30, Sister Hurst pounced on THAT opportunity to tell her about YSA and the Book of Mormon and left her with a copy. I love her!
It rained this week. Weee. And a storm raged later on. Weee!! A family fed us a Russian feast that I know Allison would like because they had like a spicy cleansing cider and a soup of beets and onions. Attached are pics :)
We had a really spiritual experience with a less active still living with her boyfriend. We taught her the Plan of Salvation, since she wasn't really sure about the concept/importance of eternal life, and she spoke with much spiritual understanding, hard to describe, when we showed her about Adam and Eve and the Law of Opposition and how we have to first know sorrow before we can understand the joy. I told her how I understood this life, as they’re being a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness can be temporary, but not necessarily lead to the joy we can experience in the eternities. We have to find the happiness in this life that can lead us to that eternal joy and the best way we can do that is through obedience and turning to God. It's like mission rules: as much as we may not understand the short term reason of them, we will have more opportunities to be obedient and thus, by obeying, receive blessings and spiritual strength from on high (because we need all we can get ha ha). Why else would we have so many rules?
I love how instead of telling people, all we have to do is show them where to turn, so that they can have the Spirit reveal truths unto them through their own personal revelation.
Love y'all! (Texas-native Sister Anderson has me saying that now)
P.S. Oh yeah...if you get a Khols card in the mail addressed to me, could you please send it my way? I signed up for one so I could knock $10 off a pair of tennis shoes I splurged on (SOOORRRRYYY).
|My MTC Family at Zone Conference|