May 12, 2014
Dear Family & Friends,
Thank you so much Mommy! All of you looked great too...and Mom, your hair!! Va Va Voom!!!! Hope you all had a great rest of your Mothers' Day!
Thank you also for the card...it warmed my heart :) I am so thankful that I have a loving family. I look at many of the families here, or the lack of, who do not even know the blessings the gospel can bring and that gratitude is more fully realized and appreciated. Here I am complaining about my own feeble struggles and I think of the missionaries who come from homes like that: disowned by their families, having to pay their own way...a mission is probably more of a heaven on earth for them than many of us hope to obtain in this life.
If I hope to gain anything from my mission, I seek the Lord's help in guiding me to mature in the confidence that I lack spiritually and emotionally. I hope that the wisdom and spiritual experience I gain while serving others will help me raise my future children to become the missionaries that the Lord wants them to become.
I also got the opportunity to chop wood yesterday! Or...try to at least. The English Elders as us were over at the Black's for dinner and the elders were going to town so we felt left out. If you want a picture of what I looked like trying to chop wood, just think of Rose on Titanic...yeah, I was worse. But no one got seriously injured. The Elders told us they tracted into a legit Count of Monte Cristo house!!...And got a return appointment!!!! A John Tanner in the making haha.
Sorry I didn't have time to teach you a lesson yesterday, I was just absorbed talking about myself I guess: P But here's one now: When you get the chance, read the story of Ammon and King Lamoni again in Alma 19. And pay special attention to Abish...the ultimate member-missionary and how she RAN to every house to tell her friends what she had witnessed and bore testimony to them. They trusted her. We set apart missionaries cannot teach someone the doctrine until someone they trust first opens the door.
I told you a little about this yesterday, but our new investigator, Angela is so willing to meet with us and we are grateful and amazed that she has been reading what we have invited her to read as well as keeping commitments to meet with us and even attend church! Sister Black sat in on the lesson about the Restoration of the gospel, and she has done such a beautiful job fellow-shipping her and offering to give her rides to church events. Angela and her 6 year old son Jesse went to all three hours of church and I was so excited that it was Mother's Day, since she is so interested in families and how they can be eternal. It is so devastating when people do not even try to progress, so when they do, the joy that I feel is magnified 10-fold!
I also forgot to tell you about the BBQ Brother Tateoka put together at Bathezda Park this last Friday for all investigators and less-actives. Sis. Black gave Angela a ride and it was a MIRACULOUS turnout! So many people that Latoya Scheunke (a recently coming back less active. She began coming back once her son was baptized :) invited from Milwaukee! I hope that we will be able to see them again and offer them more invites to attend church and church-related activities. Members truly are the glue that holds missionary work together.
Last night, after we Skyped y'all at the Phillips', we were able to talk to their friend and neighbor, Patty a little more. We showed her the Mother's Day video on lds.org (which you have to, no..GET to..see by the way) and the Because of Him video and she loved them! She loves the missionaries and their dedication and agrees with a lot of doctrine and has even read the Book of Mormon, but all of her liberal views seem to keep her at bay. She would be an amazing kingdom-builder but all that we can do is just keep loving and inviting her.
Love you all so very much and thank you for caring about me enough to give me this incredible opportunity to help the Lord keep His promises to His children!