Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 24

What a wonderful week! The weather has been a LOT better this week and all of the snow is gone. Yay!

So we went to the Church to play vball and sports with everyone in the zone on Monday, which is always fun. 
Tuesday we did service. For service in this area, we go to the retirement home and sing and talk with the people who don't get visited. It was a great experience and reminds me how short life really is and how important the work I am doing is. A good reality check. Then we had dinner with Decima at one of her fellowshippers house.
Wednesday we had district meeting. Some of the missionaries in our district are new and it's fun to see their fire for missionary work and how dedicated they are. We went on exchange with Albamarle afterwards. ( I am not a Sister Training Leader anymore, but President asked us to go on a few exchanges anyway :) ) It was such a fun time and there is so much good work going on their. I went to coordination meeting actually and their ward has a lot of people they are working with and it's great to see. Sister Tucker is great too, and I found out I was in her brothers ward at college. Small world. On Thursday we got up and did service and it was the funnest service project I have ever done. I am jealous that we don't have this in our area. Maybe I'm weird but I was so excited.. we volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and we rode around in a Uhall for a few hours picking up furniture from people. I thought it was so much fun and we just laughed and talked and had a great time. Being in the big truck was fun. Then back to our area and we had dinner with the Elders Quorum president and talked alot about home and visiting teaching. We want to coordinate with them on their visits to less actives and find teaching opportunities. I definitely have gained a testimony of visiting teaching and home teaching on my mission. I guess I just didn't see the purpose of it before and I didn't understand it. But now i see that it is so important for each person to have a representative of Jesus Christ for them who cares for them personally and is there for them! it makes such a difference also just to have someone who cares. It makes me appreciate Mom and Dad and their examples of always doing visiting and home teaching and going above and beyond in helping those people. 
Friday we were able to see a less active member and help her. She is so great. She struggles coming to church because her husband doesn't want to go, and she has an aging mother and children to take care of. She is endowed and misses the temple. We showed her the mormon message (we love mormon messages on our ipads) about temples, and how no sacrifice is too great to get there. We talked a lot about how reading, praying, and coming to church are little things that will make a big difference in helping her come back. She said she loved our visits and wants us to come more.Then we stopped by another less active member that we didn't know and we met her husband. He came out and was drinking and smoking. We talked with him a little bit and he really wants to change and he really wants help. We talked with him about how the Atonement can help us overcome not only sin, but trials, challenges, and addictions too! We are going to help him.. when he is sober. I have actually served in very well off areas so far and not a lot of people are struggling with addictions so it is neat when you find someone who really needs your help. We had dinner with a part member family. The wife has been a member for like 15 years. But her husband is not a member. It is so funny because he has never really been interested in the church. He is kind of a grumpy old man. He is a professor of chemistry at a college, so he is very scientific and analytical and wants PROOF that there is a god. He says he doesn't have faith in God but he has faith in his gut. Sister Stewart is a biochemistry major so they talked chemistry the whole time. Which was great. I think it helped him open up. His sweet wife though, she is so funny she is totally trying to convert him and doing her best. She leaves restoration pamphlets, preach my gospels, copies o the book of Mormon all over the house, and has temple pictures everywhere. It is so funny how hard she is trying to convert him. We are trying to be helpful.. we are going to work with her to help him. But we talked a little about faith and experimenting on your faith and it was neat. We'll pray and find out how to help him, and his wife is obviously on board. 

Saturday February 22 was DECIMA'S BAPTISM. What a wonderful service. It was short, sweet, and powerful. The talks were top notch. One was a returned missionary sister and one was a funny older man. They were both sweet and powerful. The spirit was strong. Our Ward Mission leader did the baptism. The water apparently was cold though, and so it was very fast. They were in an out very quickly, where last week at the baptism they had to stay in there for a while. She was very cold, but very happy! She bore her testimony after and it was so sweet. She said how she was so sad when her husband left for the military and felt so alone and was searching for something and prayed God would lead her. And then the Sisters came to her door :) She is so happy and she isn't really a cryer but she did cry at the baptism and definitely felt the spirit really strongly. She is so sweet and we are so happy for her. And the neat part, in her confirmation on Sunday she was blessed that her husband would see her example and feel the difference in the spirit in her home when he came back and would follow in her footsteps. SO NEAT! We hope that he will be receptive to the gospel whenever he comes home. But apparently he likes to surprise her and not tell her when she's coming home.. so we don't know when that would be. But it's exciting. After church we brought over her home teacher and introduced them and explained home teaching. She's the ward's now! It takes a lot of trust to turn someone over to their home teachers and the ward but like I said, that's the importance of Home teaching. They are there to help and support when we can't. We love her and will still help out with the new member lessons, but now we have got to find more people to teach! 

Baptizing two weeks in a row is great, and but it is very stressful. We have been so focused on the baptisms and interviews and everything.. we haven't had as much time to find new people to teach. Now this week will be back to the basics and finding. 
We did have someone who came to church yesterday, a friend of a recent convert. We had a lesson and dinner with her at the recent converts house later at night. She wants to learn and she says she wants to be baptized, but there are changes she needs to make first and she doesn't know exactly when that will happen. Apparently the sisters have tried to work with her before, but she's not the most consistent person. But hopefully now she'll mean it and want to progress! 

This ward is wonderful. There are about 10 returned missionary Sisters and it's so neat! They served all around the world. I love having returned missionaries who know what they are doing and who have been in your shoes and who want to share the gospel. I know this is training me for the rest of my life. 

 I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It is so neat to read letters every week from family and friends around the world. I feel like I am a little piece of this big whole and I feel like a part of a world wide army. I love it. I love that there are 80,000 people around the world doing the same thing. Finding people to teach, and helping people receive the gospel. I love thinking of it, the army around the world. I feel blessed to be a part of it. 

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