Hello! I’m BACK.
Well this week was grand! It was a rough adjustment for me and I hate feeling down BUT I’m all settled and we’ve been building the area back up again! I also kind of feel like I’m going to get moved again at the end of this transfer buuut who knows! Anywho, We found six new beautiful people to teach and two of them came for both sessions of Sunday conference! The ones who came to conference are M&B. They’re former investigators who love the church buuut need to get married. Which is convenient, since a mission goal of mine is to plan a wedding…. =)
Sister Howle taught M&B last transfer, but once she invited them to get married, they dropped off the map…. (M is a woman, B is a man) So earlier in the week, we decided to go knock on doors in their neighbourhood around the time that they usually get home, hoping to catch them. Well it worked! They had missed having us over but had been busy dealing with some health challenges. Anyways, we set a time to meet with them at 7:30 at the chapel Saturday night. Then we realized that the Priesthood Session of General Conference conveniently started at 8 at the chapel…. So we got the elders to help us out and they took B into the chapel to watch conference while we met with M! So sneaky. It was good to meet with M alone. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and still has a very strong desire to be baptized! B also really enjoyed conference. They’ll both have some obstacles to conquer before baptism, but they both have such an immense amount of love for Jesus Christ.
During weekly planning, we had been brainstorming who might be a good fellowshipper for B. We thought of D, a recent convert since they’re both around the same age. D was baptized two weeks before I got here, and he has such a fire to share the gospel! Anyways, we introduced them on Sunday, and THEY KNOW EACH OTHER. They grew up together in the same small town and hadn’t seen each other in over 40 years! Talk about inspired planning…
We also started teaching a young couple, R&M. R is a member of the church with a very strong testimony, but she doesn’t normally make it out to church services. M is her husband, who doesn’t (or didn’t) have a strong belief in God. But we had a sweet lesson with them this week where M said that he felt like following Christ was a “step in the right direction.” I have a lot of hope for them. They’re going to start praying together this week 🙂
So Sister Howle! My comp! She’s from Texas. She was baptized at 11, and just loves being a missionary. We have a lot of fun 🙂
I went on exchanges this week with Sister Stuart from Utah in Woodbridge. We met lots of Italians there and I used the one phrase that I learned in Italian from my six weeks with Sister Mencarelli 😛
How great was conference?! Highlights for me were L. Whitney Clayton (also happens to be my mission president’s brother..) who spoke about “Choosing to believe.” Belief does not accidentally happen. We choose to believe when we read, pray, fast, partake of the sacrament, and serve those around us. Sometimes our progress may seem slow, and our efforts to find Christ may seem to be in vain, but never give up. In time, you’ll come to see that your conscious decision to believe was the best decision you’ve ever made. I’ve worked with too many people who wish they could believe, but do nothing about it. God can’t answer an unsaid prayer. Don’t just expect God to pour out miracles upon you. You have to actually work for answers.
Another talk I enjoyed was Kevin W. Pearson. “Hanging in there” is not a principle of the gospel! If what you’re doing isn’t working, then change what you’re doing. Don’t forget your covenants. Be patient and cling to the truth you already know. If your faith seems to be dwindling, begin again to prayerfully study the Book of Mormon and its teachings everyday, everyday, everyday. He also threw down on lazy returned missionaries, so that was fun.
So yeah. This was my last conference as a missionary. #scary
On that note, I also enjoyed Dallin H. Oaks who said,” Do not fear the future. Trust in God and His promises.”
There are 85147 missionaries serving as of December 2014. I am included in that number!!! Last April I got ripped off because I was set apart in January, so I wasn’t included in the 2013 statistical report 😦 But now I am! I know the names of some of those 296 803 baptisms that happened last year. I have served in five of the 29621 wards, and worked with many of the 15372337 members from around the world. How cool! The church is true and it’s growing 🙂 Choose to believe! Have patience with yourself and with those around you 🙂
Love you all,