Hello family and friends!
These past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy, and my journal entries are pretty much useless to me when writing my email today. So, I will try my best to make it interesting. :)
ALRIGHT, So... Last week, (as in January 4th-10th) I was actually able to go home for the week. (I know, right?) Seeing as I was originally called for three months, and I had initially only said goodbye to my family until then, my mission president agreed that it would be good for me to go home, spend some time with my family, go through the temple with my family, (I hadn't before, per instructions from Salt Lake), refresh, restart, and reboot before returning back, this time for 15 more months. I was also still a set apart missionary. (Not released). With that in mind, here's what happened, or at least my favorite parts.
Tuesday, January 5th
Got up at, left at to drive all the way to Tucson. It was so foggy and thick and wet and cold outside, pitch black, with very low visibility. Essentially, we were driving through the clouds. We got to the transfer site in Tucson at around . I saw a few people I knew! We sorta just hung out there for a couple hours, waiting for companions, etc. President told me that I could hang out with the departing missionaries, so my companion could go back to our area with another sister who would be replacing me for the week.
I met up with the departing missionaries, and they decided to go tracting as their last big "hurrah". So I went with them, with Sister Brown, my first trainer, as my companion :) We knocked into this interesting couple, who immediately invited us in "to see where they do yoga"... Kind of a weird/creepy situation, right? At least we felt that way... But then they talked about how the Elders used to come over, and they had never seen Sister Missionaries before. Anyway, they were some strange faith that I had never heard of before, I won't name it, because I don't want to bash anybody, but apparently it is "just as popular as the Mormon faith". Huh. Well cool. We started with a prayer, we said one, and then they would say one. So after ours, she recited one of her favorite prayers that the founder of their faith had written. We, expecting just a spoken recitation, were... privileged... (and shocked haha) when she started singing. Yeah.So she finished her prayer, and we went from there, discussing beliefs, understandings, etc. Then we hear a knock on the door. Sister Brown and I looked at each other like, Just watch, it'll be other missionaries. IT WAS. Three Elders had knocked on her door, began to introduce themselves, Elder O'shia, Oviedo, and Gilson. Elder O'shia made eye contact with us, and we were like "this is seriously happening right now..." they knocked on a door that already had missionaries in it. HAHAHAHAHA! So she invited all of them in, so we had 5 missionaries in the room at once. We shared a video about why we need a Savior. Pretty funny experience. (Turns out Elder O'shia had previously taught them a long time ago, but it's still funny.)
My parents picked me up at the transfer site. And we drove home. Crazy.
Wednesday, January 6th
Happy 26th Anniversary Mom and Dad!
I had my temple recommend interview, and received some counsel from President Rolfe. It was good :)
Satan has been working on me this week. He knows I'm going to the temple. Grr.
Saturday, January 9th
Lots of emotions today. Lots of new things. Lots of crying on my part. I was able to have my entire family in the temple with me that day. Lacey and Eric and Jake flew down just for me. My Grandparents were there, and just a couple of other people. I wanted it to be small. There is a special feeling in the temple, especially in the Celestial Room.
Sunday, January 10th
Church was good today, I got some confused people, and that's okay aha. It was good to see familiar faces.
Tuesday, January 12th
Happy 3 Months!
I had to say goodbye to my parents and family again, as they dropped me off. I think I was more ready this time, but it's still a bittersweet time.
Today was Zone Temple Day! I got to go through the temple with my zone, and that was a really neat experience, to see everyone dressed in white, and to see all of these other missionaries in a different light. The Spirit was so strong this time. I gained a lot more out of my second time through, because I'm a pro now. :) But I was overwhelmed with the strong Spirit there, and it was a sweet experience. :) We went out to lunch as a zone, too.
Wednesday, January 13th
BAM. Spirit-packed day. I got up early, and exercised, using the workout that Lacey gave me when she was home. (Thanks Lacey!)
We were early to zone meeting, and had super awesome trainings by our leaders! We went out to lunch, about half of us to Chipotle. Yum!
Okay, so intense lesson! To introduce my experience, our Sister Training Leaders challenged us to the 5 second challenge. Basically, when you get a prompting, you have 5 seconds to follow it. Kind of scary sometimes! But we have been striving to follow that rule, and have seen TONS of miracles!
Here is one that completely blew my mind. I am not boasting of myself, but have just a stronger testimony of the power of the Spirit, which really is the one that can do these things, and put words into our hearts.
We had a lesson with the Norris family, which was the most intense, spirit-filled lesson I have ever been a part of. The Nelsons, who are the members that have invited us to teach the lessons in their home, gave the most powerful testimonies as well. I remained quiet for most of the lesson, as every second of silence was filled with someone talking, but I was also waiting for the Spirit to direct me what to say.
Last time, they were invited to read from the Book of Mormon, and then pray to know if it was true. There were quite a few disputes from the Norris' about physical evidence, and the minor things that, although can prove that such people existed, cannot give you a witness or strengthen your personal testimony that these things are true.
After many discussions, questions, agreements, disagreements, plus many bold testimonies given by the members and Sister Adams, I had this very strong urge that I needed to speak up. "You need to bear your testimony that this Book is true. You KNOW it is true. You cannot just sit here, with the knowledge that you have, and not speak up. Speak now. (A.K.A. the Holy Ghost)
So amongst the many words which had been spoken, my hand shot up. (What? you ask, Why? I was moved upon by the Spirit. That's why. So I don't ask questions.) So I did. I raised my hand about head height, and said "Can I say something?" Everyone was quiet for a second. They said of course! So here are some of the words that I felt like I should say, and so I did:
"I have been quiet for most of this lesson, but I just need to say something. You said that you want proof. If you want proof that this Book is true, look at those people who live it.Look at the lives of those who have read the Book of Mormon, have prayed about it, and have lived the principles found in its pages. Look at the Nelson's. You said yourself that you can see they have a happy family. They are sealed together for all eternity. They have a happy family, because they live the doctrines and principles of the gospel, found in the Book of Mormon. I didn't know this Book was true until a few years ago. i grew up in the church, but didn't really pray or try to KNOW for myself that it was true until i read it, and found out for myself. i never wanted to be a missionary! [Until I learned that this was true.]"
I continued to bear the most sincere, bold, and powerful testimony that i have ever given in my life. I have never had the Spirit have such a profound, even a physical effect upon me. before i spoke, my heart began to race, and it felt heavier and heavier as if it would continue to weigh me down until I finished/bore my testimony. The Spirit shook just about every ounce of my being, physically and spiritually. I was seriously trembling. That doesn't usually happen on a regular basis. And even though I felt like my voice would crack, I was able to boldly testify clearly. (continuing)
"God wants all of His children to hear His Gospel, not just the sheep in Jerusalem. They didn't understand the scriptures, because they were not spiritually in tune. We can tell if a seed is good if we plant it, nourish it, and allow it to grow. That is all we are asking you to do. We have given you this seed, and we are asking you to plant it, nourish it, and allow it to grow. You have all of the evidence in your very hands, and you have not even read it. No matter how many online sources you read, no matter how many other people you ask, you WILL NOT gain a testimony or know if this Book is true, unless you read it, and pray to know."
And while I bore my testimony, they both actually listened, as I could tell by the expressions on their face. They didn't interrupt.
And although these situations don't happen all of the time, it was just a firm testimony to me that the Spirit can put words into your mouth. if you are exactly obedient (I had been working on that especially this week) then the lord HAS to bless you with miracles, big or small. And we continue to move forward.
They said that they (primarily brother Norris) don't want to continue to meet, but they kept their copies of the Book of Mormon, and said they would continue to try and read it/study into it, etc.
Thursday, January 14th
Anna has a baptismal date! It's going to happen, we can feel it. It was her decision this time.. It's kind of far out there, but it gives her enough time to come to church a few times, go over the things we have taught her, etc.
We invited Elder Judy and Wilson to come meet her, as he would be the one to do the interview, to help ease her anxieties. he cannot participate in teaching her, and only stayed for like 10 minutes, but it was good!
This week, I have seen a lot more successes than ever. The Spirit is more likely to help you out when you're obedient! (seems i would have learned that by now...)
Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you!
P.S. I am on exchanges in Benson, AZ and we came across somebody (a potential investigator) who knows Daniel Tillett! We were parked in front of their house too! They are in one of the Benson wards. Small world!
|I want one.|