Well this week was basically super awesome. We tried our best to just have a super productive day every single day. If someone wasn't home, we'd try their neighbors, or someone close. If an appointment fell through, we'd try someone that the Ward Council asked us to go visit. We'd schedule return appointments, we'd visit struggling members, we'd ask for referrals, we'd do as much as we could. And we had a solid week. It was great!
First off, on Thursday we had an AMAZING Zone Conference. The spirit was so strong. At the end, for the last hour and a half or so, the elders and sisters did breakouts with President or Sister Passey. So all of the Sisters went with Sister Passey. We discussed a talk, "You Were Born to Lead, You Were Born for Glory" by Sheri Dew. It's amazing. I think it was a BYU devotional. GO AND READ IT. But basically we just opened a discussion, as sisters, where we talked about our individual struggles and thoughts about the talk, missionary life, etc. Basically, most of us who had been out on our missions for awhile were bawling by the end, and it was very meaningful for each of us. There was so much love and trust and empathy for each of these sisters in the room, and it was very powerful. Just what I think a lot of us needed.
But aside from that, I wanted to share a few things I learned from Zone Conference!
- Each month, our mission has a goal to have at least 30 convert baptisms and at least 40 reactivations. Well, for the past two months, being our #FTF #FaithtoFind #FilltheFont Challenge of every companionship having One baptismand one reactivation in their areas, there was a tremendous increase of faith in our mission:
- In September, Our mission had 31 convert baptisms, and 82 reactivations. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Then in October, we had 41 convert baptisms, and 81 reactivations. Wow. That is fantastic. When we focus our faith to accomplish our goals, miracles happen. When we exercise our faith, NO effort is wasted!
- These challenges (and other challenges in life) are given to us so that we can know what is possible for us to accomplish with the Lord's help! "When we put ourselves in the game, the Lord will pass us the ball!" -Sister Passey
- Our work does not always equal our success. We do not have to be perfect to be effective. We simply have to have a desire and determination to be and work hard every day to accomplish our goals.
- If we focus on our goals, not necessarily a specific outcome that will infringe on other people's agency, GOD WILL PROVIDE THE WAY. (i.e. we pray for a baptism, and though we wish it would be a specific person, the Lord may have someone else who is better prepared.)
- We learned about Teaching Prayer Effectively, through 1. Getting the Head of Household to Pray, 2. Setting the expectation for prayer through our example, and 3. Showing investigators how to pray. When people understand HOW to pray, specifically to receive answers to their prayers, they will progress in the gospel more quickly. Prayer is an ESSENTIAL part of conversion! We can't be converted to a God we don't know or talk to!
- We learned about asking inspired questions (Listen up, all of you teachers!) Asking inspired questions allows us to : 1. Determine the needs of those we teach, 2. Teach PEOPLE, not lessons, 3.Help them answer questions in a way that they can actually teach themselves, 4. Help them express faith and act, through acknowledging their belief or knowledge about something, and 5. It invites the Spirit to teach everyone.
- Asking inspired questions and then listening to the Spirit allows us to become powerful teachers.
- Tender Mercies are unmistakable blessings that are a special acknowledgement from God that he LOVES you and KNOWS you. They are given to us according to our faith!
- Don't allow your past efforts and failures or trials determine what successes and growth you can achieve now!
- "Be Ye Perfect" means "Learn to love as Heavenly Father loves." - Sister Passey
- We become a chosen vessel of the Lord, a chosen son or daughter of God, when WE choose God, and choose to follow His Son.
Anyway, those were a few things I learned! Amazing conference. I learned a lot more, but the Spirit taught me those things. But one thing I can say is that I truly felt each of the fruits of the Spirit. Heck, I had a whole fruit basket that day! love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, patience, faith, joy..... I felt incredible!
DIANE SET A BAPTISMAL DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!
Lots of new faces! (And familiar ones!)
I feel like I have learned and understood more about the most important things this week, than most other weeks.
Friday, we met with a woman named Sister Rubcic (Pronounced Roo-bik) and she is quite possibly the classiest 80 year olds I have ever met. She has the cutest smile and laugh, and we just adore her. Here's a couple pictures that Sister McCombie secretly snapped of her hahaha
She is seriously SO FUNNY. We love her so much!!!
Sunday was fantastic! Sister McCombie and I accidentally were twinsies, which was fun. The talks were incredible. All three. About Purity, the Word of Wisdom, and Chastity again (specifically guidelines and stay away from pornography, etc.) really great talks.
Both Nathaniel and Rod came to sacrament! They both stayed for second hour, and then Diane came for third hour, and loved Relief Society. The lesson was absolutely perfect for her. The Spirit hit strong. And Gospel Principles was about the Plan of Salvation. Both Rod and Nathaniel needed that lesson. In fact, when talking about the Spirit world where we again have the chance to accept the Gospel, and that each of us will have the chance to change and accept the truth, Nathaniel turned to Sister McCombie and said, "I want to change. I want to keep the commandments." What? Yay!!!!
Yesterday, we went to a special meeting where they announced the realignment of the Stake Boundaries, and the creation of a new ward. We were afraid that we would lose some of our dearest friends to another ward, but God blessed us to where the new ward was just sandwiched between our two existing wards, still in our area. So now we cover THREE wards :) Here we go!
The new bishops (and Bishop Merrill, who was just released) bore their testimonies. And the new bishop over Cienega Ward said something that really stuck out to me. When referencing what people told him about trying to fill Bishop Merrill's shoes, he said, "Somebody told me something that I will always remember. They said, 'Don't worry about filling somebody else's shoes. Fill your own, and then walk the path you need to walk.'" Jesus Christ will strengthen you and be with you every step of the way.
I really loved that, because so often we are trying to be "just as good" as the person before you, and that will not likely be possible. Each of us is called to our callings through revelation and inspiration, and the LORD qualifies whom He calls. We are put where we are because somebody needs you there. :)
Well, I'm about out of time. Here are some pictures! Sorry, some of them are turned and upside down... sorry D:
Hahahaha Sister McCombie was taking a panorama of the room when she was laying on the ground, and I moved, so I ended up looking like this ghost thing hahaha xD
During Dinner, this little kid (probably like 3 years old) came up behind me and put this laundry basket over my head. xD
Guess who I got to see at Zone Conference!!!! Sister Chandler!!!!! She's my favorite and we cried so hard. We haven't seen each other since we'd been companions.
We drove past an airplane graveyard. About 100 planes from the armed forces. (In Central Tucson) It's really a neat sight to see. Wish we could have caught all of them.
Again with my ghost face.
Sister Leach took a secret picture of Brother Leach teaching Rod how to look up conference talks on his phone. It really was one of the sweetest things ever. They're so good to him.
Well anyway, that's all the time I have! Sorry! I love you all and pray for you daily. I hope that God continues to bless you this week! Look for miracles!
Have a great week!
P.S. Where's my baby? How is Rory? Is she still cute? I can't tell because I don't have nearly enough pictures hahaha SEND ME MORE! ;)