A Good SHEFFER Must Know His SHEEF
The email title comes from our infamous eternalgator neighbor, Harold. He comes up with all sorts of nick names for us, and had to call us to tell us about that line he thought up. While humorous, and it makes me laugh, it also has taken on some meaning as a representative of the Good Shepard.
Sorry, I didnt particularly enjoy last week's preparation day as we spent nearly all of it in doctor's appointments for Sister Wells both for her sprained ankle and for other regular stuff. This is why email time was cut in half last week. She is doing much better and not limping anymore. I did get to make lots of contacts in the doctor offices. Two in spanish. No new investigators from it, but one lady did give me coupons for a Mexican restaurant, lol.
We had zone training this past week. It was purely relaying and practicing techniques from Brother Donaldson and Brother Littlefield. It was awesome. Since Sister Millard and I got to attend the training, we trained with the sister training leaders. That was way fun. I get so pumped telling my fellow missionaries about the miracles we've seen come from these techniques. They work!
Yet another doctor appointment for Sister Wells, but this one was in Birmingham. This meant 4 hours on the road for a 10 minute appointment. After workout that morning, I got super dizzy (yes, Mom, I drank lots of water). By studies, I couldn't move without the rest of the room moving and spinning. I was pretty scared to drive. I said a pretty fervent prayer, and told Heavenly Father that I was the designated driver AND Sister Wells' right foot was sprained, so I simply had to drive that day, and couldn't afford to be unwell. I had already been sick this year, and simply couldn't be sick that day, and asked if he would please make me well enough to drive my companion to her doctor's appointment. After finishing my prayer, Sister Wells told me that we didn't have to leave until a half hour later than we had planned. I thanked Him and slept for those 30 minutes, and when I woke up, I was still dizzy, but felt well enough to drive.
Coming back, we decided to go contact that new family with the old corvette. He had something come up and couldn't meet with us when we got there. As we were leaving, Sister Wells told me that a less active lived next door to him--this was a house we had tracted and no one answered. They weren't on the roster, but she said on exchanges last week, they saw a relative and they ratted her out as having moved and not had her records transferred. I had no idea about this, so was excited to go knock again and try to see her. She is an older lady and hasn't been to church for a long time. She was someone I felt a connection too. We read the testimony of the three witnesses with her and she bore a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. She said she really had no reason whatever that she doesn't attend church anymore. We got her excited to come to a YM fundraiser the next day, get a blessing for health issues, come to church, and come out with us!!!
While we were in the area we stopped by another less active convert who had fallen away through anti-mormon literature. His wife is very anti. He was very nice, and tried to give us an anti book, and I simply told him that the gospel makes me feel peace, joy, and the spirit, and books like that make me feel confused and frustrated and I can't feel the spirit confirming any truth in them. He took it back, and after a while we left him with our number. We were very surprised when he called us the next day and asked if we could meet up to talk more. He seems pretty sincere, it'll be very interesting to talk to him again.
Our investigators have not made any progress this week. So sad.
We stopped by another less active family who hadn't been super receptive to missionaries. They had just finished eating dinner in their front yard, and you could tell they weren't particularly enthused we showed up, but I was in a real good mood, and was excited to meet them anyway. They talked to us for a bit, and after a while were clearly enjoying themselves. There are two girls, 12 and 14, and there was another 12year old not-yet-member friend hanging out with them. Super cool! We shared a message on service and they all enjoyed it. The 12 year old said we were the most fun missionaries she had ever met. We got them excited about coming to the Wednesday night activities. The father went inside and didn't talk to us at all, but the mother said they had just finished up volleyball season (she coaches) and said maybe they could get active again or something. Ah, yeah. The ward needs this spunky family.
We had one appointment with a less active family who has every intention to come back and to prepare themselves for the temple. They have a 5 yr old son who is quite the character. They always tell us they will come to church, and never show up. This week, I figured we should make them our last appointment for Saturday night so there was less time for Satan to work between our visit and church. After reading from the Book of Mormon with them, we got on the topic of prayer. The 5 yr old said he had a prayer that his dad would stop smoking! It was the most precious thing. The wife texted us that night and said she had a powerful prayer with her husband after we left and they were coming to church. I was super disappointed when sacrament meeting started and they weren't there. 10 minutes after it started, Sister Wells punched me in the arm and pointed to the back. They were walking in! SO happy! The dad was anxious to go after sacrament meeting (addictions are nasty), but the mother was insistent on staying for one more hour. He said he would come back to pick them up. She enjoyed gospel essentials, and her son ran out of his classroom having to use the restroom. We walked with her and watied for him. He marched out of the restroom and right past us. His mom asked, "where are you going?" He continued marching and said, "Back to my class!" She smiled and said that she supposed they'd just have to stay for the last hour. Unfortunately, the dad didn't agree and got him out of class, but they promised their son they would be back next week. Pretty sad, but it's huge progress for them.
The rest of the sabbath was awesome!! I decided it was a tracting day, and Sister Wells had saved a street that we drove by that didn't have a no coliciting policy like most neighborhoods in our area. One lady we talked to while tracting said that her British neighbor might be interested. We had met a British lady store contacting a while back and wondered if it could be the same lady. It was! She was so surprised to see us, and said "I guess we're just destined to meet!" She was busy at the moment, but we have an appointment with her this week. The next door we knocked on we found our BIE (Best Investigator Ever). Her name is Jessica. She is a beautiful girl around our age, who is going through a transition from nursing to attending UAH for marketing. She said she has never had a church family, or known how to pray, but she feels a need for it now, but has no idea where to start with so many religions and no religious backgroud. Restoration was perfect for her. I'M SO EXCITED!!! Looking at her, images were just flashing through my head. She is going to marry an awesome guy in the temple and raise a righteous family and make such a difference for so many people. I love her so much already. Didn't stop there. The next house there was a family who as soon as we showed up said, "tell us what you're about, we just moved in and are looking for a church." WE taught the restoration and are teaching them again on Wednesday. We prayed with a few uninterested people, then met another girl our age. She is engaged to a minor league baseball player whom she met at school as he had a scholarship through baseball, and she had one through basketball. She is finishing up nursing school and wants to go to Africa through Doctors Without Borders. HOW DO SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE LIVE ON THE SAME ROAD??? She said she is totally down for taking the discussions, but she lives in Cullman for school, and only comes here on the weekends. We'll work it out.
God is so good. We taught another girl last night who is the granddaughter of a less active member. He set up the appointment, apparently unbeknownst to her, as she wasn't thrilled when we showed up. By the time we left, she had said her first prayer aloud, and was excited to have another lesson. She has an independent spirit and loved the theme of revelation in the Restoration.
Spiritual thought. I was getting really down on myself thinking about people who had sacrificed for the sake of me going on a mission and feeling like it wasn't making a huge difference because I'm not super successful. This is the first time I've admitted this, but I've hit my 8 month mark and still haven't seen a baptism. I remembered a letter from the ZLs/STLs and they said I have a particular spiritual gift. I thought, "yeah, right, I'm not good at that." I heard it again, from someone else and thought about Ether , I thought maybe God had given me a strength for my misison, the more I thought about it, I realized I had it back in high school too and even before that. NOt anything that I'm good at, just a gift that God gave me. Now that I recognize it, I can use it with more confidence to be more effective as a missionary. Our lesson in gospel essentials yesterday was on honesty, and the idea of being honest with ourselves was a hot topic. We talked about how we often make excuses by being dishonest with ourselves. A common lie Satan uses is that we are not good at things, but it's important that we are honest with ourselves in the fact that we are good. We are GREAT. The Lord IS pleased with us, but we HAVE to do better! We are more likely to improve when we recognize the gifts God has given us and use them for the purposes He intended. He can't physically be here, thus He helps us to acquire some of His attributes for His work.
I love the gospel. It's true.
Steadfast in Christ,