I don't even know how to start writing about the week, so I want to brag on some of my leaders and fellow missionaries for a spell.
My sister training leaders LOVE TOAST, and love talking to people--everyone! The more awkward the better! It's fun to see them make mistakes and still love each other, love the work, continue working with good humor.
My zone leaders are goofballs, but lose sleep thinking over and praying over the missionaries in the zone and who we're teaching. They carry an incredible amount of love for us and our investigators out of a deep loyalty to the Lord.
Our new district leader was transferred here for his last 6 weeks before he goes home to Park City, Utah. I had never heard of him before, as he's shy and unassuming and flies under the radar, but he has served as a zone leader and every single zone he's lead has reached their baptismal goals. He's changed the way I think about and set goals. The Lord allows us to set goals, and will help us achieve them as we put forth all of our effort. He promised that we would reach our goal if we all continually prayed and worked our hardest, and that we may not all see baptisms, but as a zone, the goal would be met. We got on our knees in zone training and collectively came up with 6 baptisms for the month of May--we had already set 5 for April. President has raised the bar for what we can count as unplanned contacts--every contact we make has to include an invitation for us to teach them in their home. It takes some quick and deep testifying in just a few minutes to talk to random people and ask them if we can go into their home to share a message, but I love it. As I've given my all to find new investigators this past week, I've become happier. It is infinitely easier to be bold and courageous in contacting when I'm happy. It's invigorating, and even when I'm getting rejected and having to do it on my own when my companion won't talk to anyone, I get a spiritual high from testifying to people, and to find more and more people everywhere we're at.
Then we find people like Morgan--and feel an overwhelming love for her as she tells us of her hopes and how her life has fallen apart from some poor decisions on her part and on others' parts. I love her so much from just a few minutes of talking with her. She accepted the invitation, but doesn't live in our area, so other sisters will visit her.
Then we also run into random people who swear the know us--some guy remembered my face from when we went to Cracker Barrel for my birthday with Mally! Taught him the restoration, and he accepted the invitation to be taught more. He lives in Guntersville, but works here, so we will still see him some.
We meet other people who will allow us into their home to pray and tell stories of Latter-Day Saints they know and how they are the best people, but they are not interested in learning more or changing.
We help people wash their car in their driveways, and they tell us of how they love Latter Day Saints and how other missionaries have helped them move. We taught them the restoration, and they have invited us back, but wouldn't set a specific appointment with us. (?)
We meet all kinds of awesome people, but in the end, our number of new investigators for the week: 0. We get texts from the zone leaders, and 5 people in other areas of the zone have baptismal dates!!! I know that as I give my all in my own area, somehow it blesses the other missionaries in my zone in their area. It is certainly a team effort. I still hope and pray for success in this area, as I KNOW there are prepared people. I may never see a baptism on my mission, but I can surely contribute to them. I feel strongly about Anthony and his family. We had a really good lesson with him on the Plan of Salvation and got pretty serious. He wants to go to the Celestial Kingdom and bring his whole family with him. He says he knows it's true. He said he would come to church. He didn't, but we are exerting all our efforts to make sure this family comes to church for Easter . Please pray for Anthony and his family: Chey, Jacian, Trevian, and Jayvian. I sure love this family.
Steafastly loyal in Christ,
Sister Liz Sheffer