Sunday, April 27, 2014
April 21st 2014
THis week, I was way excited to do the referral activity with the EQP and his young family. HIs wife is a convert and she is AMAZING. They are so in tune with the spirit. Every time I talk with them, I feel spiritually nourished. This family knows what's up.
As they prayed over specific names, and waited silently after the prayer. Brother Mazanis confidently circled two names on his paper saying the two he thought the least about were the two who were prepared. Sister Mazanis was a little more hesitant. She said her prayer had undoubtedly been answered and it was her grandfather who she had no idea how to contact due to some family drama/disconnection. We set goals with them and followed up the next day to see if they had been able to contact anyone. Sister MAzanis, miraculously, was able to get a phone number for her grandfather and talk with him!
We also did this activity with another family in the ward. We did with a dinner appointment, which we normally don't for this activity, but our district leader requested that we make an exception since they had visited the family the week previous and set it up for them. I was nervous about it because upon entering the home, it was full of attitude. I honestly wanted to smack some of the kids for the way they were speaking to their mother. They are very spoiled. I knew that it wouldn't work without the spirit, so the first few minutes I asked them about the aspect of the gospel they had the strongest testimony of. The one aspect they fall back on when doubts arise. It was really sweet to hear their testimonies, and they all received revelation for which friends were prepared, some unexpected, and some expected. I had to increase my own courage to stand up at the end and say "let's go" to contact the prepared people. There is power in acting in the moment, but it was very uncomfortable. It didn't work out and I felt pretty foolish. We heard from them later, and it actually made a huge impact in getting them to seriously think about what God wanted them to do. Each family member made contact with someone that night via social media/texting. It's a start.
I had my interview with PResident Hanks on Tuesday. That man is so incredible. As I was open with him, he shared some scriptures that change the way I think about feeling the spirit. He told me that he hand-picked me to be in the position I am in now. He is so inspiring as a mission president and always makes me want to be better.
On Thursday we were out with a member to see two of our investigator families. Both appointments fell through, so we decided to see a less active member. Didn't work out. Another less-active member. Didn't work out. Finally the member suggested visiting an active sister in the ward. We agreed. We decided to practice teaching the Restoration lesson on her. After a minute, her less active son came home, and told us that it had been a long time since he had seen missionaries. We invited him to join in the lesson. He did, and said that he wants to come back to church. We had no information on this man, but the member we were with had known him since he was a kid, and she was in tears as we left because the spirit was so strong, and it was such a significant meeting for him. We thought that was our miracle, but then the member took us to Chick-Fil-A. I inquired about a man's hat, and a few minutes later, we are talking about religion, and he set up the restoration perfectly, we went to a table outside Chick-Fil-A and taught him the restoration. He told us the Elders had played basketball with him just a few days earlier, and offered to teach him, but he turned them down. He said when he saw us, he knew it couldn't be coincidence to see missionaries in different areas in the same week.
God is in every detail of this work.
Similar experience on Saturday when we were out to see inviestigators in one of our further cities. Didn't work out, but we were able to crash a family get-together with a recent convert and lots of her family who are not members. They allowed us to share an Easter message and it was a sweet experience.
We've been working harder to invite as many people as we can to be taught. We had 47 unplanned invitations (basically invitiations to be taught that are not a result of tracting--people we see outside or in stores, etc). We want to work our way up to 70 unplanned invitations a week. Out of the 47 people we invited, six of them we've been able to teach the restoration and get a return appointment for the second lesson.
I'm very excited for a freshman girl we met yesterday named Emma. She was outside playing basketball at a friend's house, and we prayed with her, talked a little bit about the church and asked if we could teach her. She said she was 'stunned' because it was so cool, and she was 'very interested.' She did cheerleading with some LDS girls. She readily gave us her information and invited us to come for a lesson next week. She's way cool.
I got some good time in with Scott (my bike) and that always makes me happier. I'm so glad it's warm. We can't use our car except for necessary missionary meetings that are out of town, now that our vehicle coordinator was released and with him our out-of-area miles program which means, we do not have many miles to work with in our area. We are left to biking and relying on members as there is a mountain in the middle of our area of about 8 cities. It's actually provided opportunity for us to get to know the members better, allow them to serve, and enable us to meet more people. Some places in our area are being neglected because they're too far for us to get out there, but I know that God is putting us in areas concentrated with those who are ready.
Our assistant Ward Mission Leader has instituted something new. He ordered 100 copies of the Book of Mormon, and we helped him to create an index of significant scriptures for people who have never read it. The members get to take the copies home, highlight the scriptures from the index, and as desired, write in a testimony, glue in a picture, etc to personalize the Book of Mormon. Then we get to go place them! It's pretty cool. The ward is excited about getting involved.
Last bit of news. I got a text from the sisters in Madison (my last area) and a lady I found outside and taught a few times finally came to church and is getting baptized!!!! I'm so excited. I love this lady. Her name is Catherine and she is awesome. I'm hoping that this will open the door for her daughter who is my age to find the gospel also.
Easter is amazing. Our older brother Jesus Christ is truly amazing for loving us so much, and making such a sacrifice. I know he lives and is pulling with us at every moment.
Sister Liz Sheffer