Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28th 2014

This week...

Fun stuff: madgab with a recent convert after a lesson on no corrupt
communication. :)

Tuesday felt like an entire day worth of filmed district-type
missionary work. It was pretty cool. Some things were going on at
Erika's home, so she asked us to postpone our appointment. Someone
came to my mind who we had met last transfer named Porsha. We had only
talked to her briefly outside and she didn't accept an invitation to
be taught, but both Sister Dodini and I had a feeling that we should
go back to visit her sometime. She didn't live very far away, so we
walked over to her. She didn't seem to be too happy to see us when we
showed up on her doorstep, and she said she wasn't feeling very well,
but we could come in for a minute. She started to explain how devoted
and involved she was in her own church. After listening and talking
with her for a while, she started to ask questions about some of the
principles we brought up. After a few minutes of this, she said,
"Y'all coming by has actually been like a ray of sunshine, I've been
dealing with some emotional things, and I think you're God's way of
answering my prayers." We taught her more about the restoration and
how the messages we share bless individuals and families, and she
invited us to come back and teach her more. She said she loves us and
loves that we don't push anything on her, but simply invite.

We later went back to Erika when things had calmed down and had a
GREAT lesson with her and her husband. I can't remember if I told
y'all we had met Erika on her porch and talked with her for a bit and
invited her to come to church. Our church shares land with a Church of
Christ, so we will always have to be clear in our directions that we
are the Church of Jesus Christ of LAtter-Day Saints BEHIND the Church
of Christ. She forgot and tried to come last week, but ended up going
to the Church of Christ. So funny. During the lesson, the husband, who
grew up Southern Baptist asked where our church was again and
expressed a great desire to come. They said they understood more of a
complete gospel than they had from any other evangelists--of course,
because the church is true and complete!

We had an awesome lesson with Nicole--I'll write more about her later.

More plans fell through later that afternoon and Sister Dodini
actually thought about an awesome Catholic guy I told her about after
meeting him while on exchanges. We went to see him, and he was
outside, and excited that we had come by because he LOVES discussing
religion. It was interesting. He brought up some questions about
apostolic succession and things that I don't really have an answer
for. I admitted to not fully understanding the answer to his concerns,
and just testified of the Book of Mormon and how I know that it is
true and resolves all of those questions and concerns. Sister Dodini
added her second witness, and he said he was so excited to read it! He
said to give him a week or so to get into it and then would love for
us to come back as he's sure he'll have questions. We gave him his own
copy and are going back soon to follow up on his reading. So cool.

Towards the end of the day, we were pretty beat, grungy, and smelly.
We had endured some pretty intense bike riding to get to some of those
appointments, and decided to go to Walmart for our contacting
time...and because Sister Dodini needed to buy Freeze off stuff for a
nasty wart. Sister Dodini has this huge, explosive laugh, and I quite
enjoy setting it off from time to time. She erupted during a sincere
prayer when I prayed that the people we would contact in the store
wouldn't smell us, but just feel of the spirit we carry. There's a
story to follow, but I shan't tell it now. :)

I felt impressed earlier that a set of sisters in our zone needed
another exchange. We texted and asked if we could do one. We got a
call from them with gratitude saying they really needed an exchange.
(The sister who called is now companions with my previous, most
difficult companion). I conducted an exchange with her. She is REALLY
having a rough time with her. I was glad that I could give her a break
and let her vent because I understood exactly what she was going
through. I've been learning with this calling how to be honest and
open about things without criticizing people or gossiping. I know the
Lord is with us in the hard conversations we have to conduct
sometimes. It was a great learning experience for me, and much-needed
time for her. I love how the Lord is able to place where we need to be
to help others.

Another exchange, we got to see a baptism in a creek. Too cool. Sister
have been working with this guy for a very long time. It was a
beautiful experience. A lady giving a talk bore her testimony of
Joseph Smith, and pointed out what a beautiful place we were in with
the sun coming through the trees. It was easy to visualize the light
descending on Joseph Smith in that place. It was very special...not so
pleasant with the sweat bees. Dang monsters, but worth it for the

Awesome district meetings, and all kinds of other happenings.

Awesome lessons from Church headquarters referrals. Super neat people
we get to start working with.

Now Nicole. :D On Tuesday she said "I feel like a boss" as she
explained how she was feeling more sensitive to the spirit and has
been better able to recognize temptation and overcome it and know
where she needs to be. She's been happy with the transformation of her
room, and her baptismal calendar.  We see her every day, so I'm just
going to highlight and summarize some of the cool things. Last Monday
we were headed out to lunch with her, and Nicole grabbed a pack of
cigarettes on the way out. I asked her what she needed those for. She
stammered a little bit, and Sister Dodini asked if she could hold on
to them. Nicole surrendered them to her. When we parted, Nicole asked
if we were going to hold them hostage, we replied in the affirmative.
When we got home, we weren't sure what to do with them. It seemed
weird to just thrown them away, but we didn't want to give them to
anyone. We decided to bring them to another lesson and have Nicole
break them. I had some funny experiences carrying them--I had to keep
them in my purse all day since we bike in our area, and my purse if
STUFFED, so they had to rest on top. I had to carefully pull out
pamphlets and my planner throughout the day when we met people, it was
kind of funny and awkward to carry them, but it was WORTH IT. When we
get to Nicole's we had an awesome lesson, and in a powerful moment
when she felt really empowered, we pulled out the cigarettes and asked
her to break them. I was expecting one by one, but she pulled the
entire pack out and snapped them in half all at one, and then broke
them some more. She also ran into her kitchen, and dumped out all the
coffee she had and poured out all her sweet tea (big deal in the
South). I wish I could have filmed those two minutes she purged her
house of all things against the word of wisdom. So proud of her. The
one thing that seems to hold her back is her boyfriend--he's a bit of
a scrub, and not making the same changes. He tends to hide from us,
and has been spending too much time at her house. Of course, whether
or not she stays with him is a decision she has to make on her own.
She said he has been asking questions about the church, and even read
the pamphlets and some of the Book of Mormon and prayed out loud with
her. He says he's not ready to meet with us yet, but we hope that he
will be soon.

Miracle at church! There's a walmart cart kid we met twice at Walmart
named Brandon. He was interested, and he had his number, but he hadn't
returned our texts or phone calls. He was invited by a member who
works with him at Walmart and came! We taught him the first lesson
after church with his member friend, and it was AMAZING. My testimony
grew during that meeting, and I couldn't help testify with absolute
joy about how perfect the gospel is. He prayed to confirm the truth of
it, and is so excited to read the Book of Mormon and learn more. He's
19, he just kept saying, "wow...wow....WOW..." It was awesome.

This gospel is so perfect! I love the chance we all have to be the Lord's hands.


Sister Liz Sheffer

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