"Careful. The missionaries can send you to hell. They're the servants of the Lord."
The mission is amazing. It's amazing how much strength it provides. So many blessings! Whenever I am struggling internally, someone presents themselves, and I get to focus on how much the Savior loves them and invite them to "come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." It's amazing that we can just keep going out here.
Wednesday was blessed. We saw a part member family. Only the wife was home. She is hilarious! She was working on a pumpkin roll, and was frustrated that it didn't seem to be the same recipe she had used the previous year. We had a good visit with her, and she invited us to come to have a Thanksgiving meal with them at 1 the next day. She told us she wouldn't tell her family that we were coming, because her husband would be thrilled as he loves missionaries, but her kids would chew her out. We were a little apprehensive, but she was insistent, so we accepted her offer.
Another part member family came into my head as we were leaving, so we decided to stop by. We were also a little apprehensive because we had been snubbed by the member in a store previously, and she would never respond to our phone calls. We dropped by regardless. They were bagging leaves. Perfect! We prayed really hard that they would let us help them. They were really nice to us, but wouldn't let us help at first. Finally, they let us. God answers prayers! We had a good time with them, and I discovered the most marvelous invention. They look like giant frisbees with claws on one end, but you stick your hands in them, and they bag leaves like nobody's business. I don't know where these have been my whole life. The non-member husband managed to disappear when he thought we were going to get spiritual, but his wife said it was a big step for him to get to know us and enjoy us.
We were tracting a neighborhood, and Sister Hall has the idea to use the approach that we were coming to share a Thanksgiving scripture. It worked really well. We met some awesome people who don't think they want the gospel just yet, but invited us to eat with them, and gave us referrals.
Team-up with mission-famous YSA, re-baptized, missionary-without-a-nametag April. I love her. We saw a less active family and shared an endurance/Thanksgiving message with them and it was awesome. It was nice to have April with us, especially since she is able to watch the news and converse back with people when they bring things up that we don't know a whole lot about. The world sounds crazy right now.
Thanksgiving day I was having a hard time in the morning. After my personal study, I wandered a little bit around the apartment cleaning--how I get in my zone and process things. I had never wanted to be home so badly. One of the sisters caught me throw my foot up to squash the kitchen trash down. She said, "Tell that trash how you really feel Sister Sheffer." The sisters cheered for me as I let it all out and punched the trash from nearly overflowing down to the bottom third of the trash can, bagged it, and gave it a strong kick across the apartment. That felt good. #missionoutlets We got our things together, and went out to save the world. We had pretty effective contacting int he morning, visited a shut-in in the nursing home, and watched the Thanksgiving mormon message with her (did y'all see the little kid say he was grateful that he gets to play hockey?). It was sweet. Then we went to our appointment with part member family that had invited us the day before. It was good. The kids warmed up to us after a while.
Afterward, we went to open the church for a party. A member of the SPanish branch received permission to have his nephew's birthday party there. The member is a convert, and nearly all the family and friends were not members. We helped set up and decorate, and were naturally roped into staying and practically force-fed a big meal. We had another Thanksgiving appointment at 7 with a super cute active young family in the ward, so we didn't want to go crazy, but didn't have much choice in the matter. :) I heard the convert's conversion story, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my mission. She told me about how many missionaries had contacted her, and tracted into her, and she turned them away. Finally, she was left a card from a missionary saying that she was prepared and that the gospel would bless her life with miracles. It impacted her, and she ended up taking the discussions and becoming one of the strongest members this church has. She is so consecrated, her husband joined two years later and is likewise an incredibly consecrated member. They own the bakery where we give service at. Such great people. As we were sitting and eating with them, who happens to walk into the church building, but the husband in the family we had the 7 o'clock Thanksgiving appointment with. He saw us, and just grinned. He was getting chairs for us for dinner later. You can't make this stuff up.
The active family was understanding about the party situation, and still wanted us to engorge ourselves. They made a good meal. We gorged. It was a good Thanksgiving.
We worked hard all week, and Sunday, found ourselves promising new investigators. We were tracting, and a woman opened the door who didn't seem terribly open. She agreed to let us say a quick prayer with her. After the prayer she seemd to soften, and we talked about the Savior for a good while, and shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon. She loved it, and told us that she and her husband had driven through our church parking lot one time, but were disappointed to find that we didn't hold evening services like many of the churches here. She revealed to us that her husband is determined to go to our church. I told her pretty boldly they needed to meet with us. She agreed to read the Restoration pamphlet before we return this week. She looked on the back, and she told us seeing the word "mormon" puts most people off, but not her, because right above the mormon.org on the back of the pamphlet is JESUS CHRIST and that is what matters to her. She said it seems obvious as we wear him on our nametags, and speak primarily about him that we are a Christ-centered church and there is nothing wrong with us as is so commonly spread here. They are prepared. I'm so excited to work with them. She loves her Savior.
The quote in the subject line comes from a brother in the ward. He said that to his 6 year old daughter when we were at their house doing a missionary lesson. So funny.
The gospel's so true!