Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don't bother knocking doors around here, everyone's NUTS in this neighborhood except for me.

Don't bother knocking doors around here, everyone's NUTS in this neighborhood except for me."
I love the crazy people we meet tracting. We taught a wonderful woman, who was absolutely nuts, but so much fun and has so much faith, who told us the subject line. It cracked me up.

We may have discovered the reason Sister Hall has not bee feeling well. We passed a gluten free section in Walmart, and I remembered two sisters I know who have discovered allergies to gluten on their missions. Sister Hall got permission to take a quiz on line, that said she could very well be gluten-sensitive. She has been eating gluten-free for the past few days and is already feeling better. Poor thing. that's a rough thing as a missionary in the South.

 I was going to wait to tell y'all until this week so I could send a picture to announce the news, but my props didn't come in time, plus these computers won't let me send pics, so I reckon I'll use my sticks instead. Have y'all read Luke 1 recently when the angel Gabriel announced John the Baptist's birth? The past week's events went more like this:

' There was in the days of Richard D. Hanks, the president of the Alabama Birmingham Mission, a certain assistant, of the zone of Eastwood Bessemer (BEAST ZONE), and his sister was of the daughters of Ephraim, and her name was Elizabeth.

And the servants of the BEAST zone were all righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord [nearly] blameless.

And they had no children, because that Elizabeth...was well stricken in years.

And there appeared unto her, an assistant of the mission President, standing outside of the temple...
And the assistant said unto her, Fear not, thou shalt bear a daughter, and call her name Hermana,
And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at her birth. '

Ok, enough blasphemy. Basically, what's happening is that 9 Hermanas are coming in this transfer, and there are only 8 hermanas left in the mission, so I'm being switched over to Spanish for my last transfer so I can train one of the incoming Spanish sisters. That means a double transfer while training a new missionary in a new language. If that isn't the trunkiest transfer call I've ever heard of. I will receive my new area and new daughter on Wednesday. I'm sad to leave, naturally, but super excited for the adventure to come.

Lots happened this week....
We went to the temple, and that was awesome.
Had some tracting success and taught a few lessons in Spanish.
We had our Ward Christmas Party. It was awesome. There was a talent show, and it was precious. All four of us missionaries gave the spiritual program, and we introduced the He is the Gift initiative. Pretty exciting stuff. I love Christmas, and love using this. I especially love the scripture they chose to put on the pass along cards. It helps us to establish unity with all other Christian denominations. Even when people we talk to try to put down our religion, the atmosphere changes 100% of the time, when we each just start testifying of the Savior. He is so good.

I was impressed as we were fortunate enough to stop by a less active 15 year old's while her best friend was there. We had heard about this friend, and it sounded like she wasn't the best influence. After hearing her story, and background, she is simply confused and has had a rough go with religion. The impressing thing to me, was her quoting John 3:17 rather than 16, and hear her explain her hope of the nature of God. We discussed the role of God, as a loving Heavenly Father, He loves us so much, that He gives us commandments and high expectations for our own gain. She is a good girl, and agreed to take the discussions. I would be super excited to teach her were I not leaving.
So many people here I would be so excited to begin/continue working with. This is a great area, but I have honestly felt that this area needs Sister Hall, and was happy to hear that she will be here to take care of it.

I normally try to avoid all the goodbyes, because I hate it. It's too hard. The ward, especially those involved in music were anxious to hear my transfer instructions since I have been accompanying the choir and playing the organ, subbing in Primary where I can, and so on. The choir director tried to assure me that they love me for me and not just for my piano abilities. Yeah, whatever. :) I'm kidding, I love this ward to death. The Bishop was teary-eyed thanking me for my work here. We talked about some of the happenings in the past few months, and it was inspiring. When we talked about Colby and Morgan getting baptized, I couldn't control my emotions anymore. There was nothing I did for that, it was just flat out a blessing from the Lord to be here at the time that they were prepared. Scott bore his testimony about the Plan of Salvation, and talked about the experience he had with the missionary discussions being taught in his home to Morgan and Colby. He testified of God's hand in having Sister Hall and I here, that we were the missionaries who needed to teach them. I don't know how we got so blessed. It is absolutely just a sheer blessing. Every time I get to this point in an area when I'm about to leave, I always reflect on how worth it the time spent here was. The most rewarding moment: I partook of the sacrament yesterday--Colby was passing it. That kid makes me cry. He has had the priesthood for a week now, and already fulfills his priesthood duties with such dignity, and recognizes the sacredness of the ordinances. I can't wait to see what God makes out of this kid.

One of the most important lessons I've been learning: grace. It is not in me to change. It is within Christ in me to change. I used to think I could make deals with God. For example: I'll open my mouth to everyone, and I'll expect God to come through on His promise to fill my mouth with what I need to say. that's not a bad thing, but it still gives me too much credit. The glory is to God. I can't do a thing. I can't even open my mouth without Him. It's not my nature. I do have to give EVERYTHING, my whole heart to the Lord, and plead for Him to change me.

I love being a missionary. Love y'all.

Hermana Sheffer

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