Modern Day Miracles?We have seen miracles this week. Not anything extreme, but miracles nonetheless.
We have been trying to find more people to teach. We knocked on many many doors last week to find people, and this week we've been trying to organize the information that we have in the area book from past missionaries so we can contact those people and see whether or not they are still interested. Lots of names are from a year or more ago. They're pretty old and need to get cleaned up. So a big focus this week has just been trying to clean up the area book. We're well on our way! It's great being able to narrow down the list of people to see so you aren't just bogged down with lists of names that you don't even know if they live there anymore.
Exchanges also happened this week and this was the first time I went out and worked for a day with the Sister training leader. It's great because I already know the Sister training leader because she's Sister Christianson and she lives with us in the apartment! So things were very comfortable, though at the same time I was nervous because it was all on me to come up with who to try, where to go, what times to try, everything like that, because I'm the only one who knows the area at that point. I also was entrusted as the designated driver for the day; I've never driven on my mission yet. I'm used to being the navigator and I was afraid I wouldn't know where places were or how to get there without Sister Easter! But I did fine; it was good.
Sister Christianson and I taught three, let me say that again, three lessons that Friday. We haven't been getting 'any' lessons. What was different? Why did we get those lessons that day? Well, first off, it was because we were trying with literally everyone on the list instead of trying to add more to the list who might be more reliable and keen about learning the gospel more regularly than our current people we're teaching. But, more than that, I learned the importance of persistence while you are in person with someone. With all three lessons, at first they were like 'oh, we're busy, gonna do laundry, gonna leave soon, etc,' but Sister Christianson pushed them and asked politely if we could just share a short message. And if they stood by that, she would have them set up a return appointment. This is so key, and we haven't been doing this. It's such a pain to try and drop in on people if you forget to set up appointments. So being persistent, that's what I learned from exchanges.
There was a baptism Saturday, not our investigator, but Elder Schneringer (Shorter) and Elder Davis's (Taller) investigator.
These Elders are our zone leaders and I love them both. They're great Elders!
And these two ladies, (the one in the dress is already a member) they have been trying to quit smoking before the baptism (of course) and they shared the experience of 'we were having a craving and we put on some gospel music and the craving went away.' Awesome! So excited to have them in the ward.
And then there's something else that happened on Saturday that was glorious and had Sister Easter and I jumping up and down, buuuuut I'm going to have to be mean and save that story for the next blog entry because it's quite extensive and requires blog entree all its own. It's the story about someone who I've decided to call Smiles. You'll hear about him next week.
And we sang in sacrament, all of the missionaries this Sunday! The classic missionary song "As Sisters in Zion We'll Bring the World His Truth." It was so good!
Anyway, here is the main story I want to tell you about.
Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself, (Alma 40:3)
It's no secret that our investigators that we are teaching, well, we haven't really been getting any lessons with them. We had come to the conclusion that they might need some space, that we need to drop them temporarily. We were having a lesson over the phone when Sister Easter asked, "do you have a picture of Christ?" And he said "No, but it'd be really nice to have one."
That sparked the idea. We decided we would give three particular investigators pictures of Christ that we put together that had a unique scripture applicable to them, just as a nice thing.
We doorbell ditched Smiles's picture first, then we gave Tracy her picture. We decided not to doorbell ditch that one. Then the last one was an older and super nice Native American women we've been teaching that is retiring soon and we just haven't been able to get in with her. We put it on her porch and ran for it! We peeked around and someone was out on the porch! Time to split!
A day later when we were texting people to possibly set up appointments with them, we got this text from her:
Did you stop last night? Someone left a picture of Jesus on the porch. It was serene. Our son was here from Fargo and he found it. It felt like Jesus was talking to me and he asked me, "Have you forgotten me?" So I lit a candle and said a prayer. Thank you.
We... didn't know what do say. ...All this time... we thought the picture was for Smiles. He hasn't said anything about his picture. But all this time, it's clear that this was really meant for her. The Holy Ghost planted the idea knowing it was a righteous thing that would do much good, but we had no idea how much it would impact this women. I've never had such a pin point experience before of how the spirit can take something inspired by and for a specific thing and use it for a different purpose. We sent a simple text back:
"We're so glad you had that experience. The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways."
The spirit is the means whereby any and everything about missionary work is accomplished. I'm so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Until next time, when I tell you about Smiles!
Meet the minnionaries!
Sister Easter's mother had way too much fun putting these together!