Saturday, October 18, 2014

24 - When Things Start Looking Up, You Get Transferred

So much happened this week, a cannot even TELL you!! One of the biggest pieces of news is that I am indeed getting transferred, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I'm excited because I feel like I've been in Bismarck for quite awhile and am looking forward to the change. I know I'm going to miss the people, probably moreso when I'm finally gone than I do right now, because I hear that leaving your first area is the hardest thing. We'll see how I fare. I wasn't expecting to be transferred. I felt like there were still things I needed to be here for. I still needed to build up the area, and learn more from Sister Gray. Well... as the week progressed I kept on becoming less and less sure that I was staying... Because seriously, you usually get transferred when something exciting is happening in an area. You'll see why I got a transfer call soon enough.

It was time to weed through our potentials list again. This is the list missionaries have of anyone who's door they knocked on or who they otherwise contacted that might have some interest in hearing the gospel. But do they really have an interest? Sometimes people are put on the list and really, they are not interested and probably shouldn't have been put on the list in the first place. Our goal: knock out as much of this list as possible. We got in with at least two people who wouldn't have otherwise been home that day and were able to discern whether they were interested.

One guy even let us teach him the restoration. Even after that happened he wasn't interested, but you know why that happened? You know why we were invited in to share our message? It was pointed out to me by Sister Gray that it was because we were finally ready to teach it. We were not unified in our teaching. We hadn't really taught the restoration together ever and when we realized that we weren't going to get in if we weren't ready to teach it, we started seriously role playing it and were then, and only then, prepared to teach a ten minute restoration lesson. This is a witness to be that God helps those that help themselves.

We saw eleven people on the list in one day, which is really really good actually. And things happened along the way this week as well. Like we had to scrape the ice off our car for the first time this week, that was fun! Woo!










And we tracted into some people last week who were having a prayer meeting. It was strange, but they prayed over or for us when we knocked on the door. And we exchanged information and we called her and asked if we could join them for their prayer meeting. We became a little apprehensive about it after it was a confirmed yes, but it actually was very nice. It was three other ladies and us and we prayed pretty casually and like read the scriptures to pray and stuff. It was actually pretty cool. Good experience. It was a one time thing of course, but a good experience.

And so, we continued to tract. We have been seeing more success with tracting over the weeks. First, we found that we had improved in testifying right there on the doorstep. Our confidence was increasing, though it still wasn't unshakable. We then saw improvements in just talking with people. People were actually talking to us as they opened the door, and many people were inviting us in now! That.... has never really happened! This week we have entered more homes than I think we have ever entered. I can count at least four people who let us in this week, and at least six who we have had a good conversation with were we have brought up the gospel! Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much and then...

The day after trying all those potentials, we were going to try some less active members that we just discovered existed. That night, we tried one of the addresses and someone answered, not the person that was supposed to be living there, but we got his name and a good conversation and the knowledge that he was not prepared to accept the gospel at this time, and so we went on to tract the street.The next house, nothing. But the following...

My Golden Family!
A teenage girl answered the door. Super super sweet girl. Eventually got the dad up to talk to us and we... it... ah! We were invited in to talk and share a message and...! Just! FAMILY! HUGE RECEPTIVE TO THE GOSPEL FAMILY!!! And from TRACTING!? WHAT!? They have ELEVEN kids! SEVEN of which live with them right now, and they just moved here a month and a half ago!!! AAAHH!!! The message went well, just talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and he blesses us with families and committed them to read the Restoration Pamphlet and for a return appointment on Saturday! AAAHHH!!!

We were absolutely in shock... I started driving away and Sister Gray said, "Pull over, I have to say a prayer of gratitude right now!" Truly, TRULY and answer to prayer! AND! I think not just an answer to our prayer. The dad said that his mother in law I believe is a convert to the church. So I bet you she's been praying for this family to receive the gospel. They need to be baptized and have the story of 'yeah, we thought we moved here for work, but no, we really moved here for the gospel.' THAT NEEDS TO BE THEIR STORY!!

At this point I was starting to have doubts that I was staying. ..lol

More experiences continued to happen! We found another new investigator! Nice old man, hope he keeps perusing the truth. We found people up North and were able to set up a return appointment with one (even though we found out they not in our area cuz the boundaries do something funky that I didn't know about... kinda bummed BUT!) We also served at the thrift store on Friday as per usual and I tell ya. We are NEVER stopping service at that thrift store. We run into too many people there to stop! I was approached by someone who I was very privileged to meet. There was an Elder who died in serving in the South Dakota Rapid City mission just over a year ago. Sister Easter came out with him, which is why I knew about Elder Bennett (Not sure of spelling) and his death. He died because he went into cardiac arrest. He knew though that he was ill coming out. Though, he never told anyone of his pains. I was privileged to meet and talk with his father who just moved up here. What an incredible thing.

Then Saturday... the dreaded transfer call day. And so it was, we got a call. I am going to Sioux Falls, serving in the 3rd ward. Sister Christiansen was ecstatic to hear. That was the area she first served in and there was not a third ward when she left! She was so excited to hear that it's grown to that size! 

Wow... getting transferred. But, it was ok, I wasn't reaaaaaaaally attached to anyone...

Well, that changed after the lesson we had that day with the family!!! First of all, all the kids were so excited to see us. AWESOME! And also, the lesson, the restoration, went swell. AWESOME! And then I told them that I was going to be leaving. Sad face. And I went, making the rounds to shake everyone's hands and the youngest, she's five was the last one I shook... and she wouldn't let go. I tried to take my hand back, but she said, "Don't go."
My New BFF!

AWWWWWWWWW! MY HEART!

I tried to like, make my way out of the room, but she wouldn't let go of my shirt. One of the boys pulled out a camera and I'm like, 'excellent, excuse to pull out my own camera without it being weird!' and as I was pulling it out, man, kids are merciless! She turned her face to Sister Gray and said, "You go home! *hug close to Sister Sanderson*" All of our mouths dropped. Her parents were not happy with her. "You don't say things like that! You never say things like that!!" lol She was pretty determined to have me stay.

Though, the reason she was already attached to me is because I apparently look like one of their older Sisters who is out of the house. We have the same hair. The kids were all saying how I looked like their sister so... yeah...... 

Well.... it's not a complete transfter unless you have your heart ripped out... dang it... haha

The following day was stake conference. I looked around near the end of stake conference and felt sad that I was going to be leaving all these people who I had come to know and love. I felt a lot of closure though because I realized, my first Sunday in Bismarck was stake conference and my last Sunday in Bismarck again was Stake conference. Though the first one was on a different dynamic because that was when they split the stake, still, idk. Just crazy and pretty cool. So I said my goodbyes to many good people.






I've grown so much in Bismarck. BYE LOVE YOU!!

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