Most EPIC week Ever!
I keep saying this and then I get another Epic week! Heavenly Father has truly blessed me!
Sister Walker and I have been truly led by the spirit. I have made a goal to "open my mouth" and talk to everyone, no matter if they are a YSA or not. But Heavenly Father has placed so many YSA's in our path as a result.
The Buddhist Prays
We read with Cody and asked him to pray. Cody does not pray. And so when we asked, "Would you pray for us?" And he said, "Yes." we were shocked. Cody is about to pray and this lady comes from across the park screaming her dogs name! And Cody gets distracted!
I think its so interesting because this has happened multiple times on my mission, when something is going great, Satan tries to distract and take the spirit away from the moment. But don't worry... after the lady left he prayed. We testified on the power of prayer and how it would strengthen his relationship with God. It is the only way to. We need to communicate with him.
Prepared and Waiting...
We had an appointment with a referral from the Assistants, named Danielle and we were really excited. Keep in mind that this is our first time meeting her. We were chatting with her and getting to know her and then she pulls out a Book of Mormon and the conversation continues as:
Danielle: "I've been reading the Book of Mormon."
Us: "That's awesome! Where are you at?"
Danielle: "I just finished First Nephi. I've also watched the.... "
Danielle: "Ya. The one about Joseph Smith. I watched the one that is like an hour and half?"
Us: *Jaws Drop* WOW! "That's so great! Have you prayed about the Book of Mormon?"
Danielle: "Yes I have."
Us: "And how did you feel? What did Heavenly Father..."
Danielle: "I felt really good. I know it's true."
She was sooo prepared! She is dating a member who just entered the MTC about 5 weeks ago and she had been to Institute! So we extended a baptismal invitation and she will be getting baptized on July 14th! We are so excited for her.
Before we left we asked if she had any questions and she said, "well I work on Sundays doing daycare at another church... I mean I can try to get work off on Sundays, but I just love those kids." We didn't really understand what she was trying to say. And then she said, "is that ok?" And then we understood, she wanted to know if it was ok for her to work at another church! "Of Course!" we responded. It was so cute of her to ask.
Dog Park Finding
My first day on Bike on exchanges with Sister Nuttall in the Wheatstone ward. It was 90 degrees and humid! It was a lot of fun though! I felt like I lost 10 pounds just in one day. :)
Well the night before I was talking to Sister Nuttall about reaching our mission standard of inviting 25 people a day to learn and how we could do that. I asked her if they had any parks in her area to do some contacting and she said "Yes we do and a dog park." Then the idea hit me... "Do you have any members who would let us borrow their dogs?"... and they did!
So we took Crush and Pico to the dog park... It was sooo successful! We talked to so many people about the gospel and we didn't even have to initiate the conversations sometimes because their dogs would come up to Crush to play & then we would talk to them. I think we hit the jack pot in Wheatstone ward. Crush is the key! So many people thought he was so cute and would just come up to pet him and then we would get to talking about the gospel! So great!
Power of Prayer!
Sister Nuttall and I were walking back from the dog park and decided to go a different route home. As we were going through this neighborhood Sister Nuttall looked at the street and remembered that a YSA Sister Walker and I have been trying to meet, Ben, lived on this particular street. So we decided to stop by.
And it was meant to be. Ben has been struggling spiritually and so we talked to him about the Atonement and Forgiveness and invited him to read Enos 1 in the Book of Mormon.
Afterwards we asked if he would like to pray. So we went to the side of his house, knelt down in the grass, and he offered a prayer. It was probably the most sincere prayer I have heard on my mission. He was literally pleading with Heavenly Father to forgive him for his sins.
I learned a lot from Ben that day and his amazing faith. I aspire to pray with sincerity as he did. Reminds me of a scripture...
Enos 1:4 "And my soul hungered: and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him"
Frank is BAPTIZED!
So I'll be honest... Literally thought at the beginning of teaching Frank that we would have to throw him into the font to get baptized. But it is true... He was baptized and I could not be any more proud! I just love the kid so much!
Before we started the program, Sister King, Sister Shell, Sister Walker, his friend Erin, and I went into the chapel to pray with him. The spirit was so strong! As sister King said in her testimony after the baptism, Frank has a lot of spiritual gifts. He is very close to the Savior even though he tries to hide it.
He recently emailed me his testimony, and I started to cry. He has grown and progressed a TON since I left Sam Houston 1st Ward. He is going to be a great member and I can't wait for what the future holds for him. His little sister Daisy was at his baptism and as I was sitting next to her she just couldn't stop smiling. She was so excited for Frank and so proud of him. He is setting such a great example for her, his family, and his friends.
Sister King told me that he was telling his mom that he was getting baptized and she said,
"Why do you want to get baptized?"
And Frank said, "Mom, I need to get married in the temple."
And this is why I LOVE being a missionary.
Thank you to all who helped me with my talk on Hastening the Work for Stake Conference. I felt that it went really well and I just wanted to include some of what I was speaking about.
1. What work is he asking us to hasten?
- The work of Salvation- Moses 1:39 "For this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."
2. What is our part in the work of salvation?
- To keep the commandments and be disciples of Jesus Christ. Let our testimonies radiate from us in love towards another.
- D&C 11:20 "Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength."
- President Monson said- "“We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Usually our love will be shown in our day-to-day interactions one with another. All important will be our ability to recognize someone’s need and then respond.
3. How do we let our testimony "show"?
- October 2013 Ensign- “We are not being asked to engage in a new program. WE are simply being encouraged to be true disciples of Jesus Christ. Our role is to immerse ourselves in loving and serving those around us- [There] are natural, joyful ways to invite less-active members and those not of our faith into our lives and consequently into the light of the gospel. Sharing with them the fun times and the sacred times of our lives [is] the most effective way.”
- "Remember perfection is a process, not a destination." - Paula Alger
- Let missionary work fit in to your personality and lifestyle. It doesn't need to be forced.
4 Ways my Family and friends have "shown" their testimonies in a natural and joyful way:
- Be you! We must be proud of what we stand for and others will see the light of Christ within us. Let people in and openly share about our life, people are curious.
- “Just being a good human, genuine, and loving that so happens to have the light of Christ in their life and the restored gospel of salvation.” - Dad
- “If you take the time to invite others to be your friend, you have the opportunity to share your “light of Christ” simply by being yourself. I don’t force people into a conversation, nor do I drop my religion or my laundry list of ‘to dos’ at people. What I try to do is be available, in case someone needs what I can provide.” - Paula Alger
- My sister Noa invited her friends to her baptism and as a result they want to come to achievement day with her as well. Even if they don't joing the church now, 10-20 years from now when a missionary contacts them they are going to remember the feelings they had at the church and the standards of the people there.
2. Smile! My mom's mission president said, "Smile at everyone you meet. They may think you're crazy, but they will wonder what makes you so happy."
- " No one wants to be around someone who looks like they’ve been overcome by the challenges of living the Gospel. The Gospel is simply amazing and amazingly simple. Righteous people are like a magnet in drawing others who seek for righteousness to them.” - Grandma HoChing
- “When I am in stores I try to look people in the eye & get them to smile at me. I passed this young lady that looked pretty stern, if not angry (I thought), but I looked at her, said hello & smiled. I was about ready to leave the store & she came over to where I was and said, “This is going to sound strange & you’re going to think I am weird but thank you for smiling at me. You have this amazing aura about you.” - Grandma Loo
3. Reach out and Create Unity within the Ward. Sit by someone new and say Hi to those who you haven't seen before. Do your visiting and home teaching.
4. Pray Sincerely to be led to the "one"
- Not just praying for missionary experiences but pray for specific ways that you can have missionary experiences or be a missionary.
- Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "Until you know a person's name and face, the Lord cannot help you know his or her heart."
Time is of man. Not of God.
So I was freaking out a bit because Frank's baptism started at 5 and stake conference started at 6... And baptisms never start on time. I was worried that I wouldn't make it to stake conference on time with the travel time. But it all worked out! The Lord will provide! Sister Walker and I prayed and prayed that we would be able to make it on time and stay for both! Heavenly Father blessed us and time felt like it was literally slowed down because we didn't feel rushed at all. We were able to make it to stake conference with 10 minutes to spare!
I love this church. It is truly CHRIST's church and it is the only true church on the earth! I love y'all!