So my first transfer call happened yesterday and... I am staying in London! Yippee!
I can't wait to work hard again this next transfer with Sister Shurtliff, I love her so much! I love how she is so obedient and I love how we teach in unity. Really, I know what she is thinking in lessons or where she is going and we are always on the same wavelength. I love how she is so humble and patient. We have the best time together. Truly.... I am glad we are with each other for another 6 weeks and I have the opportunity to continue learning from this amazing sister.
Updates from last week: Sadly, we can't find Keith. Sister Shurtliff and I went over to the backyard where he was sleeping in a barn and he isn't there anymore. Another hard moment this week was when Holly called us and said that she does not want to meet with us any more. It is hard to lose investigators, all I can do is keep them in my prayers. Overall, this week was a bit slow because I feel like we do so much and work so hard. I have to remind myself that my Heavenly Father knows what is best and I just put my faith and trust in him constantly. I know that I have received so many blessings in doing so. I just know with this new transfer we will be working so hard to get new investigators, staying dedicated and happy to do the Lord’s work!!
We are teaching the Easton Family and they are doing really good! They are a part member family (a bit confusing). Terry, the dad who is about 50, has been a member since he was little, smokes constantly and doesn't have any knowledge about the gospel. Jenneth, the mom, is catholic but loves listening in on our lessons. Josh, their son is 14 and was baptized when he was a baby in the Catholic Church but tells us all the time he doesn't remember it and he feels like he isn't a part of any church. Anyways... We have been teaching them for the past 4 weeks! We have retaught them the Restoration, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and next we will teach them the Plan of Salvation. We teach them small amounts of information about the gospel because Terry loves to ask the most random questions randomly throughout the entire lesson! I have come to love them SO much! They are our only investigators who are interested right now.
When we went over to their house Josh answered and was so happy to see us! He ran and grabbed his Book of Mormon and his dad's Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong! Josh loves 2 Nephi 31:20 where it talks about eternal life. He thinks it's the neatest scripture! At the end, Josh knelt with us in prayer without us even asking! They are seriously the craziest family but I just love each of them and their uniqueness. They couldn't come to Church yesterday because Terry's car had to get fixed so I hope they come next week!
We had dinner with a less active family, the Ellis's, and they love us. They have two little girls and we teach them a children’s lesson at the end of each dinner! They are coming back to church, which has been awesome! We need to do is get them more involved with the ward!
On Friday we had a "New Missionary--6 Week Follow Up Training" meeting with President and Sister Clayton. We had to call in since we are too far from the mission home and could not go there. It was super good! President Clayton's message was about how we need to get our investigators to the temple. I wanted to go to the Toronto Temple so badly after he spoke! I just love President Clayton. He is such an amazing mission president and does so much for the missionaries! He mentioned that the mission might be getting iPad's later on in the year, that would be amazing if we did! We would flood the media with the gospel, we would show people Mormon Messages on the bus, we would do SO much with the iPad's! I'll keep you updated and see where that goes in the future! (PLEASE watch Elder Bednar's address about Social Media on LDS.org It's amazing!)
|Picture with Vida Cambell after helping in her yard|
We have been visiting with Vida Cambell each week and doing service for her. Usually we help her mow her lawn, weed, and clean up her yard but this time was slightly different. We re-taught her the Restoration! She loved the message we shared, asked amazing questions, and wants to hear more! She doesn't remember the lessons from the missionaries and even told us that she said she wants to come back to church! When she said that, it made my day! I felt a great peace that all the small acts of service that we are providing for her, are making a difference!
We went back to talk to Steve (who we had met in the rainstorm). When we saw him again I felt like I should bear my testimony about Christ's Atonement. He was so touched by the spirit and even bore his short testimony about Christ as well! We told him about the Book of Mormon and we said we would love to bring him one the next day and share a message with him and he couldn't be more excited. We went the next day and gave him the Book or Mormon at his apartment and all went well! I explained to him what the Book of Mormon is, where it came from, how we got it, and my testimony of the Book of Mormon. He was excited to hear again that it was Another Testament of Jesus Christ. We will be teaching him later tonight about the Restoration (hopefully with his fiancé he's had for 9 years)! I'll let you know what happens with him next week!
Lastly, I spoke yesterday in church! Sister Shurtliff and I were asked to speak in sacrament meeting. I wasn't nervous at all I mean... It's just like teaching a lesson but to a big group of people right? I taught about "The Joyful Burden of Discipleship" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband's from this past General Conference.
So what does that really mean? A "joyful burden"? The word joyful means happiness or a source of pleasure but burden means something that is carried... BUT it is also defined as "a duty". My talk was about "Our Joyful Duty as Members". Missionaries aren't the only ones who share the gospel! We ALL have the wonderful opportunity of blessing the lives of others! President Monson has said, " We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.
What President Monson said is true! People do need us. We can lift people up by:
1. Talking! When we open our mouths and ask people "How they are doing?"... It can change their day immensely! I have seen it being a missionary.
2. To our friends: A visit, phone call, or a note.
3. To anyone... a simple act of service. We need to follow Christ's example of service. He healed and blessed people, forgave people of their sins, washed the disciples feet, suffered every sin, pain, and afflictions for everyone, and so much more.
Opportunities are placed before us to help others. May we recognize and seize these opportunities is my prayer. I know that when we do this, we will see the love and gratitude in their eyes, their burden will be light, and you will feel the spirit of Christ more in your life. Elder Rasband closed his talk by saying, "Focusing on serving our brothers and sisters can guide us to make divine decisions in our daily lives and prepares us to value and love what the Lord loves. In so doing, we witness by our very lives that we are His disciples. When we are engaged in His work, we feel His Spirit with us. We grow in testimony, faith, trust, and love."
I am truly so grateful to be a missionary and have the opportunity to serve others everyday! It's been the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I have learned so much about myself, the gospel, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that my Redeemer lives and loves each of us more then we can comprehend. I invite you all to find the joy in the duty of discipleship everyday! Let us "Come Follow Him".
Until next time...