I love my mission! There are truly no words to describe what I feel and I can’t begin to write about every blessing that I have received from the Lord since being out. I LOVE every single one of you! Seriously, I have felt your prayers every day as I strive to work my hardest out here! Please know that I am not out here because I might think this gospel is true, I KNOW that this gospel is true!! I know that my Heavenly Father lives and loves you and me! I know that life is hard work sometimes, but that it is a small price to pay for the everlasting happiness that we can experience one day if we but keep God’s commandments! I KNOW that timing is everything as we live each day, and that God knows what He’s doing as He has His hand in EVERYDAY of our lives!
Yesterday was Labour Day in Canada, which means that the missionaries work harder than ever! This past week has been quite a struggle but the Lord truly does bless us with what we need as long as we do our best, be patient, and obey with exact obedience.
The Easton family went out of town so we weren’t able to teach them this past week. Our plan is to see them sometime this coming week. We were able to go over to Steve's house and give him a Book of Mormon. We taught him what the Book of Mormon is, where it came from, and were able to testify and promise the blessings that come from it. It was only for about ten minutes because his fiancée's dad was in town so we will be seeing him hopefully sometime this week again.
So... we had no investigators to teach last week! What do missionaries do? We FIND people... And that's what we did! But before I tell you about that I'll tell you about some events that happened this past week!
We did service for Vida Cambell on Tuesday and finally found out who her home teacher was! All three of us--Sister Shurtliff, Brother Sylvester, and I--worked harder than ever on Vida's house. We cut branches off her tree, mowed her entire front and back lawn, cut her hedges, weeded, and even did some bundling up of her tree branches so they can be taken away next week. Overall, Vida was so grateful for the service that was provided and says she would love to come to church soon. She loves Brother Sylvester, her home teacher, and feels more involved with the ward. As a missionary, I have learned how important ward members are. They keep the ward together, provide referrals to us as missionaries, and keep the gospel moving forward... not backwards. I have come to love Vida Cambell so much and have a place in my heart for this sweet Jamaican lady.
Sister Shurtliff and I went to see a previous investigator named Pamala. We were able to talk with her for a bit and ask her if she would love to have missionaries teach her again and she said yes! We were able to teach her yesterday and it went really well. Pamala is a very quiet lady who keeps to herself. She lives with her husband and his father in this small, small house. She is Native American and loves nature and the creation of the earth. When we taught her about the Restoration yesterday we realized that she really didn't know much about the Gospel. While teaching her outside in her backyard, I felt the spirit so strongly. When we got to the part where we talk about Joseph Smith and his first vision I asked her, "Pamala... Do you feel the spirit that is here?" She was silent for almost a minute and just closed her eyes, she then opened them and nodded yes. I then told her about the experience of when Joseph Smith prayed vocally to our Heavenly Father out in a grove of trees in nature and she loved that. At the end I held up her Book of Mormon and said, "I hold in my hand the Book of Mormon. I can testify that is it true and that it is another Testament of Jesus Christ. This is the way to return to our loving Father in Heaven. Pamala, I can promise you that if you read from this every day you will be so blessed." She said that she will read and consider being baptized. It was such a neat lesson!
We were able to talk to another previous investigator named Maria. She is a single mom, with two little boys. She was taught by missionaries before us and we didn't know why she just dropped them so suddenly. Sister Shurtliff and received a prompting and I knew we needed to go see her. We talked to her for a while and shortly into the conversation we figured out why she dropped the other missionaries... It was out of frustration. Frustration that she couldn't connect the Bible and the Book of Mormon with each other. She believes that they are both great books but she can't find anywhere in the Bible or the Book of Mormon where they talk about each other. We promised her that we can help her solve that problem if she would allow us to schedule a lesson and really just go over the scriptures with her and she said she would love to and became so open with us. You may be wondering if there is scriptural evidence of the Book of Mormon in the Bible and the Bible in the Book of Mormon and... there is! If you look up in Preach my Gospel in the Book of Mormon chapter, it has a whole list of scriptures that both testify of one another and the importance of both of them. This experience has strengthened my testimony of the importance of The Book or Mormon and the Bible and how we can read them together! We will be calling Maria later this week to schedule an appointment with her.
|Taking the challenge and heading to the streets |
with 10 Book of Mormons
Lastly, the best of this week! Yesterday, Labour Day, was the BEST! We didn't have bus passes since it was the first of the month and our preparation day was today so... we walked everywhere. I can't even say how many miles we walked to be honest but it was all worth it! Yesterday was #sharethebook challenge! We heard about it on Sunday from a member and decided we should do it. The challenge was to share the Book of Mormon with at least 10 people. Well... we do that every day as missionaries so we wanted to make it more challenging... we decided to try and GIVE out 10 Book of Mormons instead! Boy was that a challenge!! With 10 Book of Mormons in my backpack that seemed to weigh about 30 pounds, we headed out for an interesting day. After walking around I decided to carry a Book of Mormon in my hands and I felt as if everyone's eyes were on me. Walking down the street, everyone turned just to look at us or stopped their conversations when we were walking towards them. It was the funniest thing! I even had an elderly man grab my arm on the bus and talk to me. Yes it scared me at first, but I was able to talk to him about the Gospel and bear my testimony of the truthfulness. Unfortunately, we didn't give out all 10 Book of Mormons but I know we were so blessed. Yesterday was better than our last weeks outcome! When Sister Shurtliff and I were beginning our trek back towards home, we ran into a really sweet man named John Reese.
John Reese is 89 year old Portuguese man who lives by himself and has the sweetest spirit about him. He saw the Book of Mormon in my hand and asked what it was…. I bore my testimony about it and he was silent. He then asked me if he could buy the book from me! We laughed and said it's his and he smiled and began looking inside of it. He believes in Jesus Christ and just loved talking to us. Sister Shurtliff and I will be going back later tonight to give him a Portuguese Book of Mormon. I can’t wait!
As I have been on my mission I have learned that we serve who we love, and we love who we serve. I have been really focusing on charity this past week and have grown so close to my Savior and Heavenly Father. As we learn how to be like the Savior, we learn how to love like the Savior. As I said in the beginning... I love being a missionary. One thing that makes me so sad is when people turn us down from hearing the message we have to share. I have learned that people aren't rejecting us, they are rejecting the Savior. I have learned to love the people here in Canada so much and I have gained such a strong testimony of my Savior. I love Him and I am eternally grateful for Him. I know that He lives and loves each of us so much that when we let our light shine, we drive out the darkness that surrounds us. So keep a smile on your face, the Book of Mormon in your hands, a prayer in your heart and the Lord right in front of you and you will be incredible. The scripture I have loved this past week is Moroni 7:47-48. Let us communicate to our Father in Heaven and strive to be like our Savior. With faith, hope, and charity, we can do anything.
Until next time...