It has been one of the hardest weeks that I have experienced, yet I have had some of the most tender spiritual experiences.
An update on Tom... He completely disregarded what we taught him. I won't go into the details of what he told us... but it was one of the saddest experiences. After leaving his apartment, my spirit was so saddened for Tom. I felt like I could relate to Alma in the scriptures where he was saddened by the wickedness of the people. I did just what Alma did... prayed. Sister Shurtliff and I went back to the church to do some things for a bit and I went into a quiet room and prayed out loud to Heavenly Father. Words cannot adequately describe the experience that I had. It was one of the most tender experiences I have probably ever had. After I had prayed, I just knelt there and felt an immediate peace and comfort. I know that Heavenly Father is always there for us. After asking him questions and pouring out my soul to Him, all He did was just comfort me. He literally is our Father because we are all his spirit children. I know that when we seek for His comfort and guidance, he gives it to us. I am so grateful for that experience and how tender it was for me. How blessed we are to truly know that we can talk to our Father in Heaven whenever we want. He does hear and answer our prayers, if it's not immediately, it's in His own time. He knows what's best... but he always answers our prayers, no matter what. I know that Tom will someday accept the gospel and was so grateful I was able to teach him for a short time. I am so grateful to be a missionary!
Now to the spiritual high, the Mission Tour!! Last Saturday, Elder Craig A. Cardon came to our mission! How amazing is that! We first started out by writing down two questions we have had in our mind and would like to be answered. What a blessing that was and guess what... they were both answered! It was one of the neatest experiences because Elder Cardon paused while he was talking and said he felt like he needed to say something and began answering my question, seriously so cool! The spirit was so strong there. Here are some things we talked about:
-President Clayton's focus for the mission: "Beginning with the end in mind"
-Coming unto Christ OURSELVES!
-Elder Cardon: talked about great depths of the priesthood, the scattering and gathering of Israel in 1 Nephi 22, how we are all the seed of Abraham-Abraham 2:9-11 (who has the gospel) and how we are the Lord's arm in that, the Book of Mormon is a sign of the gathering and nothing will knock out God's word. Did you know that Joseph Smith finished translating the Book of Mormon in 3 months time? That's about 8 pages a day! Crazy! He also mentioned what else Joseph Smith went through during those days. I love and appreciate Joseph Smith SO much! He was incredible. Elder Cardon also talked about why we invite investigators to make and keep commitments! It was really eye opening to know that we, ourselves, are investigators and we need to make and keep commitments.
-Sister Cardon: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. We will always have a companion in our life! We need to develop Christ like Attributes (PMG chp. 6)
Elder Cardon (2): We need to talk about the Holy Ghost after the baptismal invite and then do a Holy Ghost invitation. So amazing! Baptism is a physical act of our faith, confirmation is our personal gift of our faith and is such a blessing. He then did a role play with President Clayton about having the head of the household to say the prayer in the first lesson... it was amazing.
Elder Cardon then bore the strongest testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Atonement. The Book of Mormon puts the Atonement into context and is found everywhere in the Book of Mormon and testifies of Jesus Christ. It was such an amazing experience to hear him speak and bear his testimony of this gospel. Elder Cardon has such a strong spirit. I am so grateful for the experience that I had and to even present myself to him and shake his hand personally.
Funny story... I have learned that Sister Shurtliff and I are President and Sister Clayton's "twins". There were even missionaries at the zone conference that were telling us that Sister Shurtliff and I could be sisters! I believe it's just because we have red hair. It's been one of the funniest companionships for Sister Shurtliff so she tells me. I have heard at least 100 times on my mission, "Are you twins?" "Oh you're sisters!" I can't help but laugh at the reaction that we get when we tell people we aren't. They say, "You've got to be joking..." "No you're really sisters... You've got to be!"
Just the other day a lady stopped me on the bus and said that she loves our red hair and that we are lucky to be sisters. I then told her, "Believe it or not, we aren't sisters!" She then freaked out. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share the gospel! I said, "Well... Even though we aren't blood sisters, we are sisters in spirit. We are all children of our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much that he has blessed our families with the gospel..." I then shared my testimony of the Restoration and she asked for our card just before we got off. Sharing the gospel in so many ways is SO cool! I LOVE IT!
I say this every week... But I am truly grateful to be a missionary. I know without ANY doubt that this gospel is true. I was talking to someone on the bus today who said, “you know this is true, don’t you? I can tell on your face that you wouldn’t come out here and share this message if you didn’t know it was true.” It strengthened my testimony about this truth and it’s impact!! If you know it’s true, people can see that you know! I love getting on the bus and sitting next to some random person and comparing their face at the beginning when they’re looking at me really strange to the face they have when we leave each other, because it changes them! The truth changes peoples lives, and I am so honored and humbled by the opportunity to be here in Canada sharing it with people! I would never trade this experience for anything. It will truly be the best 18 months of my life. As I have put myself in the Savior's shoes... I am so overwhelmed by the love I have for people. I know that this church is true and I am so blessed to represent Christ to the best of my abilities. I love it!!
Until next time...
| A Mission Tour picture! I am on the second row just to the right from the centre. |
It's only half of the missionaries in our mission!