Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Belated Easter

Thanks to everyone for all your letters. All the missionaries in my area make fun of me for getting more mail than anyone. I do get a lot more mail than other people. I thought it would wear off by the time I got out of the MTC and the novelty of writing a new missionary was gone...but the stream has been pretty consistent. Which I LOVE. I'll take the teasing....cause I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks y’all!

This week flew by really fast! But I don't feel like I have very many stories to share! Anyway, the weather here is crazy! There are so many dust storms. We came in from tracting one day and I had sand in my ears, teeth, hair and clothes.

Some of the families here bought baby chicks for Easter, and it was so fun to play with them. They dyed them Easter colors...which was kind of interesting! On Easter morning, we read from Jesus the Christ for our study. I love the passages about Christ's appearance to Mary Magdalene. I just wish there was more time to study in the morning. I would have never thought that I would think an hour of study wouldn't be enough! For Easter, we took cookies and copies of, "The Living Christ," to as many of our investigators as we could. I LOVE, "The Living Christ". I didn't appreciate it very much before...but it is profound, testifies of the reality that He is very much involved in this dispensation. Mom, you're so right. Holidays are very different on a mission. But I feel very strongly that Easter is the most sacred holiday, and it is a privilege to be a full time messenger for Christ's church at this time of year.

On Saturday, we sang at the nursing home again, but we made the Elders in our district come with I wouldn’t have to be a soloist again. One of the residents came up and belted along with us. One of the Elders (who was in my MTC district, but who shall remain nameless) started giggling at this, which ended up being really bad because his laugh is infectious. I started laughing as well. Good thing I was sitting at the piano with Sister Crossley, and so people couldn't really see my face. Oh brother. Good times at the nursing home.

Today, the Elders are ganging up on me and are going to make me play soccer. For the past few weeks, I’ve been sitting out of the sports games. I guess I’ll just grin and bear it. Four of us are also going to practice a song to sing as a musical number for a Zone Conference. In high school I was really into music, but everyone at BYU was better, so I no longer considered myself a “musical” person…so it is weird to be put into that stereotype again. But it’s also kind of fun. It’s not very often that the male voices out number the girls, so it’s nice to be needed..haha.

I love you all very much. I'm grateful for your support. Have a wonderful week! As the Navajos say, (phonetically spelled as always ;) “Tlot Diyin nichk ha lone ah”…. or “God be With You!”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

General Conference as a Missionary

General Conference was wonderful, but that goes without saying. We had Zone Conference last Tuesday, and President Anderson urged us to cherish our General Conferences as missionaries, because it is the only time in our lives that we are working along side the general authorities in full time callings, as witnesses of Christ. Zone Conference was absolutely wonderful. It was interesting to hear many of the same things President Anderson talked to us about appear in General Conference as well. Specifically, he told us, as Quentin Cook did, to not dwell too long on the commonalities between others of a Christian faith. Because of the restoration, we can come to know deity in a way other denominations cannot. The restoration of the gospel took place in our day, that's why we are called Latter-day Saints.

Apparently, in Priesthood Session there was a story about missionaries finding a lady that had been "lost" or "dropped" by other missionaries. That message fit right in along side our Zone Conference, in which we focused a lot on using area books as Liahona's to find individuals who may not have been ready for the gospel then, but who are prepared now. But the REALLY exciting thing about General Conference was that a good number of people who we invited to come to General Conference came! Some of the people thought it was too long...and booked it out of the chapel as soon as conference was over, or in one case, right in the middle of a session. But the person we thought was LEAST likely to show up...came, and thoroughly enjoyed it....and even took copious notes!

I may have mentioned a few weeks ago that we tracted into a Baptist preacher. Well, we went back to see him last week and invited him to General Conference. He said something to the effect of, "You are some of the only Mormons who I can really feel and tell have truly let Christ into your lives. I can always learn more from people who study about Christ. So, it will be a pleasure to hear Thomas S. Monson." It was so exciting to see him there! He told us that one of his Mormon friends had given him a Book of Mormon recently. How interesting it was to find out that a member felt prompted to talk to him about the Church around the same time we were visiting with him! We've come to find out that there are several members in Bloomfield who know him. That made me think how easy it is to justify not sharing the gospel with someone because they are very strong in their own faith, or in the case of the preacher, PREACH a different faith. It just goes to show that we cannot judge who is ready. It will be interesting to see what happens with this man. He may be interested out of a mere intellectual curiosity, but maybe that will bud into something more.

The preacher reminds me of a cross between an old cowboy, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Whenever we visit with him, his wife is always there and he always refers to her as "Mama". It's super endearing. He made Mama teach us how to wink, last time we saw her. He also offered to give us one of his paint horses. Crazy right? Can you imagine us riding a horse as missionaries? Anyway, I wonder what will happen here. He may brush us off and dismiss our message. He may learn out of intellectual curiosity, or maybe, he could be the next Sidney Rigdon, who urges his congregation to study the Book of Mormon as well. One point of clarification, we don't know if he is a preacher that ministers on Sundays or if he just runs Bible camps. He talks a lot about "his preacher boys" who are training to become ministers. He also teaches Navajos how to read the Bible. So to be perfectly honest, his exact line of work as far as the ministry goes, is somewhat ambiguous.

I love you all. Have a great day!