Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Help from the Spirit

Well, today will be an exciting day! We finally get to go to the Aztec ruins! I’m pretty excited. We will also be practicing our musical number for Zone Conference . . . which should be interesting. Zone Conference is tomorrow. The missionaries in Bloomfield will be hosting our own booth at Bloomfield Days on the 16th. . . and then on the 18th we have our missionary temple day. (We leave for Albuquerque super early in the morning, so our email schedule will be probably later in the day, just FYI .) Once again, thank you so much for the great package you sent. I forgot to tell you yesterday that one of the sisters in the ward commented on how cute my brown skirt was, so you did well! I’ve been listening to the Les Miserables soundtrack a lot lately. It reminds me of being home, plus it’s not hard to find motivation to go knock doors after listening to stuff like “Do You Hear the People Sing” and “One Day More.” I can’t tell you enough how much your letters mean to me.

Well, we’ve been doing a lot of walking lately, partly in order to conserve miles. I like it though; it feels good to get exercise. I thought I wouldn’t have much to write about since I called home yesterday (Mother's Day). I was worried that after talking with you yesterday, that I would get even MORE homesick. But surprisingly, I feel energized and super uplifted. It’s just great. Well, you asked me to type out this story . . . so here goes. Remember that family I always write about? The one that tried to feed me “squirrel” meat? And who also likes to make the HOTTEST salsa they can . . . and then feed it to the missionaries? Yeah, we had that party for less actives and investigators last week, and they scared me so badly that I screamed. Yeah. It wasn’t very befitting of a sister missionary. When I first came to Bloomfield, the family thought I was too quiet. . .so they felt the need to break me in. They want me to be ready to face ANY thing. I say pretty much EVERY prayer at their house, opening and closing. They don’t even ask someone to pray anymore. Brother “Jones” just looks at me. . . and I’m expected to pray. It’s pretty funny. But one time I started to pray, just as I’m “expected” to do. . .and he interrupted me. “Hey, hey, hey. It’s not your turn. It’s Elder “Smith’s” turn!” Hilarious, Brother “Jones” you’re just soooo funny.

Here’s a great story from yesterday. I was sitting on the couch during personal study. And I suddenly heard a baby crying. My first thought was: “Oh no! Somebody abandoned their baby on our doorstep, because they think we’re nuns! Mormon nuns!” I slowly opened the door, only to see a stray cat run through the parking lot. I sure do have a lot of blonde moments.

The past couple weeks have been difficult. Some of our investigators have cancelled a lot of lessons recently. I was especially sad about the one with a baptismal date. It’s hard to see investigators make so much progress, and then have things come to a screeching halt. We brought a member to one of our teaching appointments recently, but we found out the next week that the member used to be the vice principal of the investigator’s high school. Apparently, he suspended the investigator from high school, and so it was a little awkward for our investigator.

One thing that I have a really strong testimony of during my mission, is how the Spirit can enable you to push onward when you feel too exhausted to be pleasant, or to teach, or to even have the Spirit in the first place. Well, the Holy Ghost quickened me again this past week. It is so exciting to feel the transformation, and to literally feel energy being pumped right back into you. The thing is, this message is SO important to our Heavenly Father, and HE wants his children to come back to Him so much that He will enable us to overcome physical limitations. I LOVE getting that second wind suddenly and dramatically. In the MTC, we were told that this work is so important that we will be prompted more during our missions than we have ever been before. The trick is to learn how to recognize those promptings and seek that guidance in EVERYTHING. That’s why, as I said last week, complacency, or just going with the flow, is one of my greatest fears. Anyway, I’ll get back to my story. We had just gotten out of District Meeting, it was an incredibly hot day, and I was exhausted. We were teaching about Joseph Smith’s first vision. And as I shared his experience in his own words, the Spirit came to back me up. It was invigorating! And the Spirit was there so strongly, that our investigator was almost brought to tears. I’ve noticed that this happens a lot when we talk about how Heavenly Father answered Joseph Smith’s prayer. I just wish our investigators would cling to what they felt when we talk about the first vision.

Sister Crossley was telling me about Russel M. Nelson’s visit to the mission. She didn’t get to go to his fireside because he requested that only the missionaries near Albuquerque and a few towns nearby attend. He said that this work is so important and that time is SO limited and precious, that even hearing an apostle of the Lord is not worth taking away from proselyting time. I try to remember this always. We are on the Lord’s time, don’t waste it. I’m not PERFECT at using time effectively. There are days that are harder than others. . .but I wish every missionary would understand this better.

I had a lesson with a lady this week. Her father is a Jehovah’s Witness, and sat in on the lesson. It was frustrating. He pretty much just talked about how important gospel basics are. It felt a little like he was trying to attack us on the things our two religions do have in common. Also, there is a less active guy in the ward who we met this week. He was very straightforward with us about being a self-proclaimed “Jack Mormon.” His birthday is tomorrow, and we’ve got a brilliant idea to leave root beer bottles at his door with a card saying something to the effect of “don’t party too hard"…and leave a scripture or quote or something. I think it will be funny, and I think he’ll take it well. Maybe we’ll get to joke around and gain his trust or something. Well I love you all dearly. Have a wonderful week!

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