Hello my wonderful family!!
Just a fun fact about PA: a lot of the people out here don't have any
teeth...or only have some of their teeth. 😂 I could probably name 10
people we are teaching that only have some of their teeth or none of
them. But I guess it's not too much of a problem...they deal with it but
it is kinda sad!
This cute sister in our ward just got back this last week from
serving her mission in California. We took her on a team-up to see
Cathy, and she is awesome. Team-ups for days!! So excited!! She spoke
yesterday in sacrament meeting, and she shared a poem about mission
life that I LOVE. I also think it is PERFECT, so I thought I'd share
it with you. Hopefully it can give you the smallest glimpse into what
it's like to serve a mission. 😉
Highs and Lows
A mission is a strange experience, it is a trial and a test. A mission
throws you at your worst, yet teaches you the best. I've never been so
happy, I've never been so depressed. I've never felt so forsaken, I've
never felt so blessed. I've never been so confused, things have never
been so clear. I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant, He's
never been so near. I've never been so discouraged, I've never felt so
much hope. I feel like I could go on forever, I think I'm at the end
of my rope. I've never had it quite so easy, I've never had it quite
so tough. Things have never been so smooth, things have never been so
rough. I've never traveled through more valleys, I've never ascended
so many peaks. I've never had so many ups. I've never had so many
downs. I've never worn so many smiles. I've never worn so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely, I've never had so many friends. Boy, I hope
this is over soon, gosh, I hope it never ends. (Author Unknown)
So, after a few things that happened last Sunday, Sister Morgan and I
were feeling really uneasy about Cathy's baptismal date for June
4th...and didn't know why. We felt so unsettled, so we prayed about
it. And prayed and pleaded and prayed and pleaded...I even sought out
an answer partly on my own because I felt so desperate. I would study
the scriptures, seeking for an answer, and nothing would happen. This
went on for about 48 hours, until we went to see Cathy on Tuesday...we
were about to find out why we felt the way we did. Before we sit down,
Cathy says, "Yinz are gonna be mad at me." Jokingly, I said, "What?
Cathy, no we're not." She got really serious, and said, "Yeah, you
are." My heart dropped. "...Can I move my baptism date?" We got
talking to her, and she said she feels really nervous and not ready to
be baptized. But she doesn't know why she's feeling that way. The more
we talked to her, the more I felt relieved. We reassured her we
weren't mad at her (though we are sad to move it back--we know there's
a reason behind it), and got a better idea about how she's feeling.
The adversary is definitely working on her. Will you pray for her that
she will overcome these feelings? Also that she will have the faith to
take this leap? Thank you so much. Something Heavenly Father taught me
yet again through this is that prayers are answered. ALWAYS. Even if
it is in a way I don't fully understand. I should never worry or fret
that the answer isn't coming when I want it to, because it will come
when and how He knows it needs to. I am so grateful for prayer. It has become
my lifeline more than ever before.
Speaking of prayer, I am so grateful we pray to an all-knowing Father
in Heaven. (This was one of the funniest moments of the week.) We were
parked in front of a less-active's house, and Sister Morgan was
offering the prayer before we went in to see her. All of the sudden,
there was a knock on our car window. Mid-prayer Sister Morgan stops, I
open my eyes and look up to see this lady outside our car. She started
talking, but I couldn't understand what she was saying so I opened my
car door. "...I, uh, have my cart and I will be walking behind your
car so do not back up. Okay I just wanted to tell you I will be behind
you so you don't back up..." She had an accent, I couldn't tell you
which kind...but she was pushing this shopping cart full of stuff.
We assured her we wouldn't back up, she walked away, and I closed
the door. Sister Morgan and I just sat there and busted up laughing.
"Did that really just happen?" We couldn't believe it. We laughed for
a few minutes, and then Sister Morgan picked up where she left off in
her prayer and finished. So grateful Heavenly Father knew what was
happening, otherwise that would have been a super silly prayer.
David + Edgar situation
Miracles, truly. So on Tuesday, we went to go see Edgar which we were
really excited about...but he wasn't home...and neither was David. Sad
day. We left a note for both of them, and our card with our number on
it. Later that night, David texted us!! It was a miracle!! We talked
to him for a few minutes, and he said that he knows a little bit about
the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith. Hallelujah!! It was
amazing. We set up an appointment for him on Tuesday, and we are
really excited to meet him! But wait, it gets better. On Wednesday
during the afternoon, we got a bajillion texts on our phone. They were
all about David...the official referral came through for him from a
sister missionary in Texas. It mentioned in the referral that "he
gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and received an answer from
God that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ"...he had to move
here for work, and that's why this sister referred him to us. He
sounds super prepared and we are just so excited to meet him and start
teaching him. God is so good!! (Side note: Edgar is out of town this
week and next for a business trip, but we are going to meet with him
when he gets back! Happy day!!)
Yesterday I had a more personal experience with the Sacrament than I
have in a long time. It was beautiful. One of the thoughts that came
to my mind is that the white sheet placed over the bread and water
could be a reminder of the fresh blank page we are given every Sunday
when we partake of the Sacrament with a broken heart and a contrite
spirit. I am so grateful for that blank page each week. Heaven knows
how much I need it. I am also so grateful for the second and third and
fourth and fiftieth chances He gives me. And the opportunity we have
to partake of the beautifully sacred Sacrament each week to renew our
covenants with Him.
One of the hymns sung during the meeting had a line in it that I loved:
"Dear Lord, prepare my heart to stand with thee on Zion's mount and
never more to part" (Hymn 41, "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise"). It
reminded me of "Come Thou Fount": "...bind my wandering heart to
thee...here's my heart, oh, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts
above." I think this is one of the hardest tests of this life. To
reign in the natural man, to give Him all our wants, desires, and
will...leave it all at His feet and let Him change us into new
creatures through the Atonement of Christ. It can be so hard! We have
to fight like lions to overcome the natural man...but through the
Savior's grace, He enables us to do what we couldn't on our own. This
is something I am striving to do every day, and will strive to do the
rest of my life.
LOVE YINZ SO MUCH!! Have a blessed week!!
"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
All my love,
Slower day called for some Bruester's ice cream-YUM!
President Johnson and the Pitt North Zone
The trees, flower, and plants are BEAUTIFUL out here!
Sister Talbot's Posterity!
Sister Nelson is One Month old-Waffles to Celebrate!