This week has been amazing. Some amazing things happened this week,
and I've been dying since Tuesday to tell yinz about a few of them!!
So Monday night, we started our exchange with the sisters serving in
Washington, PA. I am amazed how incredible these sisters
are that we serve with--they are truly amazing. I feel so blessed to
work with them, serve them, grow with them, and learn from them! I'm
beginning to see that although this calling is challenging and its
stretching me like none else, it is so rewarding. Hmmm. Sounds like
missionary work in general.
On Tuesday, we had planned to try to contact some potential
investigators, so we took Anne with us to do that (oh I was with
Sister Durrant by the way; she's from Idaho). One potential we tried
didn't answer their door, so we knocked on the house next door. They
weren't interested, so we walked to the house on the other side. We
opened the gate and this young boy who was in the yard started talking
to us. I'll give yinz the play-by-play. (Factually first, then I'll
add in all the things I was feeling)
Boy: "Why is you here?"
Me: "Well, we are missionaries--is your mom or dad home?"
Boy: "Sure." **pauses to stare at my nametag and then reads it**
"Jesus Christ...I love Jesus! And I love God!" Runs inside. Grandma
comes out. "Yes? Can I help you?"
Me: "Hi! We are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of
The grandma interrupts and says,"Stop right there. Not my church."
The little boy pipes up and asks, "What do you do?"
Me: "We teach people about Jesus Christ and His gospel."
Boy: "I wanna learn!"
Grandma: "Okay, well you can sit out here and talk to him."
She goes inside and we sit on the porch and start to talk to him. We
found out he really does love God and Jesus Christ and his name is
Tyler and he's 11. Surprisingly, we were able to teach him the
Restoration (as simply as we could) using the pamphlet. After we
taught him about Joseph Smith, he sat back and said "Wow. I have
goosebumps!" Sister Durrant said, "Yeah, you're feeling the Spirit." I
said, "Tyler, how are you feeling right now?" He said, "I feel good.
We continued to teach him and introduced the Book of Mormon. He said,
"Wow, I wish I could have one of those."
Sister Durrant: "This one is for you--it's yours to keep!"
His eyes got real wide and his mouth dropped open. He said, "Sweet!
That's rad." He said we wanted to start reading it right then. He also
asked. A few times, "When are you coming back?" We told him we could
come back next week. We asked him to pray to end our lesson and he
did. In it he said, "I just feel so good right now." We snapped a
picture and we left. I was on cloud nine.
Holy cannoli guacamole. The Spirit was SO strong during this lesson. I
got teary-eyed when I saw how sensitive to the Spirit he is and how he
was feeling it--especially at his young age. I know it may seem like
a small thing to you guys, and you had to be there to even see a
sliver of the picture I'm trying to paint...but it really was amazing!
(Insert side note: We met his mom last night....and found out his name
actually isn't Tyler. It's Jace. Ha ha...and his mom...well,
they're Christian and when he was asking if he could keep meeting with
us, she wasn't very happy about it and kind of reluctant...but she
agreed...we just aren't sure how far it will go. Pray for him and his
Wednesday we helped Anne pack up some things because she is getting
ready to move (she will still be within our area, so all is well.) She
was asking us questions about the temple and how to prepare. She is so
excited to go! And I am so excited for her!! I am seriously SO temple
trunky though. I admit it. But I am so excited for her nonetheless.
On Saturday, we were trying to contact some people, and we knocked on
this one door. A teenage boy answered and we asked for so-and-so (a
family member of his I think). He said she wasn't there, so we asked
him to tell her we had stopped by...yada yada...all that good stuff. I
told him what we do as missionaries and asked him if he would be
interested in us coming back and learning more. He (his name is
Michael) said he would love that. I was very much guided by the
Spirit, and I immediately started testifying of the Restoration.
Surprisingly, he listened. I introduced the Book of Mormon and had him
read Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:3-5. Promised him God would answer
his prayer if he read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it's
true. We are seeing him tomorrow evening and I'm really excited!!
Missionary work is the absolute best.
On a humorous note, let me give you an inside scoop on what it's like
to be a sister missionary sometimes...this scoop has to do with old
men. We went to see a less-active member Brother Clopton. He lives in
a nursing home and his roommate's name is Frank. Frank is in his 80's.
So we saw them two weeks ago and had quite a humorous time. We are
still laughing about it. Let me paint this picture for yinz. Brother
Klopton was talking to Sister Taunima and telling her stories from the
Bible about Jesus. I was sitting on the bed and Frank in his
wheelchair...I was trying to intently listen and strain my ears to
hear him...but then Frank would start talking to me. At one point he
said, "I could marry you. You'd make a good wife." UM EXCUSE ME?
And then was so adamant about us taking him out for pizza and we
said we couldn't do that. He said, "It's so hard to schedule a date
with you two! How're ya ever gonna find a man? How're ya ever gonna
get married?" We told him that wasn't what we were focused on right
now...He still didn't get it, but whatever. These older ladies
would wheel into the room periodically and Frank would say, "Agh, get
outta here! Unless you wanna be Mormon!" It was hilarious; I was
dying. Still dying over it to this day. Welp, there's your scoop--haha!
This week, I've made a stronger commitment to avoid singing songs that
aren't in harmony with my calling as a missionary. Let me tell ya,
it's hard. Sometimes my favorite songs from home just pop up in my
head and I want to jam out (*cough* Hunter Hayes *cough*). But I know
I'm much better off when I refrain from doing so. So, I've chosen "I
Need Thee Every Hour" as my go-to hymn when I need a diversion. It is
definitely helping. But as I've reflected, I've been reminded of
something. I not only need Him every hour, I need Him every second.
Every moment of every day. And what a glorious promise it is that He
will "not forget [us] . . . [He has] graven [us] upon the palms of
[His] hands" (See 1 Nephi 21:15-16). As Brad Wilcox has stated about
grace, "Grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel
supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is
not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us
through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It
is received right here and right now. It is not a finishing touch; it
is the Finisher’s touch (See Hebrews 12:2)" (His Grace is Sufficient).
His grace is very real and I am experiencing it day by day. I know
that peace and comfort and strength comes when we fully rely on our
beloved Savior and trust Him to support us every second.
I invite you to remember that this week and see how He is helping you
through each day, second by second. And I promise as you turn to Him
and recognize His hand, you will feel His grace ever more abundantly
in your life. I love you so so much--more than you'll ever know, and I
wish yinz a wonderful week!!! (Cam bam and lil' B (not so little
anymore)--good luck with your first week back to school!! Go, fight,
"Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep
growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)
Sending so much love from Pennsylvania,
PS: THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!!!! I am SOOO excited!!!!
Don't worry Mom, I only opened what you told me I could. But really
I feel so spoiled already!! Thank you so so so much!!! 💜💜
After our lesson with Tyler aka Jace-haha!
Me with Sisters McDonald, Durrant and Taunima