Monday, March 10, 2014

Dad,

Last week when we left the library Sister Grenfell and I always talk about what our families are up to and things we are thankful for and love about you all. Last week I was able to kind of reflect and I told her about how you said you'd still be so proud of me even if I was the only person that was truly converted from my mission. I told her that this has been our chance to just really bond and genuinely talk to each other. I told her I was thankful for the opportunity to strengthen our relationship and just really talk. I think that the relationship we'll gain from this will be one of the miracles of my mission. I love you Daddy. Thanks for all your love and all your prayers.
This week was pretty cool. Last P-day we got to go to the Aquarium, I attached some pictures for ya! It was a blast! We went with Sister Heut and Sister Anderson (a sister from my MTC district, i love her so much!) It was really a blast. We got to pet sting rays and everything! Today we are fishing in a members pond :) Sister Grenfell and I set a goal for the past week to have more charity and love, we studied in the Christlike Attributes section of Preach My Gospel,one of the best books ever, and set ourselves some goals. Nothing too crazy happened until Thursday, there's just something about Thursdays that are really special. We had a really great district meeting, Elder Fleming (the same one that gave me the blessing) gave the training about the MIT and applying it to the third lesson. I LOVE THE THIRD LESSON (the gospel of Jesus Christ). He explained how every person has a "most critical issue" which is the thing that holds them back from progressing, for some its WOW issues, for others its not having a testimony of the BoM. But he explained how we should be able to identify the most critical issue, be able to teach the lesson and apply it to that issue and then teach the MIT. Help them to understand what they need to DO (they have to act or they wont progress, just like you said in your email, pops.) and help them get there. My explanation of the training doesn't really do it justice, but there were some things that just went way over my head. Anyways, it definitely have Sister Grenfell and I the pick-me-up we needed. We left district meeting and sang at the old folks home with a bunch of other missionaries. Then we went to contact referrals,all the referrals we contacted pleasantly declined our invitation to learn more but we kept tracting in between houses. We tracted into a lady who was playing outside with her kids, we talked to her and she said that she had several LDS friends who never invited her to church but that she didn't really ask them to go either. We invited her to come to church, she accepted and immediately after we contacted her friends who were in our ward. She didn't end up coming but when we talked to the members and they said that was the door that needed to be open so they could talk to her about it, we'll see how it goes. So after we met Beth, we went to see the Fishers, I think I've mentioned them before.Bailey and Hannah are young women age and they have SO MANY QUESTIONS. However, they don't keep commitments, so Thursday when we were there we were bold and basically told them that if they don't keep commitments, they won't find the answers they are looking for.We recommitted them to pray and read the Book of Mormon, they said they would and we are seeing them on Wednesday! We taught Jennifer Goodman on that same night and she absolutely understood everything we taught her. We taught her lesson #2, the plan of salvation, and we all really felt the spirit. We were able to have a member present at every lesson we taught to investigators this week, THAT IS SO IMPORTANT.So everything went super well with Jennifer and she was really progressing. Friday though,we were at a dinner appointment and she texted us and basically said that she wanted no further contact with us, she did "extensive research" and didn't think this was the right path for her. We both felt like we'd been hit by a train... The elders, Elder Bushman and Elder Olson were also at the dinner appointment and were also the ones that gave us Jennifer to start teaching. We finished dinner and all counselled on what we should do, we said a prayer and Sister Grenfell and I felt that we needed to cancel our next appointment and go talk to her, if we didn't we'd regret not even trying. So we went over there and prayed really hard before we knocked on her door. She was more gracious than she sounded in the text, she let us in and we asked her what was going on.She then said that she felt like it was all just happening too fast and she knew she couldn't be ask committed as she felt we were and that she wanted to start out with a nondenominational church before trying to be a member. We were really lost as to what to say so we just bore testimony that the things we had taught her were true, that we came to know by our own prayers and faith that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that the only way to have lasting happiness and peace was through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. We asked her if we could still keep teaching her and helping her learn about the plan God has for her. She said she knew that what we had taught weren't lies and that we could call her on Friday to see how she felt about it. We sang Nearer My God to Thee in her doorway before we left and said a prayer. We left still feeling pretty awful, but somehow hopeful just knowing that we'd done everything we could. We got back in our car and just kind of processed what happened, next thing we know the Elders pull up and get out of their car. Elder Olson felt prompted to come to Jennifer's house, they had cancelled their appointment and Sister Grenfell and I both agree that they didn't come because the Lord wanted them to see Jennifer, He wanted them to come help us out. We stood on the sidewalk for a while and just vented and talked about what our next step needed to be. Elder Bushman made a really good point. He said, "The Lord doesn't do anything by accident, he's known this would happen since before we even met her. He knows the purpose behind this. He knows that ever ripple in the water needed or needs to happen to bring his work forward. Maybe this isn't necessarily Jennifer's time. Maybe this is our time to learn something from this and to come closer to him and to be better missionaries." I still feel like that might have been the purpose. But all four of us had a mini testimony meeting right there, we sang Ill Go Where You Want Me To Go and said a prayer and bore our testimonies, all while standing outside in the snow on the sidewalk a couple houses down from Jennifer. We then decided that we'd all start fasting for her,so we started our fast and then left. Looking back, the Lord knew before we set the goal to be more loving and charitable, he knew before district meeting, before Jennifer sent the text, and before we showed up at her house. If that wasn't an opportunity to love Jennifer, or realize how much I did love her, I dont know what would've been. It was an opportunity to unify more with the Elders in the work thats happening in East Lake, it was a chance to strengthen our testimonies of missionary work and the atonement. We had a killer lesson with the Lopez family on Thursday night and really felt the spirit. That night Sister Grenfell and I watched "Missionary work and the atonement" by Jeffrey R. Holland. Wow, if that wasn't powerful! GREAT VIDEO CLIP! We both received blessings of comfort so we could focus on the things we needed to and by Sunday big miracles started happening again.We had a less active lady that we met with on Saturday come to church with her son Ivan. Carissa, one of our investigators with a baptismal date, came to church without even telling us and went straight to a member and loved it. It's the best feeling ever when your investigator doesn't need you. She is planning on being baptized on the 29th. Then we were able to meet with some other "less active" members, they are coming back into activity, we've been meeting with them every Sunday for a couple weeks and they met with the Bishop yesterday and are working on going to the temple to be sealed. Kozelle, the wife, has a beautiful testimony of the atonement and is working so hard, serving so much, and really just coming back with a fire in her. Between both sets of missionaries in East Lake this week, we taught 45 lessons, six months ago this area was getting 5 a week. We have set a goal this coming week to teach 50 lessons. We are all trying to have faith enough to see miracles this week and work super hard. I am so thankful for all of your prayers, they are definitely what pulls me through the rough patches. I pray for you guys too every time I pray. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH DAD! XOXO :)






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