|Old pic of Kenzie's G-ma and her lil sis Hailey.....missionary work can be "shocking!" lol.|
This week was pretty awesome! Sooooo much more productive than the week before! We now live with the Powers Family! Brother and sister Powers have 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. All of their children no longer live at home and are either married and have children or they are attending college and working. They are a wonderful family, they are strong in the gospel and are so loving and supportive. WE LOVE LIVING WITH THEM.
The Lord has wanted to bless us this week so he set up an opportunity for us to sacrifice. A couple weeks ago our zone was having car issues, miles were high in the month of June and so the STLs asked if we'd be willing to lend our car to the APs so that the bigger area could make it work. They ended up not needing our car for that week. On Tuesday we got a call from the APs and they told us that there were 26 mission cars in the shop getting oil changes and repairs made. They asked if we'd be willing to be on bike/foot. Without hesitation we both agreed and we asked when they would need our car. "Today!".... OH SNAP. We hung up and started making calls and things to make the rest of the day work out and the first parts of the following day. Once we had time to think about it we got a little nervous, we usually have hourly appointments every day and so we werent exactly sure how we would make it work. However, I have come to learn this week that sacrifice is what really bring the blessings of heaven. We have become better at planning for our day and looking at the small and seemingly insignificant details. That same day we got 3 new investigators, a mother and her two daughters. We were able to have a gospel conversation at a Wendy's where we were having a lesson with a less active member. She saw my name tag and said "Oh hey I have a friend that just left for BYU that's a latter day saint." NO WAY. We chatted. Haha.
We taught the Jones boys about the temple and doing baptisms for the dead, they were eating it up! We are setting them up with an ancestry.org account and they are excited to find a name to take to the temple for their first time. They just keep getting stronger and stronger in the gospel. I love it.
Experience of the week.... ready? SO. On Friday we went over to see a potential investigator that we had set up and appointment with and it was raining cats and dogs, it was hailing, thundering, lightining, ALL that jazz. So we had an umbrella and we were running to her porch, we made it and we both turned away from the door to ring out this umbrella. All the sudden we see all this light around us and BOOM, thunder too. We both looked at each other and did kind of the "did you see that too?" face. Sister Reynolds said "We just got struck by lightning".... Which we did. Heavenly Father looks out for his missionaries. It was like a force field had been right over us. So we shook it off and walked into the lesson. We taught Gail about the restoration of the gospel and she became a new investigator. We will be seeing her and her children again on Friday. MIRACLE.
On Sunday I had a little missionary helper, Jayden Pipkin. SHE IS SO DARLING. She helped me pass out programs and greet people. I sat with their family later and Sister R sat with an investigator. Jayden sat right next to me and put her head on my shoulder and eventually fell asleep with her head on my lap and I dont know why this experience had such a great impact on me but it did. Jayden is going through a really hard time right now, she is 7- so the same age as Cal. Her parents are in the final stages of divorce and her and her 4 brothers live with their dad- who is an amazing father. She truly craves any attention from "mother figures". I thought about this and reflected on the experience I had with her at church. I came to realize that in order to be the missionary I need to be, love is a requirement. Not just love, but Christlike love. This morning in my personal study I focused on what Christlike love is. I came to this conclusion. Christ was able to love deeply and perfectly because he understood the person he was trying to love and serve. Christ didn't love others in a way that was convenient for him, on a timetable that he himself made, or generically. Christ was able to change others with love because he loved the person in a unique way, a way that was specifically for that individual. Love is not something that comes in a one-size-fits-all. As a person who represents Christ, this is important to remember. Every single person needs to be shown love in a way specifically tailored to them. Sweet 7 year old Jayden needs something different than my companion needs. The way we have and show this love is by letting the spirit guide our words, hearts and actions. This probably seems like an obvious thing to realize but the spirit has taught me about that a lot this week and so I thought I would share it. I really love loving people. Its my thing...
Anyways, this may or may not be my last week in East Lake. I don't feel ready to leave East Lake but then again, I dont know that I ever will. However, I am excited for new adventures whether they be here or somewhere else. I feel that that should be a life motto, bloom where you're planted right? Thank you for teaching me that Dad, I can attribute that to you. You have taught me how to make the best of things even when it seems really awful. Thank you for teaching me that change is good and allows me to grow. YOU'RE THE BEST DAD EVER! I LOVE YOU! XOXO
<3 SISTER HOOPES