Happy belated Thanksgiving!
It sounds like (Mom, Dad, Kass and Scott) had a great Thanksgiving at Kassandra's place! I did not get to eat pumpkin pie, but I did have a slice of home-made pecan pie, which was delicious! Also my companion and I are planning on making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. It’s a super easy delicious recipe all it takes is spice cake mix and then you mix in a can of pumpkin puree and chocolate chips. 3 ingredients stir it together drop on parchment paper and bake...Delicious!! `
Elder Ballard came this last weekend to Liberty (20 minutes away from Independence) in Celebration of 50 years since the Historic Liberty Jail Visitor Center was dedicated. It was really neat to be able to hear from him and be able to sing for him at the Fireside he held at the Liberty Stake Center.
This last week has continued to be slow going for missionary work. It has been near impossible to set up appointments with investigators and we have not been able to find any new investigators. We did have a lot of meetings last week, which just reminded us of the importance to keep moving forward with steadfast faith in Christ and to build stronger relationships with our companions. As we show the Lord that we are working hard I know he will provide us with miracles.
We have been struggling to teach our Palauan investigator I., but last week we had a really good lesson with him on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It went really smoothly and he seemed to understand it. He is progressing in the sense that he comes to church and does his reading assignments, as for really trying to find out if this is the only true gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. That is where we need to start focusing with him, because I don't think he really grasps why knowing that would be so important for him and what that would mean for him in his life.
Also, sister S. and I have decided we need to make it a priority to build a greater relationship between us, the full time missionaries, and the Ward leaders. Right now there is basically no relationship and it is definitely keeping the missionary work from moving forward and allowing the members to get more involved in missionary work and be excited to do missionary work. We have tried setting up appointments to meet with the Bishop to get to know him and find out how we can best help him and the Ward, but he has yet to get back to us on that. Also, we set up a time to meet with our ward mission leader (outside of our correlation meeting) to try and see what he really expects of us as missionaries and how we can help ease the workload he has. We were supposed to meet with him last night, but he cancelled. It’s been frustrating for Sister S. and I to know how to build a better relationship with our Ward leaders when they don't seem to think that it is very important and is definitely not at the top of their list of things they feel is important.it But hopefully tonight at Ward correlation meeting we can get things moving along better and come together to figure out what things need to happen for the members to get more excited about missionary work and what we as missionaries and ward leaders can do to strengthen the Ward and the missionary efforts.
Right now we have 3 sets of missionaries in our ward. We have a set of Spanish speaking Elders, English speaking Elders and then us Sisters. So there is definitely a lot of good we can do for missionary work in the ward, but that work can only move forward as long as the members take part in the missionary effort. In Preach My Gospel, it says "nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach". It is so true and I have been able to witness that especially over the last week. But we have been blessed with some service opportunities this last week.
When we were at a members home for dinner we took initiative and did their dishes, which was great. Then yesterday when we were out in our area we went to a potential investigators home. We met her about 6 weeks ago but could never get a hold of her until yesterday. We asked if she remembered us and if she remembered what we had talked about it, she said she remembered but she had been sick over that last few weeks and was still sick. We asked if we could do anything for her. Sister S. was very adamant and asked if there were even any dishes we could wash. The woman said she had a sink full of dishes she hadn't cleaned so we stepped inside and tried to get to know her while we cleaned her dishes. It was awesome. We then also quickly ran to the store for her to get a few groceries she couldn't get because of lack of transportation. She was really touched by out kind acts of service and she said she hadn't been to church in a while. We asked if she went to a specific church and she said not really. Sister S. asked her if we were able to get her a ride to church if she would come to church with us. She asked what time the services are and when we said 8:30AM, she nearly had a heart attack and said she would come if there was a later service. We set up a time for next week to give her a church tour and teach her a lesson. Hopefully by then the Lord will have inspired us to know what to do about how to convince her to come with us to church even though it is very early. Sister S. seemed at a loss of what to do, but I was able to remind her that God works miracles and I know that he can help us know how to get this woman to church with us J!
I also, took some cool presentations on Monday (Thanksgiving) at the Visitor Center. There was a bus tour of 96 people that came into the Visitor Center. We split them into 4 groups and each took a group through the whole Visitor Center. Bus groups are always crazy because they are on a strict schedule and so you can only share the bare minimum with them. I also took a senior couple through, who were just so sweet! I had to do the whole presentation out of order, but they didn't know the difference, ha-ha! They shared some really neat insights and were just full of so much love!
There was also a couple in their late 40's from Utah that came in. I found out the lady's sister lives in Ephrata, small world eh?! Anyways as I took them through the Visitor Center I found out they have a daughter who's been on a mission for 4 months, same as me. As I took them through the history it was cool to see how the Spirit was able to work with me to be able to ask inspired questions and for their hearts to be open to receiving personal revelation. Throughout the presentation I was inspired to bring up how creating a place of Zion in our lives means we need to live worthy of having the Spirit with us, and as we have the Spirit we will be more prepared to share the gospel with others and the Spirit will help us know what to say as we open our mouths. I relayed to them how it isn't any easier for us as missionaries to share the gospel as it is for anyone else, we still need to be willing to open our mouths and share what we know to be true, they will feel the Holy Ghost touch their hearts. I think that is something a lot of people forget: We do not convert people; that are something only the Spirit can do!
Anyway, I guess looking back on the week, it hasn't been too shabby of a week. Even though Sister S. and I haven't been able to spend much time in our area and haven't had much luck finding people, we have had service opportunities and miracles happen at the Visitor Center as we have been able to uplift and strengthen members who come in. I know the church is true and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to be on a mission.
Yesterday during lunch sister S. and I sat and discussed how much we have really learned about the gospel by being on missions. It is amazing! We really didn't know very much about the true meaning and blessing of the gospel in our lives. Sister S. sat in awe as she wondered how she could of been so ignorant to so many truths the gospel contains when she has been raised in the gospel her entire life. That is all part of God's Plan for us. This life is to give us knowledge of our Heavenly Father and a firm testimony in His son Jesus Christ; that knowledge can only come by experience!
The gospel is true and I love you all!
The gospel is true and I love you all!
P.S. Our mission President's wife told us Christmas packages our parents send should be sent no later than December 2nd if you want them to arrive in time for Christmas. So, if you and the family want Christmas present ideas, I would love love love love love to get a ton of EFY CD's. I have no music and other than MOTAB, EFY music is the only music that is approved, so I would love to get a bunch of EFY Albums for Christmas, or in any random packages you send ;) I know they have Albums from about 1996-2013, so there are a lot of options, but I would really like to receive at least EFY 2003, EFY 2004, and EFY 2013, please and thank-you! Love you lots! XOXOXOX