This week was one that I'll never forget; it's been one of the most tiring but rewarding.
Not much happened on Monday and Tuesday, but on Tuesday night, Sister Packard asked Sister Patterson and I if we could help out with the lunch for all the missionaries at MLC. However, once we got there, we found out the lady who was going to be there was sick and couldn't make it. So at that point, Sister Patterson and I were in charge of preparing a large BBQ meal. Holy smokes I don't think I've ever had to handle so much pulled pork and beans before. A tradition that the mission has is that before the missionaries start eating, they all stand and sing "Love one another" to the people who prepared the meal. After Sister Patterson and I were tired from rushing and trying to prepare the food, they all stood and sang. It was pretty neat.
This week we had more appointments fall through, and we hadn't heard back from many who we were trying to set up appointments with. We've had to drop more investigators, as there are some whose families do not want us to meet with them (one potential had a sign on her door that read "NO PROSELYTIZING), some who do not want to meet anymore, and other who have been taking a slower pace. We are still there for them if they want us to teach them and are glad that we could "plant the seed." Luckily, we are still teaching Jose, and we are still so blown away by his diligence, his example, and how he is bringing his family back. We cannot wait for his baptism on November 23rd. :)
There came a point where I became discouraged, but knew I had to get up and try again. Let me tell you, November 9th was one memorable day. Sister Patterson and I went throughout the day, which started off slowly, but as time went on, we noticed miracle after miracle taking place. It was absolutely incredible. We didn't have any appointments set, except for one that night. We made stop by's and they were actually home. There was a point where we were at Walgreen's to pick up some medications, and I suddenly said, "Let's go see if their almonds are on sale!" (Whaaa?? That was weird...) So before seeing if the medications were ready, we headed to that aisle, and there was a lady we hadn't seen the whole transfer since she wasn't home, and we set up an appointment to see her. On the way to another home, the Elders offered to order us pizza and have it delivered, and even more tender mercies took place.
Our only appointment that night fell through, so we decided to make a couple of visits. Both were not home, so then Sister Patterson had the thought that we should go tracting. Knocking on doors is our last priority in the mission and it's usually the most ineffective, but we decided to try anyway. The first couple of homes didn't work out well, so we continued on. However, as we about reached the next home, a dad and his two daughters stood at the opened door. We introduced ourselves, and offered to share a message on Jesus Christ and how families can be together forever. The dad then turned to his daughter, and asked what she thought. "Sure!" she responded, and we were let in.
"Whoa! Hold Up!" I thought. "This isn't happening!"
From there on, we were in discussion and got an idea of who they knew God was, and we taught them how God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that he loves each of them more than they could comprehend. They mainly speak Spanish, but one of the daughters helped translate what we were teaching. We asked how it made them feel to know they have a Heavenly Father, who loves them for all that they are, as we could see a new light come about them. The daughter who spoke better English held a smile as she took in how much our Heavenly Father loves her. We then shared how the gospel blesses families, and asked how the knowledge that they can be together forever made them feel, which they said made them feel really good. They couldn't stop beaming. We asked if we could come again, and we set an appointment for this upcoming weekend. As soon as we said goodbye and Sister Patterson and I stepped outside, there was nothing we wanted to do but embrace each other and soak in what just happened.
That right there was one of the best feelings. We've worked hard. We've been tried, rejected and forgotten by many, but never forgotten by our loving Heavenly Father as he poured his tender mercies and miracles. Words do not serve justice for how we felt at that moment. It had been a very rough week for both of us, and we were at a point before where we almost had nobody to teach, but we were led to those who may be yearning for the knowledge and the good news that the gospel brings.
I know that times can get rough, but that those trying times help us grow stronger and in the ways our loving Heavenly Father knows is best for us. If we are willing to seek the ways he blesses us, even if they seem small or insignificant, he will pour them out and help us recognize them more fully.
Have a great week!
|A sketch of me by Sister Patterson|
|Our English Class|