Monday, December 9, 2013

'Tis the Season

We got our first snowfall today! The weather here has actually not been that bad. It gets cold, but luckily not too cold yet. I am not looking forward to the "icy winds" I keep hearing about; we'll see how it goes. It sure sounds like the weather in Utah is not good--hopefully it gets better. I remember how last winter was...

I have some crazier news...

Here's to the early am at the YMCA
For a while I had the impression to visit the YMCA 3 minutes away to see what signing up for a membership would be like. Sister Patterson and I finally checked it out. We thought and prayed about it, especially since they had a "Black Friday special" that lasted for a few days, and felt very good about it. We got a discount and it ended up not costing too much. Now we both go to the gym every morning for Monday through Friday and enjoy a good workout that's out of our dim living room.

Myung, the lady that dad taught English to when on mission in Korea

So, aside from that...the first day we went in we got to know the lady at the front desk, Myung, for a little bit. It turned out she knows who LDS missionaries are because she knew some back in South Korea a while back. Over the days as we got to know her, we found out she knew an "Elder Roy" around the mid-80's, which I tried to figure out in my head if it could be possible if she knew my dad. Today, she asked me, as we both finally figured it out, "Is your dad's name Douglas?" Oh man, I was freaking out inside. She is a member but is now less-active, but surely knew you when you were a missionary and remembers you. Isn't that incredible?!

At the end of P-Day last week, the Digital Missionaries called us, asking if I were there. From that point they said they chose a few missionaries to write a Christmas article for the website. I sent in my rough draft and it's been a quick process, but it should be on the Real Life Answers website this month.

Speaking of online posts, our district was on the Church News! I wasn't sure if you saw it, but here is the link: We all thought it was pretty cool!

You know those missionary stories that seem unlikely to happen? Sister Patterson and I had one last week. We've already met a few people here at the library since we come quite a bit to check the ward email, work on the Digital Mission posts, or whatever comes up. On Wednesday a man named Isaac approached us, asking who we were and what we do, since he often saw us "knocking on doors" (which we don't do a lot), going around town, or at the library. He had never heard of Mormons before, so our brief lesson on the Restoration turned into a longer lesson as we met in a study room, teaching more about the Book of Mormon. Before we knew it, he began to confess his sins, showing how he was desperate to depart from his serious sins--he didn't know where to start and was pleading. We taught more of Heavenly Father's true loving nature, the miracle of the Atonement, how prayer is not only to express gratitude but to talk with God. He was amazed with how baptism will cleanse his sins and how having the Holy Ghost will help him discern and help him have the desire to not do them again. As we taught, there were times where he was quietly listening while on the edge of his seat, eyes opened wide. We told him he just needs to place himself in better situations and run from harmful situations and temptations. He is a very nice, sincere man who we can tell is struggling. It's sad to say that there are some crazy people around here, mainly because of the effects from drugs or alcohol, but he wasn't that way.

He agreed to meet with us again the next day, so we brought a member with us, and then met again the following day. We answered questions he had, but he is having a very very difficult time wanting to read the Book of Mormon. At the end of the Restoration lesson, we bore witness again, read the story when the Savior came in 3 Nephi Chapter 11, pointed out the spirit that was felt, but still said there could only be the Bible, and that God wouldn't wait to have the Book of Mormon for our day. We'll see if he reads it and prays about it, and we're planning on meeting with him again this week.

For a while, the Elders, our ward mission leader, Sister Patterson and I have been planning to have a church meeting focused on missionary work--emphasizing how we are a team with the ward, and need their help. We didn't have as much time to prepare as we would have wished, but it ended up being superb! Sacrament meeting went longer as planned, as Elder Paiiva and the recent converts spoke/bore testimony on how much the gospel has blessed their lives. Near the end of sacrament meeting, there came 6'7"(ish) President Clayton Christensen--one of the world's smartest and most successful business men in the world--and his wife as they sat down a couple of rows in front of us. It was game time. All I could mutter was "Ohhh mercy!" as my heart leaped with excitement.

After sacrament meeting, we rushed to the gospel doctrine room, where we had the projector set up. I was in charge of the laptop for the 2 hour presentation (my voice still goes in and out), as Sister Patterson and Elder Wilhelmsen stood at the front of the class room to lead in discussions and questions based on the videos we watched from the Hastening the Lord's work website through Everyone but the primary kids packed inside. We helped them all understand the importance of members helping missionaries as a team and how we are here to help the members in their callings and everyday lives. We clarified our mission's priorities, all that we do as missionaries, and how much more investigators progress with members present at the lessons. We focused on how to share the gospel, including at work. President Christensen sat at the back as he gave his insights, including the experiences that taught him how to develop connections by answering their questions, instead of just sharing our doctrine, because that would be answering our questions. He shared stories that helped him know how to help others feel needed, and how to never be ashamed of the gospel in our everyday lives. He was very helpful and it was awesome that he was able to come to our ward for this special Sunday meeting.

The members seemed to be pondering while receiving ideas. Members gave helpful insights and experiences. By the end of the 3rd hour, we had them to take a moment and write what stood out to them, and what they will do, then closed it with the video I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go, during which I could hear 'sniffs' throughout the room as the spirit's strong presence was there. I am so glad it all turned out well, and we received many compliments. The work paid off and I hope this will take a new turn from now on for us and the members working together. :)

Did you all enjoy the Christmas Devotional last night? As soapy as it may sound, I love how the broadcasts are shown around the world, so we can all watch it together. I absolutely loved Elder Russell M. Nelson's closing remarks. It was different with all the videos, but it beautifully focused on why we celebrate Christmas, as the Savior's life was portrayed through his teachings and example as he ministered on the earth. His greatest gift made to us is truly a miracle. The Atonement's wonders and blessings are always available there to lift us up when we fall and to make up for our shortcomings. It gives us a reason to give our full devotion and consecrate our lives to live as He did--to seek those who are desperate for the good news in their lives, to comfort those in need of comfort, and to support one another. I know our Savior succors us--helps and runs to us--as He truly cares, mourns, and rejoices with us. This Christmas season is a time to rejoice for and remember what matters most in our lives, and to seek ways to remember and follow after our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I am looking forward to next week...on Tuesday we are going to a temple session and then have half the mission go to a huge Christmas party at the church across the street. I can't wait to see my "mom" Sister Gledhill, and possibly Sister Barney as well! Ahhh it's going to be sweet. I'll let you know more about it.

Well I better go, but I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Love you,

- Sister Roy

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