Monday, February 3, 2014

7 Months and Still Going--the Best is Yet to Be

Our store. Done and done.


Well we weren't able to tour anywhere else today, but more opportunities will come later.

T-texts are coming on Saturday! Can you believe it? I'll find out if I'm being transferred this time, and I feel that I will be. Weston 1st Ward has been awesome and it will be hard to leave when it comes, but I'm looking forward to what else is out there. It's been incredible to experience and see the rate of progression in this area. Part of our ward mission plan is to have a new ward created in 5 years--that's through less actives coming back, more people joining, and more. I can definitely see it happening if this continues. :)

Sister Patterson and I are still working our tail ends off. I cannot believe how this ward area is flourishing! We've heard members say things like "The missionaries in this area are the most active, hardest working missionaries we've ever seen. If they could get me, out of all people to come out with them, then you should come with them." The Lord is opening a lot of opportunities up and none of this would be possible without Him. It still becomes difficult but it's rewarding. I'm not overdoing myself--still putting my health first and foremost with exercise, getting proper nutrition, full treatments, and more. Although it requires a lot of discipline, I'm truly grateful for having good health.

We are still teaching the young family that lives close to us more. The mom has been less active for 10 years but expressed a large interest to come back. Her husband Joe is not a member, and they have two darling girls. They are so sweet and the spirit was strong during the last lesson I went to (the lesson afterwards, Sister Patterson and I were on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders so she was at that lesson.) Something really neat happened that morning. During my personal studies to prepare for their lesson on the Book of Mormon and Holy Ghost, a good subtle feeling came that it was time to extend a baptismal date for him. I prayed about it, and confirmed in my prayers to make sure that the answer I received was right. During companionship studies, I told Sister Patterson the impression I had, but that I wouldn't share the date I received as the answer--not until she prayed about it and receive her answer as well, then we would tell each other. Once she prayed about which date would be best, we exchanged answers--both were in fact March 22nd. We are hoping to move it sooner if he can get more Sundays off of work, but it was a neat experience and showed how the Lord has His plan and how we can receive the answers we need through prayer.

The lesson that night flowed so smoothly, and the peaceful feeling seemed to make the world stand still while in their home. There came a point when we asked them if they read the assignment/answered the reading guide questions we provided, and they didn't, but that they were reading the Book of Mormon. Joe already started in 1st Nephi, and tears came into his eyes as he tried to explain how he felt as he began to read--warm, tingly, peaceful--which he never felt with any other book, as he knew right then that it was true. We shared Moroni's promise and broke it down into the increments of action. This sweet family silently soaked in every word with anticipation. We taught more about the Holy Ghost and how it can be our constant companion, but only through baptism by the proper authority. At this point, we asked Joe if he wanted to work towards baptism. He responded 'yes' and we could see how tears welled up in his eyes as there was a light there. His wife was bewildered with what was happening as Sister Patterson and I began to share our experience that morning and receiving the same answer for his baptismal date. He said he would love to. :) The spirit was powerful, and we concluded in testimony, warning how Satan would try to stop and discourage them, as we promised blessings for this sweet, beloved family. Each of us were overwhelmed, holding back tears, as there are no words that serve justice for the pure joy felt that night. It was honestly one of the best, smoothest-flowing, most powerful lessons I've been able to be a part of during my time here so far.

We also finally taught Chloe, the girl out in the town where Pam, Jose, and the two kids being baptized are from. She has been seeking for the truth and gained interest in the gospel through her friend in our ward. The first time we tried to teach her there was a large blizzard so we couldn't make it out there, and the next time we set up, the members' home where we were going to hold the lesson had thier entire basement flooded. However, the workers fixed it in a jiffy so it all worked out. :)  It sounds like the family got permission from her guardian for us to teach her, but we are going to check in with her asap to be courteous and make sure. The first lesson went very well, and another member from this family brought his friend as well, who is the same age as Chloe. Again, we're not sure exactly how far it will progress since we want to check with their guardians before we teach them again, but we could see how they wanted to learn more. We'll keep praying for them and hope for the best. After the lesson, we all had what must have been one of the best laughing fits--I honestly hadn't laughed that much in a while! I even found myself sore the following morning. :)

Those were a couple of the most powerful experiences this week. We are also busy making preparations for the baptism this Saturday, which are coming along well.
Also, I cannot believe that Josh leaves this Wednesday!
In church yesterday, the lesson in Relief Society was based off of Elder Holland's talk "the Best is Yet to Be," in which he talks more about how we can learn from the story of Lot's wife--to not look back, but look ahead as faith points to the future. There's been some things I've been discussing and seeking answers for from the Lord--decisions to make, what to leave behind, and what to know to look for. Here's the link for the full talk, but one part he said that stood out was, "The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives." as well as a little poem he included:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!
The lesson on this talk was a tender mercy, as it was exactly what I needed to hear and think about. I'm still praying and wondering about what to do about some things, and even wondering what wherever I may go to (if I'm transferred) will entail, but I love the message on how faith is always pointed to the future, no matter what it may be.
I love you all very much and have a great week.
-Sister Roy

After the lesson with the Pinsons

Sister Patterson's Cartoon Drawing of Me

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