Monday, July 7, 2014

One Yeh Mak!

So, the 4th of July was not what we expected it to be!! But overall it turned out to be alright. :) Let me share a glimpse of how it went...

Once upon a time, on July 4, 2014 to be exact, there was going to be a large celebration in America's hometown to celebrate the country's independence. There was going to be a parade, fireworks, and overall a great big party.

But then a "hurricane" came in.
The end.

Locked out of our the hurricane
So there's the Fourth of July in a nutshell. If I went into more detail, I could say that two fun-sized Sister Missionaries named Sister Roy and Sister Harris were stranded in the pouring "pre-hurricane" rain for a little bit of time since they locked their keys in the apartment. Thank goodness someone let them inside the apartment building and their landlord was in town to come unlock their door.

I don't believe that what was supposed to be Hurricane Arthur was big enough as it was played to be, even though it was raining cats and dogs all day. During the beginning of it, though, we had a fun Zone Meeting. :) 

Hingham South Zone on the 4th of July
There were also four recent/upcoming Birthdays in the Zone so the Conlee's (the Sr. Couple in our zone who help with the YSA branch) brought a cake and the Southcoast Sisters made yummy brownies for everyone. So, the 4th of July was not what we expected it to be!! But overall it turned out to be alright. :) It was fun to spend it with the Zone! It was a little scary heading home since it was raining very hard and some of the streets were flooding, but luckily the winds weren't bad.

(Also, the Nashua Zone up in New Hampshire had a a swimming the "hurricane"...oh how I love the MBM!)

One thing is for sure: It was a Fourth of July I'll never forget!

Overall, it's been one of those crazy-yet-I-can't-remember-all-that happened weeks. A couple of weeks ago I heard from the CF Clinic that I did not have a primary care physician, and until I did I could not see them. I had to cancel the appointment and made phone calls like crazy on TuesdayIt all started from ground zero of not knowing which doctors at which hospitals to call. Once I would find one it took a lot of work to see if my insurance plan would accept them, to see if the doctor would accept the insurance, and then to have it go through but be rejected, then looking for another doctor and when most of them weren't accepting new patients. I also found out I picked the one insurance that did not let me go over 25 miles to see a PCP (gotta love fine print that you never know exists), so I switched to another insurance. So, (in the voice you hear on the SpongeBob TV show) 4 hours later, after near 20 calls, we called our mission nurse, and Sister Packard suggested to try her daughter's doctor, and it worked! She really did save the day. It was a pretty stressful day but it was another trial of faith that the Lord helped us get through.

This week I also hit the one-year mark! The day began with Sister Harris creating her surprise by blowing up 'Happy Birthday' balloons but crossing out "Birthday" with "One Year." We also went for huge ice cream sundaes later as we daily planned. I feel like there's a lot I could say about what I have experienced and learned over this past year, but I won't bore you out by going into soapy details. :) I must say though that I am sure thankful to be here still and to have come this far.

In regards to teaching, we can finally teach Yuri again! His medical test came back negative. :) Our plan to teach him fell through last week, but we plan on meeting with him again this week! Our lesson with Chris last week also fell through, but we are also meeting with him again this week. We're trying to figure out why he keeps putting off coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon; he is so humble and sincere and told us he would straight up tell us if he were no longer interested in meeting. We're going to see how having a Book of Mormon study with him will go. We also met a man named John who lives in our branch boundaries and works with the bishop in another ward. We had a great phone conversation with him when we were inside our house during the storm on the 4th, and he came to our branch on Sunday! He is from Cape Verde (where Yuri is from) so we're hoping they can somehow help each other out. We're curious to see how it's going to go because John majored in Bible studies, knows Hebrew, lived in J-Ru for a year, memorized several books in the Bible, and more. So, we're not sure if he's investigating for intellectual reasons, but he seems interested and has already studied so much about this church. He has seen many things in other churches he doesn't agree with, but so far he loves everything about this church. He had a wonderful time at church on Sunday and was welcomed in (there were so many members with him that some members didn't even get the chance to meet him.) John wants to learn the very basics (whew!) so we are hoping to meet with him this week and will extend a baptismal date, so fingers crossed!

As you may know, the church is placing great emphasis on helping all investigators, recent converts, and members ENDURE to the end. For instance, the First Presidency made some recent adjustments for all missionaries, which include teaching lessons 1-5, not just 1-4, before and after someone is baptized. They also want us to jump in without waiting on their HT/VT to teach the new member lessons, and to work with each new member for at least 3 to 4 months after baptism and remain in contact with him/her for at least a year. All of these changes made complete sense, and in a way didn't feel like changes until they were written in an official letter. I hope to help those we teach understand their role in the Lord's great eternal plan. They may face much opposition, but as they follow the Lord's plan for them, they will see miracles and blessings come for them. There was a perfect analogy given by Elder Nelson at a training for new mission presidents that I read, as he was talking about the new changes and the importance of helping each other endure to the end. No matter the role or position we have, we are all to help ensure that love and service is extended. He said:

"A heart surgeon does not perform an operation alone but works with an assistant, an anesthesiologist, nurses, and others. Each member of the team plays a vital role in safeguarding the life of the patient. ”A successful operation is followed by a period of intensive care; later, when the patient’s condition is stable, he or she is transferred to constant hospital care and then is ultimately released to the tender care of loved ones at home. A successful outcome depends upon good communication, cooperation, and commitment by each member of the team at all levels. If a complication should ensue, immediate steps are taken to rescue the patient, and nobody quibbles about whose job it is to save the patient’s life.

“Likewise, a successful outcome with either a new or returning member reflects complete cooperation among the bishop, ward council, ward missionary leader, and full-time missionaries. They work as partners. They sense their combined responsibility to care for the spiritual life of each precious son or daughter of God."

Isn't that a perfect description? As we work together, we safeguard each precious life through the abilities the Lord gives us.

As I feel like this is a jumbled/ slightly random letter, I will do my best to collect my thoughts. As Sister Harris and I put forth our best efforts and trying to do what the Lord would have us do, we hope to spiritually help the individuals we are working with endure to the end--to keep their testimonies burning through the foundation of having faith in Jesus Christ, to help them reach the temple, work on family history work, and more. People have agency, there are always changes in our schedules and unexpected occurrences come up and we are imperfect in many ways, but we can do what we can with the Lord's help as we place our faith in Him, which is definitely something I am trying to work on more at this time.

One of my favorite quotes that has come to my mind this week is "I may not be able to change the world, but I may be able to change the world of a person." This great work truly changes individual lives as we help them continue to be faithful to the covenants and promises they make. We can care for one another by following our Savior and Redeemer's example as we strive to be more like Him.

Love always,

Sister Roy

Here are a few random other pictures from this week:

Sister Roy and Sister Harris

Eating lobster rolls at the Blackwells' home before a baptism (she's an awesome cook!)

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