Monday, September 22, 2014

Achieving Zion

Sister Roy and new trainee Sister Jones
Hi Everyone,
One thing is for sure, it's been quite the week. At the beginning, many of our plans got changed around and a few appointments fell through. It’s also been quite the experience navigating through the crazy streets around here, since they curve around and some go on forever. Haha so maybe we got lost to a couple of appointments. :) We sure did a lot of walking! #theproblemsofnothavingasmartphone. Sister Jones has been a quick learner though so we're helping each other out. She sure has the Greenie fire and is one of the hardest workers I've ever met! It's been awesome to work with her and we're finding ways to laugh about the small things.

Here was something interesting that happened. On Tuesday when we came home, we stopped abruptly when we opened our door. Our furniture was turned upside down, knickknacks scattered, sheets of our beds--our apartment was torn apart. We were so nervous that it got broken into. It turned out that somehow the bug exterminators broke in when our apartment was locked, and did a follow up visit without notifying us. They just won't stop bugging us.

This week we met with Al once again at the rehab hospital he's been at to get better. His quote of the week: I asked him,"How do you feel?" His response: "With my hands..." Of course. That's Al for ya. He still wants to come closer to the Savior, and we are currently working on trying to bring church to him this upcoming Sunday, since we don't want to stop him from progressing when he wants to so bad. Fingers crossed and prayers sent that this will all work out!
Kyle and his family
Also...Kyle now has a baptism date! We were trying to extend one for a while and figure out what worked best for him, so it took some time. Nevertheless, he came bouncing in to the lesson we had with him this week, saying that he decided on October 11! He has progressed so much; as he has been a great example to me of how the Atonement can truly purify our hearts, change our desires, thoughts, actions, and course of life.

Also, do you remember Mark Dilaura? He was baptized last night over at the Arlington Ward, since that's where he lives. It was a special, sweet program and Mark was touched by all the support. In fact, all the missionaries who taught him attended and were part of the program. Oh, on a less important but interesting was the fun part...a mouse scurried across the floor during one of the talks. As Sister Berkey from our ward played the piano, she was wincing the whole time as it decided to hang out by her. All the Elders seemed to get a good kick out of it as they observed it in the corner of the room. After the program the Elder who Elder Lefthand is training picked up the mouse and ran through the huddled crowd with it in his hands, making everyone depart like the Red Sea before he let it go outside. I'll tell you it was quite the show

Mark's Baptism

On Thursday, we had what I hate and dread to say may be the last Zone Conference I'll be attending here. It was wonderful, as it all focused on our mission focuses on working towards Zion-- how to achieve it wherever we are at with who we are with and how to work at it with our mission's 5 priorities (1. progressing investigators, 2. auxiliary leaders, 3.  members, 4. service, and 5. personal contacting.) President Packard also spoke on how we can devote our lives to the Lord. As we work towards exaltation, we can become new through His Atonement and the covenants we make. Each of us can be a "complete, holistic offering to God" as we give up our own will and put in everything we can as we live our normal lives to live as our Savior would desire us to.  Something he said that stood out to me was "I don't want consecrated missionaries. I want consecrated disciples of Jesus Christ who happen to be serving a mission." 
Another sweet moment this week was when we received a media referral for someone who actually lives outside of our area, but works full-time in Cambridge. Often times media referrals don't seem to lead to much as they are often referred by other people, but she seemed sincere with her desire to meet with us. When we called her, we had a conversation I'll never forget. She said it took her 33 years to take the courage to refer herself to the missionaries. Back when she was 21, she had a close Mormon friend who taught her a little bit more about the church and was a great example to her. This lady, Andrea, wanted to join, but her family was Jewish and refused for her to do so. As the years passed, the church remained in her mind. She had more deep questions that came as she matured during the years. At this point, she decided to contact us. She was telling how she is ready to be converted. She is so excited to change her life and to follow what she has known to be true.
The reason I share this story is because it shows how much impact the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can have on an individual we come in contact with, as it can ring great familiarity through the power of the Holy Ghost. It can be easy to feel discouraged if they turn it down once we've introduced what has changed our lives forever. However, the influence you can bring to them can lay the foundation of what can happen in the Lord's timing. I know this may sound cliché, but Andrea's experience gives evidence to how these miracles do happen. 
So, my request for my upcoming Birthday is for anybody reading this would simply be to pray for an opportunity to open up to introduce the gospel to an individual who has been on your heart, and then continually seek in prayer as to what the Lord would have you do next.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. Remember that your loving Heavenly Father and Savior never fail to notice even the smallest efforts you make to draw yourself and others closer to them.
With love,
Sister Roy

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