Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"This is the day which the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it" (August 14, 2017)

Happy Six Months!!!

What a week.

We have some pretty incredible members in our branch. We had a lesson with Patty at 8 in the morning this week, and we asked a member to come with us, knowing it was a long shot that early in the morning on the weekend, but she was more than willing, so we had an amazing member present lesson with Patty this week, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized! We are so excited to introduce her to someone from the branch. They do have crazy schedules, and many of them work multiple jobs, but it is cool to see that they will do any thing for the missionaries they can to help teach and find because they know exactly how it feels to begin to learn about the restored gospel and the church. We've been focusing a lot on asking members for referrals, and just not being afraid to straight up ask, and we have also seen so many miracles from that. We are going to start teaching the discussions to a members boyfriend this week, who has been to church many, many times, and has decided he wants to get baptized. And it's been so cool hearing about people's conversion stories when we're in their homes, and then using that spirit to invite them to share the same love and joy they have found with others in their lives. We really can't do this work without the members.

Twilight Zone moment from the week. We went to an appointment Orlando, who just got baptized, in the trailer park where they live. So we knocked on the door, and a Hispanic guy who we have never met before answered. We told him we were looking for this family, and he had never heard of them. He told us he had just moved in the night before, and he didn't know where the other owners moved to. We asked him what his name was and it's Orlando. What are the chances of that? But we started talking to him, and it turns out he was meeting with the missionaries a year ago where he used to live, but he's been moving a lot for work. So we were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon and set a return appointment, and it was the coolest, craziest finding miracle. And we eventually figured out that Orlando's family did move, and we just hadn't been kept in the loop. 

That miracle was even more precious, because the night before we had gotten back from an all day new missionary training at the mission home, and all of our appointments fell through, so we prayed and felt like we should go to this certain area in Lakeville. We were knocking door, and it was like all the bad contact attempts I've had so far in my mission in one night times twenty. We found a pastor from Mexico who gave us a lecture about using the Book of Mormon because the Bible is complete, then asked us to say a prayer with him, and he prayed that we would one day find the truth and have the confusion lifted from our minds. And another drunk Hispanic man was yelling at us about the twelve tribes and aliens, still not really sure actually. And nothing was working out. And a new family we were really excited about from last week dropped us because they said they can't believe in anything but the Bible. And we were really disappointed because we felt like we had followed the Spirit and gone to where the Lord needed us to go, and that whole night didn't find anyone we were looking for. I'm still not really sure why we needed to be there, but I certainly learned a lot, and days like that happen sometimes, and you have to keep going, and keep having faith that you're doing what the Lord needs you to be doing even when we can't see all the reasons. 

We also had interviews with President Barney this week. Interviews are such a blessing and always seem to take a weight off my shoulders. It is amazing how much love he has for the missionaries even after these short 6 weeks they have been here. And I really have learned a lot this week about the importance of leading and teaching out of love, because it is the ONLY way you will ever make a difference. 

I read a really good talk this morning by President Uchtdorf from October 2012. 
He shared "We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. “This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,” the Psalmist wrote. “Rejoice and be glad in it.”" We taught relief society yesterday about the importance of continuing education and to dedicate time to learning and gaining intelligence. It really is truly incredible how much happiness the gospel promises us. We can be happy now, no matter what. Every moment we have is a precious gift. Being a missionary is so hard, and so wonderful, and I'm still so grateful for this opportunity I had to serve. Thanks for all the love and support!!

Hermana Meredith

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