Dear Family and Friends,
(I started writing, "Dear Journal,"...that's what this email feels like!)
My mind has been blown with all that I am learning recently. I am understanding more about the Godhead, prophets, scripture...and it's amazing how my morning studies coincide with the trainings I receive, and God just gives me more and more knowledge. He is truly teaching me line upon line, and I can see how the more I do on my part, the more God gives me! And President Collins has made an eternal impact on my life. Every time he opens his mouth I am just amazed, and I can't stop taking notes. The gospel is true.
Our mission is splitting, and we get our new mission president, Pres. Cleveland, !
This companionship with Sis. Knight is an answer to my prayers, because she has truly taken a leadership role while we have gone on exchanges. She manages the area so well, she helps the other sisters and gives me great advice when I need it, and she is constantly looking for ways to apply what she's learning. She's very proactive and ready to work, and that takes a huge load off of me because I can trust her to keep the work moving forward!
We LOVED the missionary broadcast last night: The Work of Salvation! This truly is God's work, and He won't let it stop! There are so many changes occurring in missionary work right now, and I never thought I would be serving a mission, let alone at one of the most historic times in church history! It's a pretty amazing feeling. And it's also cool to even just be a member of this church right now, because each member has such a big responsibility to share the gospel with others, and especially invite others to meet with the missionaries. We are so excited to work with members closer than we ever have before, because that is how people's hearts will be softened! And Facebook?? How cool is that?? I just love being a missionary, and I never want it to end. But then again, I am soooo excited to apply what I'm learning when I go home. I want to be a member missionary, and help the missionaries for the rest of my life! Some of the sisters and I were talking about how we were just not really focused on missionary work before, and maybe we just weren't listening as closely as we are now, but now we see how crucial each member of the church really is, and how each individual plays such an important part in making this church grow! And that is by being proactive in looking for opportunities to share the gospel, and putting ourselves out of our comfort zone all the time. I liked how Elder Packer (?) said that sharing the gospel won't necessarily become second nature, but the more we do it the more we learn to trust in the spirit each time we open our mouths. Because this is God's work, and He will not let us fail! We just have to go and do!
I never realized how much I loved teaching til coming on a mission. It feels so good to be able to explain something simply and clearly to someone, to see a light click in their mind, and to see them apply it!
We've been teaching a woman who is less-active, and she came to church with us for the first time in a long time and loved it! Everything taught inSchool was just perfect for her, and she is so happy to be making these changes in her life!
We also had a lesson with Sis. D where we really sat down and established our purpose with her. She was kind of scared because she thought we were saying goodbye, but by the end of the lesson she committed to read the BoM every single day and prepare to come to church! She understands why we invite her to keep this commitments, and she is really going to try!
I went on a couple exchanges this week, and on an exchange in Muncie we had a miracle lesson with a woman...we were tracting a street and her house was the last one on the street, of course. She opened the door and two kids squeezed their way out and one said, "Mom, what is going on? Are they here to babysit?" She said, "No. Tell them you who are." We explained we were missionaries and asked a few questions about how they come closer as a family. The kids gave a few answers, and we started talking about how the gospel blesses families and how we have a prophet today. The woman asked what we meant by a prophet, so we compared it to Old Testament prophets which she related to cuz she's been reading the Old Testament. She kept asking questions but her kids were running around crazy so it was hard to focus, and we asked if we could come another time to share more, but at first she said no. After talking a little more we asked again, and she said, "The kids are actually on their way out, so after they leave I'll have all the time in the world." We went to go get our car down the street while the kids got ready to go. When we came back we sat down in her kitchen with just her. She told us her religious background and said she's been trying to read the whole Bible, but she said it seems like God is a different God in the Old Testament versus the New Testament. I was able to explain how God's doctrine always remains the same, but He gives us more when we're ready for it. In the Old Testament, people followed the Law of Moses, but when Christ came He fulfilled that law and gave them the Higher Law. Today we have the Book of Mormon because God knew we were ready for more scripture to help us live His doctrine more fully. We read the end of 2 Nephi 29 with her and explained Joseph Smith, and her eyes were just fixed on us the whole time. After relating the first vision I asked, "What are you thinking?" She said, "That is incredible. I'm thinking a lot of things." She said she doesn't know how one man could have handled seeing God, but she has had a similar experience before so she knew it could have been true. She asked us to share our personal testimonies, and I told her before my mission I never really had to defend or explain my testimony, but now that I am out, I know that I would not still be here if this message were not true. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she said she definitely would, and that she would be baptized if she came to know it was true. Unfortunately her life is so busy that she probably won't be able to read it for a few months, but a wonderful seed was planted in her heart! Her heart was changed within that hour that we met with her! I will definitely contact her after my mission to see how she's doing. She also told us that elders have knocked on the door before, but she wouldn't want to talk to guys. She said our "schpeel" about families at the beginning and the fact that we're women really clicked with her, so that's why she let us in. So cool!! Miracle lesson!!
Sorry for the uber long email, but I just have to get all my thoughts out! Love you all!
1. Chicken Limo!! Don't ask me what it means...we're just happy we got a picture of it.
2. This is a firefly that Sis. Barrett caught! First time I've ever seen a real firefly :)
3. Our zone after dodgeball!
4. Birthday cake made by the elders in the Fishers ward. Sooo yummy :)