The Lord is keeping us busy these days. I love it. Sometimes busy in the sense of swimming through the humid air but also in the sense of everything else you could think of. For example:
On Tuesday we had exchanges with the Woodstock sisters. It was a great experience. Sister Collins and I got along famously, we were just like old friends. I got to witness the power of spiritual goal-setting during this exchange. Sometimes it will just be hard to find new investigators for a little while and the poor sisters had been experiencing such a trial. We always make goals preparatory to our exchanges and Sister Collins made the goal that she wanted to find a new investigator. Because we had that goal in mind and had made a commitment to it, we were both able to receive divine help and grace and also we changed our behavior based on our faith. When we make a good goal that we are really committed to, it becomes like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I suppose I’ve seen this principle work in reverse on my mission as well. When I have really low expectations I usually am not likely to do much about them. Anyway, you’re probably wondering if we found the new investigator. Of course we did! She is awesome! Sister Collins gave her a great review of the Book of Mormon. It’s amazing how working and pushing a little extra can lift a discouraged missionary’s spirits.
We always learn so much about exchanges so we were able to carry that principle back to our area. The day after exchanges we both felt prompted that there were two people out there for us to begin teaching. We were going hard all day but to little avail. In the evening we had a lesson we were so excited about but instead the family we were visiting dropped us. It was so sad. It was around 8:30 and we still hadn’t found the two new investigators we promised we would find. We drove past the house of someone we had been trying to visit for a long time and I saw a light on upstairs so we screeched to a stop, turned around, and knocked on their door. Two young ladies opened, let us right in, and we taught them! It was awesome.
We also had Mission Leadership Council, oh it was so good. I can tell that I have grown so much in my ability to work well with other people on my mission. Especially elders. I used to dread being around them but not I always feel unified around other missionaries. They’re my buddies! Being able to get along with a diverse range of people, I think, is mostly a matter of humility. I have a long, long way to go in that aspect but missions are always humbling. Anyway I have a lot of respect for all the other missionaries, we have a great bunch. We divided up into zones (we have stewardship over two zones so our three companionships got together) and talked a lot about how to bring further progress to our areas. When I got to our zone the work was pretty slow but if my early weeks there I noticed a lot of people feeling like something great was about to happen. Well, something great is happening. It’s amazing here. On the way home I started to get really sad because it was my last MLC… so I cried. In front of the zone leaders. Poor guys. I was just sitting their crying and they were trying to be helpful without being inappropriate so they just played sympathetic-sounding music. It was good, they were doing their best. Then we talked about missionary work, that actually did help a lot.
We also got such a nice blast from the past. Cissy, our best friend from Cumberland, was in town getting surgery on her back. We stopped by the hospital to visit, it was so nice. She was a little groggy but she is wonderful. It is so sweet to see people who you developed love for by serving together.
As we were walking away from an appointment this week, we ran into someone we had taught briefly, then passed off to the elders. They taught him once but he didn’t really hold interest. When we walked by, he called to us and invited us onto his porch. He said, “I just need some help. Come talk to me.” We shared a little from the Book of Mormon and invited him to church. He got so excited. We texted the elders and told them to go by the next day and they did. They were like, “What did you do with Michael?! He was so excited. We’ve never seen him like that.” Obviously we didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, he was the one who changed though the spiritual gravity that Christ’s Atonement has, drawing us all near to Him. There were three of us visiting Michael, me (24), Sister Feinga (20), and Melissa (16). Michael apparently said something about “the young one” and something said teenager did… and we figured out that he was definitely talking about me. Come on.
Some blessings I was able to witness: on Sunday morning, there I was sitting on the back pew, when in walked our investigator with her entire family. She even talked her husband into coming. Honestly, when an investigator walks into sacrament meeting they just look like an angel. There is no sweeter sight. They all stayed all three hours and they loved it. Okay, there is one sight sweeter: someone dressed in white preparing to make promises with God that will change their eternal destiny. A few months back we met a fellow named Tony on the street. He was a warm, jolly guy and we sent his information to some nearby sisters and quickly forgot about it… until we found out that he had scheduled his baptism. We saw him walk out of his baptismal interview all happy and glowing last week and then on Thursday we got to peek in on his baptismal service. How wonderful. I remember almost walking by him because he looked busy working on his car. Little did I know that he was ready to change his life.
I love the work. I love the Lord. I love you.
Hugs and handshakes,
Chastity (some fellow honestly thought that was my name this week… serves me right for dressing like a nun)
PS: me and the Feing are matching aw