Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Week 54--Massively Marvelous Missionary Marathon!!

Hello, Everyone!!!!

Get ready, plan on doing a "brain vomit" and tell you all about the most incredible week I've had on my mission!!!! Yes, I'm fairly certain this is the case!!!!!!

I will still probably forget some things but that's okay!!! :) 

I should first mention that all the snowy ice has melted into a huge river from off the roads!!! That's right. I thought there might be some hydroplaning, but luckily there was not!! And now, the roads are all clear! Yay, pavement! Makes me feel more like a Nevadan. ;) 

Okay, ready? :)

Flashback to Monday evening. We had an amazing lesson with Jack! We asked him why he wasn't at church. It was one of those moments on my mission I've learned to develop and switch on my "charity glasses."  We really listened to what he had to say. I decided to play Nancy Drew and ask him about his feelings at church 2 weeks ago, at the temple,  at his baptism, when he received teh Holy Ghost, etc. Then I asked "how would you like to feel that way all the time?" He was quite surprised at such a notion! He goes to church, feels great, then loses the Spirit. That's what happens to all of us if we don't nourish our testimonies with prayer adn scripture study! So I had the opportunity to testify that it CAN be with him all the time. The purpose of the Gospel isn't just to show up at church, feel good, then go back to regular life. The purpose is change. It's to keep that light burning bright within you by the way we live, to be a beacon of light for others, to live a spiritual AND a regular life!!! It's just life. The BEST kind of life. And, believe me, I know the difference when I have and have not nourished that light. We ended up talking about the temple, receiving his endowment. We helped him see how much potential he has, how he's so close to where he needs to be and how much more Heavenly Father has to bless him with if he will draw closer to Him, just come back to church full-force and start preparing himself for a temple recommend. It was awesome.  It was a rare and splendid moment when he just looked at me and thanked me for inspiring him to come back, for bringing the spirit in, that my words are much more than just thrown-out words. He is inspired, he knows he wants to receive his endowment!! He told us a big change is happening soon,(hopefully while I'm still here) and he's at a crossroads in life right now. He went to church and loved it! We are still trying to help him apply the scriptures more to his life. Anyway, it was a rare privilege when I felt like an absolute instrument in the Lord's hands. He is that force behind my words. I'm so grateful I get to be a missionary!!!!!

Now for a humorous turn of events. We had a zone training this week. Well, there was a hilarious role play. That's how we get trained, you see. :) So one of the elders hid behind a chalkboard (which had a door drawn on it). His companion knocked and out popped an elder dressed up in a skirt with a spray bottle and a girlish voice. "She" was bleaching the walls and didn't want to take the survey the missionaries offered. Bahahaha!!!! It was hilarious!!! So, the story gets better. This elder gave the skirt in question, TO ME. That's right! They actually live with members and sisters used to live there so they left a bunch of skirts behind. Well, the plot thickens becasue this elder gave a talk in church on Sunday and I wore that skirt in his honor!!! xD It is pink and ruffly, in case you wondered!!!!!!!! Oh, and this elder is DEFINITELY not bad looking, in case you wondered about that as well! Not that there is anything scandalous about it.  It's just an observation. ;) 

We set 3 new baptism dates this week!!!!!!! That's right, you heard me. We have been INSANELY blessed. So I mentioned Jill last week. Well, we went back to see her and she's doing so awesome!!!! We taught the Plan of Salvation. She loves the Atonement, has seen it at work in her life, and eagerly accepted a baptism date for April 25!!!!!!!! So excited about her. 

Next is James and Christina. These are people that Sister Dunlap met on Base when we were on exchanges. Now, I can't accurately describe the miraculousness of meeting them, since I wasn't there, but I'll try. :) They were trying to move in and the sisters offered to help. It was actually a miracle that they even got the house. Their realtor prayed for them and they got it! I'm not sure this makes sense, but bottom line, they feel it is no small coincidence at all that we met. Well, we invited both of them to the Relief Society birthday activity. THey both were there and brought their 3 month old baby and 3 year old daughter. So cute!!! Well, as you might imagine, the RS women went crazy over the baby and we SO friendly and nice to both of them!!! Such great fellowshipping occurred. The bishop's wife came up to us and said "Hey, you hit the jackpot!!" :) Christina is super nice (So Is James), and actually has super awesome bright neon hair. So, she told us she's always felt judged and such when she went to different churches but she was SO IMPRESSED with how friendly and awesome everyone was. She felt loved! And they had a great time. (Side note we had a white elephant party and I got a giant cute stuffed monkey. But that's beside the point. :P) SO when we went to Base and taught the Restoration she was SO receptive!!! She felt really good at the church. By the way, she also is totally new to Base and was able to swap phone #s with some of the RS ladies. Sweet! Anyway, she readily accepted a baptism date for April 25th!!!! She and Jill can be baptism buddies!!! We think they would really get along. :) Anyway, we are so excited about her. James, her boy friend, was out of the room so he didn't get to hear most of it so we will keep trying with him. He seems cool, though, and I bet he'll join in next time and accept a baptism date. I've been able to learn throughout my mission how important it is to introduce yourself and be super friendly to new people!!! Fellowship is so important!!!! There may be such wonderful, fellowshipping individuals reading this right now, and I, in behalf of all missionaries everywhere, thank you!!! :) 

NEXT is Kim!! Whew, my wrists are sore from typing so much! :P Well, we met her on exchanges. Remember that week when I told you all that I was tracting forever until we finally found this amazing apartment complex? Well, this is the same one! AKA the promised land. This is also where Jill lives. Just sayin. Anyway, she is awesome!!! Also divorced and has 2 kids. But she also is part of a non denominational church, held off baptism becasue she wasn't sure which one was right, and LOVES the idea that she can know for herself, from God, that this is the church she should join. She ALSO accepted a baptism date!! Only, I meant to say April (the spirit prompted me to extend an  unplanned date) but ended up saying May 31. Maybe we can move it up or that's what she needs?? Who knows. I'm excited!!!!!! 

It's so amazing. I've never had this many baptism dates, and with such prepared people!!! It's so rare. Especially for this mission. I KNOW this is all Heavenly Father's doing. I'm really not sure why He's blessing us so much. I definitely don't deserve it. :) 

BUT it was also really cool to see one of our Powerpuff Girls (recent convert college students) come out teaching with us. She goes out with us most days, all day, which is awesome. But, she's been sharing her testimony lately (in Kim's lesson and Christina's!!!) and it has had such a powerful effect!!! Each time she does she become more and more confident. It's so neat to see it!!! Recent converts are the greatest. She is preparing to serve a mission, too!!! It can be reallly intimidating to speak up in lessons and it was scary for her but she did and I'm so proud of her! 

We had 3 investigators at church!! Mary, Aubrey and Bela. That's my record, in case you wondered. :) We were supposed to have 6 but rarely if ever do people show up on the first invite to church. So, I'm confident the 4 new ones will show up next week. I can't even believe it, 6????!!!!! Oh man. (: This is the exact problem missionaries want to have!!! Like I said, I'm being ridiculously blessed. 

It's so stressful and exciting all at the same time!!! Lots to keep on top of, especially because we are trying to see each of them twice a week. Please pray for the following wonderful individuals, if you feel so inclined!!! Bela, Mary, Christina, Jill, Kim. :DD 

I also might get to ride bikes this week because the Elders are sharing our truck with us (they got rear-ended and their truck is in the shop). SWEET I get to be a biking sista!!! ;) 

We also had the rare privilege of going to seminary to encourage these wonderful young men and women to pray about who they can share the Gospel with!! 

I'm also FINALLY getting a hair cut today!!! It's been forever. Today the fro gets chopped! :P 

We very excited about the progress of Mary and Bela as well!!!! We read Alma 32 with Mary this week. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but we really have like, NOTHING new to teach her. Seventh Day Adventists even have their own (slightly more complex) Word of Wisdom. They can't even eat pork. I think we bored her big-time in  trying to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week!!!! Oh man. This will be interesting!!! It's only my first time being a senior comp and in charge of all these things. :o Anyways, all she needs is a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon!!! She is so close. We helped her see she does have one!! It's just small and needs more time to grow. She will get there, I know it! :) Bela is also doing great. She decided to move her baptism date back to April 11 so she can feel more sure about it and talk with her family. We had a double lesson scare this week (investigators must live teh Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity two weeks consecutively before they can be baptized!!!) becasue her original date was 2 weeks from Saturday. Phew. There is more time!!! I'm so excited for her. She is SO willing to keep all these commandments and is so prepared to make this covenant with our Heavenly Father!!!!! 

Phew. Well, it's been an amazing week. I absolutely adore this work and the part I get to play in it, small as that may be. It's an amazing thing to be a missionary! Well, I definitely need to be done now, so I wish you all an amazing week!!!! 

Elder Perry will be here this Saturday!!! I'm so excited. :)

I love you all!!!!! :D

Sister Woods 

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