So it all started out with FHE last week... We got permission from President to watch 17 Miracles with our YSA group. It was so good! And it really hit me. It made me want to work hard and just keep going no matter how hard it gets. Because those people had it pretty hard. I had started out the week by praying that I would be able to make this week the best for Sister Stucki. I was pleading for ways to do that. But nothing was coming to me.
So on Tuesday, we spent the majority of our afternoon calling Less-active's or trying to find them, finding people we had previously met, and doing Facebook. It was a long day. We showed up for dinner at an investigator’s home, and she informed us she forget about a meeting, and handed us something, in a Tupperware. It had shrimp in it so I knew I wasn't eating it. So we went to Walmart and bought dinner! I had a frozen dinner, and Sister Stucki had a bag of steamable broccoli... Haha
That night we went tracting and we found 2 golden people! Seth and Dre. Seth is African and he was pretty interested in our message. He is in the military. He had a couple of really good questions for us and we set up a time to come back. Dre is in the military and he is so amazing! He seems like a huge scary guy but all he can do is smile! Sister Stucki was telling him about how we believe the church was lost but it's restored through a living prophet, and he said "Wait. Hold up. You said prophet?" He was so interested in learning about the prophet! He had so many questions and they were all so sincere! It was amazing!
Wednesday we had Zone meeting. I gave my first training as an STL and it went so well! I had plenty of time to prepare and rely on the spirit. I trained on teaching for understanding. I used a phrase from Elder Kapische, our area 70. He said "What doctrine do they need to understand to change their behavior." I’m going to focus on teaching this to sisters as I go on exchanges this next transfer. President Andersen also gave a training about resisting Satan and it was just what I needed! It was so powerful!
Next, we got to watch...... Meet the Mormons! We got to screen it before it comes out! And let me tell you, it was so good! So I'm going to encourage EVERYONE to go see it! Whether you're a member or not. Go see it. I can promise it will strengthen your faith. I was tearing up towards the end. But my favorite story was the one about the football coach. Oh and when you watch it, there's a girl named Kate Hargedon who speaks about the man in Nepal. She's another STL here in our mission.
Later I had fried Oreos at lunch. Y'all should be jealous. I had to put that in there! Then I took Hermana Reed back with me for an exchange. She goes home tomorrow and she is terrified. She couldn't stop talking about it. I love that sister so much! She has been such a huge example to me. She has been my good friend since the very beginning of my mission.. I'm going to miss her.
All of our plans fell through... Except one. We met up with Isaiah who is from American Samoa. He is a member and is here playing his 4th year for APSU football. He is awesome! He's hilarious too! He was telling us stories and we were practically rolling on the ground laughing so hard! His story is inspiring! He came here on a scholarship and has seen his family once in four years. He sends home a lot of his money to help his family, who lives off their land. He loves his family so much and will do anything for them. He also loves the gospel and wants to serve a mission. He doesn't know when or how yet, but that's a desire of his. He feels like family to me. I just love his testimony.
So Thursday rolls around and no wonderful miracles have happened yet... So we start our day and go visit Ebony and Steven. On our way up to their apartment some guy outside talking to Steven said "Hey I want one of those books!" He looked like a real rough dude and I couldn't tell if he was just making fun of us... He was actually sincerely interested. He loves learning about religion. He said "Steven won't let me have his" haha yeah Steven! So we gave him one and he was excited to read it. We went inside and Ebony told us Steven’s uncle died so he's been a little down... Steven came in and we figured out he needs to go way back to the basics... Like, he doesn't even feel like he's a child of God. He feels like God is a spirit. So we had a really good lesson with him and he actually made eye contact with us and he thought out his responses first. It was so good! Then we had a huge chunk of time until an appointment. We had put in our plans to contact a Less-active but I had tried her so many times and she never answered. We pulled up and her car was there, and she was home!!! We went in and she was pretty open. She lives a rough life and has strayed from the gospel.. But she was put in jail last week and it hit her that she needed to straighten out. We showed her Because of Him and she loved it. It really brought the spirit among the beer boxes taped to the wall. She thanked us and we left. It was such a good experience and she said she'll come to Sports Night next week!
We taught Chris that night outside the church and it was a disaster! We were not unified in teaching for some reason and our members kept interrupting us to unlock the church and tell us random things. It was frustrating.
We also tracted that day and we knocked on a door and a girl answered and said she was Jehovah's Witness and she wasn't interested. We moved on to the door behind us and she reopened her door and said, "I guess they want to talk to you..." We went in and it was her and two guys. Mike was the most interested. The others were Josh and Ashley. Mike had a lot of sincere questions. Sister Stucki is going back tonight with Sinclair to teach them. And I'm going to be on splits with Sister Frogue setting up for FHE. It was so cool that something prompted them within a few seconds to tell her to invite us back. God works mighty miracles.
I woke up feeling not so great. I was exhausted and just feeling sick. So weekly planning was a long experience for me. I really had to apply "endure to the end" on that one! Haha I ate a bunch of jelly beans to wake me up and it gave me a migraine.... But I was awake! Haha It was a rough day. I had gotten upset over something that really didn't matter. The thing that eats me up though is I'm too prideful to just apologize and let it go. It's something I'm still learning.
We met with Dre and Seth and Annalee came along with us. First was Dre. We knocked and I was worried at first because I heard a loud and almost angry sounding "Who is it?!" I thought maybe he was drunk... The door flies open and it's his dad! Haha he thought we were Dre's sister and so he was playing a joke and it was us! Haha well his sister arrived too and then we all sat down. His dad kept going off on random things explaining them to Dre and his kids would yell to be quiet, all in fun though. They are a very smiley family! Before the First Vision we told him to pay attention to how he feels. We recited it and then his dad went off on something. Then Dre says playfully "Dad shut up! I want to tell them how I felt!" Hahaha I was dying! So then he turns to us and said "I felt amazing!" And proceeded to tell us why. He kept saying "Dad this is about me!" Haha they were cracking me up! Dre said he's coming to FHE tonight.
With Seth the lesson was way different. It was quiet and focused and his roommate Alonzo sat in on it too. Seth's phrase that he says all the time is "too easy" in his African accent. So we asked if we could turn off the TV and he said "too easy!" And leaped for the remote! They both agreed to be baptized! We didn't set a specific date though. They were supposed to come to conference but didn't make it.
Saturday and Sunday: Cue miracles.
Saturday Chris came to both sessions of conference and Ebony and Steven came to one! Ebony loved it! Steven.. Not so much. But their twins were really good throughout the whole thing and Ebony went home and watched all the rest!
Let me just tell you.. Watching conference with other missionaries is the best! We all said "YESSSSSSS!!!" When they said Tad R. Callister and Jeffrey R. Holland would speak. I was so full of the spirit! More than ever! And this whole week has really been a week of strengthening my testimony of prophets. It's incredible! I KNOW that God has called a prophet to lead the Church on earth just as He did in times of old. It ALL makes sense! How can this gospel not be true? It just is!
So that night we bundled up and went to contact Less-active's. It was pretty successful! And we got a gun pulled on us! Hahaha by a member! We knocked and the mom yelled "Who is it?" We responded saying it was the sister missionaries Back Up: I don't think she heard us... It got silent for a while and Sister Stucki said "Maybe she went to get a gun" next thing we hear is a gun clicking the bullet into place.... And the dad opened the door and started laughing because they had pulled a gun on the missionaries! Haha they have had a few robberies lately so it's understandable. But that's quite a mission story!
Sunday: Cue mighty miracles
Chris watched the conference sessions at his house and they were so perfect for him! We went tracting in between sessions and ran into a YSA member! He's Muslim now, but we found a YSA member!! Ok miracle! Well back up. We were done and Sister Stucki said, “let’s do one more.” So we went upstairs and both of us looked at door 13 but we knocked 12. No answer. Knocked 13 and found him. Um.... Major miracle!
Then after conference we went tracting again and knocked on a door and there was no peephole and we heard a gun click again and a guy answered the door and just kept the gun behind his back the whole time and then rejected us and sent us off... But here's the next miracle. We knocked on a door and a guy answered and invited us in. We walk into a room full of people just staring at us. They are all from Kenya and the military brought them here. They all had so many sincere questions! They said we could come back next Saturday and they would cook us food and said there would be even more people!! We're going to baptize all of Kenya!
This made this transfer worth everything.
We taught Chris and we brought a member with us, Garrett, and his roommate Nathan was there. So we started with talking about conference and everything he liked. He then said "All I need to know is if Joseph Smith is a prophet and if Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. Then I can be baptized." It was weird. His whole countenance changed! I always felt like in the past, everything was not right for him, and then he just says willingly something about baptism! After all our discussions of baptism and why it's necessary and after many conversations about various topics. We then showed him a video of Elder Holland’s testimony of the Book of Mormon. Powerful. We bore testimony and Sister Stucki teared up and was very bold with him because it was her last time. I then told him that we wouldn't be here if we didn't know it to be true and we wouldn't be asking him to join us in this marvelous truth if we didn't know God would support him. I then shared how much time Sister Stucki has devoted to studying for him because she really desires his salvation and that's a testimony to me. We testified some more, and then Sister Stucki asked him to be baptized on November 25th. I thought "hmm... That's far away!" Our member told us that was a Tuesday, and she said "Oh I meant October!" So Chris asked her to say it again, and she couldn't even finish before he said yes! Chris said he would be baptized!!!! Sister Stucki and I bounced up and down the whole way home! Something changed him. I think a lot of questions were answered and a lot of things clicked for him during conference. We challenged him to read Joseph Smith's testimony out loud and to pray about it. I know he'll get baptized.
God works great miracles! He works such amazing miracles!
Now I wanted to tell y'all quickly about my favorite talk in conference. Mine was Elder Christophersons, Here's what I got from him:
The previous night I just cried in my prayers and told Heavenly Father I couldn't do it and I needed His help. These words came to my mind: "Study the atonement." The next morning I did... It's a subject I once studied over and over and I felt I couldn't learn anything new... Because I studied it, it stuck out to me in conference. He explained how Christ didn't die to save us, but to offer repentance. Then it clicked. So often we are told to apply the atonement. But what does that even mean!! It means, to repent, change and become better through Christ. Apply the atonement. Take advantage of the opportunity He gave you to repent.
That was my favorite talk! I had many others... But that was my all time favorite!
You asked why we've been so hungry and couldn't tell you the reason. We were struggling with our area and we had fasted and needed ultimate help and so an elder suggested giving all our money to fast offerings... And so we did! We gave $60 each from what was left on our cards to the Lord. And miracles came. Miracles in the sense of gaining 3 boxes of crackers from an exchange in which we survived off for a week, miracles in gaining a bag of food from someone and leftovers from dinners and lots of pizza from YSA and the boxes of food you sent. And the Lord made these last two days so great! It was all worth it!
Well that's my week! I have to go! I love you so much! :)
P.S. Oh and transfers, I'm staying in Clarksville and training a new Sister Training Leader, Sister Oldroyd.
Welcome to Kentucky!
Tennessee welcomes you!! I live right on the boarder of Tennessee and Kentucky and am often crossing over the boarders back and forth.
I Love Tennessee!!!
Yay Clarksville! I get to stay another transfer!!
Piggly Wiggly.....Only in the South haha.
Good bye Sister Stucki. I'm going to miss her soooo much!!!