Thursday, July 22, 2010
July 17, 2010
Mom & Dad,
This week was really good. Our mission has a goal of getting 7,000 referrals and potentials this transfer. I honestly didn't think it was possible, but our mission is at 4,500 right now and we still have two-weeks left. I think we will reach our goal!
Did I tell you about how my companion and I got a bunch of potentials? The other day we planned to meet two members in the Tabernacle. So we went there and saw two men sitting down, they looked like they were probably in their 30's. One had served a mission and the other had not. You could tell that they probably weren't fully active in the church. We asked the member who was a return missionary if he would share an experience from his mission with us. When he began to speak the spirit was so strong. We talked to them for about twenty minutes. We invited them to refer a friend so we could contact them through the referral center, but they "couldn't think of anyone." When that happens I then explain how our referral center works. I shared with them how our conversations in the referral center go and after that visitors usually think of someone we could call. The member who didn't serve a mission pulled out his cell phone and started writing numbers down. The member who served a mission even wrote down his parent's name and phone number. When we finished talking with them we looked at the list of potentials they gave us and we counted nine! My companion and I were both amazed by how many referrals we received. We already had a couple potentials from earlier that day and got another one later that night, for a total of 12 potentials in one day!
It is amazing how Heavenly Father blesses us when we plan and how he uses us to be instruments in his hands. I've been reading in chapter 17 of Alma in the Book of Mormon and it talks about the sons of Mosiah being instruments of the Lord. I love verse 11 "And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." This work isn't easy, but it is definitely worth it! And with the Lord's help it is possible!
I love you both so much! I can't believe how quickly time is passing. Everyday seems so long, but as I'm on my knees at night praying, I can' believe the day is already over. I love being a missionary and I love serving at Temple Square!
You're in my thoughts and prayers!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
July 17, 2010
Last Sunday my companion and I sang “How Great Thou Art” in Sacrament Meeting. It was beautiful! I prayed to invite the spirit with me and it definitely was there! I even saw a few people crying. :) The next day I had my President’s interview with my Mission President. For about five minutes he kept telling me how amazing the song was and to never let my talent go unused. I don't think anyone knew I could sing because almost every sister complimented me afterwards! It was a great experience.
So this week hasn't been full of a ton of miracles like last week, but we had one really good contact just the other day. We met a couple right outside the South Visitor Center (SVC) and asked them if we could show them around. They were from Iowa and had been traveling around the west for the past couple of weeks, because apparently that's what you do when you retire. They also reminded me that I have a LONG time to go before I could ever do that. :) So we took them through the SVC and showed them the new temple display and talked about family and how the temple was built.
We then took them to the Assembly Hall and for some reason I couldn't think of any of the facts that I usually tell during the tour. I was about to freak out when my companion looked at me and started signaling to me that it was my turn to speak. So I just started talking. For some reason, I explained what a typical Sunday service is like for members of the church. I taught about how members of the church are asked in advance to share a talked with the congregation and I explained the three different meetings that take place during the all three-hour block. I don't really know why I started talking about that, but it worked. They asked us a lot of questions, especially about why we are here and what we do.
Then we took them into the Tabernacle. When we got inside there was an International Children’s Choir practicing singing. We got there just in time to hear them sing "The Prayer" It was so beautiful. We didn't really share any facts about the Tabernacle inside. Then we remembered the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was rehearsing that night and invited them to attend their rehearsal. They both said they wanted to go to see the Choir practice. So we walked them over to the Conference Center. Right before we reached the door, I explained to them how as missionaries we have the opportunity to invite others to learn more about our church. I told them that missionaries in their area would love to visit them and teach them more about what we believed. I asked if this is something they would be interested in hearing more about. The woman responded, "It could be." I was actually really surprised because this had not been a typical tour. So we explained what the missionaries do and re-invited and they said they wanted to learn more! I pulled out the referral card and they filled it out. We told them like two more times that the missionaries would contact them, because we were still in shock that they referred. We wanted to make sure they understood. But they definitely understood. We testified of the blessings that will come to them and took them into the Conference Center to watch the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice.
After my companion and I left them, we were still in shock. It was such a tender mercy of the Lord to place them in our path. We were so grateful for the opportunity to find that prepared couple. It just goes to show when people are prepared all you have to do is invite the spirit, and then invite them!
Things are going great! Thanks mom for keeping my blog current for me! Let everyone know I’m really being obedient and it’s you keeping my blog and checking my facebook.
I love you so much! You’re in my thoughts and prayers!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
July 10, 2010
I just wanted to take a few minutes and tell you about some of the miracles that have happened this week!
Yesterday, my companion had a doctor’s appointment, so our Zone Leaders told us that we couldn't go to Welfare Square after the appointment. She said we would have to be at Temple Square all day. My companion and I were not very excited about that because we love Welfare Square. We both thought that it didn't make very much sense for us to stay, but we obeyed anyway. We went to the doctor’s appointment and it went well. We were back on the square by 11:00am and we started working right away. We were trying to talk to people and invite them on a tour, but no one was receptive to our attempts. Then I had the thought to walk around the tabernacle, which we usually don’t do. So we went there and met some members and talked with them for a bit, but they didn't have any referrals for us. Then we kept walking and two men approached us and asked us if we were taking a tour. We told them we were looking for someone to take around Temple Square and they would be perfect! So we started taking them on a tour and found out they are here for a YMCA conference from Minnesota!! We were going to take them into the North Visitor Center, but they asked if they could go in the Conference Center (cc). We said of course and we took them there. We went to the hall of the prophets and showed them statues of past prophets and pictures of the apostles. The spirit was so strong! We went into the auditorium which seats 21,000 and they were in awe. We invited them to receive missionaries and a Book of Mormon and one of the guys, Tim, was unsure about accepting it. So then my companion said, “Well, while you think about that offer, I will read a scripture from it.” I don't remember what scripture she read, but it was perfect and the spirit was strong. After that the other guy, Pat, said he wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon. Then I re-invited Tim and he said yes. They both filled out the referral cards and were excited to receive the missionaries. I promised them the blessings of peace and happiness as they read the Book of Mormon and that they could have that same peace and happiness in their homes, with their families, as they read and study it together.
It's amazing! We weren't even planning to be at that spot where we met them, but every night when my companion and I plan our next day, and every morning before we leave our apartment, we ask Heavenly Father to lead us to where we need to go even if our plans aren't His will. He definitely put us exactly where we needed to be!
After that encounter we met a couple from Maryland! We took them on a tour around the Square. Unfortunately, they weren’t from any of the areas I served in during my outbound assignment. They were from another Sister’s area. They were very nice and we had a great tour, but they didn't refer. While on that tour we were on our way into the tabernacle and it got SO windy! A tree branch fell 20 feet from from us. It was so crazy, everyone started to come into the tabernacle so my companion got stuck holding the door for everyone. I continued on the tour and started talking about the history of tabernacle and in the process discovered a lot about them. My companion, Sister Schwager, got stopped by a couple of members and they wanted her to talk to their non-member friend. So I continued teaching the couple from Maryland and then it was time to go outside again. Sister Schwager met up with us just before we went outside and we continued the tour and it went well. After that tour Sister Schwager told me that the man she talked with was so “golden” that he referred in five minutes! She said he was definitely prepared to hear the message she shared with him. When she asked him what he thought about a living prophet on the earth today he said, "That's wonderful! I always wondered why there weren't any!"
Later, that day we took another family around Temple Square. They were from Montana and the dad was agnostic and the wife was a non-active Christian. They had a 12 year-old daughter and an 11 year-old son. At first I thought they were members of the church by the way they were dressed. During the tour, we found out that the man's mother was baptized when she was pregnant with him, but obviously not active. We took them around the South Visitor's Center and showed them the new temple display. It is amazing! It is a replica of the Salt Lake Temple and it actually shows the rooms inside. You should look it up on the Church News. The family thought it was really cool. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and the angel Moroni. While I was explaining about the Book of Mormon it felt like my words were just coming out of my mouth without any effort on my part. Afterward, my companion asked them what they thought about what I had just said. The husband and wife didn't have too, much to say then the 11 year-old boy said, "I think I want a copy of that book!" He had so much excitement in his voice and really was interested. We showed them a couple of video clips from President Monson and they really appreciated the counsel that he has the youth. We invited them to receive the missionaries and a Book of Mormon and the dad said, "What do you think kids, do you want that?" They both very eagerly said, "Yes!" The dad said, “Well I can't say no to them." I re-explained that the missionaries would be bringing the Book of Mormon to them and would also share a message about Jesus Christ that would bless their family. They agreed to have the missionaries come to them! Seriously, I love kids! They are so close to the spirit!
We got another referral today from an 18 year-old young man, Brian and his mother, Sherry. Brian has a fascination with studying religion even though he claims to be an atheist. Weird, right? He knew a lot about our religion and told us he has three Book of Mormons already. They were both very interested in the message we were sharing with them and they agreed to have the missionaries come and teach them more. I think Brian may have a little more difficulty in coming unto Christ, but I know it is possible. His mother was definitely prepared and I think she needed his interest in religion to get her here.
Anyway, those are some of the great experiences this week! I am running out of time, but I know this church is the only true and living church of Jesus Christ on the earth! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I have felt the spirit more abundantly in my life as I make it a priority! I love you all!
Don't forget about me! I still have five months left and I love letters and packages! :)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
July 3, 2010
This week has been great! I love Temple Square! We are serving at Welfare Square and it is such a humbling experience. I have learned so much about the Church's Welfare Program. I had no idea where our fast offerings go. I never realized how important it is to pay fast offerings. My testimony has strengthened so much in this past week and I have so much more of a desire to pay fast offerings! I am excited to pay it tomorrow! We take people around Welfare Square and teach them about the Bishop’s storehouse and we show them where everything is made. When it is really slow we get to do some hosting. That is when we take people around to fill their food order that the bishop has approved. It is such an amazing experience to do that. The spirit is so strong and I feel filled with charity towards these people that I just met. The other day I took a woman probably about 35 and her mother. The woman's husband had lost his job and they had to move in with her parents. They had four children, so it was a very full house. They are very active and had been to the temple. You could tell that it was a very unhappy, humbling experience for them, and it wasn't their first time. The spirit was so strong, and I was able to relate so well with her and her mother. I was very cheerful and upbeat with them and I think it helped a lot. I told them that even though it is humbling, the food is amazing so it makes it all ok. :) They laughed and agreed with me. I also shared a scripture with them in Ether 12:27 how we are shown our weaknesses so we can become humble and grow. I testified that Heavenly Father sometimes lets us go through hard times so that we can become stronger.
When we were almost done shopping the head manager at the Bishop’s Storehouse, walked by and said hello to them and called them by name. I found out that they used to be neighbors. The women told me that they were hoping they wouldn't see him. I laughed and said that the only time I like running into people I know is in the temple. They agreed and laughed. After they left Larry came up to me and thanked me. He said he was so happy that I had helped them because he knew that I would take good care of them. He told me how they used to be neighbors and how her husband lost his job. He continued to tell me how much he appreciated me taking care of them. Then later I saw him and again he thanked me and told me that I really saved him. I don't quite know what he meant by that, but I took it as I was a good example of how much we love and care for the people who come in. It was such a wonderful thing to hear that I am doing well. Especially since that was only my 3rd time filling an order.
We have had success on Temple Square as well, even though we are only on the Square for a couple of hours each day. Although not every one refers, I can feel the spirit so strong while I am teaching and I know I am helping others to come unto Christ. We have seen so many miracles already! My second day here I met someone who lives in the area as my last district leader (DL). But she wouldn't really talk to us, so I didn't get her to refer.
My companion and I get along great and we work very hard. Our DL told us today how proud she is of us for the potentials (referrals) that we have received at Welfare Square. I didn't know this, but apparently it is not a very effective area for sisters. In outbound we would say it is a “dead area” because nothing really happens there. The Mission President has even considered not having sisters there anymore, but we have seen a lot of success. Just yesterday we got four potentials! When my DL told us about that today I felt the spirit testify that it was inspiration for my companion and I to be called to serve at Welfare Square. My companion is so excited about Welfare Square, I think she likes it even more than I do. :)
My companion and I are both very excited to work out in the mornings. We were talking about it when one of the security guards was in the room and he told us about this great workout that he did in the army ROTC. So he printed the workout sheet for us and we have been working out every other day and running on the other days. I am SO sore, and I love it! I have also been eating better lately. At welfare square we eat in the cafeteria, so I just eat a salad and it fills me up. For dinner I usually eat a turkey sandwich on wheat and we eat dinner no later than 5pm every day. So hopefully I will drop some pounds!
Anyway, if you can't read the excitement in this letter, I love it here! I hope the success continues! I am so happy to be back at Temple Square! I love you so much! I hope everything is going great for you, and I hope you are enjoying your vacation!
I love you!
p.s. I am going to get my hair cut today by Kaysi!!!!! I am so excited!
- ▼ July (4)