Hey there! This last week has been interesting to say the least.
The Millers are graciously letting me use their iPad due to MLK Day.
We were able to start meeting with a new less-active family this week. It's a mom, her mom and her two kids ages 7 and 1. They haven't been to church in several years. The primary presidency went on a rescue visit to them a couple weeks ago and had a really good conversation. The 7 year old turns 8 in September and they wanted to know what needed to be done to get her baptized. The bishop asked us to work with the 7 year old and her mom to teach them the lessons and help get her ready to get baptized. It technically won't count as a convert baptism, but we're excited to work with them as a less active family to help them get back to church.
Tuesday night to Wednesday night we went on exchanges. I got to go spend the day in Tyler! Wow! It was so crazy. Definitely a busier area and world than Gilmer is. Needless to say I had a wonderful time with Sister Christmas and we taught a a whole bunch of lessons. It was fun to change up the routine, but I was happy to go back to Gilmer with Sister Parkinson. It's a treat to serve with her! We have a wonderful time together.
Thursday was planning day. Oh we are at such a hard place right now. We are down to one investigator and like one potential investigator. We are trying so hard to find more people to teach, but don't really know how to go about it. We're trying though. At one point during our planning we were joking around and said, " if the heavens opened and people were flocking to the font, who all could we baptize?" We ended up making a list of about 29 people who are from part member families or referrals from the ward. We prayed about the list and started calling people hoping that something miraculous would happen. We got one potential appointment out of it, so we will see.
Friday we found a potential down in Big Sandy. Her name is JE. She is a very kind lady. Hopefully something will play out with that. Friday night we were also able to get back in with a less active family that we haven't been able to see since October. It's crazy to see how hard Satan works on people when they decide to come back. The worst/adventurous part of Friday happened around 9:15 while we were doing our nightly planning. Sister P and I both saw a black little something dash across the kitchen floor. Needless to say, I was standing on my chair quicker than you can say, "mouse!" We called the bishop and his daughters to come rescue us.... Haha. They weren't able to find the mouse, but they set some traps. Gross.
Saturday, we had a very full afternoon and evening. Some of our appointments were really sad though. One was a sister telling us about why she is less active. Oh it broke my heart. Another one was telling us why she doesn't believe in prophets. Oh my heart was weeping and so was I. Side note: this morning I was studying "The Cost and Blessings of Discipleship" by Elder Holland from April 2014. He talks about there are good times and painful times of being a disciple. I have clearly seen that this week.
Sunday was good! Sister P walked into the kitchen and screamed. We caught the mouse! Hooray! Church was good. We taught Sunday school and talked about Jesus Christ. The Spirit was strong, and I am so grateful that we had several of our less actives there.
Here's some insight from the studies this week:
Alma 26:27 it talks about how The Lord will comfort us and that success is given through him. We can find patience and peace through the Atonement.
Alma 58:3 this verse says, "Yea, and it became expedient that we should employ our men to the maintaining those parts of the land which we had regained of our possessions;" I thought that this really applied to my work as a missionary. Sometimes, we're "conquering new cities" or finding new converts, but sometimes we are more focused on retaining those that we have aka strengthening the less actives and active members.
Well, I love you! Have a good week.