Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, May 20th, 2013 - A Full Week of Missionary Work!

We actually had a full week of missionary work with no sickness or ER visits. Hallelujah!!!

First off, the young man, Dearien, who we had first taught when we got here to this area was baptized yesterday! We weren't able to go because none of our investigators could come. I'm so glad we were able to be part of his conversion in some small way. It really seems like we're here in this area to find other people for the other missionaries. Oh well, it's the same work. 

We have a new investigator named Jessica. She's actually the mother of Diamond who we've been teaching (trying to meet with her recently). Her husband is inactive and we have been visiting with them for the past two weeks. They have surprisingly let us in both times. We've been getting to know them better and sharing a message. Jessica has really opened up to us. The missionaries before have been visiting them for years. Maybe this is the right time and we happen to be the missionaries here. We're excited to see how teachings progress. I really hope we can help this family come back to church (3 out of the 5 children are baptized) and have the blessings of Eternal Life, so they can be forever as a family.

We are still teaching Rae, who has alzheimers. We taught her the rest of the gospel- baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. We also have started teaching her the Commandments- obedience, pray always, and read the scriptures. It's amazing how she's now remembering our lessons that we've had. Her memory has been improving, which is a miracle in itself  She makes her own commitments. It's been amazing to see her change and how much her faith has increased.  We found out she doesn't have a Book of Mormon or a Bible, so we gave one to her on Sunday. It's like she's an investigator because she really doesn't know anything about the Gospel, so it's been an incredible experience to be teaching her and helping her come closer to Christ.

We went on exchanges this week! The first ever for me. It was with the new Sister Training Leaders. I exchanged with Sister Lemon, she's actually a spanish speaking missionary. I got to have language study instead of training for an hour. Too bad I know nada Spanish. Guten Tag? lol They're actually in my old area! The area just got whitewashed this past transfer. It was so neat to go back to see people I taught and see how they're progressing. Also I knew my way around, so we didn't have to use a GPS like they had been! lol. It was also funny to see people's reactions when they saw me. They'd do a double take and be like, "are you back now for good? and it's so great to see you!!" I wasn't able to see Sherry, but we did try to stop by, but she wasn't home. It was incredible to see how it's the same and how's it's also different from when I was there. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to go back to my old area. Sister Holcomb did a great job leading in our area that day. It was nice to also be in a car for one day! I actually did though miss being on a bike because we had to pass so many people because we were in a car.

Last week we talked with some members and they told us about their cleaning lady who's met with the missionaries before, but something's holding her back. She said to stop by on Monday (today) and we could meet her and hopefully teach her a lesson. We stopped by earlier today, even though it was our P-Day, and met Sam! She's around 40 years old and we shared 1 Nephi 17:13. I had been praying on what we should share with her and this scripture came into my mind. After she had read the scripture, she was silent and said, "this is ironic that you'd have me read this scripture today because I've been having many trials this past week." From there she opened up and we found out why she hasn't been baptized yet (Joseph Smith and some other questions). We ended up having a discussion for 45 minutes answering questions and testifying. She actually said she's meeting with the missionaries where she lives. She lives way out of our boundaries, but she cleans a lot of our members houses. She's such a sweet lady and I'm so glad I got to talk with her and help her come closer to Christ. She thanked us and thanked us for sharing that message with her and how she can gain a testimony about Joseph Smith and the other concerns she had. She's sooo prepared!

In my personal study this week, I was reading in 3 Nephi 5:13. I love the declaration Mormon says about missionary work. This is my anthem for my mission: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been acalled of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." I LOVE THIS SCRIPTURE! I love being a missionary. I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to dedicate 18 months of my life to God. It's the best feeling. I don't ever want to go back to the "old" Lauren. I hope to keep the growth I've had so far and to continue to progress. I've definitely been noticing more and more my weaknesses, but it's through the Savior that I can overcome them. I wish I could be perfect in a second, but we never will on this Earth. The Atonement is real. Repentance is real. Repenting isn't just forsaking our sins, it's becoming more Christlike everyday. It's changing our will to God's will. This church really does have the fullness of the Gospel. 

Sister Collins