Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014 - So This is Life

This past Monday night all of the STLs were invited to have Family Home Evening with President Nattress and his family at the Mission Home. We taught the Restoration using a cup tower one of the other sisters had. We didn't have much time to prepare a lesson because he asked us like two hours before if we would be available. Too bad Sister Beach couldn't come with and she and our house-mate went to our lessons both companionship's had that night. It was neat to see the family life of our Mission President and also to see the traditions they do as a family. Tonight actually we're having a sisters training meeting regarding the Gilbert Open House which starts this Saturday!
On Wednesday I went on exchanges with Sister Taylor. We had a great day with a lot of miracles. Miracles always happen on exchanges. We were able to teach five lessons with people on the street and get their numbers and addresses. One lady in particular, Claudia, was quite an interesting experience. She is actually a wiki, a witch, and doesn't believe in God anymore. She was raised Catholic and turned away from the religion because she doesn't think God would allow suffering to occur if He was God. We were able to testify her answer to her question could be answered through the Book of Mormon if she read and prayed about it. She gladly accepted a copy and told us she had actually talked with missionaries before and told them she would talk to them, but they never came back. She actually started crying while we were testifying and talking about the Restored Gospel with her. I see potential in her and I know the Spirit can touch her heart. It's amazing the people Heavenly Father puts in our path if we just take the time to go and talk with them.
Actually this week we went up to go talk with this lady since we saw her while we were going to our appointment with our Young Men's President. When we started to talk with her about families and how the Restored Gospel can help with raising families (her teenage daughter was in the car), she said she's actually been thinking a lot about our religion lately! Her sister is Mormon and she gladly took a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet. She wasn't willing to set up a return appointment with us because she said she needed to talk with her husband. It's amazing how the Lord is preparing so many people. We hope to get into contact with her later this week and hopefully her husband is just as prepared as she is!
This past Friday I was able to go to MLC and Tracey Watson and Brother Gonzales were training us. He is the head over the world's proselyting tools. He was an inspiring teacher. All of the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders were invited to come to the meeting. They talked a lot about looking through the lenses of the Doctrine of Christ always because it is the center of everything. The Doctrine of Christ is having faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This is our purpose as missionaries. Brother Gonzales stressed that everything God communicated to men is calculated to draw attention to the Atonement. I thought how true this is and how important using the Atonement daily in our lives is. They also stressed if we want to teach with great power we need to keep it simple. Brother Watson said to expect miracles and we need to have a 90 day vision- we need to think ahead. He also taught us the process of how to be successful not only in the mission field, but in life. 1. Establish Vision from God. He kept on using the phrase, "connect yourselves to Heaven," and I really liked how simple, yet significant it is. 2. Set Inspired Goals 3. Create and Execute Inspired Plans 4. Be Accountable to the Lord and Mission Leaders. This is how we will succeed as missionaries and also in life in general. We need to figure out how the Lord wants us to work. This is His work and His glory. Of course He's going to know what will work best and who is ready at this time. Something I really liked what Brother Watson said was that we have 30 seconds to make an impact on someone. They have to see Christ in our countenances and feel the truth of what we're saying is true.
Another significant visit this this was a Tri-Mission Conference with the Gilbert, Mesa, and Scottsdale Missions. Elder Holland was supposed to come, but he had to cancel the day before. Instead we had Elder Wright of the 70 speak to us. He compared himself to the Dixie Chicks and Elder Holland to the Beatles. They kept on apologizing again and again about Elder Holland not being able to make it. Some of the highlights were "love is the lubricant and life of missionary work." "Act on the promptings you receive. Just don't listen." "Just don't learn the lessons of Preach My Gospel, embrace them." "Doing the simple things (church, scripture study, praying, etc.) will bring the Spirit." "Give the Lord the one thing He can't take from you- your heart." I learned a lot from the conference and I know Elder Wright was supposed to talk with us and the Lord called Elder Holland another way. I'm glad we were able to still have that experience. I did not see Kelsey Hamstead there since she was really sick and had to stay home. :(
I am grateful for the experiences I have had thus far on my mission. I know they have helped me become a better person and I will continue to see the blessings throughout Eternity. I am grateful this sacred time of 18 months to give all that I have to the Lord. May each of us recommit ourselves to the Lord and receive the blessings He's waiting to pour upon us.
Sister Collins