Saturday, December 6, 2008
I've sung countless Primary songs throughout the week. I've had 'Jesus said love everyone' or 'Kindness begins with me' pop in my head when I'm around someone difficult. I hear 'My Heavenly Father Loves Me' as I see all the beautiful trees and flowers. Everything is so green and beautiful here! I sing to myself 'Jesus came to John the Baptist...' as I teach about the necessity for baptism by the proper authority and according to Christ's example. As I teach the commandments I hear sweet children singing 'Keep the Commandments'. I love the Primary songs so much! There are such sweet and simple truths in all of them. This has been another great week. I've seen so many miracles and answers to prayers. From lessons, to getting in touch with an investigator, to blisters healing. Here are this week's highlights...Sunday- I got to meet some of the Tallahassee 5th ward. It is different to be in a singles ward, but I love it! Most of the people are converts and I love hearing their stories. They also have a strong desire to share the gospel, which is always a plus for missionaries :) Monday- We got to teach a new member lesson to Lindsay. She is really cute and really excited to be a member! I got to teach Eternal Marriage, which I love and is something so dear to my heart. I love showing off our family picture, especially Mr. Mitchell!! **Then we taught Melanie, a girl that is getting baptized in Tampa on the 20th. She knows so much and more importantly has a strong testimony. She is such an example to her family and I bet they'll follow before long.Tuesday- We had a powerful district meeting. Our district has the Elders assigned to FSU and TCC (Tallahassee Community College) as well as a sweet senior couple. They bring so much insight and are so open and honest with us. It touches my heart as they express their weaknesses and trials and give me the courage to do the same. I'm really close to having everything ready and memorized for Zone Conference on the 16th. I'm excited to get to see President Summerhays again. We also had a great lesson with a girl named Melissa. She was taught by the 4th ward missionaries because it was a family that introduced her to the gospel, but we get to have her in 5th ward with us! She is being baptized on Sunday and is really excited. I was really nervous to teach because it was with the Zone Leaders (who are the 4th ward missionaries). I wanted to do a good job, for my own prideful reasons, but when I got in there I realized that it didn't matter what they thought about my teaching, as long as I taught with the Spirit so Melissa could understand. It wasn't perfect, but it went well. After, one of the Elders said that I could easily pass for someone that had been out for a year because I knew my scriptures and was so confident. That was a tender mercy from the Lord. I am often too hard on myself and need to be reminded that I'm doing well. That night we went caroling/tracting with the Elders and it went really well. We found a new investigator, but more than that we were able to talk to a lot of people that probably wouldn't have listened otherwise. We found a great old Austrian man who teaches Biology at FSU and he told us when the missionaries taught him in Austria while he was in the army. He said they helped him through some rough times. He said he 'wasn't in the running to become a Mormon' but we bore testimony and I think that sometime soon he'll 'be in the running'.Wednesday- the morning started out a little rough. I let unimportant things get to me. Then when we went to our first appointment I had written the number down wrong, so we didn't ever find him. I was annoyed with myself, but we just kept going. We were tracting the rest of that apartment complex, but I didn't have the Spirit with me, and I knew I wasn't going to do any good. Through several prayers of repentance and pleading, I was able to feel of and testify with the Spirit. From then on we had a lot of success. We set return appointments, handed out Books of Mormons & pamphlets, and best of all we taught a great first lesson. We taught three girls: Nikki, Rochelle, and Tiffany. Nikki is very religious and had a lot of great questions. She has a real desire to know about other religions as well as to find truth. Rochelle has such a sweet spirit. I had asked Nikki about her relationship with her family, and then asked Rochelle. I normally don't ask more than one person the same question, but the Spirit was there and I asked Rochelle. It turns out she has recently lost her mother. She is hurting and looking for peace. She is prepared to hear the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and come to know that families can be together forever! Tiffany was a little antagonistic, but through the Spirit we were still able to maintain control of the direction of the lesson and testify. When I was bearing my testimony near the end Nikki commented that she could tell this was something I was passionate about. The Spirit had touched her heart and I got to witness it! That is probably one of my favorite experiences so far and I can't wait to go back and teach them more this afternoon!Thursday- We spent most of the day at a booth in the Student Union at TCC. It's different and a little difficult, but I did have the opportunity to bear testimony to a few people. The best part of Thursday was meeting with Seth. He is an investigator that we hadn't been able to contact since we got here last Tuesday, but Wednesday night as we were talking about him Sister Wilcox was prompted to call him then and he answered! We were finally able to meet with him. His baptismal date is set for the 4th of January (I think) and he is ready to put in the work to be prepared to make that sacred covenant. I'm excited to get to know him better. Friday- We did weekly planning, it is something I really enjoy. We get to look at the needs of people we're teaching, less actives, and others and then we get to pray and receive revelation as to how we can best help them. It is truly a spiritual experience, plus it gets me excited for the next week! We also had lunch and went to the Ronald McDonald house to clean with a less active named Kacie. She is a really sweet girl and we get along really well, I think she just needs a bit of a push to make it to church and then some friends there when she arrives. I'm excited to get to know her better. Last night was also the ward party and it was great to see Melanie and Melissa again. I'm still trying to learn everyone in the ward, but I'll get there someday...Saturday- Today! We had our usual study time, we're emailing, and later we have two return appointments, dinner with Melissa, and we're going to spend time with a recent convert, Amanda. Amanda is great so I'm excited!In other news, I feel very loved. I received three packages over the last week! One from the Shorts full of wrapped gifts that I've shaken but can't figure out what they are, one from Gma & Gpa Clonts with a great red blouse, scarf, and gloves for now and more presents for Christmas. I also got a great package from the Clonts/Short gang with a great Christmas tree, decorations, (some even hand made :) ) lights, stockings, and a few sweaters and stuff that didn't fit in my suitcases (how they'll fit now I'm not too sure, but I'll figure it out). I feel so loved! I think I'm getting more gifts this year than ever before. Another blessing of serving a mission I guess :) I love you all and hope you are enjoying this great Christmas season! Spread the joy and love wherever you go!