Sorry if last week's email was pretty stoic. Because it was. I'll try to perk it up a bit because this week has been terrific!
Sending Sister Roberts home was hard. I'm sure she's happy, though. It was even harder to finally see Hermana Hirschi go home. It brought a whole new dynamic to our little house on 905 N. Dryden Circle. But we have really lucked out. My companion, Sister Chandler, is so, so, so great. And Hermana Anderson's new companion, Hermana Haddock, is so, so, so great. And all we do when we're home is laugh and have gospel discussions and love our missions. And I love it a lot.
I've been having this week where I can't control myself. My heart and my stomach and my arms and every part of me are just so full of gratitude. I guess that's fitting for the upcoming Thanksgiving, but I just love my Savior. I keep having these moments where I look at his picture and I get teary-eyed. I receive so much revelation in lessons, in my studies, when I think of him. And it has been such a blessing by way of hitting the pavement and getting to work. Sister Chandler is really good for this. She and I have made all kinds of goals to help us hit the ground running. And we've had a lot of spirit-led experiences as a result of it.
One night, it was 8:48 PM, and we had no idea what to do. It's usually too dark to go door knocking at this point and people get mad.
Sister Chandler: Let's go knock one last door.
Me: Okay, where?
Sister Chandler: Turn left.
Then we agreed on a specific house on that street and wound up talking to a lady and her three little girls. We offered her a Finding Faith in Christ DVD and she seemed thrilled to have it. She told us she was excited to watch it and that she would call us and tell us what she thought.
The next day we left a note on the car of a lady who told us she was having a bad day and didn't have much interest in talking to us. We told her we would be praying for her and that we loved her and we invited her to church. The next day at church, a member of the church, this lady's neighbor, handed us a letter she had written. It was addressed "To the two disciples of Christ that gave me a faith boost". It was so sweet. It's always sweet to think that such a little act can turn a person's day around.
This is something that I have been studying rather rigorously. Every single day we tell people we will pray for them. And I've noticed that people of other faiths are very, very adamant about asking, "will you pray for me?" I never fully understood it. A prayer is a prayer. Whether someone says it for you or you say it yourself. So I decided to crack this case. The first thought I had was in the Bible Dictionary where it says, "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves AND OTHERS blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them." I liked that a lot. But the words "and others" really stuck out to me this time around. We are all in this life together. If all of our prayers are dependent on our own faith in Jesus Christ, then by the faith of many will our prayers be answered. We can literally help people out of their trials by praying for them. Granted, they need to act in their faith as well, because we have our agency and they are responsible for how they use it, but out faith can help others receive things they need. One of the scriptures this study brought me to is in Luke 22:32.
"But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren." The TG references for this scripture are, "Fellowshipping; Missionary Work; Sustaining Church Leaders."
And to D + C 108:7.
"Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all you exhortations, and in all your doings."
The Gospel IS to share the Gospel. It is our purpose. To rescue, strengthen, bless, and uplift EVERYBODY. Of course we need to do all we can to spread the word that the Gospel has been restored. Because the restored gospel isn't an opinion. It's not just a nice lifestyle choice. It's the truth. It's the way. Jesus Christ didn't say I am one way, he said I am THE way.
This principle reared its head four billion times this week. We saw so many miracles, we found so many new people to share the Gospel with. And we were able to have a lesson with LeRoy in a members' home. They testified of the spirit, and the importance of sincere prayer, no matter where you're at in life. The spirit was so strong, and I know LeRoy could not have denied it. You don't need to be a member of a church to pray. You just need to want to have a relationship with your Heavenly Father.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is the happiest I've ever been. Because work will always be work. But working for the Lord will always be rewarding. Be a light wherever you are! <--I never thought I would be this cheesy... I think one of my favorite parts of missionary work is being myself, and still being a missionary. Sometimes people meet us and we just immediately are able to squash what they thought of Mormons before. Because we're normal people. We make jokes, we laugh, we can indeed drink Coca Cola if we want.
I love you all a lot. I am so grateful for YOU. Happy Thanksgiving!
Here is a very descriptive photo of me and my companion, Sister Chandler. And a goodbye picture with Sister Roberts. :(