H a p p y T h a n k s g i v i n g! I hope everyone had a phenomenal day with family, friends and good food of course. :)
Can you believe that is is December tomorrow? I can't.
This week was so amazing. I am going to pre-warn you that my writing capabilities are not going to be able to express to you how INCREDIBLE the week actually was. So just bear with me. :)
I'm the worst. I've got none this week! haha!
We were fortunate enough to have 2 Thanksgiving dinners! One Wednesday night with the Idemudia family. There were lotssss of people there and lots of good food. Then on Thursday we spent it with a younger couple, the Emmett's who moved into the ward not too long ago. Their family had eaten earlier in the day so it was just us and them at 5 o'clock. It was a nice change of pace compared to the night before. :)
Sister Emmett's mother made the BEST PUMPKIN PIE I have ever eaten in my entire life. Wow. It was prolly the best thing I ate at either meals. ha
Before we went to dinner on Thursday, Sister Seader and I did our regular studies in the morning, decorated our apartment for Christmas (We have the cutest baby christmas trees!) and then we went to see Albertina, our recent convert who is in a physical therapy rehab center recovering from a broken hip. After dinner with the Emmett's we met the Elders at their home, (yeah they live in a HOUSE. They're spoiled.) and we made our way to Utica for MLC, which we had Friday!
Mission Leadership Council (MLC):
We got into Utica around 9 Thursday night. We got to stay at the mission home with all of the other STL's and ZL's. It was so much fun being there together, talking, playing piano, etc. There was one elder who shattered his ankle playing in a Turkey Bowl. So sad. :( He headed home Friday morning and will hopefully be returning in 3 months or so! It was nearing 10:00 so President and Sister Rogers gathered us all in the family room and we all knelt in prayer together. It was a sweet moment.
MLC is an all day event. It started at 9:00 and lasted until 3:30. We sit together and discuss certain areas of missionary work and how we can better help the other missionaries see success in their areas. One of the areas we talked about was the Faith to Find, which I will talk about in a moment. MLC was amazing. I loved every second of it! It's neat being with the other leaders of the mission and feeling their energy and desire to serve and server 110%. It is my hope and prayer that when we go on exchanges and such that the other missionaries can feel that from us as well to help them be motivated to keep working hard so that they can see the blessing of putting themselves in a position to be blessed by trusting in what President, the assistants and all of us come up with as a council to focus on in Zone Conferences, Zone Training Meetings, etc. There really is a lot of thought that goes into it. I have a testimony that President Rogers is called of God and is divinely inspired. I am thankful for the privilege I have in working with him and his sweet wife.
Faith to Find:
Sister Seader and I have been studying the Christlike Attribute of Faith in Jesus Christ. Our ponderize verse to go along with that is Ether 12:6:
In MLC we talked about how it is sometimes have faith that Heavenly Father will place in our paths the elect. President talked about an Elder that is serving in a very small town that has only 1 stoplight and a Stewart's gas station, the one that has the really good ice cream that I talked about last week. :) He went on to say that this Elder prays to Heavenly Father to send the elect and prepared to Stewarts to get ice cream so that he and his companion can teach him. ha! Some days it works and others it doesn't, but President emphasized the faith of this Elder in God that he will deliver to them those who are ready to hear the Gospel despite the odds that are against them in that tiny little town.
Sister Seader and I decided to put our faith to the test. Saturday night we were walking again because we were low on miles. We had a lesson with Melanie (Gator) and her daguhter Mckayla (RC) and then went to try a few potentials that live in the same apartment complex as them, one of the being Kaitlyn (keep that in mind) but we weren't exactly sure which doors were theirs so we decided that we'd try again another time. We quickly walked back to our apartment to grab the GPS so we could find a few other potentials. We grabbed that and then said a prayer. We asked speicifically that God would place in our path someone who was ready to hear the gospel.
We started walking down Vanderbilt, which the road we walk down a lot to get to Melanie's, the Libby and other LA's homes, etc. We got maybe a half mile down that road and we see a woman walking towards us on the other side. We say hello and start to cross over to talk to her. As we introduce ourselves, who we are, what we are doing she says to us, "This is so crazy/funny that you stopped me because I was just thinking about God and the verse I read this morning in the Bible." We continue talking with her, asked if we could help carry her groceries. Her name is Shannon by the way:) So we are nearing Shannon's home (on Vanderbilt) and we asked if we could come in for 10 minutes or so and share more of our message about the Restoration. She said absolutely! We sit down, get to know her better and she kept going off about how it was no coincidence that we stopped her that night as she was "ponderizing" her scripture from the morning, thinking about God and how she recently decided she wanted to look for a new place to worship. We had an AMAZING discussion and at the end we felt prompted to invite her to church. and she responded with a resounding YES! hahahah She made is get her number and told us she would be there. We told her that we would get a ride for her, blah blah blah.
Okay, now it gets better.
We start walking again in the direction that we first were heading when we saw Shannon. We get almost to the end of Vanderbilt when we pause for a moment while we brainstormed of who we could get to pick up Shannon for church. We called a memeber or two, got a few suggestions. We didn't have some of the contact info of who we were told to try so we were going to go to the Libby to get on the LDS tools. Just as we turned to go I see this figure walking towards us. It scared me half to death. I did a little jump and then screamed under my breath. ha ha ha. After I gathered my composure, I contacted this young lady. She took off her head phones and we started to talk. As we introduced ourselves, you will never guess who she was. KAITLYN. The potential that lives near Melanie and Mckayla we had been trying to find that very night. God doesn't do random. It was crazy! We walked back down Vanderbilt with her to her APT and had a quick lesson with her and set up for Monday (tonight). haha! Sister Seader and I were in complete awe. We couldn't believe what had just happened. In a matter of 100 yards or so on Vanderbilt Ave we picked up 2 new Gators one whom we had just so happened to be looking for earlier.
God's timing is so perfect and so incredible.
Church was incredible, like ususal. This ward is amazing.
Shannon came and LOVED it. And get this, She KNOWS Marie Muller, John's Wife! Who just received a calling to be the Young Woman's Secretary.
Now talk about divine inspiration. Marie is going to become fully active again and she is going to be our number one fellowshipper to Shannon. Shannon told us she will be at church next week and to call her asap to get a time set up to go see her.
We also had our other investigator Brain there at church too. He had to leave after sacrament, so once we got Shannon situated in Gospel Principles we ran out to our car to grab some things to give to Brian to help him quit smoking so we missed introducing Shannon to the class. Later that day the Elders told us that she stood right up on her own to introduce herself and as she did so she said she was invited to come to church and she was so thankful for the invitation.
When I heard the Elders say that my heart filled with immense joy because it was a testimony to me that I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary.
I have gained such a greater testimony of Faith in the past 74 hours then I have in my entire life. Faith to find, Faith in prayer, Faith to invite. I know that it isn't until after the trial of our faith, that we recieve a witness from God. Trust in Him, Believe in Him! He is there happy and willing to help us in our lives! I know that He lives and He answers prayers. I know that there are miracles to been had and seen on a daily basis.
It is all according to our faith! It is my prayer that you will have experiences this week that will help strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ this week.
I love you all! Happy holidays! :)