Hey Family and Friends,
Mother’s Day was great!! I’m so glad I got to talk to almost all of you! It was great to see mom and dad! They look so good! I got to call Shanna too and talk to her a little bit last night which was awesome!! I also got to see Nephi’s family even though they couldn’t hear me I could hear them and see them really well. I miss all of you and love you!! Happy Mother’s Day to all of my sister-in-laws you are doing such a great job raising the cutest nieces and nephews in the world!
This week has been kinda crazy. We are dropping a lot of our investigators that we have right now. They are not progressing and it seems like we talk about the same things every time we are there. We just keep running around in circles and nothing seems to be getting done. So we’ve decided that’s not working anymore and we’ve got to change something. We are working on finding new investigators that are going to progress. We are going tracting this week. Something we haven’t done before in this area. Sister Goodman doesn’t like tracting and she hasn’t seen much success from it so we haven’t so far, but we don’t know. Maybe it will work for this area. It will be an interesting experience. It probably seems really funny to all the return missionaries reading this because that’s probably the first thing you learned how to do on your missions. But I’ve gone 2 months without going tracting once. I’ll have to let you all know how it goes.
Sister Goodman and I have been running on the little dirt road that we live on every morning. We haven’t been for the past couple of days because Sister Goodman has been feeling sick but we went today and it was sooooo humid! Finally summer is here! It’s so weird to feel like we are sweating even before we start running because of the humidity. There are so many hills in Missouri we are getting a really good workout every morning. Sister Goodman and I are convinced we could run so much farther if there weren’t so many hills. They are killer!
We received blessings from our bishop this week. They were so good! It strengthens my testimony of the priesthood every time I receive a blessing. I love the priesthood and how much it blesses our lives. I always think back to Nephi’s accident and how much the priesthood blessed our family through that time. Something that stood out to me in his blessing was how he talked about the missionary badge and how it will protect me on my mission spiritually and physically throughout my mission. It was a really neat experience. I was having a rough day that day and it really has helped me to make it through this week.
We had a special Zone Conference this past week. President and Sister Shumway went to a Mission President training this past month and they wanted to give us all the information we need now, instead of giving us the material over the next 6 months like they usually do. So they called the special Zone Conference and it was so good! It was definitely something that I needed and I’m sure a lot of the other missionaries did too. The hastening is here and we can either watch it pass by or jump on and start working! It’s such a blessing to be out here at this time with all of the technology and the tools that we have so that we can move the work forward.
Something that was talked a lot about and has been talked about before is Pride! It is definitely something that has been making it hard for me to be involved in the work. Pride is so prevalent in the world today. I think it is the greatest tool that Satan is using to turn us away from God. A lot of things that draw us away from God can be lead back to pride. I remember a Sunday School teacher when I was in Young Women’s who tied almost every lesson back into pride. It was so interesting to see that most things tie back into pride. The only way we can get rid of that pride is relying on the Atonement. We have to understand that all we have and all that we are is because of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We would be nothing without them.
Another thing that was talked a lot about was fear. Overcoming the fear of men and putting our faith in Christ. Faith is the opposite of fear. We can get rid of all our fear of men when we put our trust in the Lord and that he will never leave us helpless. I find myself falling into the trap of fear when I think about tracting, talking to strangers, and sometimes even teaching. I fear rejection, not knowing what to say, forgetting what I have studied for the day, fear that I will say the wrong thing. Those get in the way of my missionary work and I know that they can be overcome through trusting in the Lord. I know that he will give us the things we should say when we are properly prepared and are listening to the spirit.
On our way back from Springfield, which is where the Zone Conference was, the member we were riding with took us out to eat and once we got back to the car and checked the phone I saw that we had a missed call from our Zone Leaders and a text from them asking where we were. I told them we were just heading back and they said they heard that a tornado had hit Ava and was moving away from it right then. People in Ava always tell us that we don’t have to worry about tornadoes in Ava, and then we’ve had 2 hit in the last 2 weeks. Kinda crazy! When we got back to Ava we were talking to Yolanda and she said that the sirens went off and they went to the tornado shelter. Then we found out that it hit a highway a little ways away from Ava. We went down it the next day and there were tons of trees that fell down and it destroyed half of an old barn. So not too much damage but still we don’t know what could have happened if we were in Ava.
We also had exchanges this week. I stayed in Ava and Sister Goodman went to Marshfield. I got to work with Sister Bingham who has been out for 2 weeks. She is 23 but looks like she’s 19. She reminds me of Caroline Jolley. She’s so sweet and soft spoken. It was kinda hard to get her to talk but she’s super sweet and has a great testimony. It was a great experience being the senior companion for a day. It’s really hard to figure things out and know who to see and when plans don’t work out you have to figure it all out again. It seemed like all of our plans were falling through and it’s so hard when that happens cause you just have to move on to the next house and if they’re not there you have to find someone else. It was crazy for a while but we finally got things figured out and things ran pretty smoothly after that.
We had dinner with a member at the beginning of the week and she’s also the one who took us to Springfield. She is such a funny lady! Her husband just passed away about a year and a half ago and she’s a super stern, tough lady. As we got to know her better and talk to her more, I think she’s so funny and such a great lady. She’s gone through some crazy stuff in her life that has made her tough. She has such a strong testimony of the gospel and she sees the black and white of the gospel so clearly. She knows it’s true and nothing anyone ever says will change that, it’s such an obvious thing for her. It’s awesome! She was telling us about how the Bishop is her home teacher and how she tells the Bishop every month “Aren’t you going to come home teach me?” She gets after him if he doesn’t come it’s so funny!
We taught Yolanda again this week and we went with Sister Kjar who just got back from a month long trip to Utah and we’re so glad to have her back. I love when she comes out and visits with us. She is so strong in the gospel and knows how to explain the gospel so simply so when we ask her to share something in a lesson we know it won’t be something deep and confusing so that the investigator is confused. She has such a great love for everyone as well. We taught Yolanda The Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went really well. We asked her at the end of the lesson to pray about whether it was true and she said she already knew it was true. Then we challenged her to be baptized and she said she had been baptized before so we explained about the priesthood and the difference between being baptized in another church and she understood it really well. So we asked her again if she would be baptized when she feels ready and she said yes! She hasn’t come to church yet but we keep praying that she will. She really wants to but she’s had a crazy time with her house that she’s fixing up and it’s so far away it’s hard for her to get here. She is so willing to learn and has been prepared. We are so excited for her!
There’s a less active family who is coming back. Their youngest son is 8 and is going to be baptized on May 31. They are such a great family. They are recent converts and they have slipped back into smoking and drinking tea, but the father hasn’t smoked in 2 months and he is going to be able to baptize his son. We had Mother’s Day dinner with them last night and they have been without TV and internet for about a month, they are making their kids be outside more instead of just sitting and watching TV. It’s awesome! They are a super sweet family!
Sorry this letter is so long! haha too much to talk about and not enough words to describe everything. I love you all and I am so grateful to be on a mission! Hurrah for Israel!
I just barely saw this and thought it was awesome so I wanted to share it.
I encourage you all to watch it and the other two parts that are after it. 🙂