This week was full of miracles! We'd been struggling with finding new investigators- progressing investigators anyway. And all in a matter of a couple days, we have 4. Holla! Half of those came from tracting...what! My experience with tracting was that you don't really expect to find anyone, but you're doing what the Lord asks you to do so you kinda have to. But last night was truly a blessing. For tracting we usually set aside about an hour for going door to door, and the very first door we knocked on this super nice guy named Paul invited us inside and was super eager to hear our message. We shared a Christmas video frommormon.org and talked about why we need a Savior. After a long conversation about his beliefs and faith, we looked up and saw almost an hour had passed by! He invited us back and we are so excited to teach him more about the gospel. Since we'd already been out an hour, we headed back to the car to get to our other appointments, and there was a guy jogging by. We simply said hi, and he stopped to talk to us. He saw our nametags and asked what we were doing out so late (to Minnesotans, 8pm is late since it gets dark at 4pm). We told him we were missionaries and no lie, we stood there talking to him for an hour. He invited us to come back and see him later this week, and even offered to let us spend Christmas Eve with his family. We already have places to spend the holidays with members, but the pure kindness he showed was so Christlike, it really made me feel warm inside regardless of the 10 degree weather (not including windshield). YAY FOR TRACTING!Another investigator we have is from Mississippi and we bonded over a love of grits and fried chicken. I told her my daddy made the best biscuits around- she challenged him to a duel against her grandmother. Dad, if you ever meet an old black lady named Mama Cleo in Jackson, be sure to show her who's boss :) There's a potential investigator we keep trying to visit, but we always seem to come at the wrong time....you see, we're pretty sure she's a woman of the night (actually we're 99% positive she's a prostitute). But that doesn't mean she doesn't need Jesus! Maybe one of these days we'll catch her when she's not preoccupied.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Hope everyone had a merry Christmas! It was so wonderful to Skype with my family, you guys all look so good! On Christmas day our district went caroling at a nursing home and we ding-dong-ditched some presents to people. We went to a member's house that evening and played board games and ate super good food. Success. The day before Christmas was exchanges- we switched companions for a day and one of the Sister Training Leaders came to my area to see if I knew what I was doing. Since I'd only been there 2 weeks I really had no idea where anything was, and we have no GPS, so I thought I'd be sneaky and ask the Elders to go joint-teaching with us so I could just follow them wherever we were going. It worked for a little bit, but eventually they had other appointments to get to and I couldn't slide by anymore. After some map reading we figured it out and the lessons went great, but I definitely need to work on memorizing the area more- it's huge! The next morning before she left, our mission president was dropping off mine and Sister Teuscher's Christmas presents, and I may have accidentally locked us out of the building...so up walks President Forbes while I look like a street youth hoodlum picking a lock with my bobby pin...luckily he's a cool guy and thought it was really funny (I did not). We got back inside after a while and now I think it's hilarious. Whatever, I'm a greenie, the STLs don't care haha.
Yesterday was a really memorable day. Pray for miracles, because they happen! We'd been trying to visit this less active older lady for several days, but couldn't find her. It turns out she was in the hospital in a coma, so we went to go visit her. Her nurse was a very nice man named Jeffrey and started talking to us about missionary work. It turns out his brother is Mormon so he knew we were missionaries from his church. We got to talking about his journey coming to Christ. He said he'd been struggling with feeling run down physically and spiritually. *Backstory: I'd been carrying around a Book of Mormon in my bag all week and hadn't used it, so that morning I was going to take it out. But the spirit prompted me to keep it in, even though it's hecka heavy.* I told him there was something in my life that had really helped me with those same feelings he was having, and I had my BoM still in my bag. I pulled it out and opened to Ether 12:27 and asked him to read it (It's one of my favorite scriptures, go read it for some uplifting awesomeness). It really touched him, and he asked if he could keep it. (Um, duh, please keep it forever and always and read it FOREVER!) We invited him to church and he said he'd come, so please keep him in your prayers! God has truly prepared people to hear the restored gospel, and Jeffrey is one of those people I know is ready to receive it.
Last night we stopped by our favorite member's in the whole wide world- Patience! She's the coolest person and her daughter, Onell, is going to be a backup dancer for Beyonce one day. We were supposed to be the ones pranking the elders, but they ended up pranking us pretty hard. I'm still washing the silly string out of my hair. Onell taught me and Elder Wright how to Nay Nay- even though we're literally the whitest people on the planet. Don't worry, both were caught on tape. Debating on attaching it to this email.
This letter is already super long, but really quickly I wanted to share a little spiritual thought about goal-setting. 2016 is almost here, and New Years resolutions can be tricky to come up with. Though most of our goals consist of losing weight or learning a new skill, we should really be focusing on our spiritual goals. I was listening to Dallin H. Oaks' general conference talk from October called "Parable of the Sower" and he said that we need to be spiritually fed or we will spiritually starve. If we're not reading our scriptures daily or attending church or saying our personal prayers, our spirits will long for that nourishment we're denying it. It's so easy to get caught up in every day life and forget to make them a priority, but if we don't keep up our good habits, it will really negatively effect our lives. I promise if you set goals that help you strengthen your testimony, 2016 will be the best year of your life! Your goals will match up with Heavenly Father's goals, and THAT'S when the miracles come into play.
I love you all so much! Out with the old, in with the new! Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
It's officially after Thanksgiving, so you know what that means...it's Christmastime! The MTC is decked out with lights and decorations, it's so pretty. Thanksgiving was great, we did a service project for Feeding Children in America and packaged over 350,000 total meals with all the missionaries. Afterwards we had a devotional with Dallin H. Oaks. He talked about being grateful even in your trials and it really struck a chord with me. Count your blessings and your challenges, because they're one in the same!
This week went by so quick...we have our first real investigator! His name is Dylan and he goes to BYU. Most of his friends are Mormon so he decided to come check out what this whole LDS thing is about...good thing you did, Dylan ;) Long story short, after the third lesson we extended the invitation to be baptized...GUESS WHO SAID YEESSS? I can't even explain it, I felt the spirit so strongly, because I knew he was making the most important decision of his entire life and how much happiness the gospel will bring him in his life. But baptism is only the beginning, it's not the end of someone's progress. He's still got a lot to learn, but I have faith he'll endure to the end!
Tomorrow a new batch of missionaries are coming in and me and my companions have been made the Sister Training Leaders...uh oh. I can barely find my way around the three buildings we go to, let alone helping other people find their way around! Time to start getting my crap together haha.
I'm really having the time of my life here. The schedule gets easier every day, and the more I learn about my Savior the more I come to love Him and really apply the Atonement in my everyday life. No matter what we're going through, Jesus Christ knows exactly what we're feeling and knows exactly how to help us, we just have to let Him.
Love you all! -Sister Brett