Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday November 18, 2013

Family!

Thank you so much for my birthday tube of awesomeness! It was awesomeness! The package came on Thursday, so of course I couldn't wait, and opened it as soon as I got my paws on the thing. The can-o-cakes were so cool, and tasted really good (I figured they would taste like can, but was pleasantly surprised to find that they did not in fact taste like can).

A sister in my district has been sick with bronchitis, and this last week the zone leaders figured an exchange needed to happen so the sister's area could get worked for the first time in a couple weeks. I volunteered as tribute. I swapped places with her Tuesday evening, but then Wednesday they decided to just steal me entirely, and the sick sister would spend her days with kind-hearted members as we worked. They thought we might go all the way until today, but sick sister got feeling better Friday, so I was returned Friday night. My time as an Oak Grove sister was very well spent. Miracles happened my dear family, miracles. Here are three:

Miracle numero uno: Oak Grove is millionaire country, and we were tracting these ridiculously nice homes when what do you know, we find ourselves an elect person. He is friends with a ton of the Oak Grove ward members, has been shown the restoration movie, understands the role of the Book of Mormon, and defends our faith to anyone and everyone with gusto. He asked questions about why marriage is so different for Mormons, and we talked about the eternal perspective. He was thoroughly impressed by our maturity and trust in the Lord. He mighta teared up when he was talking about our religion. Basically he's a Mormon who just hasn't realized it yet, so we committed him to the Book of Mormon challenge (Moroni 10:3-5 aka read and pray), and the sisters are going to work through his friends to nudge him along. Future bishop, end of story.

Miracle numero dos: The most classic of classic missionary moments. We were driving down this road when I see a women get out of a car and enter her home. I got the feeling we needed to go talk to her. I brushed it off, as just feeling like I needed to "talk with everyone" as PMG suggests, and not that we needed to talk to her in particular. She wouldn't leave my head. I discreetly asked my temporary companion Sister Mongee if they had tracted that street before, thinking we could tract, and then give the lady a try just because. Mongee said that not only had they tracted there before, but that they felt like that place had been heavily tracted by missionaries; it was near strong members in the church, and the people they talked with were vehemently not interested or had signs on their doors directed towards missionaries leaving them alone. Talk about smack down in prompting town. I then kinda mumbled something about "oh... I was just thinking we should try that lady back there..." to which Mongee immediately flipped a U-turn, and said she had thought the same thing. 
The woman opened the door a crack, and asked what we wanted, so I told her we were missionaries with a message about Christ to share with her. She said give her a minute, closed her door, and we waited most patiently for like five minutes as she put her dog up, and got dressed again. We really only had about ten minutes until we needed to leave to meet up with a member to give some investigators a church tour. We talked with the lady (heretofore to be known as Susan) about her adult children, and the headache she had been having. It was kind of awkward. I felt like we needed to dig for concerns, so I repeated that we were representatives of Christ, and were there to help her, so did she have any questions for God, or things she was struggling with. Susan looked at me blankly, and said she was fine. Dang. Mongee then related our little story of feeling like we needed to talk to her for some reason, and turning our car around. Susan was impressed, but was still giving us nothing. Cue movie moment where we are at the right place at the exact right time. 
The phone rings. Susan answers. It is her estranged, non-maternal inclined mother, calling to tell Susan that her grandmother (the woman who actually raised her) isn't doing very well, and was being moved to the hospital. When she finished the call, Susan explained to us that when I asked what she was struggling with she had thought of her grandmother. This past year Susan has been struggling with depression as her grandmother's health declined. She thanked us for coming because now that her grandmother isn't in her home anymore, she was wondering who she'd have to talk with. We assured her of God's mindfulness of her pain, his love for her, and that we would come plenty of times to continue to help her come closer to him. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, and the sisters said that their return appointment on Saturday went super well. So cool.

Miracle numero tres: Tuesday night we went to follow up with these cool German ladies, M+T, that they had tracted into over two weeks previous. We talked about horses forever, and then compared their role as horse trainers to prophets. Looking to a prophet's fruits to know if he is a false prophet or a true one, was like looking to the results of horse shows to see if a trainer was actually a good trainer despite seeming like one. It was weird, but good. They had been reading from the Book of Mormon, but were distrustful of religions in general due to all the hypocrisy they saw.  
Next day, we showed them a few clips of old talks by President Uchtdorf, and assured them that our church was about living what you believed everyday, not just sunday. T committed to coming to church on Sunday, M was still iffy. She doesn't like large crowds, and was worried about her son L, because he has ADHD (everytime we came over he was playing loud video games in the other room). She called him out to tell him they were thinking about going to church. He readily agreed. M was surprised to say the least. We set up a church tour for all of them the next day. The member we brought with us for the church tour has a crazy story of her own. Basically she was an investigator, but it turned out she had already been baptized, and had forgot the whole experience due to a tragedy, so even though she is a recently re-activated member, she is more like a recent convert. 
The church tour was by all standards a hot mess. They talked about everything from court cases, to racism, to stabbings, etc. Ya. It was loco crazy, but we were able to have a spiritual moment in the chapel reading the sacrament prayers (this was my divergence from stabbing stories), and the whole thing was a success. M was excited to come to church too. Now to the best part. 
The next day was my birthday. I prayed for birthday miracles, and boy did God come through. The day had gone really well, and for dinner we met up with my real companions so we could eat at a cool member's home where they were going to let me burn a shirt (tradition for sisters when they hit six months). The comps gave me two letters that Katie had sent, so I was reading them in the car as we drove back to meet up with the other sisters. In one of her letters Katie mentioned how she really wanted an investigator to commit to baptism on her birthday, but that instead they got a wishy-washy answer and she had to content herself with the fact that it wasn't a definite no. I thought nothing of it, because the day was almost over, and nobody was going to commit. Oh ye of little faith. Mongee, and I went to our dear friends the German ladies, where they gave me a birthday present, and sang "Happy Birthday." Their neighbor-friend was also there (she was there when the sisters initially tracted into them, but hadn't been a part of any of our subsequent teaching visits). We had decided to watch the Restoration movie with them, because we didn't think they understood it very well from when we talked about it. KA-BLAM-O Spirit time, goose-bumps all around. Everyone committed to baptism. All four of them. T even committed to a specific date in December, because it was the day the love of her life died, and she wanted it to be a day of new beginnings. She told us about this really cool experience she had had with the Book of Mormon (Mongee and I sat dumbfounded as we had the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis related to us, and then likened to herself--which we had never ever talked about with them before). 

Basically it was the best birthday ever, and I am convinced that miracles are for real.

Love,
Sister Markle

P.S. T turned out to not be fake! Yay! We met with him three times last week, and he came to church Sunday. He is a talker. Currently he is at war with himself, and really wants to believe but "can't force himself to believe something that he doesn't understand." We try to teach, but not much teaching is achieved on account of the fact he talks a lot. Sometimes he even calls to talk a lot some more. Last night on the phone I tried to really nicely tell him that he talks too much, and that if we are going to help him understand he's going to need to share the air space. He's at a fragile place in his life right now, so I felt really bad saying it, but it needed to be said because you can't teach someone if you never teach them (make sense?). He works two jobs so we won't be able to meet with him until Thursday evening, at which point we will go through the whole first lesson finally, and show him how it is all founded in the scriptures. T's trying to find out if the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and asks us to pray for him, so y'all are welcome to do so as well :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment