I love you guys so much! I am so sad I'm not going to be there for the Folk Dance team! So Rex has been taking Heidi Shepherd to Wild Country? Mom, I think you ment to say Amber. When I read that I started cracking up visualizing it. I bet Heidi would have a blast! lol!
This week has been good. We have been meeting with a lot of less actives in the ward. We met sassy Sis. Sawyer on Thursday. She is a firecracker! She told us not to call her a member, but said we can come back for visits. She lives on a huge farm with this massive red barn out front. Ohio is so beautiful when you get out of the city. I really love it! Then we met Sis. Barstow. I had an interesting experience as we walked into her house and I don't really know how to explain it or even why it happened. As we walked in it just felt like something was off, something wasn't right. She was in her pajamas, wet hair, and super blood shot eyes. She invited us to sit down at her kitchen table. It had cigerette ash all over it and there was a bag of cheap tabacoo, it looked like they rolled their own cigerettes - which is pretty common here, people can't afford regular cigerettes. But we sat down and I had this overwhelming feeling that things were not right and we needed to be very careful. I almost stood up and walked out, it was so strange. her husband was gone, she didn't know where he went, he had been gone for a couple of hours apparently. which added to the strangeness. I was praying so hard in my heart. As we started talking to her the spirit started leading the conversation. She has a lot of really hard things going on in her life. She also has a few illnesses, mental and physical. She just has a really hard life. But I think whatever made me feel terrified to be there went away once we began reading scriptures and talking about Jesus Christ. Powerful things happen when you are His representative.
We had a missionary musical fireside Friday night. It went so well! There were some non-members there and we are praying that they become interested in the gospel! The theme was "Prophets testify of Jesus Christ'. So we had lots of quotes from OT prophets and BOM Prophets. The primary, youth, and other talented members were all involved. The spirit was so strong! We ended with the story of Joseph Smith and then with the Mormon Message where Elder Packer, Pres. Uchtdorf, Eyring, and Monson testify of Jesus Christ. It was so crazy awesome! THen we had a member's daughter who is less active sing Savior, Redeemer. It was beautiful. She is an opera singer and did fantastic. She even got a little choked up at the beginning! Pres. Stacey, one of the counselors in our mission presidency was there. He loved it! After the fireside I felt like I should ask him for a blessing. Things have been really hard lately and we have been really discouraged. And with the prospect of possibly training I felt that I might need some council. (and sisters aren't allowed to get blessing of comfort and council from the elders) so I asked Pres. Stacey and he and my bishop gave me such a beautiful blessing. It was exactly what I needed. IT brought me a lot of comfort and peace about everything. I love the priesthood, it is such an amazing gift and blessing in our lives!
Saturday we had a lesson with Chucky at the church and we scheduled it for the same time that his baptism was supposed to be - on purpose. We asked him what he thought led him to not being able to get baptized right now. We pretty much had to have a DTR (Define the Relationship) talk. HE needed to understand our purpose and understand that we can not waste the Lord's time if he is not willing to do comitt to this. I definitely had some Darlene Chapman coming out. Chucky was playing games and was trying to blame everyone else except himself. He kept trying to get us to feel sorry for him and tell him that the little work that he has done is good enough. It made me think a lot about what the Lord expects from us and why. The Lord expects everything. He expects it all. But why? I came to the realization that if we only gave Him part of us, how can He help us change and become better? How can He help us become what He wants us to be. We are like little children who's parents are trying to wipe off our faces or get us dressed or something like that. He is trying to help us! and if we would just sit still and do what it is He asking us to do we would be so much better off! We would be clean and dressed instead of dirty and naked! He needs us to be submissive and meek. It was an interesting lesson for me to see this week. The Lord asks a lot of us, but He blesses us even more for it. I was reading in Mosiah 23 today. The Lord is talking to Alma and His people. They are a righteous people who are keeping their covenants. Yet in verse 21 it says, "the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people, yea he trieth their patience and their faith". The Lord chastens even His righteous people. And the people of Alma suffered in humility and CHEERFULNESS! They were cheerful about their trials! I thought back about the trials that I have recently been going through and I was not cheerful! But we can be, if we want to be. The scriptures really do have all of the answers in them! I love the BOM!!!!
Things here are going great and I am loving Ohio! I love being a missionary!
Tell Stephanie Happy Be-lated Birthday for me!! I am so sorry I forgot! I love you!
And Happy Birthday to you mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you guys have a fun time down in OK this weekend! Tell everyone hi for me!
love and miss you all!