Monday, September 10, 2012

Another Miracle

(First, I have to say we made the mistake of posting our emails to Allison this morning and, unfortunately, they were too late for her to catch when she logged on. So we've sent them on by snail mail. Won't make that mistake again! Here's her email--in which she included instructions for a terrific game she sent for my birthday to share with my Primary class--followed by her letter to her mission president.)

Dear Family,
Sad to not see any personal letters this week, but I know that you are all so busy with getting back from New York and the book launch :)
Mom, before I forget, sorry for not giving the directions for how to play "Game of Sacrifice". What you need to do is put out 6 cards face up on a hard surface, and the people playing have to sacrifice 2 at a time. Then, you put 2 more cards down to keep 6 always on the table. When you put the last two down, your instructions change, and the player(s) have to sacrifice everything but 1. Hopefully the one card left on the table will be "testimony" and then you proceed to read aloud the last two cards with the quotes. It's a fun game and interesting to see what people are willing and not willing to give up.
This week was a little more discouraging at first. Thankfully all the dinners were fabulous! Dad, don't be offended, but at the Bringhurst's on Monday they made brocolli salad and the most amazing salmon I have ever tasted! But, your New York pancakes will never be beaten ;)
Lots of people either weren't home, didn't answer the door on purpose (one woman even stood behind her screen door and watched us until we just left), or forgot about our appointments. Luckily, those ones were more willing to see us again. One lady is really frustrating me because she told the Elders who tracted her she wants to hear from us again, and though we have been trying all last transfer, there has been no contact. I'm praying to love her with Christ's love, and to forgive her. One of my weaknesses, I might add.
However, the week started to turn when we had a visit with the Kagles. Karen is a less-active and her son is not a member. We taught Karen about the temple and showed her Boyd K. Packer's pamphlet, and she is really excited to read it. It would be awesome to get her to go to the temple so she could receive her endowments. She is such a perfectionist though, she doesn't feel worthy. We talked with her about the things she needs to give up so she can go to the temple, and she seemed more excited. Sister Kagle is really progressing and wants to come to church! She is praying and reading more too :) Danny, her son, has been super apathetic, like I mentioned, and I have always felt I bugged him, and that was confirmed during our visit. Near the end, Danny just poured his heart out, and told me that while he liked me as me, he was so bugged by my religious talk, and that the way I say things just makes him want to argue. What was the positive about this interaction was Danny seemed a lot more at ease with the world and is now ready to have us teach him again. I may only read some scriptures this next time, because what he told me did hurt a bit, but then again, I should bear testimony, because you can't argue with that. Heavenly Father is really wanting me to have greater confidence I guess, because I felt really hurt and almost cried later, but I focused on what good that did for Danny, and how I can't help if not everyone likes me. It made me recognize that when I get bugged by some people, it is only fair, some get bugged by me.
Another miracle this week was a referral from the Spanish Elders in our zone. A couple, Dan and Anna, want to be taught in English, and they were sent by the Elders to our ward, and the ward welcomed them with open hands! Brother Boden talked with Dan, and we spent time getting to know Anna. They both have their own Book of Mormons and we highlighted some important scriptures for Anna. We should start teaching them this week :D
The end of the week was much better than the beginning of the week. There are more appointments this week, and a baptism!! Anakin Nieveas was baptized at 8, but his records were lost, so his parents asked us to teach him the lessons before he was baptized again. He is a fun, active, energetic 12-year-old boy. His sister, Alora, loves participating, as does his older brother, Anthony, who has a spinal disability. Alora even asked if she could get re-baptized and learn the lessons for her; so cute. They are a wonderful family, and Anakin is lucky to have a mom and stepdad that are so firmly true to the gospel. He wants to be better at not cussing, and we are really proud of him.
Chris came to church with his family again, and the Carillo's are really progressing. Chris still doesn't see the why of going to church after being baptized, so Sister Stacey and I are praying that tonight we will help him see the why when we teach about keeping the sabbath day holy. His baptism is still set for September 22nd :D

Dear President Godwin,

For this week, Sister Stacey and I have been working hard to find a little bit more. We were asked by the ward council to visit some less actives and we did, but sadly, not many were home, or didn't answer the door. Finding is hard work, and a little discouraging. Angela's baptism was a wonderful blessing and this week the Lord has been testing me and my faith in Him by having lots of appointments fall through, an investigator tell me why he doesn't like listening to me, and seeing really kind people who are just not interested in the gospel at this time. One night I was praying and told Heavenly Father how discouraged I was, and how ineffective I felt I was being, since our goals were not being met. I felt peace come over me during that prayer, and I know that Heavenly Father is pleased with Sister Stacey's and my efforts. We are so willing to work hard, and the Lord knows that because He blessed us with 2 awesome referrals!

Dan and Anna went to the Spanish branch and met Elders Cebreros and Leisik, and they told them to go to our ward since they live in our boundaries and want to be taught in English. They asked for a Book of Mormon, and they even stayed for 3rd hour! Hopefully they will want to be baptized and increase their relationship with their Heavenly Father and each other through accepting the gospel. I have high hopes for this couple.

In my personal study this week I have been blessed with many personal revelations. One is that a truly converted person will not only believe something is true, but then go out and teach others the truth. I learned that today while reading, "Having the Vision to Do" by Elder Hulock. Another impression I had was that for this transfer, now that I have made lesson plans for each lesson from Chapter 3, I should focus on what Mormon directs us to do: study the prophecies of Isaiah (Mormon 8:23). For the next 6 weeks I will read daily from the Book of Mormon and then for the first time in my life, read the prophecies of Isaiah! I'll keep you updated on what I am learning from this study in my letters each week.

Sister Allison Mills

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