It has been such a wonderful week. Transfers are this week... BUT... my sweet companion Sister Pew and I will be staying here in White Oak! Crazy. I've never stayed in an area this long but i'm so happy.! I just feel so powerfully that God really does love me enough to keep me here with Sister Pew. I am so so blessed I cant even believe it! We are so excited for this coming transfer and to see the fruits of our labors. The work has really been picking up and so many miracles have been happening. God is just leading us to such wonderful people it amazes me each and every day.
Well this week we met with Rob, the guy that i mentioned last week that requested a book of mormon. His wife was feeling a little sketchy about the idea so he came to the church just him and met with us! I cant even begin to describe how COOL he is. Once again... someone who is wayyy to cool for me to be teaching. Haha. But he just sat right down and immediately opened up. He told us that he hasnt gone to any church for a while and that he simply feels like he is being led to this church. He feels like it is his calling in life and he just wants to know more. He told us that he has been researching the church... even on some anti websites and that he basically believes in everything. Even with some of the bad stuff that is said about the church he was just like "That makes no sense, why would anyone think that" haha. It was one of the most powerful lessons i have been in. He felt so completely comfortable that as we taught the spirit was so strong and testified to ME that this message is true and that everyone truly needs to hear this message. It is the most important message in the WORLD and everyone should have an opportunity to accept it. Rob has already given up smoking and is working on living the word of wisdom. He is covered in tattoos and straight up said that its too late for him to be living that commandment but that he will start now and not get any more. He said he is working himself off of caffeine and as we took him on a tour around the church and showed him the baptismal font he basically asked how long it would have to be before he could do that. Haha. It was so sweet! Ive never taught anyone who was just SO accepting of EVERYTHING and ready to just be a part of the church and learn. He simply asked us to just be his guides in this process. He said he will do whatever we ask so that he can truly know for himself. Wow. God is truly hastening his work and i am more and more amazed every day that i get to be apart of it. I am so grateful to be an instrument in his hands to help these people find the truth. Yesterday he texted us and told us that his wife would also like to start meeting with us now too! I am so excited for them. So grateful God has placed them in our path!
The other night Sis Pew and I went to invite one of our investigators to church that we hadnt seen in a while. She just happened to be sitting in her backyard and it was just really awkward and we didnt know how to approach her. So we pretended to casually walk by and then just casually invite her to church.... haha so we did just that with the situation being a little awkward as she kindly rejected our invitation. Haha well we felt silly for just turning back the way we came since we were acting like we were on our way somewhere else and our car was like a 15 min walk away so we began to trek our way around the block back to our car knocking on the doors we felt inspired to as went. We had knocked on a few as we went with no success and just as we were approaching our car both Sis Pew and i said at the same time that we needed to go knock on a certain door. As we did, this sweet girl named Cara answered the door and before we could even introduce ourselves she just immediately lit up and came outside to talk to us. As we talked to her about the church she was getting so excited and was accepting everything we said with such enthusiasm!. Then she told us how crazy it was that we had just knocked on her door because a couple weeks ago she had a traumatic experience happen to her and it really brought her down low and then just last week her sister from texas randomly came to visit her which made her so happy and then we knocked on her door and she said that she just felt so strongly that God was sending her sister and us to her to help her during this difficult time. She said that because of this experience she has been wanting to know God better and come closer to him since she has just felt of his love so strongly. She is only 20 years old and has the cutest 2 year old daughter and we are planning to see her again this week! It just amazes me how truly aware God is of his children and it amazes me how he works through us as missionaries and members as well to bring them into the fold. It happens in the most unexpected ways but yet he is behind it all.
We had a crazy Sunday yesterday... I got to speak in Sacrament Meeting and then we were in charge of the youth for the last 2 hours of church while all of the adults were in a marriage counseling class. It was awesome!! Something our mission president has really been emphasizing lately is being involved in the ward and it has made all of the difference of earning the trust of the members! It has been so fun as we have done sharing time, subsituted for classes, and working with the youth yesterday. I am just learning so much from the people here each and every day. I feel right at home in this ward and love getting to know each and every one of them. They all have such a special place in my heart. I was asked to speak in sacrament meeting about pioneers and enduring to the end. It got me thinking a lot. Especially about the pre-earth life ( i would say that is one of my favorite aspects of the gospel) I was thinking about just how our preparations for our journey coming to earth could have been similar to thos preparations that the pioneers made as they prepared for their trek. Each of us have been placed in different circumstances, with our own weaknesses, insecurities, and temptations. However, before we came we knew that this life wouldn’t be easy and that we would be tested. We knew that we would be faced with adversity that would be hard to overcome. We were all well aware of the journey that lied ahead of us and the challenges that we were about to face. Yet every single one of us chose to come here and we all knew that by living the gospel of Jesus Christ we would be able to one day make it back home to our Heavenly Father. I imagine that this is a way similar to how the pioneers felt as they prepared for their long, difficult, heart breaking journey toward Zion. They knew if would be hard, they knew that it was possible that they all wouldn’t make it there alive, they knew they would have to leave a lot behind and that they would be facing many hills of adversity. As the pioneers trekked across the United States by wagon or handcarts facing rocky roads, rugged mountains to climb, threatening rivers to cross it is apparent that the journey was not easy for them. They faced harsh weather, threats of hostile Indians, hunger, fatigue, and many deaths of loved ones including children. These pioneers set the way before us as we strive to endure the trials and tests that we face in this day and age. As the pioneers trekked over a thousand miles they are a constant example to us today as members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and modern pioneers of enduring to the end.
Brigham Young said: “The men and women, who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle every day for this sacred goal.”
We are living in a world today with rapidly increasing temptations of the adversary around us where heartache, loneliness, pain, and setback seem to be thrown at us more and more frequently. We, as modern pioneers today are on a difficult and treacherous journey of our own…facing our own hills of adversity, our own trail of tears, and wide treacherous rivers that are seemingly difficult to cross. There’s no doubt that on the pioneers difficult and heart wrenching journey they had great faith in our Heavenly Father and in Jesus Christ and we too, should follow in their footsteps of faith and diligence they had despite the opposition they faced. As we all made the decision to come to earth we exercised our agency, or the freedom to choose for ourselves. Every one of Gods children has agency. We all can choose for ourselves whether or not we are going to endure to end of this mortal journey. At baptism, we promised or WILL promise, to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. When Elder Bednar, visited this area a couple months ago he simply explained that we exercised our agency when we got baptized and we still have our agency but the only way we should be allowed to exercise it is simply by JUST choosing the right.
I really just love this gospel so much. I love Jesus Christ so much and know that he lives. He is my savior. God is real. Christ is real. This is all real. Its TRUE. Its nothing to be taken for granted. There is no greater place we could be than by focusing on strengthening our relationship with our savior jesus christ. I know this church is true with all of my heart. I love it with all of my heart. I am so happy to be in the Lords service and so very humbled that he has trusted me with so many wonderful people here in Virginia. I love my mission. It has made me into a person i never thought i could ever become and has changed me in indescribable ways. And it continues to do so. God is aware of each and every one of us there is no doubt in my mind. This journey is worth it. This gospel is worth it. ITS ALL WORTH IT. Keep on Keepin on. I love all yall so much and i'm so very grateful for the service and sacrifice that you give in order to be modern pioneers and to stand up for what you believe in. Have a great week! Hurrah for Israel! XOXO
Pic 1: Smores with Sis Dunbar!
Pic 2: Obsessed with smores mmmmm
Pic 3: What up
Pic 4: 6 more weeks of the DREAM TEAM in WHITE OAK