Man, I love being in the mission field when stuff like this happens…I heard through the grapevine today that over 7,000 missionaries have submitted their papers in this past week alone. We’re having a Specialized Training on Thursday morning specifically for combat instructions when our fellow soldiers arrive. When we say we’re serving a mission, we’re serving a mission. Stay tuned next week for more details regarding the action plan.
We got a decent amount of time in our area this week, and also celebrating the first time to church for one of our investigators! She brought her family, and they really loved it. What a joy it is to sit next to a mother and her children during the sacrament, especially if they’ve never experienced it before. She is progressing wonderfully. We had another great lesson with her and a member who knows a lot of what she’s going through. Missionaries don’t go out to baptize the world, we go out to serve just as Christ would–one by one.
Sister Graham and I also got time to do some street contacting in Phelps. This village (yes, a village) is right outside Fayette. It’s amazing to me that something so big could happen just miles away where nobody knows the magnitude of it. Anyway, we came across a bearded man named Jim eating his lunch. My companion offered a mormon.org card with our contact information to him and asked if he had heard of the church before. He said he had grown up in Palmyra, and had made a trip to Salt Lake City before. He noted how nice the Mormons were and that he didn’t realize how important upstate New York was to us. We began just in a small conversation about it, then he eventually asked what two girls could do to change his heart. I said, “Do you really want to know? Our Heavenly Father created a Plan specifically for you–a way to get back to Him. He’s sent us to tell you about it. The best part is that we can’t force you to believe anything.” We then went on to explain how a person has to ask God with real intent, meaning he needs to commit to act on the answer he’s given. Then comes his next question, pretty sarcastically, “So you’re saying that I’ll get an answer straight from God.” Without any hesitation, Sister Graham and I both nodded our heads strongly and said, “YES.” It took him back a bit and it was silent for a few seconds. I said to him, “Jim, when we are done with this conversation, will you just ask Him if what we are telling you is true?” He said he would. We finished up our conversation, and went on our way. I don’t know what will ever come of that conversation. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I know Jim felt the power of the Holy Ghost testify to him that whatever we said was true. Like I said, missionaries don’t “get baptisms,” we plant seeds.
We also had an opportunity to teach a recent convert about what my parents have taught me since day one. She wanted to know how her kids could stop being bullied at school. She was expecting us to have some amazing prophesy about it, but we simply turned to 3 Nephi 12:44. “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.” My mom always taught me to “Kill ’em with kindness,” so that’s exactly what I told her! After her realizing this was the right thing to do, she wrote it down and said, “I’M PUTTIN THIS ON FACEBOOK!” Mission accomplished.
Again, I love being in this mission. Days feel like years, and months seem like hours. Time is totally messing my brain up, but I absolutely would not trade this mission for the world. The decision to go was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, and the ability to change a human heart can not be duplicated. I want all of you this week to find somebody who needs that invitation to come closer to Christ, and invite them to do that. Sometimes it’s not words. Maybe it’s just a hug, maybe just a smile, or something simple as asking them to go out to dinner with you. Commit yourself to this invitation tonight while you’re talking to Heavenly Father. Like I said, you probably won’t know what will come of it. But I promise something will. Maybe you’ll save a life.
Thanks for the support and prayers! I love you all!