I love Specialized Training weeks.
I wrote a small blog post about it last week, so that should simply cover what I learned. President got half of the mission together in Batavia to make sure we’re all on the same page. What’s interesting is the night before our meeting, Sister Johnson and I pillow talked for a couple hours about how we can tract better together. She’s extremely bold and will not leave a door unless it’s obvious they don’t want us to come back, but before that night, I was more apt to letting them know why we’re there, and then letting them make the decision for themselves. But when we’re sitting, teaching lessons, we switch roles. I’m the one that doesn’t care how bold I am, and will say whatever I can to get them to feel the Spirit. However, what I’m trying to work on is the initial contact. It’s weird going from teaching in a Visitors’ Center where people come in to learn more about the Mormons, to invading the comfort of their own homes and telling them why they need to listen to me. We have to get the Holy Ghost there somehow…at least before they close the door. If they feel it and still close the door–that’s fine. Seed planted. Maybe the next missionaries they see will have a bigger impact. Anyway, that’s all we talked about at Specialized Training–is how to be more bold, and to remember that all we need to care about is what Christ thinks of us, rather than what other people think. My new goal: get over myself, introduce them to the Spirit, and have the last words of my testimony ring in their ear long after I’m gone. Then the Spirit can testify of the truth that they truly need to survive.
The next day, my companion received a slip from the Post Office telling her she had a package ready to be picked up. Of course, being missionaries, we take our first lunch break to go grab it. As we were walking down Main in Brockport by the cute little shops, there was a double-sided chalk sign that said, “COME IN: TRY OUR GLUTEN-FREE SNICKERDOODLES.” For me and especially Sister Johnson, it read, “COME IN: I NEED GOD.” We both read it independently, looked at each other and laughed, and didn’t even hesistate to walk in. The woman at the front desk introduced herself as Pat, gave us her schpiel about the sales going on, and once she took a breath, I told her that Sister Johnson just recently discovered she was gluten-free. Pat got really excited and walked us through the whole section designed for her, and gave us a ton of free stuff. The whole time, I was trying to find an outlet to have her ask what we were doing here in Brockport. While we were checking out–buying gluten-free, high-carb cookies–I mentioned we didn’t have anything like this where I was from. She looked at our nametags and asked, “Well, what are you doing here?” (Success!) “We’re missionaries, actually we teach about the Book of Mormon,” I said. She smiled and said, “That’s funny, I was just barely on your familysearch.org, and I found my aunt that we have been looking for! If it weren’t for your website, I would never have found her.” We told her about the family history center down the street, and invited her to come with us. We’re going to go visit her again today, so hopefully we can set up a time to go. God really is in the details.
So obviously, Sister Johnson is still recovering from Celiac Disease. But every day my respect for her grows more and more. Her nausea on top of the intestine-healing pain are way more than I could ever bear myself. Her attitude about missionary work makes it seem she just came out of a pep-talk with Elder Holland. We have been very creative in the things she can do, and the Lord has blessed us for it. The sporatic times we can work the whole day, we’ve seen fantastic success. (See previous paragraph.) He allows us to meet and visit many people that we can bring closer to Christ. Not to mention the unfathomable blessing that our mission is the pilot mission for online-proselyting. But through this whole thing, I have seen the scripture in Matthew come alive in her, “…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” -Matthew 26:41. I don’t know if I’ve seen any other missionary want to serve her Master so badly. She will be blessed more than any other person who can tract all day, every day.