Wow! What a great email mom! Thank you! I love and gain so much from your encouraging letters and the strength and testimony that emanates from you! You are probably the best missionary I know!
Did I tell you that my companion sister Lewis’ grandpa Abraham Smoot was mission companions with Wilford Woodruff?! Crazy huh?! We have had such a blast this past week and we are growing closer together as we are open about our goals and how we can help each other to improve and be the best that we can be. I trust sister Lewis a great deal and she is becoming a very dear friend.
President Holzapfel always said that the mission is preparing us for marriage and families as well as for the rest of our lives in general. He says that our missions are a mini life and the the experiences we go through here are preparing us for things to come in our future. I miss president Holzapfel and his wife, but I also LOVE President Hanks and his wife! I am excited to get to know and love them even more! Our mission is focusing more on service! I love it! Sister Lewis and I had this experience this last week:
A few days ago Sister Lewis and I were out ridding our bikes and we saw this lady out in her yard trying to sweep loose grass off of her driveway. We approached her and asked if she needed/wanted help. She said that she was fine, but she had a lot to do. Normally I would be afraid of offending them if I stayed and helped so we would give them a mormon.org card with our number and names on it and tell them to call if they ever need help or anything, but today I had a goal of helping people even if they didn’t ask us to help them. So I just picked up the broom that was on the driveway and started sweeping up the grass. When the lady came back and saw that we were still there and helping her anyway, she asked if we were Mormons. We told her who we are and we continued to talk with her and found out a lot about her. She asked us questions about the church and what missionaries do and told us specific things that she likes about the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints such as food storage and emergency preparedness and focus on the family. We helped her and talked to her for about an hour and a half and she told us we could stop by again. We got her number and we plan on going back.
There have been so many experiences like that this week and it has been really amazing to be able to be apart of and see it! I know that the Lord is in this work 100%, it is His work and I feel so blessed to be His missionary!
Just last night when we got to our apartment, as we were going up the stairs to the door, our neighbor (a young man probably in his 20s) was out on his porch and we greeted each other. We had some small talk and then he started talking about church and how he should go to church with his buddy (he grew up baptist or something). I told him that he was right and that he should go to church, but I couldn’t lie. I proceeded to tell him that he should come to our church. Right after I said that I was shocked at myself! We are not supposed to proselyte at our apartment complex. If they ask us about the gospel we can talk about it, but we aren’t aloud to promote the church. I was wondering why I had asked that when he asked us what the name of our church was. We answered and then he proceeded to ask questions. A minute or so after we had said the name of our church, the other person that was on the porch with him came into the light and it was a young lady. She asked us if we knew Sister Bringhurst. We both looked at each other and then back at her and said, “Yes! How do you know her?” she told us that Sister Bringhurst and Sister Kudlachec had come to her house looking for one of their neighbors and they let them in and taught them. She said that they gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read the introduction. She said that she liked what they taught her about the 3 kingdoms of glory! Our neighbor jumped in the conversation and we had a little discussion. It was amazing! He told us that we could give him our card with the address to the church on it and we told him about videos he can look up.
We immediately called Sister Bringhurst and her companion when we got inside. They were so pleased! It was such a miracle! We all really hope and pray that she continues to meet with the sisters and that she will act on her desires and the good feelings that she had about the things the sisters taught her and that they will both investigate! It was such a neat experience! All I could think after was that if I had not have invited our neighbor to come to church, we never would have met her. She said that she thought of Sister Bringhurst when we said the name of our church. The Lord knows all of us so personally and individually ! I am so grateful for that! I am grateful for the Spirit and His role in conversion!
We have had rain for 5 days straight. I love it! The only sad thing is that we did not get to watch any fireworks on the 4th because they got canceled because of the rain.
I don’t know If I told y’all this (sorry Miriam) but my companion, sister Lewis is from Gilbert, AZ (Ben and Kyli) and her dad is the Mayor. She has 7 siblings as well. Also, the Astons who are the senior couple in Capitol ward who called mom and dad about my medication (which i did get and have not missed a day) are from Mesa, AZ. Also there is a new sister in the ward for the summer. Her husband is selling security systems. Their last name is Henley, he thinks that he and his dad used to home teach our family, and she served her mission in Tucson, AZ and I showed her a picture of Ben and she said he looks familiar. Funny how many connections there are!
I have been thinking about Andrew a lot lately. I miss that guy so much! I don’t know if I can handle not seeing him for 3 years! I love him extremely a lot. What an incredible young man! I am so amazed at his example to his friends and his ability to do what he knows is right even in the midst of adversity and persecution! I know that he is going to do great things and the Lord has great plans for him! What an incredible missionary! I want to invite him to practice sharing the gospel and talking to strangers. Get comfortable with it. Role play. Talk to people in line at the grocery store, testify often. Go on exchanges or team ups with the missionaries if you can! I promise that it will help and it will prepare you so much! Know your scriptures y’all study them along with PMG (preach my gospel) Really understand the doctrines there. Be prepared to answer questions about what you believe. Why are you a member of the church? What does it mean to you? Why do you go to church and keep the commandments? Why do you follow the prophet? etc… I promise that this will only make you stronger and help you solidify your testimony and your beliefs! Please Please PLEASE! Reach out to the Less actives and semi actives around you! Go visit them! befriend them! Take a minute and call them. Strengthen everyone around you and leave them better than you have found them!
Everyone is a beloved spirit son or daughter of our Loving Heavenly Parents as such each has a divine role and destiny! Every single one of God’s children have something to offer and they have to potential to become like Him, a God or Goddess! These are our brothers and sisters. If Caleb was lost all of us would search until we found him. We would not give up on him, we would not rest until he was back home safe and sound with us in our arms!
Our Heavenly Parents need our help! They have precious sons and daughters who are lost and it is our duty to go out and help in the rescue! No one on this earth is past saving! When we wake up and realize that this life is not about us, but about serving others and bringing them closer to Christ, I promise we will be so much happier! I can testify that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, I can testify that selfless service and Christlike love (charity) brings true joy not only to you but also to those whom you serve and God our Father and our Savior Jesus Christ! It is so worth it! It is true and nothing else matters!
Mosiah 18: 17-30 Do these things because you love God and you love His son Jesus Christ and because they love you and want to bless you! They are waiting anxiously to pour out blessings upon you!
For family home evening with you all (that took a lot of effort Miriam, I hope you appreciate it 😉 watch 17 Miracles and then read D&C 121: 7-9? Then report about it next week in the email? Also where are you reading in the Book of Mormon? Are you reading in the New Testament?
Hugs and kisses to all y’all! I love you so much and I am doing everything I can to keep that bond strong between us so that I can be with each and everyone of you sealed forever!