I hardly know what to write y’all this week. My heart is overflowing with joy and gratitude! How have I been so incredibly blessed to have such a steadfast, strong, faithful family who love and support me and care about me and what I am striving to accomplish in my life. The past few days were a bit difficult for me to be so far away from all y’all, but I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice of our Savior and His resurrection which we celebrated (and continue to celebrate) because I have been filled with peace from knowing of a surety that we will all be reunited once again. Whether first in this life, or the life to come, it mattereth not as long as we continue faithful and diligent to our covenants.
Mom, thank you SO much for your compliments and thanking me for who I am and what I strive to do and who I strive to become! You succeeded in making me cry… 😉 For real, though, Thank you for following the spirit and lifting me up! I have been striving to be and do all of those things and sometimes it is difficult to see the results and feel or know that I have gotten anywhere or accomplished anything….. good. Y’all are the best family in the WORLD!!!!!
We ate Easter dinner with some members last night and they took a picture of my companion and I and sent it to mom’s phone. Also, there was a member whose sister and brother in law were visiting from Utah and offered to take a few of my things back to yall for me. I gave them our address and the home phone number. Let me know if they got through to y’all.
Everything sounds so exciting! I love hearing about all of the great and wonderful things that y’all are doing and how y’all are all growing up! I don’t think I will recognize y’all when I come home….
OH! Mother’s day is coming up! Can yall believe that one year ago, we talked over skype?! So much has changed since then! I’m still geeking out about it! 😉 How about y’all tell me the best way to work that communication?
I am doing well, our teaching pool is kind of dwindling, and no one seems to want to listen to what we have to say, but there are a few who seem promising and actually there is a family that we are now teaching with the elders and here is kind of an explanation of that….
Yesterday was one of the best days of my mission! My companion and I received quite a few invitations to eat an Easter meal with members of the branch, but if all had been accepted and attended we would have been with members all day and got nothing else done. I felt very prompted that we needed to go see a referral which we had received right after church and so we did that instead of going to eat with members (until later in the evening). As we arrived at the home associated with the address which had been given, we recognized the neighborhood as one we had been sent to before for a different referral who apparently had moved years ago. (That past referral had a completely different name than the one we were currently trying to visit.)
As I stopped the car and put it in park, we noticed a gentleman on the porch and when we saw his face, we recognized him as one of the Elder’s investigators who had come to the church for one session of conference and also had come to sacrament meeting the next week. Apparently, the referral was his wife who wanted to meet with sisters. This man’s wife whom we were trying to visit with was asleep, but her husband had some questions for us about the Plan of Salvation.
This guy has really been researching, though my companion and I testified of simple truths and invited him to continue reading the Book of Mormon beginning and ending with a prayer and also to pray to know if all of this is true for himself. We were able to answer some of his questions which scholars, whom he had asked, were not able to answer for him. We had a very positive experience and my companion and I offered a prayer of thanks as soon as it was appropriate to do so (meaning we were alone).
Later in the day, this guy texted us and asked if he could ask us a question. He asked about being sealed to his family in the temple and seemed to understand that his wife would need to join the church to be able to be sealed to her and his son. We ended up calling him and talking with him over the phone. We called the elders after and told them all that was discussed and we are planning how we can all work together to help this family come to the church and be taught the principles of the gospel and how we can involve the branch president, council and members so that we can help this family come into the fold. It was such a neat experience to have followed the spirit expecting one thing and then to be blessed to see a miracle, the Lord’s will actually unfold as we were obedient and where the Lord needed us at that precise moment!
Yesterday as we were going to see a part member family who are black and actually as we were leaving, we drove past this large family (all black) and as I was stopped at the stop sign and preparing to go after checking the intersection, one of the black guys looked over and yelled, “What are yall two white folks doing in this black neighborhood” The volume of his question scared me more than anything and made us both jump. Then almost immediately, he laughed and said, “I’m just kidding!”
Honestly, sometimes I forget that I am white. We haven’t had much problems with people pointing it out and so that shocked me. We got out of there quickly, don’t worry. I don’t think there was any real threat because it was a nice big family with women and kids in playing football. We have heard about some black panthers here though and there are some KKK still round these parts, but don’t worry, we are obedient and safe and the members take real good care of us! (We have the coolest stake president! He is black and actually served his mission here in Bama and also lived in Utah round our parts!)
I was able to play my violin a little bit this week for some sisters in the branch who are going through cancer treatments and other health issues. That has been so precious!
Well, I got to go. My companion isn’t feeling too well today and we need to go get some things to take care of her. Please pray that the people of Jasper will be receptive to the message of the Restoration and that we will be able to teach it simply and correctly in a way that they will desire to have it in their own life!
Keep the faith and strive to be ready to share the gospel at anytime and anywhere. Also, strive to be worthy of and keep a current temple recommend!
I will be sending pictures here pretty soon hopefully!
ETT3(endure to the end) STEADFAST IN CHRIST
(I asked sister hanks about the quilt. Sister Hanks couldn’t decide on any colors really, she just said no purple)