There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today

Monday, April 28, 2014

Where do I even begin?!?!?! I guess I'll just share 3 teaching experiences and then tell you about all the tender mercies from this week.

UNO. On Thursday we had a lesson with the Barragans at the Grattons house for the first time. It was awesome! We taught Tim about covenants and about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Kaylee, Sis Gratton's daughter who just moved in, was AWESOME at getting Tim to participate. Michele started talking about her concerns again, and Sis Gratton and Kaylee did such a marvelous job answering her questions and reminding her that Heavenly Father needs to be the #1 man in her life. I've heard Michele's concerns over and over so I was super relieved that Sis Gratton and Kaylee could help her out. Michele kept brushing some of it aside, which made me sad. Then I felt prompted to share the I am a Child of God Mormon Message and Dieter F Uchtdorf's "True Identity". Holy cow. I don't know WHAT happened but I started to get super emotional while watching the video. Bro Felker walks in so he could assist Bro Gratton in the blessing they were going to give Michele. So I'm like aw, great..I'm about to cry and there are 9 other people in this room -_-" So after the videos finished I started to bare testimony to Michele, and of course I'm crying my face off. Aaaaand, she once again brushes it aside. Man, that kills. It is so hard for me to watch people not understand the fact that they are a Child of God. SO HARD. Life became so different once I realized what being a daughter of our Father in Heaven meant. It kills me when people don't see that, because life is so much more bitter, more sad, more empty, more lonely, more hard, more broken when we don't know Whose we are. So then, Bro Felker and Bro Gratton give Michele a blessing and it was one of the most beautiful blessings I have ever heard. Man, I was an emotional mess!!! After the Barragans left, I thanked the Grattons for their willingness to help us out. The difference in the Spirit when we teach the Barragans at their home compared to teaching them in the Grattons home--a covenant keeping home--was over-whelming. Gah! If you can have the missionaries teach an investigator/family at your home, DO IT! There is such a huge, huge difference!

DOS. On Friday Michele was going to show us where one of her friends lived so we could try contacting her. But we had to wait for her to pick up her son. We had 10 mins, so we attempted to tract her street while we waited. The first house we knocked on had a Pentecostal lady living there and we pretty much taught the first discussion on her door step. And she set a return appointment with us! Then Michele drives is over to where her friend lived. She told us to tract her street because she didn't want her friend knowing she sent us there. So we go a few houses down and the first door we knock on, we meet a young lady named Rikki and we talked about Jesus and miracles for about 20 minutes. It was awesome! Return appointment! :) Next house we knock on, the girl didn't seem like she really wanted to talk to us. We asked if we could come back and share a message and she kept asking for more details. Anyway, she set a return appointment with us (YEUUUH! 3 appointments set while tracting!). After we asked her about what she did. She said she was just about to graduate from Nursing school from MAC. So I asked her if she knew Lucresic Ferris. And she did! She opened up to us a little more after that which was great! Woot! We finally get to Michele's friend's door.....and she said she wasn't interested! Then we went to contact another one of Michele's kid's friends, and they weren't even home. But in the process, we tracted into a really sweet lady, who seemed kind of stand off-ish at first, but she started opening up after she asked if I was Filipino. She told me she worked with a bunch of them haha. So she said she was all types of religions and would be interested in our message because she did have a Mormon friend. YEYUH THAT IS WHAT YOU CALL BEING ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED! We were out to find 2 different families (which wasn't successful), but in the process we got 4 appointments set! Oh, I love it when Heavenly Father dishes out the tender mercies :)

TRES. Let me give you a little BG on Debbie Penrose before I tell you this miracle. When Sis Rouse and I first go to Farmington we were assigned by Sis Bassett to find some of the less-active primary kids and invite them to the primary party. We were searching for Saydee Sidebottom, who wasn't home, so we tracted around their house. The first door we knock on is Debbie's. We barely said anything and she's like, "are you missionaries? I like missionaries. Can you come back on Monday?" PSH, YES! So we did. But she wasn't home. So we try our less active family again. Paula Scott is Saydee's mom. She was super nice, let us in, and told us she wants to start going to church again. Then she says that Debbie and Bill Penrose, her neightbours, had some questions about the Mormon religion and told us to check them out. We told her we already met Debbie! So Paula set up an appointment for us to come teach her non-member fiancée and the Penroses. That lessons went AWESOME because they all had so many questions. Plus, they came to church that Sunday :D So that was like our first week here and we haven't been able to have a formal lesson with them since then. A really short Book of Mormon intro lesson with Debbie, but that was about it. Anyway, on Friday we went to Debbie's and she told us she couldn't let us in because Bill had pneumonia. So she talked to us on the porch. The conversation got more and more interesting to her so she ended up just coming outside and talking with us. I asked her how her BOM reading was going and she kept apologizing for not finishing the book. I'm like are you kidding me?! With everything that's going on, that is awesome that you have read how much you did! And then she says: "I know it's true." I turned to her and I'm like "WHAT?!". She continued to explain and gahhhh I was just so extremely happy! She also told us how she keeps feeling guilty about drinking coffee ever since we had our 1st lesson with her and told her we are commanded not to drink it. I was like "you know why you feel bad?" She's like "cuz I'm not supposed to?" Im like yeah, that's the Spirit telling you not to". On Saturday, we went to see Paula and Brad. They were super busy and couldn't see us for too long, so we went over to the Penroses again. I just wanted to give her a conference talk, but we ended up having a really good lesson with Debbie! She told us she read Mosiah 18 and she knows she needs to be baptized. Then we started discussing churches, and we pretty much taught her The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Restoration, AND the Plan of Salvation in the span of 30 minutes. It was crazy! The Plan of Salvation really got to her. The moment she left she went over to Paula's to try and get them to set an appointment with us so they could all listen to the rest of the Plan of Salvation. On Sunday we talked to Debbie on the phone and she said that her daughter and her daughter's friend want to sit in on it too!!! Gah! I just love her!

ANYWAY, tender mercies:

1. Trainers' meeting consisted of very few Elders and Sisters, which is different considering there are always so many new missionaries coming in. But we only had 12 this time. Sis Fernandez (my babygirl), Sis Villiniga (my sister), and Sis Herdman (my god daughter aka my MTC companion's daughter) were all training as well. Yeeeuh family reunion! Sis Fernandez, Sis Villiniga, Sis Ash, and I all sat together at the front to welcome the new family members haha :)

2. My new companion is Sister Craig from Bountiful, Utah!! She is quiet and cute and short. Ahaha. She said she isn't crazy at all and that I have to help her have fun. I was glad she said that cuz I was starting to tone it down a little bit so she didn't think I was too crazy ;p And she just graduated from nursing school!

3. I have a renewed testimony on the power that comes from being exactly obedient the moment you get up. Bro Donaldson made it stick in my head that the power comes when we make that decision to get up at 6:25 in the morning. For the past 2 transfers, I've been doing it all by myself. And no matter how hard I tried to be exactly obedient, the miracles couldn't come. Why? Because I was doing it alone. And that's what frustrated me. No matter what I did, no matter how obedient I was being, I knew success wasn't going to come because that area was only getting 50% obedience from the companionship as a whole. The past 4 days, with Sister Craig getting up with me at 6:15 and us both ready and studying by 8am made the biggest difference in the world!! I'm still senior companion and I still have to lead out (that much more because my companion is new), BUT I don't feel like I'm facing the work alone anymore. I know that the power will come as we go and work because the area is getting 100% obedience. And the awesomeness of this week has proved that to me. And no matter how exhausted I get, some how I'm provided the energy. And I have Sis Craig to thank. Sis Craig doesn't think it's a huge deal, but she doesn't know what went on last transfer, so this is a HUGE deal and tender mercy for me.

4. I got to attend Stake conference for the first time on my mission!!!! And it was AWESOME!! :)

5. When I first got out here, I got to skim through Sis Ash's book "How to be an extraordinary missionary" by John Bytheway. A few months ago, I started wishing I photocopied it like she told me to so I could self evaluate myself and improve on some things. This weekend, Sis Toombs played some of the audiobooks from her ipod as we drove to Cape Girardeau. And How to be an Extraordinary Missionary was there! :') GAH! Tender Mercy: It's nice to know I'm not failing at the attributes John Bytheway listed.

Questions I have for you:

a. Think about this as you go throughout your daily activities: What would a holy woman/man do in this situation? How would a hold woman/man do this activity differently? (This is inspired from Elder Nelson's wife's talk: "What would a Holy Woman do?") I challenge you to ask yourself that questiont during a different activity everyday throughout this week. Let me know what you've discovered :)

b. This one is for the Priesthood. When you give Priesthood blessings to people, does your love for that person all of a sudden change? I've been paying a lot more attention to blessings since I've come out on a mission and I just figured, because Heavenly Father is channeling this blessing through you, do you grab a glimpse of how much love Heavenly Father has for that person? Just a thought. But let me know, cuz I'm curious.

And a quote:

"The only way to be happy is to live the Gospel. It is not possible to sin enough to be happy. It isn't possible to buy enough to be happy, or to entertain or indulge or pamper ourselves enough to be happy. Happiness and joy come only when we are living up to who we are". --Sheri Dew

...AND THAT'S A CHILD OF GOD! As Elder Callister says, "I do not believe there is one [person] whose weaknesses are greater than the potential strengths within [him or her]. Why? --because each of us is a son and daughter of God, with [his or her] divine nature and divine potential woven into the very fabric of our souls."

Neglect not the gift that is in thee. You know who you are and whose you are ;)

Have an awesome week!

Sister Limas :)

Posterity photo!! Sisters Hayden, Viliniga, Ash, Limas, Craig, U'tai, and Fernandez ;D

Making pizzas at the Bohn's house :)

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