Happy Memorial Day! I’m so grateful for this country and for the freedoms that we have because of those who fought for that very thing. Especially thinking about the religious freedom we have to believe what we want and to worship how we want to. Chet, thank you for always being such a great example of someone who serves others and that includes our country 🙂
Well I’ve been out as a missionary officially as of today 2 whole months! It feels like 2 years honestly. Crazy. I can’t imagine what it will feel like when I’ve been out 6, 12, and then 18 ahhh! I’ve learned SO much. Little did I know what the Lord had in store for me man oh man. Serving a mission has been an incredible refining and faith building experience that I never expected it could be. My mind is still blown reflecting on the lows I’ve had and the high’s from serving a mission it truly is a roller coaster but with God ALL things are possible. And that includes being His emissary 🙂
So this week we had a baptism on Sunday! Hurray for Jim. It was so funny what happened before. We told him that the baptism would be at 1:00 at the church so to get there around 12:45 would be good and he said okay. Well saturday morning rolled in and we were doing service at a members house before the baptism when we got a phone call. I watched as one of my companions seem baffled as to what she heard and then kept saying “ya…well I don’t know what to do…ummm…ya” I looked at her and she whispered frantically to me ” Jim’s already at the church!” at this point it was about 10:30 am so he was there about 2 hours early! I told her to hand me the phone and began to work my magic. A ward member was there for a meeting and saw Jim walking around the church by himself. She then went up and asked him what he was doing there and he said “Oh I’m just here for my baptism” she ask when it was and he told her it was at 1:00 pm that day. So then she called us worried about what to do. Haha I wish you all knew Jim because he’s totally the kind of guy that is so easy going and laid back that this wasn’t a huge surprise to us. I asked the member to hand Jim the phone and I asked him what he was doing. He goes ” Well I didn’t have anything else going on because I don’t work today so I decided I might as well come early…I’ve just been walking around the field you guys have here and it’s quite nice” (it was indeed a nice day out). He then asked “You sisters will be here soon though won’ t you?” I said ” Well Jim that baptism isn’t for another couple hours so we won’t be there till 12:30″ Haha he then went on to say that he would just stay there and wait until we came haha. He was that content. Man I love that guy. Long story short I made some calls and one of our ward members Bro. Mason came and picked Jim up and brought him to his house for lunch and kept him company until the baptism. Ohhhh Jim. Haha he’s awesome. I think we can all learn to enjoy life from the simple things like Jim does.
The baptism was wonderful, my heart was full as Jim made the promise to commit himself to take Christ’s name upon him and to have his sins washed away. He made some big changes in his life to be ready for baptism he quit smoking and drinking and doing things that pulled him away from God. I could feel the spirit and knew he knew that he was truly taking another step to come unto Christ. What a wonderful thing. He was confirmed the following day at church and I knew he was happy to see all the ward members raise their hands in welcoming him as the newest member of the Grand Blanc Ward. I love the organization of the church and how we have wards, stakes etc. I’ve thought a lot about that this week. I mean for example: When someone moves to a new state or even country, they can get in touch with the nearest ward members there and have a whole load of people to help them get settled in. Their kids can meet kids that have the same values and that go to school with them, the parents can meet members that live near by and can help them get familiar with the town and show them where they can get this or that. They have a whole ward to help them move in etc. It’s awesome! I love that we always try to focus on serving each other like the Savior did. That is so important.
Okay here’s neat experience that happened this week that was a tender mercy to me. So we had gone on exchanges for the day (exchanges: swap companions so you can learn other things and teach each other) and were coming back to re-swap. Sister Thompson had left our trio to go with Sister butterfield and her companion Sister Fillmore came with Sister Smithson and I (hopefully that’s not too confusing). As our trio came to meet Sisters Thompson and Butterfield to re-swap we saw their car parked with the doors open in the parking lot. We pulled up and they said they had a flat tire (weren’t sure why). They were trying to call roadside service and see what could be done. I went over and looked at the tire and noticed the sound of leaking air came from a nail that was in the tire-bummer. I pointed it out and the girls were surprised to see that there. They weren’t sure what it could’ve been from but regardless the tire continued to leak.
So while they were on the phones calling service/mission office to let them know what was going on us other 3 went over to grab some ice cream at cold stone since there was one like a block away. We were there ordering as this guy walked out from behind the counter (I assumed he was done with his shift) and had this odd look on his face as he saw us. We got our ice cream and went back to find out the road side service for whatever reason DID not do tire changes at least for not a cheap price anyways. So we thought we’d try to change it ourselves. So here are 5 sisters in a parking lot trying to use what bits and pieces we remembered from YW lessons/ dads teaching us about changing tires etc. Haha quite a site. People continued to drive by and not a single one of them offered to help. We got in contact with a ward mission leader of the near by ward (both companionships were out of our area in this meeting spot) and he was trying to get someone to us.
Well right then a guy pulls up and it was the same guy from Cold Stone that had given us the funny look. He asked if we needed help and he said he’d go grab a jack and come right back to change the tire. Apparently his house was really close to where we were at. He did and as he worked on the tire we talked with him. He was about 18/19 and asked us questions about who we were and what we missionaries did. He then continued to say, “ya know, driving by you guys, normally I would never stop but I felt like you really needed help and that I should at least come and ask”. The way he said that, I knew that he was prompted to come help us by the spirit. Sister Fillmore and I ended up teaching him the Restoration and gave him a book of Mormon. He told us that he grew up catholic but they never went to church, and his mom had just said a couple days before that they needed to start going to church again.
His face lit up as we explained to Him about the fulness of the gospel bring restored to the earth and the evidence of that is the Book of Mormon that is another testament of Jesus Christ. It was such a powerful experience He said he would read and pray about it and wanted to know more about what we believe. And why we were so happy? Haha. It was wonderful.
I know that that tire went flat that night so we could meet David. Whether he decides to contact the missionaries in the area that could teach him or not. He needed to hear our message and God led him right to us. I know that God prepares the hearts of people to hear our message in His way and His time. I’m grateful for David and for his desire to know truth. He had mentioned how people are so close minded and stubborn and he was touched as we told him that Joseph Smith had the question of which of all of these churches are right? and how can I know it? That desire to just know truth.
God wants us to be happy. And through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can be. A happiness that lasts forever and blesses/strengthens families. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have and for my family and the strength that the gospel has blessed us with in our lives. It’s because it’s true 🙂
I love you all and hope that you each look for the tender mercies that God puts in your lives. Because He does. I know as we look for these tender mercies we will feel of God’s love for us. Everything happens for a reason.
Love you all! Have a wonderful last week of May.