Due to the new security measures requested by the Mission leaders, the names of all investigators and people that Sarah comes into contact with will be replaced with the name of a well-known character from a children’s movie. This will keep the identities of people safe as well as make it easier to keep everyone straight. The name given is in NO WAY intended to reflect the personality, looks, or circumstances of the individual(s).
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October 7, 2013
I hope everyone had a wonderful Conference weekend! We definitely did here in
I felt like every talk was absolutely inspired, and every talk either applied to me, my mission, or my investigators. My favorite talk was....you guessed it! Elder S. Gifford Nielsen's now famous to all missionaries "Exclamation Point!" talk. It's not just because he was a quarterback for BYU or that he delivered his address like a sports announcer (which gave me blasts from my past) although those aspects definitely helped. His talk was the perfect counsel for us as member missionaries. Like he said, this work won't move forward in the Lord's intended way without US. He suggests that ever member of the church make a game plan for how to be a better missionary and help the full-time missionaries. Here is the game plan he suggests:
1. Specifically pray to bring someone closer to Christ everyday
2. Pray for the missionaries serving in your area and their investigators BY NAME every day
3. Invite a friend to an activity in or out of your home
In order to pray for the missionaries serving in your area and for their investigators, you have to know them. So this Sunday, learn your missionaries' names. I guarantee they are trying to learn yours if they don't know it already. And when you say "Hi, I'm Brother/Sister so and so." their mind will flash to their ward list and they will pull up every detail they know about you. You might be surprised how well they know and love you, even if you don't know them.
(Read his talk here – Hastening the Lord’s Plan by Elder S. Gifford Nielson )
This week was very different from any other in my mission. Sister Kagie and Sister Repman were both sick as sick can be. So, Sister Abbott and I went out on team-ups. Which means I got to work in deaf work this week! We spent half of our time doing English work in my area and the other half all over the north half of the mission working with the Deaf. It was wonderful to use my sign language again and to be able to experience teaching the gospel differently than I'm used to. We also got plenty of opportunities to meet new English speakers to pass of to missionaries in other areas. One of the most memorable was a woman named Ruby Tuesday. She was down from
visiting an investigator and we got to invite her to conference. She was
excited to have the chance to "get my hair all done up and put on a dress
or a skirt or somethin!" Simple pleasures. I decided to thank the Lord
that night that every day I get to wake up and have a very good reason to get
my hair all done up and put on a skirt.
Bishop Wiggles received a referral for a less active woman living in a care facility, and so he sent us to go and visit her. Her name is Glinda. She's 38 and has MS. She was diagnosed the day after 16th birthday, one of the youngest people ever diagnosed. It was wonderful to talk with her, and we actually got to teach her roommate in the facility, Elphaba. Elphaba asked us if we sang, and when Sister Abbott and I said yes, she started belting out Amazing Grace! We jumped in and harmonized and it was the best feeling. I have such a testimony of the power of music to bring the spirit. Heaven was not a quiet place before we came to this earth, and it won't be when we return. I believe the mansions of the faithful are filled with the best kinds of music. There's something about a melody that fills and lifts the soul better than anything else.
We've been working with a lot of less-actives, and we got to go to dinner with some recent converts and re-activating families. It was amazing to hear how they found the gospel and what they thought of their missionaries. One story in particular I will never forget. This sister was from
Honduras and she was living with a
less active member. Their missionaries were trying to get them to church. This
is what she said:
"We missed church and they came over and asked us why. I said, well we didn't have anything to eat for breakfast and we didn't wake up on time. The next Sunday they knocked on my door at 7 in the morning and when I opened it they were standing there will milk and a bag of cereal! I thought they were crazy and I was angry but my husband thought we should go if it meant that much to them so we went. I thought I was free of them but then they came back and said, now that you're going to church we need you two to get married. What kind of people do that? And then I did it. Why did I listen to them?! It never will make any sense to me and I hate them but I guess it worked out so I should say thank you sometime."
I couldn't help but give a big fist pump in the air for dedicated missionaries! This gospel is the most important thing in this life. What is it worth to you? Would you let breakfast and sleep stand in the way of salvation? It gave me much more determination to leave people no excuse to jip themselves out of joy.
So this week, here's the challenge: Develop your missionary game plan and remember Elder M. Russell Ballard's prophetic promise - If every member will reach out to just one person between now and Christmas, millions will feel the Savior's love.