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).
COUNTDOWN: 59 DAYS
“A Tahitian Stole Our Bread”
April 7, 2014
First off, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! 21 is....pretty much the same as 20, except now, as my companion reminded me I'm out of "big birthdays" until I turn 30. And then, "You'll be REALLY over the hill." Thanks, Sister Johnson. It was the best birthday ever, mostly because I was so busy I forgot most of the day, just how I like it! And who gets to be so lucky as to have the prophet and apostles speak for her birthday? I truly am so blessed. Let's get to the recap of the week, shall we?
First off, how amazing was General Conference?!!!! Some girls flip out for Bieber; I scream for Bednar. Some die for Prince Harry; I live for Elder Holland. There are those who swear by Tommy Hilfiger; I'd rather take Thomas Monson. I LOVE THESE CHURCH LEADERS! Every talk in conference was so inspiring and motivating and inspired. My notebook is full, and so is my heart. How blessed we are to have guidance from living prophets today. I especially loved the theme of standing up for what is right. The world is drifting (ok, plummeting, hurtling at violent speeds, and falling off a cliff) at rapid speeds from the doctrines of God, and we can't even hint that we are ok with it. We must stand strong, stand up, and stand for what is right.
(Did you miss General Conference? Listen/watch it HERE)
We had at least 7 of our investigators at conference, and several more who were supposed to watch it at home who we are still following up with. What a blessing! The most interesting experience I had was with our investigator, Harry Potter. Harry is 10. He REALLY wanted to come to church, even though we explained that this Sunday was different and what conference was. He still wanted to come, and there is no way that I am going to tell someone not to come to church. So, Sister Johnson and I recruited the Primary President and came equipped with every conference activity for kids you can think of. During the second session, I basically entertained Harry. I remember thinking at one point, "Ok, I am so not getting anything out of this, and neither is he. Maybe we should just take the member and go outside and tell Book of Mormon stories. He'd get more out of that."
But then, Harry said, "What's a temple?"
Caught off guard I said, "What?"
Articulate, I know.
He said, "That apostle was talking about temples. What's a temple?"
So we talked about temples.
Later he asked, "So, can I be baptized? Where do you do it? Why?"
Even when his attention span was long gone and with 15 minutes left in the session he asked, "How much longer?" It was followed by, "Can I see where we get baptized now, or do I have to wait until Tuesday when I come to scouts?"
Reflecting on the whole experience, I can see the lesson that Heavenly Father was teaching me. He's good about that. He was teaching me that even the youngest children can benefit from General Conference and church in general. On my mission I have met many mothers who have gone less active because, "My kids aren't getting anything out of it, and I'm not either because I am dealing with them. We'll come back when they are older and can sit still."
Even though I spent my time listening to Harry Potter and not to what the speakers were saying, I still felt the spirit. I received revelation for myself and my investigators. I received answers for Harry, and He received answers too. It only strengthened my resolve that my children and I will ALWAYS go to church, no matter how hard it may seem. It made me think of an article a few Ensigns ago entitled, "On Sundays, we go to church". If we put forth the effort to be present, the Lord will bless us with His presence too.
(Read it Here --> “On Sundays We Attend Church”)
This week I taught my first lesson to a door. Don't worry. There was someone on the other side of the door. I'm old, not senile. You see, on the other side of this big black door is a 15 year old named Inspector Gadget. His mom is a referral we have been trying to contact, but each time we go, Inspector Gadget yells that she isn't there and he's not allowed to open the door when his parents aren't home.
Yesterday, I decided I was through walking away from that silly black door. So when Inspector Gadget said, "She's not here. Come back later."
I said, "That's ok. I was hoping we could talk with you instead."
Inspector Gadget said, "I'm not opening the door."
I said, "That's ok. How was your week?"
Sister Johnson and I concluded that he was so startled, he actually responded, because he didn't know what else to do. We kept talking. We found out that he doesn't know if he believes in God. In fact he said, "I don't believe in anything."
He said he's never needed God. He's always just taken care of things on his own, and after telling us how not interested he was I asked, "Inspector Gadget, if we come back and teach your Mom, will you at least sit down and listen to what we have to say?"
Silence from the big black door.
After about 30 seconds, Sister Johnson said, "Inspector Gadget, are you there?"
From the big black door came, "Yes....I don't know....maybe. I'm really not that interested, but maybe...." T
hen, we told him that even if he felt like he didn't need God now, we knew that he had a loving Father in Heaven who would be there for him when he did. We said goodbye and left a note for his Mom. She texted us last night. We're going over this week. I can't wait to meet the boy behind the big black door!
Explanation of email title this week: Last P-day we left our bread in the Spanish sisters' car. They were going to give it back to us on Thursday at our meeting, but had to leave early. They thought we would catch a ride with the other sisters, so left our bread on their car. We, however, were getting a ride with a member to an appointment.
So, the other sisters came out to their car and thought mana had fallen from heaven. They in turn gave our bread to Elders Smith and Mahaa. Through some detective work we pieced together this story, concluded the bread was lost, and laughed. Later that week, we got a miracle call from Elders Smith and Mahaa (from
Tahiti). We listened to an ecstatic Elder Smith tell how
he was asked to perform his first baptism. Then from the background we here
Elder Mahaa say, "Hey, Northland! I have your bread! It's a miracle! I
didn't eat it!"
After laughing hysterically we texted them to say they could keep it. They responded "This day just keep getting better!!!!!!!!!!!" And thus, a Tahitian inadvertently stole our bread.
Other memorable moments from this week: A dog peed on me. That was a first. Luckily it was raining so I just let nature wash it away. A man stopped us on the street to say, "My grandpa wears your underpants! He goes on temple grounds and everything!"
I said, "Awesome, would you like to as well?!" He declined, but we gave him a pass along card. A Portuguese farrier told me I had beautiful eyes, and I got to talk cows with some owners of a dairy farm. In case you were wondering, the family owns two thousand head of
Holstein. I told
them when it comes to dairy cows, I'm partial to Jerseys.
They too, accepted a pass along card. Isn't missionary work the best?!
I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us. He loves us enough that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for us. I know that through Jesus Christ all our imperfections can become perfect and all our losses can be made up. I know we have living prophets and apostles today. God lives and He speaks. Isn't it a miracle!
Have a wonderful week!