Tuesday we had exchanges, and boy was it action-packed!! I went on up to Norfolk with Sister Anderson (who is a hoot and a half!) and we ran around like crazy the whole day.
We went to see a young gal who is trying to return to church and introduced her to the Relief Society president. I was like half asleep during the whole thing (which was really weird) so the two of them did most of the talking.
Then we went to see another less-active who I had met the last exchange! Her name is Courtlyn and she's really awesome. We planned to just share a little thought on families and the plan of salvation, but then we asked her "why don't you come to church?" We talked to her about how the gospel blessed her family growing up, and how it can and will bless her future family. We committed her to pray about returning to activity.
I'm always scared when I'm prompted to ask those really hard questions - the elephant in the room questions. But when I do it anyway, the miracles come!
Then we went and saw an investigator of theirs who really likes crab chips. I don't like crab chips, I discovered.
We taught her more about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. Since the first meeting with the missionaries, she went out and borrowed a bunch of books on religion from the library, but hadn't as of yet opened the Book of Mormon. It really struck me that to know what it is and to know whether or not it's true, you have to read it. I've always been of the mind that you can't have an opinion on something (that it's good or bad) if you haven't read it. That thought holds true here too!
Then we went to see a lady who is trying to quit smoking. She asked for a blessing to help her overcome her addiction. We went over with three men from the congregation and they used their priesthood power (the same power that Jesus Christ gave the apostles while He was on earth) to give her a blessing of strength, to help her overcome according to her faith. It was a powerful experience. The elders were really direct with her. We stayed after the blessing to build her up, and write down some ideas to help her quit. I've never experienced anything like it. I was so grateful to be there and be able to help and lift her up.
I've always been struck by the power of words. "You really can do this," has much more power than anyone thinks. "I love you," means more than words can say.
So I guess I should explain the pumpkins thing. I discovered, this past week, that I LOVE PUMPKIN. Sister Jacks gave us some pumpkin pie ice cream and it's like the best thing ever. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, whatever. Pumpkin is AWESOME!
Wednesday we had a big ward trunk-or-treat, where we passed out candy and pass-along cards. Quite a few less-active members came, which was AWESOME! =D
On Friday we got to frantically plan for Saturday since everything kept falling through.
We went over to Sister Jones' to pass out candy. It was really fun. =) Halloween night is non-proselyting since there are so many little kids running around. So we got to spend the evening playing games and handing out candy. yay!
Saturday was NOVEMBER 1ST! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
So for the past really long time we've been planning a Social Media Split to really publicize what it is missionaries actually do. It was basically an explosion of media posting with the hashtags #mormon and #ldsmissionaries. Everyone in the entire mission participated. We had members come with us to studies, to appointments, and to service projects and take and post pictures. So I'm online somewhere! =D
It was CRAZY! Because all day long we had appointments and we were just running from one thing to the next! We blew up the internet with missionary posts! =D
We had studies with a returned missionary in the ward and it was awesome. She got so much personal revelation from the experience. She's really been struggling spiritually, so we were constrained by the Spirit (quite literally, I couldn't not say it!) to tell her to read her scriptures! Therein are the answers she is looking for!
Then we went to the C family's and pulled gigantic tree roots up. They handed me a pickaxe and were like "go!" so I whacked away and dug and I felt really cool. It reminded me of Home Improvement. "Ug ug!" It was rainy and really cold but that was good because it was hard work. =D That was really fun! I wish I had some pictures to share, but they're all online.
Then we had lunch with Sister Jones, and our next appointment cancelled 10 minutes before. Sister Z, our Stake Family History Consultant was scheduled to come with us. We planned tracting as a back up, but BOY was it cold and wet outside!! So instead we went to the church and worked on family history together! In that 30 minutes we spent there, I discovered a distant cousin's second wife I had never known about before. MIRACLES!!!!! =D
Then we went to a member's house and cleaned and dusted and polished and shined inside, because there was no way we'd be able to rake up sticky, muddy, acorns in THAT weather. =D Apparently Sister Pola snapped a video of Sister Nielsen and I singing as we cleaned in the bathroom. XD Embarrassing! =D
THEN! The Ankneys were SUPER awesome and set up a dinner AND a lesson! Ah!!! So we had a yummy dinner and then talked about Jesus Christ and what He did for us. It was such a great discussion. Her neighbor really came away with a good impression of us.
So this week has been NUTS~! There was even more stuff that happened, but then my letter would be even ridicuously longer than it already is. I love you all!
My plea to you this week would be please please read your scriptures and never give up! Revelation will come.
Love and hugs!,