Friday, August 7, 2015

September 2, 2014- Virginian Rollercoaster Ride!

Wow! This past week has been intense. It feels like a year has passed since I've heard from you all!

Ayo Tries my Testimony
Monday night, we went out trying to contact some formers and potentials. The first one on our list to go see was a man named Ayo. When we got to the house, it was around 7PM. We knocked on the door and we heard some running and shouting, then someone upstairs pushed up the blinds to get a look at us. Sister Dodds and I shared a look, and then Ayo opened the door.
We tried our best to share a spiritual message with him about the Book of Mormon, but we just barely got a word in edgewise when he went off about studying the Bible, and tons of strange analogies. We literally got talked at for about an hour and a half.
At first, I wanted to be polite. I thought about how the only way to teach someone who wants to confound you with worldly logic is to bear my testimony. I tried that and it didn't work at all. I was sad for a while, and thought a lot about the logic behind Ayo's words as he talked and talked at us. But I realized, as he talked, that I do know and that the message we had brought to share with him was the truth. At that point, I got frustrated, and even a little angry, because he did not want to listen at all. Towards the hour and a half mark, when he still wasn't letting us talk, I was seriously considering just walking away. But we were able to politely say goodbye and leave. 
After that experience, I thought a lot about how frustrated I was with him for wasting our time, and I also thought a lot about the arguments he had given. I know that this is the true gospel and I feel so happy knowing that I do know! =D

An Average Day as a Missionary
On Tuesday, we had no one scheduled at all to go see, which hasn't happened often since I've gotten here. I was feeling a bit off, so as we headed out to go see people who we didn't even know if they would talk to us or no, I was feeling a bit blue. Throughout the day we had several good experiences. We were blessed for our efforts.
We got politely rejected by a few people. We left a note for two others. We barely missed one lady we went to see. She pulled up as we were leaving.
In the middle of the day, we got to see Lois, a referral we've been trying to contact for a while. She's a 40 year old lady living by herself, and who is very sick. We stopped by to offer our help with anything she may need, and gave her a card. It was interesting to see how closed and afraid of us she was at first - she would barely open the glass screen door. But as we talked a little bit, she was less afraid, and willingly accepted the card. It makes me so happy that those we visit can literally feel the difference that the Spirit brings. I am so grateful for that peace that touches the hearts of those we visit.

An Increase of Love
Wednesday was a wonderful day. We got to help and serve a Sister in our ward as she is moving. We then went and saw Gayle, and talked about prayer, the Book of Mormon, and scripture study. He is so awesome. He's already praying and reading and we were so happy to help him stay committed to that. He's progressing so well! We had a wonderful dinner with Sister Strider and practiced a Preach My Gospel exercise with her. That was fun!
Then we went and saw Sister Beeler. Wow! Sister Battreal has just started school for the year and is already having a hard time. She told us about it, and we were worried we wouldn't get to share a spiritual lesson. But somehow we got on the topic of family history, and Sister Battreal shared her testimony of the reason why we do family history work with her mother, Sister Beeler, who doesn't know much about the church still. Then she shared her miraculous conversion story with us... wow! We could see just how powerful her testimony and experience was in softening her mother's heart. We are SO excited to see them continue to move forward and to learn together! I love them so much! Sister Battreal really values boldness, so Sister Dodds and I are lovingly bold with them. =)

On Friday, I was left in charge of Kempsville for the first time ever! Sister Dodds went up to Norfolk with Sister Barnes, and I stayed here with Sister Anderson.Oh my goodness did we have a blast! We didn't get to go to many appointments, but we sure learned a lot from each other!
We went and saw Sarah, who has been avoiding us ever since that really intense lesson we had with her. I was so scared to go see her because I worried and worried that she would hate us and I love her so much that would just crush me. =(
But she was as happy and sweet as ever and totally made an appointment with us! I got a hug from Niah too. =)
We also went to see some less active families that Sister Dodds and I have never been able to get a hold of - and they were actually there! I actually got to meet them, even if it was just for a minute. Exchange miracles are real, let me tell you.

Blessings for Obedience
We were invited to two big events this Saturday to talk with and meet nonmembers who would also attend. We are not supposed to be anywhere for more than an hour or so, so we faithfully planned our attendance accordingly. Because of that faith, even though we were only at the events for a little while, we were able to meet an entire family, the Winns, who are interested in hearing more, and we also gave away two copies of the Book of Mormon. Boy, do we love member referrals! The example you set for others really makes a difference. Be Christ-like friends. Your friends and acquaintances will SEE that and want to know what it is you have. =) Feel free to respectfully share with them what you believe. What we know and what we have brings great blessings and the greatest joy. Why wouldn't we want them to have that?

Linger Longer
Goodness was Sunday a rollercoaster ride! Gayle and Shirley CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!! I looked over my shoulder and saw them waiting in the doorway like lost sheep, so Sister Dodds and I rushed over and welcomed them in and we all sat together throughout Sacrament Meeting. They didn't particularly want to attend the other meetings because Gayle didn't know how Shirley would act, but they were able to attend all three meetings, AND the linger longer after church. Shirley was so quiet and so peaceful - it was truly miraculous.
It was so awesome being able to be there right by their sides as they learned and felt the Spirit. We even convinced Gayle to go with Brother Morgan to Priesthood meeting. Gayle sure was swept off of his feet by that meeting, but he still liked it. =) In Sunday school, we learned about Proverbs, so that was super awesome! =)
We had a great time at the linger longer! They got to meet some other people and spend time with Sister Lawrence. It was so magical!
We had dinner with the Wrights Sunday night - wow, I want my future family to be just like them! They have four boys (the littlest one does cannonballs off the couch :P), and a pet lizard named Beardy. Their house is gorgeous and they are so unified in how they are raising their children. I was in awe of how they talked to their kids. =) Wow! I want to be an awesome parent like Sister Wright!!

Labor of Love Day
On Monday, we got to do all our shopping and letters and such, and then go to an AMAZING coordination meeting. This ward is so on the ball about missionary work. Because it really is all just one work - the work of salvation! I love this ward so much!

Today was so packed! While on exchange, I planned a bunch of things for today, forgetting about all the things we hadn't written in yet! So that was a nightmare of planning, but somehow it all worked out. Mission blessings!! We are always so blessed for being obidient and wiling to work hard. =)
This morning we helped Kristen sort her family documents and get started on that part of her family history. Then we rushed over and helped Sister Six start on her family history. Then we went to Sarah's and shared a brief lesson about a section of scripture, and we were able to get everything we wanted to talk about in, even though we had like 20 minutes. Was that a miracle or what!
Then we had another lesson with Gayle. He's spent 87 years believing the things he has and it's so hard for him to begin to move forward. We feel like he does know that this is true, by the way he talks, but he's just not letting himself move forward. We're praying and praying that he will recieve his answer, in a way that he will understand, as he continues to work hard to know.

Phew! Then we had a really fun dinner with Sister Six, Sister Krum, and Sister Zondler. We shared a message with them about the gospel of Jesus Christ in chapter 31 of 2 Nephi. It's really awesome, you should go read it! =D

Well, that's pretty much it for now! I love you all! I'm looking forward to another awesome week. =)
Pray hard! Stay diligent!
Love, Sister Moore

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