So sorry that I couldn't email yesterday. It was Martin Luther King day so the library was closed. Don't worry, I was bummed that I didn't get to hear from to you either.
My week was pretty great for the most part, actually. Miracle and after Miracle. I will just try and tell you all I can before the time runs out.
So, we are working with these two ladies named Mary--one Mary is the mom, and the other is the daughter. (Remember the ones with the duck and the dogs?) They are the most humble happy people I have ever met. Mary Ruth has decided to get baptized and all she has to do is quit smoking to get there. Now, lets be real . . . that is REALLY hard to do. And she has been smoking for over 50 years. In the past she has had bad experiences with missionaries pushing her to live the word of wisdom. So, my companion had a brilliant idea: Let's have THEM teach the word of wisdom to US the way they would want to be taught. Wow, I learned so much from that. The Spirit sat heavily and peaceful throughout the little room. Mary, the daughter said something really cool.
She talked about how Christ never had a smoking addiction, but he felt all the cravings of those who do. He doesn't ask you to come to him clean and perfect and okay. He wants you to come dirty, broken, hurt, sad, and imperfect so he can HEAL you!!! It might take time, but just focus on every 5 minutes you don't smoke a cigarette, or the five minutes longer you were able to resist one. Just keep trying. This lesson hit me so hard. Jesus Christ is there and if you at least strive to keep your body clean, He WILL pour out the blessings of heaven upon you.
We went back later in the week and helped them smash cans, and I got to hold and play with her Duck, Jumper. (Ducks are way softer than I realized.) But anyways, we had to leave and come back for some reason, and I had this prompting that I should leave my Book of Mormon with her. Not my mission BOM, but the one I have read every night since I was 12. It is my comfort here on my mission, and I thought, "Why would she want it?" But I did it, and when I came back, ahhhh, the coolest thing. Mary came up to me, and said "You are always worried that you can't say your testimony, I see it in your eyes. But this is your testimony. This is your heart. I can't believe you let me read your heart. You shouldn't let people read your Bible (they call all scriptures Bible). I was reading it and the Spirit just flew to me and told me that you are the one that needs to speak at my baptism."
I was FLOORED!!! This lady is so special to me. I almost started crying. She sat and read my Book of Mormon for two and a half hours. She marked things in her Bible, and found answers to her prayers. I struggle getting things across with words, but my Book of Mormon was able to testify of what I haven't quite been able to get out yet.
When we left, she gave me her pig that flies. She said that whenever people say to her, "When pigs fly," she shows them her pig with wings. She gave it to me so that I would feel comfort writing my talk for her baptism. It is hanging up in my apartment right now. True miracle. Sister Hargadon thinks that is why I am here in Mt. Juliet. This makes the fact that I only had five days with my family before my mission worth it.
Please pray that she will be able to stop smoking.
Something that was really special and hard this week . . . my companions Grandfather passed away. When we got the news, the silence that death brings just flooded the apartment. I was just stunned and didn't know what to do. She was so worried about him because he never accepted the gospel. It wasn't until the next day that the miracle happened. We pulled up into this guys driveway to try and meet a Less-active guy, and a huge pot hole caused a piece of the car to fall off--not the happiest moment of my mission for sure. We drove into this gas station and had to call the mission office. After we got everything taken care of, nothing in our plans felt right. We prayed about who to go see and nothing felt good in my head. I told my companion, I don't think we are supposed to go anywhere. And all the sudden, I felt good about that. I was like what??? I am on a mission. I am supposed to be hurrying around and teaching people about Jesus Christ. I thought, maybe we needed to read a scripture to help us know what to do. I said another prayer to ask to know what to read, and then I just opened my Book of Mormon to a random page, which happened to be Alma 19. I started reading and my faith began to waiver a little, like, "Oh gosh, what is this story even about? Maybe I wasn't in tune with the Spirit. What does my companion need?" But I just kept reading. Suddenly the Spirit filled my chest so big, almost like I couldn't hold it all in. My companion sat next to me silently, with her eyes closed, sniffling. It was what she needed to hear. And she needed to talk about her grandpa. This was probably the most amazing spiritual experience I have ever had because it testified to me that Heavenly Father knows what we need SO WELL!! HE cares about how we are feeling. At that moment we couldn't help anybody else because there was something else we needed to work through first. I will always be grateful for the Lord giving us that moment to figure things out.
The Lord is so mindful of each of his children, it is hard to even imagine.
I am starting to see people change. Things that I never even realized or truly believed in are happening. I feel like the Spirit is slowly telling me, "Listen it's me. Now do what I am telling you. People need you." I am like that guy in Polar Express and the train conductor just punched out my ticket saying, "BELIEVE!"
This work is the Lord's work. He is helping me in ways I can't explain. We are teaching a family and the wife told us that there is something different in her home since we have been coming over. She is treating her children better and there is more love around. I can see it. All the kids are fighting over who gets to say the prayer. The little boy, Logan who is three, poked me during the prayer, and when I opened my eyes he said, "I love you" and then ran away. Oh man, precious moments.
The last thing I would like to say is that this gospel is true. I have told you all a lot of stories, but I haven't really shared my testimony. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and a honest seeker of truth. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will change your heart if you let it. Have hope and faith and just BELIEVE!!
I love you all! Send me letters. Thanks for all the support. Just keep praying.
Oh and my nicknames on the mission are: Frampthechamp and Jellyfish because people think I am so chill. Funny times.
They also tell me that I am like Dory on Finding Nemo
Phebe from Friends
and the girl version of Napoleon Dynamite.
I am rocking the mission!! Ha ha