Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sister Melanie Joins with the Catholics and Competes with the Liberty Sisters

Dearest Family,

This week, it really hit me how fast my mission is passing by (at least to me, I hope that it is the same for you). As I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting this Sunday, I realized that in not too long, I will only have a year left of my mission. I think back to how fast the last 2 transfers (3 months) have gone and realized that that period of time times four more and I will be on my way home. That is not very much time! I haven't even gotten anything done yet! I hardly feel like I am even starting to develop as a missionary yet. I still have a lot to learn, a lot to do, a lot to experience, a lot of people to help before I am done, so I better get to work!

Last Tuesday evening, two men came into the Trail Center. Of course, we all started talking to them (we had only had a couple visitors so far that afternoon, so we were excited to see some new faces). They proceeded to tell us that they were traveling from the East Coast to Arizona, where they are from, and were stopping at all the Church History Sites on their way (a fairly common occurrence). The problem came when they explained to us that while they were in Liberty, the sisters there had sung to them before taking them on a tour and expected that we would do the same for them. Sister Baker, Coats, Askren, and I were trapped. We took them back to the Memorial Room to sing for them. Keep in mind that none of us are very excellent singers. After we were done, one of the men told us that we sounded great, but we might want to invest in a pitch pipe for future performances. We had some good laughs after that. It was true though, we were really low, really low. Don't worry, no more musical performances planned in the near future.

On Thursday, I spent most of the day on mormon.org chat with Sister Askren and then with Sister Bown because Sister Askren was getting really tired and needed to get some rest. While Sister Bown and I were on chat, a man named Eric came on to chat with us. He lives in London, which made both of us pretty excited (Sister Bown also went on a study abroad to London this last summer). We were able to answer a lot of his questions, resolve some serious concerns, and set him for baptism right there on chat. It was crazy because both of us felt so connected to him as we messaged each other over the internet. It really showed me how important it is to be patient when trying to understand other people because at the very beginning, based on what he was saying, I thought that he was a troller. (Someone who gets on to just waste our time by asking questions like "How do magnets work?" and pretending to be interested in learning about the truth and then arguing with us, etc). But, because we just went ahead and chatted with him, trusting that he was sincere, we were able to share a really awesome experience with him. We were able to set him for baptism, send the missionaries to meet him, and told him that we would keep in touch through the mail. I am excited to see what happens.

At the Trail Center, two of the sisters on shift go every morning to the Catholic Retirement Community/former Convent down the road from us for an hour to do service for them. On Thursday, they were having a ribbon cutting for a new wing that was just completed, so Elder Watson sent us over to represent the Trail Center. What we weren’t expecting was the number of people that were there - lots of politicians and various people that had helped with the project, which makes sense. Afterwards, they invited everyone to go into their lunchroom for treats. What we weren't expecting when we got there was that they were expecting us to help serve. Of course, we jumped right in and started refilling platters and taking orders. They gave us big sticky nametags that said "Mormon Sister" on them. It was pretty funny. It was probably a very uncommon sight to see a bunch of LDS missionaries serving coffee to priests and politicians at the opening of a Catholic function, but we had a good time. The residents and staff there love us and tell us that between the Trail Center, the cemetery, and the Convent, we are a historic "stronghold" for Florence.

Yesterday, Monday, we were again serving in the Trail Center. It was about 70 degrees outside, a beautiful day. Right as we got there at 3, four couples came in all within about 1 hour of each other, so all four of us that were on shift were able to take one of them. The couple that I took was a couple in their twenties, not married, one a member and the other not. Their names were Mia and Jarem. They were visiting from Florida. When we were in front of the Nauvoo temple, I felt impressed to talk about baptism. I shared Mosiah 18:8-10 and bore my testimony about the purpose of baptism, then asked Mia to share about her baptism. The whole time, she kept staring at Jarem, the non-member, intently. When I stopped talking, he asked to hold my copy of the Book of Mormon. As I handed to him my very worn, marked copy, he carefully took it from my hands and held is softly, resting on his palms and just stared at it for a few moments, then carefully handed back to me. He didn't even know what it was, but he could feel the importance of the book. Later, I gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon to take with him. He asked me what it was. After I explained, he asked me how much it cost. I told him it was free and Mia added "Christ already paid for that with his blood." He promised to read it and Mia told me that they were going to have the missionaries over to their house when they got back to Florida. Wow! It was such an amazing experience for me to remember the importance of the Book of Mormon. It is such a treasure.

Ok well love you so much!

I hope you are doing fantastic! And have nice weather like we are having here!

Love you!

Sister Melly

No comments:

Post a Comment