Monday, January 9, 2012

Sister Melly Teams Up with Member Missionaries and a Fire Pit

Dear family,

Love you!

I received your letters and pictures from Christmas. It looks like you have been having a lot of fun!

This past week has gone by very quickly. The time is definitely starting to speed up. It is hard to believe that this transfer is almost 1/2 way over already! The time has gone by very quickly.

The biggest problem that we have been having lately is that I keep losing my planner! I think I lost it at least twice this week. After 3-4 days looking for it the first time, I found it in the bottom of my bag. I guess Heavenly Father didn't want me to find it because I am sure that I looked there at least a couple of times previous to that. The second time, I left it at an investigator's house and we had to go back and get it the next day. This normally wouldn't be a big problem because my companion should have all the same things written in her planner, but because we have been on exchanges so much, there is a lot of information that is only in my planner (including when we have scheduled appointments). The result of this is that we have accidentally missed a couple of appointments. Then, I feel terrible and make a whole long apology to whoever we missed the appointment with and then it ends up being not a big deal, but it still feel terrible afterwards.

On Wednesday, we saw James Joyner, a less active in our ward. He went to a Sacrament Meeting with his family in San Diego a couple of weeks ago and the topic was service. One of the things that they mentioned was feeding the missionaries so Brother Joyner, who loves to do service, decided to go with it. He called us a few days later and said he wants to come back to church and play basketball with the ward and invited us over for dinner. Turns out, he is the regional manager for Red Robin. Between him, the Farfans (regional manager for Panda Express), and another less-active we just found out about that is an area manager for Jimmy Johns, we should be getting fed pretty well. Brother Joyner fed us Red Robin for dinner and sent us home with a large bag full of leftovers that lasted the next few meals. Yes, please. He also told us that he flies airplanes in his spare time and offered to take us on an airplane ride, which would be so awesome, but the White Handbook specifically says that we are not to ride in private airplanes. Every time I have read that rule before, I just laugh and think "When would that ever happen?” Well, now I know. But, really the most important part was the lesson, silly. We brought Katelin Jensen (a 20-year old girl from the Oakview Ward who was home for Christmas from Snow College) and talked about prayer. It was so powerful and really had an affect on both Katelin and Brother Joyner, especially as she testified to him of the power of prayer. That is something that I have been learning this week, the importance of having ward members with us as team-ups. They are usually a little nervous, which means they really think about what they want to share in the lesson and in the end; all of us are edified and grow closer to Christ.

On Friday, I got to go on exchanges with Sister Arnold (one of the sisters that came to the mission the transfer after I first arrived in Omaha). We decided the night before that we were going to find someone during the first half of the day to baptize and then go to the California Street building (where they were having Zone Leader Council) during our dinner break and have one of the zone leaders interview them and then baptize them. But then we realized that we had a dinner appointment, so it didn't work out.

That morning two of the sisters were driving to the Trail Center when a ladder fell off a truck in front of them and landed in their lane. They did not have time to stop or swerve, so they drove right over the top of it and cracked their fender. When they called Elder Lund, the senior elder in charge of cars, to tell him what happened, he told them "Oh I know why that must have happened, it is because you are Ladder-day Saints." We all thought he was pretty clever.

That night, we went to go check on a couple of referrals in an apartment building that were given to us by the Cold Springs sisters. While we were there, we went to go try to contact a less active member who I had tried to contact several times before, but had never found her at home. When we got near her apartment, I could not remember which door was hers and then could not even remember her name. We decided just not to worry about it and started walking away. We were just a few steps down the hall when we passed a woman. She looked at our nametags and said "Oh you must be looking for me". Sure were. It was Sister Kinkead on her way home from work. We were able to go in and get to know her and a teach her a lesson. That same night, we went to Beth and Sam's house with Sister Thomas. We went in and talked about their expectations for us and our expectations for them and then Sister Thomas just laid it down for them. I have never seen Beth so in tune with what was going on and paying attention and everything was fantastic. The Spirit was strong and the lesson could not have gone better. It was a serious turning point for Beth. So powerful. Sister Thomas just repeated over and over again and testified until what she was saying really sunk in. She said "The Gospel is beautifully simple and simply beautiful". I think that she must have said it 10 or 12 twelve times and then related it to other things and explained how much God loves us. Afterwards, she told us that she had been praying all day to know what she should say. Again, another example of how important members are in missionary work. Missionaries have a lot of responsibility in missionary work, but members do as well, and when they really go out and do it with focus and passion, it can be very powerful. I am so grateful for the spirit of missionary work that is spreading through the Oakview Ward and for awesome member missionaries.

On Saturday, we went to an appointment with a man that we had helped with a service project a little while ago, but this was our first time teaching him. When we got there, he led us to his backyard where he had a fire going in his fire pit. We sat around the fire and taught him the Restoration. The lesson went pretty well and we had a member team-up with us that was perfect for the people being taught, but the craziest part was that we were sitting in someone's backyard around a fire pit and perfectly warm in the middle of January! In Omaha! As soon as we left, it felt a lot colder outside all of a sudden. Maybe it was just the spirit keeping us warm.

Love you! Hope that any of my emails make any sense! I feel like I am just rambling on and on and not really coming to a conclusion!

Love you!

Sister Melly

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