4 more weeks!!

Sis Wall and Sis Brown!
Ohhh brother. What a week. I can see how the Lord is testing my faith and how the devil is trying my patience! I am grateful to build character, but it's pretty exhausting! 

Monday: Sister Brown and I went to Daniel's Chocolate Shop (Brother Smith's shop), and it was so good to see him! I introduced him to Sister Brown and we talked a little bit. Of course he gave us samples and I was reminded of how much I miss serving in Cottonwood Stake with Sister Summerhays and then Sister Kiser.
Also, we went to this store called Paisley Pomegranate (and if this were Facebook, I would "tag" Sister Talbert, because I was obsessed with this store when we were together. It's this cute little shop full of perfect things. But, it is super expensive and so they haven't got much business, and they were having a Closing Sale. Sister Brown and I bought a few cute little things, but mostly everything was gone.
That evening, after Pday, we went to some members for Family Home Evening. They invited a less-active family over, and I was so proud of them! We played gospel charades, choosing words and phrases from the Book of Mormon to act out. It was a lot of fun. When we were finished, the kids kept asking if we could play another round! It was a success.
After that, we went to a lesson with the sisters. We read through 1 Nephi 17. We each made 2 columns on a piece of paper, dividing Nephi from Laman and Lemuel. We went through the chapter, writing down things that happened to Nephi, his brothers, or Both, and then we wrote who reacted in what way. By the end, we had this very clear list of attributes. We asked the girls who they felt that they identified with, and being completely honest, they said, "I think we're like Laman and Lemuel..." !! Buuut, it was good because they made the resolve to become more like Nephi! When we saw one of the girls later in the week, she said, "I'm still trying to be like Nephi!"

Tuesday: Ahhh, ALL of our plans and appointments for the day fell through. I decided that the Lord must have needed us to be other places. Well, throughout the day, we had some great great experiences and tender mercies. The Lord guided us to a Less-Active woman, who can't go to church on Sundays because she and her husband both work. She told us about concerns for her children, who are being bullied in school. I told her about Mosiah 24:14, and how the Lord will ease our burdens. After we said a prayer with her, we opened our eyes and she was crying. It was wonderful for us to know that she needed the comfort of the Lord and we were able to bring that to her.
For dinner, we ate with this wonderful member and her 11-year-old daughter. Her daughter had a friend over to join us. As we talked, I realized that the girl wasn't a member. We talked to her about things like Activity Days and going to church. Before we left, I asked if she would want to meet with us and her friend and learn more. Very grown-up-like, she said, "I'm actually really interested in that!" We challenged the members to talk with the girl and her mother. The friend came to church on Sunday, too, so we will see what happens!
That night, we were contacting a referral for a Part-Member-Family. We knocked on the door and no one answered, but as we turned to leave, they pulled in the driveway. Sister Brown said, "Well this is awkward," and laughed, but I was so excited! We went to their car and they told us they'd let us in through the front door. So they opened up and let us come in, as if they had been expecting us.. It was actually kind of weird.. They were telling us how this guy was coming over and he should be there shortly, but they weren't saying it in a way that would make us need to leave... So then we found out that the guy coming over was their sons friend, who had just returned from his mission.. And THEN, we realized that they thought we had come over to see this Return Missionary! Ohhh my goodness. How completely perfect!! haha! We told them we had no idea who he was and that we didn't realize that he was coming over. By that time, he had come in and we were laughing about how "coincidental" (but actually "miraculous") it was that we had come! We sang "How Great Thou Art" with the RM and shared a message, and invited them to learn more. They were polite and said we could come back anytime, but wouldn't set an exact time or anything. Still! It was a miracle, and maybe we just set the scene for the RM to bring them to the gospel! 
Then, we had correlation at the Youngs and their RM son was there (there are a TON of Return Missionaries in our stake). They were asking how to be better Ward Missionaries, and we told the son that he had a responsibility to teach them!

Ohh bother, this is going to be a long email! "Commercial break" if you need it..

Okay, Wednesday: We did a lot of contacting. We'd been given a few Less-Active and Non-member names, so we took the day to visit them. Again, we knocked on a door, noone was home, and then a car pulled up.. This happened SEVERAL times this week! (Tender mercies). Well, the man got out of his car and said that we wouldn't want him to talk to us about Darwin and evolution and all of these things, and we said, You're right, but we'd love to talk to you about what we believe! :) Well, he was kind of a snob, but he was kind, and eventually I just told him that I felt good about the conversation because angels in Heaven were recording the things we were saying.
Also, we visited this semi-less active woman and her daughter. Her daughter is the chorister of the ward and so we sang a song for them, and she was so excited!
That night, we went to the Young Women activity which was "New Beginnings". All of the 11-year-old girls who will be turning 12 that year get to go and check out the Young Women program. We thought our 11-year-old non-member might come, but she wasn't able to. We saw one of our sisters there, though! That's when she told us she was still trying to be like Nephi. 

Thursday: Weekly planning. Then we visited this Less-Active man and he was being so silly. The day before, he told us to come back and then when we came back, he said he had been talking with his wife and they decided they didn't need us to come... We told him that the Spirit prompted him to let us come back, but he was a stubborn one! He told us about how he had committed too many sins for us to teach him. We said that the Savior didn't consider anyone too far away. He said that if he could be forgiven of sins by Jesus, then he didn't need to come back... And then I cried repentance!!
We had dinner with this lovely member family. They were very scared of missionary work. It was hard, because I loved them so much, but I was so sad that they refused to share the gospel!
Later, we went to the family's house, who we've been teaching. A member family from the ward came with us. We read through a chapter of the Book of Mormon. The little member boy was so cute! He is the same age as the non-member boy. He was so intelligent and profound in his understanding of the scriptures! Unfortunately, the family fell off of date for baptism because the husband works two jobs and is never able to meet with us or go to church. He has a desire to learn, but the family is kind of struggling financially, and he has to work. I just absolutely love them and cannot wait for them to be baptized as a family some day. We are trying to arrange to go to Temple Square with them so that they can feel the Spirit as a family. 
That night, we got into the home of a Less-Active woman, her Less-Active fiance, and their 4 non-member boys. They were so sweet and sat quietly while we sang "I Believe in Christ" (We sing a lot because Sister Brown is very talented. I am NOT a singer, but I just sing quietly and everything goes okay!). Well, I guess that members of the ward haven't been able to get into that home in years! The dad said that he wasn't interested in coming back to church, but that they would talk as a family and decide if they want us to come back or not. So.. there's hope.

Friday: We had district meeting. We went out to eat as a district at "The Egg and I" and the elders knew the owners, so we got free food! 
Afterwards, we went to this sweet little Less-Active old lady and read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with her. 

Saturday: Saturday was the 18th, and it marked my "ONE MORE MONTH ON MY MISSION".
More unfortunate things with our investigators.. Sad! Satan is very obnoxious and I don't want to be friends with him. 
Then, we went to a Less-Active. Her furnace broke and so she had her oven turned on and open. We showed up and her whole house was so smokey and I could barely see or breathe! Ahh, it was terrible. And also, she had 6 dogs, who, I will admit, were kind of cute.
This lady had 2 dogs and those 2 dogs had 4 puppies. 6 dogs! Also, her furnace broke and her entire house was smokey because she was using her open oven as a heater. So... We smelled like smoke and dogs for the rest of the day.
That night, the Eberhardts came over. Sister Eberhardt visited with Sister Brown about some things, so President talked to me... "So it's getting close to the end..." he said. I replied, "President.. You have 2 and a half more years!" Pk pk!

Woo! We're approaching the end! Almost done, I promise...

Sunday: Many ward councils. President Boyer, our stake president, offered for you (Mom) to stay in their family's house and said it could be your personal Bed and Breakfast! So.. Consider that ;)
We had a lovely dinner with the Rideouts. They ordered so much Chinese food the night before. Brother Rideout kept calling me "bones" because he knew from the past at Apollo Burger that I am vegetarian. 
That night, we went to a Baptism Preview for the 7-year-old primary children. It was absolutely adorable. 

Okay. This is the end... But really, I have less than a month left on my mission and I am realizing more and more, it's not about the things that I have done as a missionary, but WHO those things help me become. More than ever, the Lord is helping me develop Christlike attributes, and it's definitely not by GIVING me those attributes, it is by nearly forcing me to be in situations that try my patience, my faith, my charity, etc. I love the Lord. I love you! I love the gospel. I love my mission. 
We went to a dinner appointment, and they had the best things. I love this chair! 

1 comment:

  1. Ariel, I want you to come home, but I can not believe how much you have done for the people in Salt Lake. You have changed so many lives. They will miss you. I am so proud of you. You are a super missionary. I will be so glad to give you a big hug. I love you. Ruby