|Found myself in a member's scrapbook ... Nauvoo family cast 2007!|
We just got back from bowling and milkshakes with a less active and a recent convert. It was super fun..
This week was incredible. Monday our car broke. Tuesday was zone conference. Wednesday we watched The Testaments with M. Thursday was exchanges. Friday was weekly planning. Saturday Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve came. Sunday was church and meetings. Today was bowling day!
Monday. We got to pull out of our apartment and all the dash board lights start going nuts. We take it into the shop. End up having to cancel our lesson and wait :(.
Tuesday. Zone conference was so awesome. An Amish family that converted, was able to come and share their conversion. It was super intense. They still live in the community but their kids got kicked out of school, their businesses shut down, and their extended family doesn't talk to them. It's sad, but cool to see how WORTH IT the gospel is.
Wednesday. We went to M's and watched The Testaments with her. Haha it was so weird to watch a loooong movie (only like an hour lol). So good though, has a lot more meaning now that I'm beginning to understand the Book of Mormon. We also had a lesson with V. and O. He got a Book of Mormon in 1979 and has basically been coming to church since. They don't really want to get baptized because they were baptized in the river Jordan, where Christ was baptized. Pretty cool excuse but not good enough. We read in D&C 22 where it says they could get baptized 100 times and it wouldn't matter if they didn't do it with the priesthood. We had a member come who was the friend that gave the BoM. He was super bold with them and it was awesome. They'll get baptized soon I'm sure.
Thursday. Exchanges with Sister Lang! She's from the Martial Islands and goes home in a few weeks! We finally got to see T, C, and C and taught the plan of salvation. We used visuals which helped a lot! They accepted it all and we had a great conversation about the importance of baptism. They're on date for April 22nd. They're having a lot of weird family situations so they haven't been able to come to church. They really want to and we will help them get there this week! The rest of the day we had a ton of fun meeting some strange people. We went to this small run down town in our area and met a lot of people interested in the gospel. Yay!
Friday. A less active member (the one we went bowling with today) had us over to talk about some of her concerns. It was a super spiritual lesson! I kept having random things pop into my head that I was able to share. It was cool to see the spirit REALLY direct that and help her commit to start coming back to church! We also saw another investigator. We figured out his biggest concern this week. He may not even believe in God, ahhhh! It would make a lot of sense that he's having a hard time living the word of wisdom if he doesn't even believe in the One who gave the commandment. We're going back to the basics with him.
Saturday. This day was the best. We got up early and drove to the meeting. The whole mission lined up in the gym on all sorts of chairs/risers to be able to take a picture. It was cool. 201 missionaries silently waiting for Elder Stevenson of the Twelve and Elder Bennett of the Seventy to walk in. It was so so cool. He walked in and the spirit followed. Snapped a few pics and we all got to shake their hands. Elder Stevenson read my name tag and said "Sister Barnes, how are you?" His hands were super soft haha. Elder Bennett talked about being on the right path in our lives and how to know that we're there. He was talking a tiny bit about obedience and said something to the elders. Then he turned to the sisters and said don't worry, "the sisters are perfect" HA! Said from a general authority. Get this. Another cool thing he said was that President and Sister Daines are the best mission president and wife on the earth. Ha! All those "my mission president is best" arguments can be settled with this!! I definitely agree. He also talked about how missionary work should be fun. The way to do this is by taking out the "fun" things, which are usually disobedient or time wasting, and replacing it with work. Yay! Elder Stevenson talked a lot about some awesome things. He agreed about pres and sister Daines and told us that they will always be our role models. He talked about every point of our missions being the "sweet spot". He talked about being exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there. And the amount of inspiration it took to get there.. from submitting papers, getting assigned to Columbus, being in our specific areas with our specific companions, going to different places in the areas at different times. Then the other side! The inspiration it took for people to get to where they are when we meet them. Super cool. He told us about Cornelius in Acts 10. Challenged us to read it and find our Cornelius, or someone that we were sent here for. I was reminded of my setting apart where it talks about recognizing people that I was sent here for. I'm on a journey to find my Cornelius . He gave some awesome trainings about following the spirit and promising blessings in our teaching. The most spiritual part for me was the end when he gave us an apostolic blessing. He said it was as if his hands were on each of our heads. I wrote a lot down and I know mom will want to hear this so I'm just going to type it all. He blessed us with things that are needful for us right now. He blessed us to know, feel, and understand that the Lord has called us to be here. And I'll be blessed here and at home for my service. He blessed me and my family with health and strength. Especially spiritual strength which will give me the power and capacity to endure and enjoy my journey. He blessed us that we would be able to feel this. To be able to feel that strength and the blessings promised. Blessed us with utterance to say and answer as the Lord would. And that I will be blessed beyond measure. Blessed with a testimony, answers to questions, and any doubts washed away as you study and pray. He blessed us with his testimony! It was so powerful. On his way out he said "work, work, work." Everyone just stood there for a few minutes and didn't want to break the silent spirit. That night was incredible also. So J. and M. are legit. We finally got in for another lesson. We taught the first half of the plan of salvation and it was the greatest lesson ever. When we mentioned the pre earth life, J. pulled out references from the Bible to back it up. They love it and already believe it! When we taught about Adam and Eve we used 2 Nephi 2. They said they had never thought about it that way but it made more sense and felt good. They have been to church 3 weeks in a row and actively participate in the classes. They're golden! We plan to put them on date this week as we finish the plan of salvation lesson. Pure GOLD.
Sunday was tough. Haha not really but losing a precious hour of sleep as a missionary was the worst. And we had to be at the church at 7:40 for ward council. Ha life is tough. J, M, D, and V were there! It was great. We had a just serve meeting that the STLs and ZLs in each stake are supposed to go to. It was cool to see the efforts to make it more of a focus in wards. We went to dinner with the Ellington family. After some Nauvoo talk we found out we were in the same cast in 2007! Yellow cast! I was looking through their photo album from it and found a picture of me and a few more with my family in it. Haha small world. They had a young man over (he's a recent convert waiting on a mission call). He told us he feels like we are the missionaries that should teach his mom. This is super exciting because she's pretty against the church! Hopefully we get to see her this week. We did lots of following the spirit and helping people out. Another recent convert, wasn't at church and lots of people were worried about him. We felt like we should go to his apartment at like 8:30 at night. It's in a sketchy neighborhood so we knew it definitely wasn't our own thoughts. He got there a few mins behind us and we had a great conversation. He's having a tough time with stuff but God's hand was there to have us there at the same time.
Outlook for next week: exchanges with Powell sisters on Tuesday :), district meeting and 1000000 lessons on Wednesday, exchanges with the Mansfield sisters on Thursday, weekly planning Friday, small little town all afternoon on Saturday, and helping in primary on Sunday!
I'm excited for the week and the blessings to come! On the lookout for my Cornelius
Lots of love, Sister Barnes