Monday, March 23, 2015

Jonah Days and Tender Mercies

Area: Serenada
Companion: Sister Melissa Rowley


It's funny you should mention that Jason sang in Stake Conference. Way to go, Jason! Guess what? I sang in church yesterday too. It was kind of like a quartet. There were six of us. Sister Rowley and I, another woman, and three men. We sang the hymn, How Gentle God's Commands, a capella. Brother Karchaske blew the pitch pipe, and I sang the first line, solo. I have never done anything like that in my life. The awesome thing is, I didn't even care. I wasn't nervous, because I literally sing all the time everywhere. When Jason got home from his mission I loved how much he had come out of his shell and I wanted that very same thing to happen to me. I am grateful and humbled at how much confidence the Lord has given me. When we were practicing the song everyone just randomly decided that I should sing the first line solo. Before my mission I would have resisted, but I figured, why not? The Lord is blessing me in many ways.

It was missionary Sunday, so Sister Rowley gave a talk on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and a balanced life. She did a fantastic job. I'm so proud of her. Everyone was complimenting her. Brother Karchaske, our ward mission leader, also gave a talk. It was very spiritually nourishing day not only for us, but for the ward members as well.

Also on Sunday, {L} stayed all three hours for the first time! She gave up tea and coffee, which let me tell you, teaching her the word of wisdom was not a fun experience. But she has so much faith and despite the challenges she has, she is willing to do it because a prophet of God asked us to. She knows that it's a commandment from God and is willing to do it even though she doesn't fully understand why. So far, she's still planning on getting baptized this Saturday. She has her interview tomorrow! It's really exciting to watch her change and grow. She is very different now than when we first met her. The timing was perfect, because I don't know if she would have been open to Elders. This week I've been learning a lot about the Word of Wisdom.

We had quite the "Jonah day" on Friday, as Anne of Green Gables would put it. Meaning, EVERYTHING went wrong. At the end of the day I just had to laugh. We had a little bit of a rough start in the morning, throughout the day all of our appointments fell through, even {L}, who never falls through. Are backup plans weren't as sufficient as we thought they were, so we had some time where we were sitting in the car trying to figure out what to do because we were in Sun City where we're not allowed to do normal tracting. We didn't see very may people, except for a less active couple and a former investigator. The former investigator, {C}, didn't want to listen to a lesson, but told us everything that was going wrong in her life. Bless her heart. At about 3:00 it started pouring rain. Just as we were getting back in the car, with wet feet, a light went on on our dash board. We ended up taking the car into the shop and they took our vehicle for a couple days. We scrambled to find someone in the ward who could pick us up. We found someone, but it took them forever to get there because there were a couple accidents on the freeway. They took us directly to our dinner appointment which we were about 5 minutes late to. We didn't get out of there until about 6:15. So late! FYI, missionaries have to be done with dinner by 6. You'll make their lives easier if you already know that. ;) All evening we were exhausted and frazzled. We got home and tried really hard to plan in 30 minutes, but it dragged on for a while. I really did laugh at this by the end of the day. How often do I get to have a day like that? Rarely does everything go crazy at once.

Now, let's look at all the tender mercies I saw in this day. That morning in personal study I enjoyed a spiritual feast from Alma 51. I love the Book of Mormon. During that time when we were trying to figure out what to do with all this time we now had in Sun City, we were able to call a Brother from the ward and bring him with us to an unexpected lesson with the less active couple. Before it started raining, we were able to talk with {C}, the former investigator. No, she wasn't in a listening mood, but she really needed someone to listen to her. We listened with love for quite some time. For a while she was talking to us through the door but after she felt more comfortable with us she let us in. The spirit filled the house as we listened to her, occasionally verifying what she was saying, and added some spiritual insights that changed the atmosphere. We asked her if she would be willing to let us come back and share the lessons with her again. She agreed and after sharing Ether 12:4, we had beautiful prayer. We left her home feeling satisfied that she was better than we found her. The rain was beautiful. We happened to have an umbrella in our car that was left behind by the Elders and it was big enough to fit both Sister Rowley and I. While we were under our umbrella Sister Rowley gave me a little leaf as a "gift". She was joking, but I decided it was the best gift ever and taped it in my journal. :) Our car suddenly needing some repairs was the most exciting part of the day. It put a nice twist to it that pulled us out of our mundane. We were safe getting where we needed to and the Carters were so willing to drive out to help us. They were kind and cheerful despite the weather. We were only 5 minutes late to dinner. We could have been much later. The Noyes' were very understanding. We were able to stay out the whole evening because the rain had stopped and a wonderful return sister missionary in the ward picked us up from dinner and was ready to go. What a blessing!

As Hilary Weeks says in a song of hers, "I may wake up to a sky full of sunshine, or maybe it will rain. I may find my gas tank full or empty. Either way it's okay, it doesn't change how I feel today. It's a good day to have a good day."

Amen, Hilary Weeks! Every day is a good day to have a good day, no matter what happens. I'm grateful for the perspective the Lord has given me to appreciate the little things. Because in reality, it's the little things that make a difference. I love the Lord, and know that this is his work. I love each and every day. "Moments are the molecules that make up eternity." -Neal A. Maxwell

I'm so glad that scripture study is going well for you, my dear family. I love you all. Don't every forget to make the best of what you're given. That is the best way to be happy. All in.

Sister Record

P.S. I hit my 8 month mark today... weird.

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