I had my Quinceañera this week, or in other words, I have reached 15 months. It feels absolutely crazy! I'm still learning so much, but the Lord is blessing us so much more. It has been a week of miracles this week here in the smallest area in the smallest proselyting mission in the world. I've been working on trying to introduce Sister Patrick to everyone, but there are a lot of people that I want her to meet. It's been an ongoing project, especially since our bishops keep us busy on top of the finding time we try to have. It's very motivating to be so busy and always have something to do.
We met a man named Lyons (who is not interested quite yet). He recently moved in. We were actually going to go see Robin, but we felt like we needed to stop and we had a really good conversation with Lyons. Now he knows who we are, so that will be good. We've also been trying to contact Sister Lancaster--she is somewhat less active because of a lot of things, most of which are out of her control. We were again, biking to a different place when we caught her outside, and she asked us to come in! We had a good conversation with her. She is a single mom of a very active nine-year-old, so Sister Patrick was able to share her story (she is an only child with a single mom). We have a return appointment with her to help do some cleaning and she is going to feed us dinner.
We also got back in with Allison! She has been taking the missionary lessons, but we have to wait until she gets married (she has a date set for March 24, 2018) before she can be baptized. We sat down with her family, mostly just got to know them, and found a little more about her situation so we know how to help her best. Even though she can't get baptized until next year, she has been coming to church consistently. She is amazing. I learned something from Allison. She was talking about prayer and how she doesn't like when she hears the little kid testimonies/prayers that are generally very repetitious (you know, the whole "I wuv to behwr my testimony, I know dis chooch is trwoo..."). She talked about how she has been working with her kids in family prayers to be more meaningful, and ever since then I've been working really hard to have more meaningful prayers. It's hard (especially when some things you've said every night since you learned to pray), but it totally makes a difference. It's a work in process, but I'm glad I was able to have that conversation with Allison.
We had Zone Conference this week, and President Wheeler spent the entire time talking about revelation. It was amazing. Over and over we were committed to teaching our friends how to receive revelation--which, incidentally, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ does just that. I learned a lot. I learned that when we wonder why God doesn't make it an obvious manifestation every time He directs us is because He trusts us. He shouldn't have to shake us. I also liked when President Wheeler told us "It is equally magnificent to have the Holy Ghost with you as it would be to have Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ with you. But the thing that stuck out to me most was when President showed us a clip from the New Mission President Seminar, and Elder Jeffery R. Holland (I have to clarify because my zone leader is also called Elder Holland) said, "The Holy Ghost is your trainer and He won't get transferred". That really hit me since this is my first transfer without my "mom" Sister Sprouse being in the mission. It made me appreciate the role of the Holy Ghost even more, and it's nice to have that consistent companion when I choose to be around Him.
President Wheeler also shared some lists about how the Holy Ghost works, and I really liked them, so I'm going to share them.
How to Use the Holy Ghost in My Calling:
4. feeling uplifted or motivated
8. compels or directs
How do We Know We Have the Spirit:
1. pure knowledge or intelligence flows through you
2. sudden bursts of thoughts or ideas
3. when you write or speak beyond yourself
4. when you feel caution or warning--not a guessing game
5. when you feel a sense of urgency or cause
6. when you feel constrained to not do something
7. when love flows through you
Things to Be Careful of Because They Aren't the Spirit:
1. receiving "revelation" for someone not under your stewardship (usually revelation is for your own actions i.e. "I should talk to so-and-so about <fill in the blank>)
2. setting oneself up as a teacher or leader
3. people who interpret the scriptures for the general population because they are just that smart and most people don't get it like they do
4. people who share personal revelation every time they open their mouth (personal revelation can be shared, but in special circumstances)
5. people who need revelation over every silly thing (should I buy Corn Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios? Spirit, help!)
6. people who have a time line for their life (the Spirit reveals step-by-step)
7. people who speak because the Brethren "can't" or "won't"
I'm thankful that President shared that because it helps me recognize the Spirit more. After having that amazing Zone Conference, Sister Patrick and I have been trying to do what we committed to do: teach others how to receive revelation. We had a lesson with Jeff and his family, and we had a really cool conversation with them. We committed them to ask God a question. Jeff has just been having a hard time picking a baptismal date because he feels he hasn't felt a date that is right for him, so I feel that this training from President was at least inspired for how we can help him.
Yesterday was the Tuscon Temple dedication, which I absolutely loved. I feel so privileged to have been able to attend a temple dedication as a missionary. It was absolutely incredible to feel the peace of the temple even from a church building two hours away--there is something to be said about how the places that have a broadcast of the temple dedication become literal extensions of the temple. Elder Uchtdorf presided, and it was so much fun to see him still cracking jokes. I'll close with one more thing I learned this week. We were in District Meeting with our new district leader, Elder Thomas. He's a good soul. During district meeting, his companion, Elder Loder said something I've thought about a lot. He said, "If you're not exactly obedient, the Spirit is not exactly there." As I've been going from day-to-day happenings, I've had that in my mind. Moral of the Story: the Spirit is so important, and there is a reason why the Lord says, "if ye have not the Spirit, ye shall not teach". I love my mission, y'all! It's the best. And as always (and forever), I love you!
1001 N Burk Street
Look who I found at the temple dedication!
My Quinceañera--fifteen skirts for fifteen months
Found another scorpion
Some of the Queen Creek Zone