Monday, September 19, 2016

Panic! in the Mission Field

Family.  Hello.

Guess what is finally no longer 120 degrees outside 500% of the time? Arizona.  It is starting to cool off and it feels AMAZING. And better yet, General Conference kicks off this week with the Women's session! I am very much counting down until then.  I am so pumped.  Apparently I am just a very excited person in general.  I learned this because my zone leader asked me out of the blue, "Sister Sabey, why are you always so upbeat?"  It's because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is awesome, if you were wondering.

But really.  This week was wonderful.  I have every reason in the world to be upbeat.  First of all, I got to go to a birthday party this week.  Sister Hendrick and I go over every week and do service for a woman named Rose.  This week was her birthday, so we decided to have a birthday party for our lunch hour.  It was all out--we had birthday cake and pizza.  The best part was just seeing how happy it made Rose.  I realized that otherwise, she would have spent her birthday all alone, and for the first time, I realized just what that would mean.  It hurt my heart to think about that, but in contrast, seeing how much it meant to Rose meant everything.  It's the best to have opportunities to serve people like that because that is 100% what the Gospel is about.

We met someone named Gilbert this week, and that was really cool.  Sister Hendrick and I were walking around, and we saw someone outside.  Being missionaries, we decided that meant we simply had to go talk to him.  We start talking, and Gilbert asks us what we do.  Sister Hendrick tells him, "We teach people about Jesus Christ".  Gilbert responds, "I'm busy right now, but I really want to talk to you. I want my son to know about religion.  Will you come back tomorrow around this same time?" Yes, of course we'll come back! So we did.  When we went back, we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and I had him read Moroni 10:3-5.  I love when we are able to have people actually hold a copy of the Book of Mormon because the power of that book is so clearly evident.  Gilbert read the verses and acknowledged, "that's powerful".  He seems super receptive.

I continue to learn just how powerful the Book of Mormon is, and sometimes those lessons come from six year old boys named Noah.  This week, Sister Hendrick and I also went to visit a lady in our ward who is completely inactive.  I had to do some business in the bathroom (sorry, I don't know how to phrase it any more gently) so she let us in (hidden miracles).  When I was finished, I came to the living room to find Sister Hendrick playing a card game of Pokemon with this lady's six year old son, Noah.  I sat and watched and tried to make conversation with the mom, but she wasn't very open to small talk.

After a while, Sister Hendrick noticed it was time for us to go to another appointment and asks, "Can we share a quick scripture with you?"  Noah pipes up, "I know a scripture!"  His mom looks up from her phone, now with a skeptical look of, "Oh do you?"  I ask Noah if he wants to share a scripture as he grabs the Book of Mormon from Sister Hendrick's hands and starts flipping through the pages, looking for chapter three.  We figure he's looking for 1 Nephi 3:7, so Sister Hendrick opens to that page.

"This isn't chapter three," Noah says almost disgusted.  Sister Hendrick explained that it is and turned back one page so he could see the chapter heading.

"Oh," he says, and with a deep breath starts reading the chapter heading.  This kid is six years old and he is reading flawlessly.  By now, his mom is shocked.  He finishes and we assume that was his scripture.  Nope.  He hands the book to Sister Hendrick and says, "You read until the number two".  She reads and he grabs the book from her hands.  He then repeats that process with me, but I'm told to read until the number three.  By now, the only way I can describe his mom's face is "astonished beyond measure".  Reading each verse keeps going on from him, Sister Hendrick, myself, and his mom, and Noah is just completely content directing this scripture study.  We get to verse seven, and Sister Hendrick lets him know that we really do need to get going.  He sighs, and then says, "Okay . . . it's a good book. You should read it sometime." I need this kid to come out on splits with us.

Rest assured, I have been reading the Book of Mormon.  I just finished reading the book of Alma.  My dad had made a comment in his letter about how in that part of the Book of Mormon, usually the biggest opposition that the Nephites have to face is not the Lamanites.  It is the Nephites who turned away from the Gospel.  He made a comment about just how applicable that is in today's world.  I was talking to a family in the ward this week, and the conversation really helped me see that.  I discovered that one of the daughters in this family loves Panic! at the Disco.  We were talking about their music, and I mentioned that Brendon Urie, the lead singer of Panic! at the Disco, is a less active member of the Church.  They started telling me how they had gone to one of his concerts and he had actually made mention of that.  However, they mentioned that his comments about it were rather unimpressive.  We talked about how his example is influencing a lot of youth, and it made me see just what my dad had meant in his letter.  But we then were able to talk about it in a way that the Spirit was really strong in this home.  We talked about how it's so important to do each of the little things because those are what make the difference.  The Church is true, and that's not about to change--but it's our actions that determine what we will become.

Elder Green said something this week that I've been thinking about a lot.  He said, "The Sons of Mosiah are not the exception to the rule.  They are the perfect example of the rule."  He was talking about the results of what they did, and it got me thinking.  The Sons of Mosiah were exactly obedient.  They served others, they taught with the Spirit, they knew the scriptures.  And that's why they had success.  It wasn't an exception to the rule.  It was 100% them following the Lord's laws, and He poured out blessings upon them and those that they taught.  And that's not me saying, "If you do X Y Z then you will have thousands of converts flock to the Gospel." Free agency is still theirs--but as I do what the Lord asks, He will give me success as a missionary and for the rest of my life.   I'm so thankful for that knowledge.

Well, I'm getting pretty long winded.  I thought this was going to be a short email.  I love all of you so very much!  I hope to hear from you, and I pray that you are doing the little things so that you can see how much the Lord will bless you too.

Sister Emily

Sun shower

Rose's birthday party

 Waiting to email

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