Monday, October 24, 2016

White Washing Miracles

Hi my most favorite people ever!

My favorite quote of this week was by an Elder in my zone, Elder Pederson: "Every time you take the sacrament, it's like baptism in a cup."  I hope that made your day because it sure made mine.

Well, let's see what happened this week.  For starters, I met Captain America.  He wants to come to church.  Allow me to explain.  The other day, Sister Kranc and I were on our way to church and I see a little boy, he couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old, across the street in a full Captain America costume.  I call to him, "Oh my goodness, it's Captain America!" and wave.

I then proceed to stand behind the car while Sister Kranc is in reverse (also known as "backing") as per mission rules, and right when I'm about to get into the car, the little boy yells to me, "I'm Captain America!"

"I know you are!" I tell him.  "Can I have a high-five?"

He asks me where we are going, so I tell him we are going to church.


"Because it's fun!"

He stops and thinks about that for a moment.  "Do boys go?"

"Yes, boys go."

And then he tells me, "I'm going to go when I grow up."  

There you have it. It was so cute.  I also got to go on exchanges with my "grandma".  Real quick explanation for my mother (and anyone else, but I know she'll be curious about this).  In the mission, we take posterity very seriously.  The person who trains you is your mom (or dad for Elders).  Therefore, your trainer's trainer is your grandparent.  If you have a second half trainer, they become your step-parent (and then we can get all super complicated who your trainer's previous companion was, but that's the basic idea).  Sister Sprouse was trained by Sister Allison, thereby making Sister Allison my grandma, and that's who I got to spend a day with.  It was a lot of fun.  Sister Allison is an amazing missionary.  I got to go down to Florence for a day, and contrary to popular belief, I learned that even though the prison is in Florence, it is the second safest town/city in Arizona.  

We picked up two new investigators this week, so Sister Kranc and I are pretty excited about that.  The family is a referral from the missionaries who had been teaching them in Chandler.  The mother is less active because she has to work on Sundays, but she wants her daughters, Madison and Brandi, to learn about the Gospel and be baptized.  Sister Kranc and I feel super good about us being the ones that are supposed to teach them.  Figuring out who was supposed to teach them was a little traumatic because we couldn't figure out which ward they were in due to unclear boundary lines.  But the elders, the stake president, the mission, and the prophet (by which I mean just the people in Salt Lake who are in charge of referrals) say it is in our ward, so I think it's a pretty safe bet. They are such an amazing family.  The mother, Fresia is actually a convert and she joined the church in Peru.  I am so excited.

I think that Sister Kranc and I are going to see a lot of miracles because we have decided that we are going to basically "whitewash" our area.  In missionary words, white washing is when two missionaries who have never served in an area are both put into that area and have to figure it out together (rather than having one companion who kind of knows the area).  Even though I've been here a transfer and a half, we feel inspired to start clean with the area so we can find work and fulfill our purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel.  It started with a lot of things there terrifying for me, including dropping people who were not progressing.

The British family who we usually eat with has had missionaries over to their home every week for almost two years and nothing has happened.  They seemed to be under the impression that missionaries were there to "hang out and take a break", which is 100% not our purpose.  Sister Kranc and I were praying and trying to decide what to do, so when we went over to their house, we decided to sing them "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and talk about how because of that experience, we knew God loved each of His children.  The spirit was so strong while we were there, and Sister Kranc invited them to take the lessons.  Without even the slightest consideration, we were told no, they would not be taking the lessons.  So, brave Sister Kranc told them that we could not come over like had been done.  They were not happy about that.  It's super hard to drop someone because we want to think "oh, they will come around eventually", but I have learned that it is in fact an act of faith to drop someone.  It is not our purpose to hope someone comes around eventually because "the field is white already to harvest".  Their daughter was by far the saddest that we could not spend as much time with them, but I have faith that this will turn out for the better.  We will be able to work were we are needed, and if the rest of the family does not realize the joy that comes from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe that the daughter will be prepared in the Lord's timing.  She's the one it will be hardest for me to not see as much.

We are already seeing miracles, however.   One member of our ward agreed to invite her husband to take the lessons, Tiffany's husband sat in during a spiritual thought when we visited them, and a less active member who told us he would come to church "after football season" came to church.  It's so exciting to be the Lord's servants and see others come unto Christ.  I love being a missionary.

And of course, nothing could top this week off better than a baptism.  No, it was not one of our investigators, but this baptism was really special to me nonetheless.  It was some other sister's investigator, Annette, who I got to spend an evening with when we went to the Gladys Knight concert.  It was so special to hear her conversion because when Sisters Johnson and Olsen first came up to her, she was not interested at all.  And now she has been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Her baptismal service was the most beautiful service I have ever been to, and I feel so lucky to have gotten to know Annette in my own little way.

I know the church is true, and I am so excited to see the miracles that come.  I love you!!

Sister Emily

A little welcome to our appointment

"Off roading" in attempts to find YSA.

Annette's baptism

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