Happy 2017! This year started off with something super exciting: I met someone in one of my wards that knows my Auntie Karin. It made me feel a little closer to home. She said that she wanted to invite us sisters over for dinner sometime, so I'm excited for that. It can be a vicarious family reunion.
We also had a fun party with the missionaries in our zone for New Years Eve. We did not stay up til midnight (unless you are going by New York's time zone, then we did until 12:30), but we got to have fun with some other missionaries playing games at the church building.
We have a greenie in the house because Sister Burden is training. We kept teasing Sister Burden Tuesday night about the possibility of her training, and I guess God has a sense of humor because that night, President Wheeler called and asked Sister Burden if she'd be willing to train. Sister Burden will be such a good trainer. Her greenie is named Sister Taufa, and she's from Salt Lake area. She's visa waiting right now, and then when that comes, she'll be going to Sydney, Australia speaking Tongan. I hope her visa takes a while to get her because this girl is on fire! She is already such a good missionary and she's a lot of fun to have around.
I made a goal this week to each day invite someone to pray with us when we talk to them on the street. I am happy to report that I was able to meet my goal! It was a good experience to help me learn to be a little bolder and I plan to continue. I'm learning that the worst that could happen is that they say no, so I'm slowly pushing the bounds of my comfort zone so I can teach with more power and be the missionary the Lord needs me to be.
We had two amazing lessons with Patrick and Rachel this week. Patrick's lesson taught me about the kind of missionary that I want to be. Sister Miller felt prompted to ask him why he had decided to be baptized, and his answer was one that I will not soon forget. Patrick talked about how because he knew it was true, it was the obvious thing for him to do. The way he explained it was so sure, and it made me realize that if God is truly there and I truly believe this message that I share every day, I should be able to teach is with as much confidence as I can say that I know how to play piano or any other fact. I know this message is true and I'm determined to teach with that conviction.
In Rachel's lesson, we had planned one thing, but the Spirit allowed us to discern what she needed, and it was completely different. Satan has been trying to hit Rachel hard and tell her that she's a "bad Mormon" if she makes a single mistake. A member of our ward, Sister Isaac, was there and helped Rachel so much. It made me happy to see the genuine love that she had for Rachel. There was a very special spirit in that lesson. Near the end of the lesson, we found out something even more powerful. Originally the lesson was going to be the day before, but we had to reschedule. Had it been the day before, Sister Isaac could not have come. But she had a feeling that she needed to be there and because we had to reschedule, she could be. It's yet another testimony that God is in the details.
We got to face some opposition this week. We met someone that was determined to prove us wrong. The guy was riding his bike. We stopped and said hi and he tells us, "You stopped the wrong person". He tells us to come over and starts asking us questions, and initially seems to be listening. However, it quickly changed to him yelling at us, cutting us off, and trying to tell us how wrong we were. I thought I had felt prompted to stop and talk to this guy, so I was confused at why the Spirit would have asked me to stop when this is the reaction we got. I said a prayer, and all I got was one word: "Testify". That's exactly what I did. It did not make this guy any happier with us. Eventually, we could see this was going no where, and we simply told him, "Sir, we are not here to argue, so have a nice day." We got on our bikes to leave, and he was fuming by this point that he almost tried to physically stop us from leaving--I think he realized how ridiculous his actions were because he didn't. Even though it didn't end the way I had hoped, I felt good because I knew I had done what I was supposed to.
I'm loving being a missionary more and more simply because I get to proclaim the most wonderful message to everyone. I'm so lucky to get to share this. I know it is true and I know that as we ask God, our testimonies can be strengthened. I love you!