I hope everyone had a happy Fourth! I've officially decided that the Fourth of July is the worst holiday to be a stateside missionary during, but Sister Rogers and I still made a fun day of it. We still went out and worked all day, and because it was the Fourth, no one was home. But that evening, all the missionaries had to be inside by 6 P.M. The Queen Creek Zone got together at our stake center, played basketball, and watched Seventeen Miracles. We got to see some fireworks as we drove back to our house. But now it's officially the time of year when the ward council (a group of leadership that correlates how to best help members of the congregation with temporal and spiritual needs) has started talking about doing a ward social for Halloween. I'm so excited because I love Halloween. I can't believe how fast the time is going.
Sometimes as missionaries, we get really bored, so we start rating the doors on a scale of 1-10. There is one family in my area, and they are the first one I gave a 10 for their door (I guess I'm a tough judge). They have a very nice door, but the family who lives behind the door is even better. Their name is the Johnstons. I like them a lot. We had dinner with them last week, and it was one of the best member lessons I have ever taught. We taught the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I always have a hard time teaching about Prophets and dispensations, but this last time it just flowed perfectly. It was totally guided by the Spirit, and I'm actually upset that I can't remember how I said it. But I know it was not me, it was the Spirit. Anyways, after the lesson, we were talking to Sister Johnston, and she told us about something we hadn't realized the last time we visited.
Last week, the ladies in the area got together and had a game night. Sister Rogers and I stopped by because we figured it could possibly be a good missionary opportunity--we weren't really sure. We got there, talked to the ladies for a little bit, and shared a message before hurrying off to the next place we needed to be. We just talked about how by small and simple things, great things come to pass, and Sister Rogers tied in some cute thing about M&M's with it. I was thinking about it after, still trying to decide if it had been a good use of our time. Flash forward to now having dinner with the Johnstons. Sister Johnston said that she had appreciated our message so much, and we found out that one of the ladies had invited a friend of another faith, and the friend had really enjoyed our message. Sister Johnston was so appreciative of how bold we were, and it was just a cool learning experience that I don't always realize the extent of what I get to do.
Sister Patrick came back out with us this week, and we had quite the miracle. Last time Sister Patrick came over, she just had to sleep on the couch--I did not envy her in the least. We felt bad that she didn't have a bed, especially considering how often she has to come over while her companions have leadership responsibilities. Sister Rogers and I were biking around one day, and Sister Patrick was going to be coming that night. All of a sudden, we notice a pile of furniture that someone had left outside including a mattress. We had to get going, so we determined to come back.
That night just before we went to get Sister Patrick, we stopped by the house to knock on the door just to be certain we could have the mattress (I guess most people don't leave random mattresses they want on the curb by the road, but we thought we'd check). Well, the family was home and they were members, one of which had recently returned from his own mission, so they were very understanding of our situation. They questioned if we really wanted the mattress (it had been left by the previous owners). We went and smelled it. It smelled fine and looked clean, so the members even offered to bring it to our house for us. It was a smaller mattress, but it still ended up working just perfectly for Sister Patrick. She is very excited to have her own bed for when she comes to our house.
Unfortunately, Sister Rogers got sick later that week, so she had to stay inside. Luckily, we had Sister Patrick with us, so the Relief Society President in one of our wards was kind enough to let Sister Rogers come stay at her house while Sister Patrick and I went out at work. Jacqueline, a young woman from my second area in Bella Vista, also came out with us, and it was so much fun to see her again!
That was pretty much our week. I think Satan is mad at us for inviting so many people to be baptized because there weren't very many people home and we definitely had a couple disappointments, but I learned something that helped give me an extra boost of enthusiasm for when it got hard. I thought about how when someone says, "I give you my word", it's just like saying, "I promise". In essence, that means that when we talk about God's Word, it's talking about God's Promises. (If that's not a good motivation to really read and pray about the Book of Mormon, I don't know what is. There are incredible promises in that book.) I found one such promise that was incredible to think about.
I was reading el Libro de Éter, and it was talking about how the people who inherited the Promised Land needed to serve God. I started thinking about how we serve God. Somewhere along this train of thought, I started thinking about how in America we have "In God We Trust" on all our money and how the Pledge of Allegiance says, "One Nation Under God". Then I started thinking about how we are asked to do things, such as the sacrament, praying, etc., in the name of Jesus Christ. I ran this by Sister Patrick, and she made a comment about how there is power in a name. It just made me realize how much power there is in just saying the Savior's name--just saying the Savior's name can banish the influence of the adversary. Then I started thinking about other times we take the Savior's name upon us, and it clicked: the reason we are asked to take His name upon us is because of the power that it gives us through Jesus Christ to withstand the powers of the adversary. We can't do it without Him. That is why we are asked to be baptized, take the sacrament weekly, receive temple covenants, and be sealed to our families. Done under the authority of Jesus Christ, it protects us with His Saving Grace so that we can be with our families forever. I'm glad that because of those covenants that I have made, as long as I continue to rely on and trust in my Savior, I will receive those blessing of having an eternal family. The Gospel is really cool, Family, and I am so thankful for it. Live it because God's Promises are the best. I love you!!
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