I have absolutely fallen in love with this area. The wards are amazing and missionary minded, my zone is phenomenal, and there is so much work to be done. This week I finally got to meet all the Bishops and Ward Mission Leaders (they had been out of town), and one of them went to BYU-Hawaii and asked me if I know Rob Sabey. It was the most startling round of "Do You Know" ever. I am serving in the ward of Bishop Flake, and he remembers my dad from the college days. Although I do have one weird thing for me to adjust to in this area. I spend half as much time in church here as I have the rest of my mission. Instead of church going from 7 or 8 AM to 4, 5, or 6 PM, I just have meetings from 8 AM to 1 PM.
I got to go on exchanges again with Sister Sorenson, and for part of that, we took her friend Mary to a group called Classy Lassies. It's a group of older ladies that get together once a month to share a spiritual thought, talk, and have lunch. It was a lot of fun. While we were there, it came up how to pronounce "Sabey", and I made a comment about how sometimes people think it's my first name. One of the ladies asked what my first name was, and suddenly, one of the other ladies yells, "Please just tell me it isn't Emily!" Awkward. We admitted that it was, and she started talking about how there are a lot of Emilys. We just laughed. What are the odds?
One goal that I've been praying about is to find someone that will be ready to be baptized on October 7th. This was the first time I've set a goal like that, but it's been fun to keep it in mind and see the Lord as He provides opportunities for us to teach. We have met so many people who are prepared, and I'm just hoping that one of them will have the desire to make that special promise with God on October 7th. We have a few friends that are being taught, who are all amazing--so far I've been able to meet Alex and Linda. And we found some new friends this week.
Sister Ulziiduuren and I decided to go tracting one night in an apartment complex, and we picked a building and went for it. The very first door we knock on . . . was a very nice LDS couple. We talked to them for a little bit, and then continued knocking doors. The rest of the first floor didn't answer. Then we went to the second floor. A few people answered, but those who did were quick to shut us down and tell us they were not interested. So we kept going and finally found Faith. She is stellar. We had an awesome conversation with her, and we asked when we could come share more (as we were all being eaten alive by mosquitoes). She said we couldn't. . . That was also sad, so we continued onto the next floor. And that is where we meet someone named Frank. We were talking to him about our message, and while we were talking, he informed us of his religious background and asked, "Does that make a difference?" We told him that we want to share our message with everyone, and he was content with that answer. We got to give him a Book of Mormon, and he couldn't believe that we were just handing them out. It was so exciting to see how blown away he was. He told us that he definitely wanted to read it. It was a straight miracle, and I think President Uchtdorf might even be okay with me titling that experience "Third Floor, Second to Last Door". I'm excited to stop by Frank again.
We also made a friend named Charles. Missionaries had met him before, so when we stopped by, we set up a return appointment. AND HE ACTUALLY KEPT IT! Charles has been reading the Book of Mormon since he was in High School, and feels like he is in a place where he can learn more. He had a lot to say and a lot of questions--so many that we couldn't keep up on answering them. But we tried to follow the Spirit, and near the end, he commented that we had answered so many of the questions he had had. We invited him to read from the Book of Mormon and invited him to be baptized. He said yes! We haven't set a date yet, but Charles is so excited to learn.
Zone Conference was also this week, and we have been jumping right into using technology. It is a lot bigger of an adjustment than I thought it would be, but I can also see what a powerful tool this will be. It's helped a lot already in keeping in contact with our friends. And then we got to kick off Conference with the Women's Session this weekend. If I could encourage all of you to do anything, it would be to take a question to conference with you. As I've done that for Zone Conference and General Conference, I have always come away with an answer that I can confidently act upon. This time, I prepared a question, and while I did receive my answer, I also received an answer to another question that I'd forgotten I had. I have a strong testimony that revelation does come and that it comes even more abundantly when we prepare to receive it.
It's all in all been an amazing week, and I am so grateful for all the blessings I've received and the miracles I've been able to participate in. One thing I learned this week was my role as I do missionary work. I heard a quote from Elder Bednar that I've heard probably a thousand times before, but this time, I understood it differently. Elder Bednar said, "We are literal witnesses of His hastening of His work". It really put into perspective what the scripture says when God says, "I am able to do mine own work". I realized that in the end, all that I can do is go tell everyone all the amazing things God is doing. His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He is hastening it, and our job is to let others know about all the blessings God has in store. I also learned that there is power in the simple declaration that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. It's more than exciting to get to share that testimony every day. It makes me truly happy every time. I love the message that I represent. I told someone yesterday that if the Book of Mormon weren't true, I'd take off my name tag and go rethink my entire life about what God wants me to do. But then I told him that the reason I'm here wearing His name is because I know the Book of Mormon is true, and with that comes so many blessings that we'd never know about any other way. I know this will bless each life that partakes of the teachings of the Restored Gospel. A wise person once asked me, "How many of His children does God intend to save?" One thing I know is that the answer is all of them, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is how He does that. I love you, Family!
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