How have you all been?? I had a great week!
Donkey update, THERE ARE BABIES AAH THEY’RE SO CUTE. When we went to do service this week, we basically just scooped poop and played with babies the whole time. Awww:D It’s hard out here because missionaries aren’t allowed to hold human babies, but there’s nothing in the handbook about baby donkeys! Not that I could hold them.. but still it’s soo so fun to play with them:)
We had interviews with President Mendenhall this week! I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the thought of it, but it turned out to be really fun. The first thing he said when I walked in was, “I’m sorry Sister Stratford, we can’t give you a tortilla press.” That was a little disappointing. You see, the mission office gets us whatever kitchen supplies we need. So a few weeks ago, Sister Kastner and I asked the zone leaders for a tortilla press so we could make tortillas and fiesta all the time, but nothing came of it. But now we know for sure that the mission office doesn’t give out tortilla presses:( But anyway, the interview was really good! President Mendenhall is THE BEST. He truly cares about all of the missionaries here and wants the best for us:) And we also got to talk to Sister Mendenhall, who I’m pretty sure is the kindest person in the world!! I love her so much:)
So this week was a little difficult because some of my favorite investigators dropped us:( It’s tough! I love them all so much and can so clearly see how the gospel would bless their lives! But I can’t force them to do anything. It has to be their choice to pray and read the Book of Mormon and come to church and be baptized. So I guess now isn’t their time. I believe that sometimes we’re just planting seeds, and these people will be ready to accept the restored gospel when future missionaries come along:) That actually happened with my MTC companion! She and her family joined the church several years ago, but they had met with missionaries even years before that. They just weren’t ready yet. But now they’re baptized and sealed and really strong in the church! So I still have hope:)
Last week, Sister Kastner and I met this old man who let us talk to him. It turned out he used to go preach at revivals all the time, so he pretty much talked to us like one missionary to another and just gave us a bunch of advice:D It was good advice too! Like he talked about how we’re planting seeds, and about studying God’s word a ton, and about how we have angels around us helping us:) It was great! And then he wanted to show us a preacher on TV to enlighten us a little, and we didn’t know how to say that we weren’t allowed to watch TV, so I prayed that the TV wouldn’t work. And then it didn’t!! He was like, “It was working 10 minutes ago!” And then after the lesson, when Sister Kastner and I were walking away, we were talking about it and realized we had BOTH been praying that his TV would break. So basically we broke an old guy’s TV through the power of prayer. We felt a little bad, but I’m sure it started working as soon as we left:)
Sister Kastner and I have been in an Old Testament mood lately, and it’s great!:) I’ve never just read through the O.T. before, and my faith is really being strengthened from seeing the examples of the prophets like then, like Adam and Abraham. They gave up a lot for the Lord!! And also, we’ve found some gems. For example:
“Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.” (Zechariah 5:1, #foodfight)
“And they despised him, and brought him no presents.” (1 Samuel 10:27, #naughtylist)
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing.” (Proverbs 18:22, #doesntgetanyclearerthanthat)
“Behold, he hath hid himself among the stuff.” (1 Samuel 10:22, #hideandseektime)
“A living dog is better than a dead lion.” (Ecclesiastes 9:4, #whatishappening)
So read your Old Testament, kids!
Today I was reading in Joseph Smith History, and I love verse 25 so much! Joseph was only 14 years old, and he was going through persecution because he had seen a vision from God. But through it all, he would not deny it. “For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God, knew it, and I could not deny it.” He stuck to what he knew, no matter what. I want to be like that! It is so powerful to read through Joseph’s testimony of what happened with the First Vision and translating the Book of Mormon. I know that Jesus Christ restored His true gospel to the earth through Joseph Smith, a latter-day prophet of God. I know that President Monson is our prophet today, and that he leads this church under the authority of Christ. This is Christ’s gospel. Through it, we can find peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. We can be eternal families. I am so grateful that I have the gospel in my life! And I want to share it with everyone:)
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!