A Blizzard of Missionary Work

P1010811Hi everyone,

We had another great week!:)

It’s getting harder to tract at night because everyone thinks we’re CRAZY for being outside in the cold:D But we are learning to bundle up…and to try to have a solid 8pm appointment every night haha:)Tuesday we had a really good lesson with R, the man who came to church a couple weeks ago. We have a member who comes with us to his lessons, and it is awesome!! They get along really well, and the member helps R understand everything better than when we explain it:) Members are so important in missionary work!! R is progressing so so SO much better than he would be if we were just trying to teach him by ourselves.

We left for district meeting way early so we could drive slowly, but it only took 40 minutes to get there (usually it’s 25), so we were a half hour early. We made snow angels in the grass behind the church while we waited for everyone else to show up:)

Wednesday was really cool:) First, we had our first blizzard in the morning! Yay!!:) It had stopped snowing by the time we had to go anywhere, so that was good (Sister Kastner prayed for that to happen).  It’s funny because Sister Kastner and I, being native Californians, are not used to snow at all, so the couple of times that it’s snowed here, we are so excited and run around in it and in our prayers we thank the Lord for it and I’m pretty sure people think we’re a tad bit insane:D But it’s so fun!Then later that day we taught one of our less actives. She comes to sacrament meeting but can’t stay after that for health reasons, so we’re going through the Gospel Principles lessons with her. This week it was on tithes and offerings, and as we discussed the lesson with her, she kept telling us how much she needed that lesson at that moment and how grateful she was that we were talking about it with her. It was an amazing experience! We didn’t know that she needed a lesson about tithing, but Heavenly Father knew. And He takes care of His children.

Then that same day, Sister Kastner said, “I’ve been picturing this street all day. We need to tract it.” So we started tracting, and a few doors down, a woman opened the door and said, “Are you Mormons?” My heart sank because I knew she was about to turn us away, but then she flung the door wide and said, “Come in, come in!!” She proceeded to sit us down on her couch and offer us stew. It turned out she was a less active member! We asked her why she had turned away from the gospel, and she immediately burst into tears. Sister Kastner and I were taken aback, but we listened as she talked about the things she didn’t agree with in the church. Then she started talking about her life lately, and she was going through a really hard time. It was heartbreaking. We talked with her for a little while, and I could see that she was hurting so bad but was afraid to try coming to the gospel again. But I really think that talking with us started the healing process. I know that the Lord loves her so much and led us to her when she needed Him the most.

It is incredible to see these experiences where I know that we are instruments in God’s hands. It is so important to follow promptings from the Holy Ghost, because we may be an answer to a prayer!

P1010813Thursday was really great because we did exchanges again, but this time I was left in Strasburg! So I had to run the show, which was a little scary but turned out fine. (I mean we were only 20 minutes late to our dinner appointment from getting lost. That’s not so bad, right?) I was with Sister Smithson, who is a fabulous missionary:) We had a lesson with one of our less actives who is preparing to go to the temple, and it was really awesome. She knows that Heavenly Father wants her at the temple, and she’s going to work to get there:)

Also a while ago we met this man, and we left him with a Book of Mormon and committed him to read and then haven’t been able to contact him since. But on exchanges, we stopped by, and he had read AND prayed about it!!! Just so you know, THAT NEVER HAPPENS. We were like, “Whaaaat that’s awesome!!!!” We tried not to look too surprised:D He hasn’t received an answer yet, but he’s going to keep trying:)

P1010815Friday was really really really dull haha. We taught zero lessons. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Well, there was our dinner message, but those don’t really count. We had one appointment scheduled, but it fell through, and nobody we stopped by could meet, and no one was home when we tracted. It was so hard to be motivated to keep going! By 8:00 we were so done, but we had to keep going. So then Saturday morning we prayed that we could teach lots of people, and we had 8 lessons that day!!!!! (That also NEVER happens.) The Lord takes care of His missionaries:) So by that evening, we were completely energized and ready to teach the world:D Before my mission, I was a little worried that I would just be drained every night from talking to people because my me time is really important:) But it’s kind of the opposite. When we don’t get to talk to anyone, I’m exhausted. But when we teach a lesson, I get all pumped up! It’s great:)

Now for an interesting thought from the Book of Mormon! I was reading Alma 36, which is where Alma the Younger is telling his son Helaman about his conversion. I love it because it’s so clear that turning to Jesus Christ was what made all the difference. It turned his agony into exquisite joy. I’ve always loved this chapter, but I also thought it was a little unrealistic to expect that quick of a change in myself or others. But then I read something from Alma 5, which is Alma the Younger teaching the people:

“Behold, I testify unto you that I do know that these things whereof I have spoken are true. And how do ye suppose that I know of their surety?

Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit.”

That change was not instantaneous like I thought. It wasn’t like the flip of a switch. His experience with the angel was just the beginning! He had to keep going. He had to fast and pray many days. And that’s how it is for us! Once we open our hearts and let in our Savior, we don’t stop there. We do those things that bring us even closer to Him. And we can always come closer to Him, because none of us are going to reach perfection in this life. And He will be there with us every step of the way because He loves us and He knows how to lead us home:)

The gospel is true! It is the same gospel that Christ established on the earth, and He restored it through Joseph Smith. Through living this gospel, we will be able to have peace in this life and eternal joy in the next. I know this is true!

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!:)

Sister Stratford


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