Crazy to think, I'm currently writing this email from President Pitt's desk! The library is closed, but being so close to the mission office, Sister Snow and I received permission to email today. Thank goodness! I hate having to take time out of normal missionary days to email. I love emailing, but it is nice to have it on one day of the week.
This week has been full of highs and lows! (No worries, way more highs than lows) :) Let's start with the lows so that you can see how much good happened!
Sister Dorsey, Lisa, and Frankie didn't show up to church. That was a little disheartening when they were all three expected to come. No worries though, if we didn't have the hard times, we wouldn't have the highs! We are going to focus really hard on helping them get back to activity especially so that Frankie can receive the Holy Ghost! It was cute though, the bishop came up to me after church and asked how I was doing. I guess I seemed a bit worried according to my facial expressions, but as soon as I told him what was on my mind, he smiled and said, "Oh! You are a great missionary!" That calmed my nerves a bunch! He's not worried, then that means, everything will be okay! :)
See? Not too bad of a week!
Now let's get to the good part! We had some huge miracles atevery night! It seemed like each night we would be left with about 10 minutes left to figure out something to do and every night, without fail, we would meet someone who was prepared and either give them a Book of Mormon, set up a return appointment, or have a great discussion. For example, one night we were walking around and we decided to go down this dark street when we saw some guys playing basketball (This is the same court we go exercise on each morning). We formulated a plan and I walked up saying, "Have you seen a sweater? We come running here in the morning, and I think I left it!" So, I know it is not good to lie, but on the spot, this was the best we could do. Of course, the sweater was not there, so we got to talking about the gospel. This is when another teenager came up to play basketball and after talking to him about the Book of Mormon, he accepted a copy and was really interested in reading! It was so neat! P.S. We don't usually go walking down dark streets or talk to groups of guys. :) We are very safe, but when the spirit prompts you, you act!
We also found some amazing people to teach this week. One lady, Corrinne, had lost faith that she would see her husband again, but as the missionaries (I was on exchanges) taught her, her faith began to be rekindled and she is now feeling the spirit testify to her that she has found the truth! Yay! Another man, named Randy Easter, was a bit hesitant about listening, but as we taught, he asked, "What is the difference between my church (the Church of God) and yours?" We began teaching him about the restoration of the gospel and he scooted up and said, "You've sparked my interest girls." Yay! The spirit testifying is so amazing! I love it!
Most amazing story of the day for you! We had received a referral from the assistants and it was for a Part-member family. We went to contact the father named Mike Young. This is where the miracle happened. He wasn't home! But his wife was! She let us right in and told us that she had been begging her husband to tell her more about his church. She'd been raised protestant, and is very interested in learning more. They live right by the church in Charleston (which is currently under construction) and so they hadn't been able to attend even though they wanted to! We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she asked us to come back! She then camewith her husband!!! Yay! Her husband is an awesome guy. I think they just didn't know where to go to church! They'd been living in that house for 2 years and I've even knocked on it before, but they had never been invited! I'm so grateful for that referral that helped us find them! I'm so grateful they are going to be able to learn about this message together! We will be meeting with Mike and Lisa Young !
We got to help with something called the VanDalia (a West Virginian festival). It was filled with Bluegrass music, food, and West Virginians! So fun! We passed out strawberry shortcake and met a lot of great people! West Virginia is known for having a lot of festivals during the summer. Any excuse to gather with friends and eat! :) I love it!
We also had an amazing zone conferenceand we learned so much about the blessings which are promised to missionaries. So neat! We then went on exchanges with the Teays Valley sisters and so I got to go serve with Sister Combs and Sister Simmons. We were able to work hard and found a new investigator! Sister Kitto came to South Hills with Sister Snow and they were able to put Jolena and Tiffany on date for ! I most likely will not be here for the baptism, but I'm so excited for them! What a miracle! I love being a missionary!
Overall, a fantastic week! This coming week, we will be having Mission Leader Council, 2 zone meetings (one with each zone) and so we are going to work hard during the time we actually have to do missionary work. I want to leave this area better than I found it! I want the next sister that comes in to have about 5 baptisms planned! :) Wouldn't that be wonderful?!
The most important lesson that I've learned on the mission is that I can't do any of it..on my own! Truly, the only thing I'm to do is to live worthy of the spirit by being exactly obedient, and have faith that Heavenly Father will fulfill His promises, then the spirit does the rest! Whenever I begin to rely upon myself, that is when I get frustrated, tired, and the miracles cease. Fully rely on our Heavenly Father, then even on the bad days, you can know that you are doing all you can and you will feel successful! I'm not perfect, not even close, but I'm striving to learn from my mistakes daily. I am constantly using the atonement (even more than my investigators) and I know that Heavenly Father is supporting me through it all. He is forgiving, loving, and has provided a way for us to overcome our mistakes and trials. I'm so grateful for my Savior who provided a way for me to improve and to get closer to my Heavenly Father daily. There are hard moments, but those pass! It makes me think of the quote on our wall at home that says, "This too shall pass." It truly will! The good moments and the bad all pass! It is how we handle each of those moments that gives us the strength to do more!
Well, I'm off to another week in the field! Remember that I pray for each of you daily! I love you all and I want you to know I couldn't do this without your love and support! I love this work and I love this gospel! I know that our Heavenly Father is aware of each of us! He loves us! He wants us to succeed!
Have the best day ever! Have the best birthday Alysia! I love you!!!
Sorry no pictures this week! I didn't even pull out my camera! Next week, I'll repent!