Such a good week.
I am so tired. Daylight savings has saved me. Ha! Halloween was awesome. We had to be in early–at 6:30–so that was a blessing and also a bummer because our week was shortened a little. BUT it was really fun to give candy to our neighborhood trick-or-treaters. We had probably 5 doorbell rings, and I was STOKED for each one! Ha. Hermana Hutchison kept laughing at how stoked I was to see them. So fun to call kids out that came twice, ha! Bless their hearts, I just like to yank their chains.
We had MLC (missionary leadership council) on Friday and it was excellent. It was different….usually we go over how we are doing as a mission and then have some specific trainings about obedience or how to begin teaching or the doctrine of Christ, but this time it–to me–was all about goals. Having a vision. Setting goals. Making plans to accomplish those goals. Being accountable. President Smith talked about the temple and how it is there that we learn so much about returning and reporting. We learn how heaven works–through plans and then reporting on how that plan is carried out. As I think about it now, that was the first thing that Christ said to Mary when He came to her in the empty tomb:
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:15).
He was going to return and report. I always wondered why she couldn’t touch Him….but it was probably because He was on His way to Father. Clean and fresh and gloriously perfect. His body no longer bruised and broken. And he was going to report to Father, and show Him the fruits of His atonement–aka the resurrection.
Anyway, just a thought on that one.
Back to the goal-setting, anyone that knows me knows I am a LIST girl. I like lists. I like plans and writing it out and thinking on paper and drafting again and again. I LOVE it. And as President spoke, I felt a fire light in me to set some serious goals. To make some great plans, and to go for it. With God, all things are possible. That I know. And He worketh according to our faith. In Preach My Gospel, it says that goals reflect the desires of our hearts and setting goals is an act of faith. So why not include faith (therefore Father) in every aspect of the goal? Praying along the way. Reporting along the way. Repenting and improving along the way until we reach our celestial goal. I felt such a special spirit as President explained about that. It just ramped up those thoughts of Moses, again (that I shared last week). “Where goest thou?”
We’ve seen the Lord’s hand all day every day here.
We finally found a long lost investigator named Theresa. I’ve stared at her name a long time and have called and texted and dropped by and NEVER have found her. She had called back once a few months ago and asked for some help with her yard. We jumped on that, but only to never hear from her again. How strange……ANYWAY, I about gave up calling and texting. And then this week she texted back and said we could come on Sunday. We went over–my first time to meet her in a non-weeding setting–and we talked. As we did so, we found out that she had already read the Book of Mormon. “Do you think it is true?” we asked. “Well, yeah.” “Well, will you be baptized?” “Ok. The only reason I haven’t converted is because I can’t come to church.”
WHAAAAAA??? Why. “Because I CANNOT WEAR DRESSES OR SKIRTS.” Wow. It was like I met the 3-15 year-old-Melissa-Jo in a grown up’s body. I never thought I’d see the day. We talked through it with Theresa and told her she didn’t need to come in a dress if it made her that uncomfortable. She insisted that she still couldn’t come. For a half an hour she told us that. She said, “Look. I know that Mormons believe that God doesn’t love you if you don’t wear a dress or a skirt!” Unfortunately, that is true doctrine, so we just left it at that.
We corrected that horrifically FALSE doctrine and then worked through it. We expect to see her on Sunday.
Angela is a new investigator from Jordan (my heart is still in the Middle East). She is the best! Ha. We found her last week and downloaded the gospel library on her phone and showed her how to listen to it. We came back last Wednesday and asked her if she had listened to or read any of the Book of Mormon. She responded with a resounding “YES!” Really? (Not many actually do…) “yes! I listened to ALL of it.” Are you kidding me. I was so thrown off. It had been several days, and she isn’t working right now, so it is totally possible that she listened to all of it. I probed a little and said, “Well, tell us about it! What was your favorite part?” She responded, “Easy. The part where the guy builds the ship.” Nephi? Sweeeet! “Yeah, he builds it and everyone is against him, but he obeys God, and then all the animals come…” Hmmm. Not Nephi. Noah. We told her that that was the Bible and then she looked at us heart broken. She had just clicked on the first book of scripture and began to listen–this the Old Testament. Ha! Bless her heart! She had listened to most of the Old Testament but the time we saw her! Ha! I love her. So much. She wanted to come to stake conference so badly, so we got a ride and she came. She loved it. She wasn’t feeling well, but wanted so badly to come. She made it for about forty minutes through, then had to go outside…..BUT another miracle happened because after a few minutes an AWESOME couple was leaving that lived near her that could take her home. It was just perfect with the timing that she went out and we went out to follow and the couple went out to leave. And the Spirit that Angela felt was real. She was writing notes and copying down the words to “the Lord is My Light.” I love Angela. What a blessing to get her all the way there and all the way back without a problem, even with her being sick!
Celin and her son, and Cristina, and Yesica, and their kids, and their sister, and their sister’s son all came to the combined ward activity on Friday night (the Trunk-or-Treat). It was a grand success. And there was a pie contest. So that was also a plus (I love pie. All day).
Just so many good things. All of our lessons are going well and people are improving. Learning. Progressing. Oscar and Cristina are doing well. I am hoping and praying that they will open their hearts to the Spirit and choose to believe and COME UNTO HIM. In His way.
2 Nephi 33:4
Love you. Oh so much. Really.
Also, I love flowers. The leaves are now just kind of brown and dead and falling. Which is still awesome because it is still beautiful and a part of the seasons. I just love flowers though. The Bronx had no plants at all, and so Poughkeepsie is great being that there are TONS of trees and life around us. TONS!!! I am just missing the flowers.
Springtime. We shall see. Enjoy them if you’ve got them!
Love you. Duh.
P.S. We won the costume contest at the ward Trunk-or-Treat. No big deal.