This past week, Elder Snow, the Seventy that is head of the Church History Department, visited our mission. We had a zone conference in Moncton, New Brunswick during which he and his wife spoke. The drive to Moncton from Presque Isle is about four hours plus an hour due to the time change. We stayed the night in Houlton, Maine the night before the conference, which would take an hour off of our travel time. Unfortunately we woke up the next morning and Sister Christensen realized that she left her passport in Presque Isle. We drove back to Presque Isle to pick it up and drove to Moncton. We arrived an hour into the meeting, but we made it, thank goodness! We arrived just in time for Elder Snow to begin his training. He and his wife spoke about the lessons we can learn as missionaries and how our missions will bless our lives. It was another reminder to me from the Lord as to why He asked me to serve a mission. I'm here to convert myself. No doubt about that.
A return missionary just moved into the Caribou Ward. Her name is Sister Clark. She is originally from Washington, but most recently moved from Utah. She is a nurse and will be living in the area for a brief time to work at the hospital in Presque Isle. She doesn't know exactly why she is here, other than that the Lord told her she needed to move here. She is an incredible example to me of member missionary work. She is seeking to find those that the Lord is preparing to receive the gospel and to be an instrument in His hands in any way she can.
Last week, Sister Clark gave us a referral for a girl named Brandy that she works with at the hospital. She is so prepared to receive the restored gospel! She has many questions about God and religion. After our first lesson, we invited her to pray every day until we met with her again. At the next lesson we talked to her about her experience of praying and she said, "It felt so good. I feel like someone was there, listening to me." We invited her to be baptized and she came to church Sunday. She is so excited to be baptized!
We also met a girl named Tiana this week. She is a young single mom. She shared with us about being angry with God for a long time over things that have happened to her. Recently, she has turned back to Him for help and strength. Then we knocked on her door. Her best friend, Kristina, comes to church with us every week. We taught Tiana the message of the Restoration and she, too, accepted a baptismal invitation! She came to church on Sunday with her cute baby named Darius and sat by Kristina during the meetings.
Sam also came to church yesterday. We are meeting with him and his friend who is a member tonight again. He continues to read the Book of Mormon. The Spirit is always so powerful in his lessons.
During our first lesson with Brandy, she told us about going to a church one Sunday and the sermon was about how "God is awesome." She told us, "I don't understand why God is awesome." We testified of His love and plan for us as His children. After this past week, my testimony has been strengthened. God is awesome!
My soap box for the week is this: Get involved in missionary work! The Lord is preparing many of His children to receive His restored gospel. As members, we have a responsibility to find them! Pray and look for those opportunities each day to open your mouth and invite others to learn more. It's the best feeling in the world to share the truths that we love with others. We are the Lord's hands to hasten His work. Members and missionaries alike need to work together. It's the only way that His work will advance. You can trust in the Lord's promises to guide you and give you the words to speak. Put aside fear and doubt and just do it. You won't regret it. This is the Lord's work!
Elder Ballard's talk from last General Conference gives some great advice about getting involved in missionary work:
Read or listen to it and then think about ways that you can apply what he teaches. The blessings will flow if we are obedient.
I'll get off my soap box now. Have a great week!
Christ is the Reason.