Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 34: Go Bold or Go Home


So I have this thing about acorns, right?  Because of my obsession with Peter Pan, he gave Wendy an acorn, she put it on a necklace, it saved her life, etc.  So I found all these acorns in Louisiana that I put on necklaces for my companions, and I'm making one for Sister Creager last night and ask her which one she wants and she looks at me and says "Go big or go home."  i.e. She wanted the big one.  I feel that this is a trait of Sister C's that's rubbed off on me, esp. concerning boldness, and has really started to affect our work, mostly in good ways.

Transfer day
Pro: Still inviting everyone to baptism, found two more who said yes (if they found out it was true.)  Both were young adults.  One may have the hots for us/wants to marry one of us to start a family with, which could present a problem.  We'll be wary.

Con: Sick of this one guy who obviously only wants to talk about the Book of Mormon and Mormonism so he can prove it wrong (same one who got all his Joseph Smith info from Wikipedia), I flat out bashed at our last visit.  Not like in the face, but like, verbally.  I Bible-bashed with no inhibitions while my companion thankfully kept calm and professional.  It's funny how we are actually never the ones who get super worked up, when those we talk to get red in the face and their voice elevates and they get all excited while we sit here like it ain't phasing us because it's not, because we have rock hard testimonies of the restored truth.  Those who claim we have no evidence obviously have not looked for it, because it's totally there (see BookofMormonTrial.com)  and maybe I shouldn't have bashed.  But I did stump him with Ezekiel 37, so I think it was worth it.  Needless to say, we're not going back.
Bye Sister Ray!

Pro:  I decided to not take a day off at the beginning of the week when my supposed allergies were feeling more like a cold, and one of those miracles happened where as soon as you leave the house to start working, the symptoms subside and you can breathe just fine, and then when you come in at night when the work is done, your nose is back to being congestion central.  Small miracle, true blessing.  When you go big, God makes it possible.

Con:  We set our goals for the month of March pretty high.  Five progressing investigators with baptism dates by the ends of the month.  No, I don't know what we were thinking.  Do you know how hard it is to get one to progress?  Real hard.  They have to be reading, praying, and attending church to count as such.  We're at zero and there's only one week left.  Halp.  We're going to fail

crawfish look like aliens
Pro:  We decided to fast on Sunday, even though it wasn't fast Sunday, because of this worry about making our goals.  Same day, we got a new ward mission leader who was just recently a missionary in 2011 and is still pumped about missionary work.  He's super stoked to take "hastening the work" literally, and we're super stoked to have his enthusiasm on our side.  Onward, Christian soldiers.  Got a new captain in the house.

Con: A large bucket of crawfish was placed before us Friday night by people we tracted into who said "yeah you can take our daughter to church with you, she likes church, also come back later if you want some food, we're cookin out!"  and yes, we ate the whole bucket.  I had to be instructed first on how to properly peel and extract the crawfish meat, but once I got over the fact that they look like large insects/mini aliens, we cracked and ate the whole bucket.  I also had my first Coke ever with this meal.  One of the most Southern things I've ever done.  I don't know how sanitary it was, but I'm not dead yet.

The Florence/Clinton District
Pro:  Diddy*, a woman we've been working with since I got to Florence, is making progress!  We check on her more often, part of the "go big" following-up plan, which works to motivate her to keep commitments when she knows we'll be back soon.  She's starting to read the Book of Mormon on her own, and not only that, she understands and remembers what she reads and can apply it to herself.  In an effort to get her grandkids to settle down, we watched the Lamb Of God movie with them on Saturday, and then while Sister C pulled the grandkids aside to entertain them with pamphlets and cheetos so they wouldn't tear the house apart, I listened to Diddy tell me how the movie made her really feel Christ's love, and reminded her how much she wants to live right and have Christ in her life.  Her heart tells her she wants to be baptized, she says.  I say, follow your heart.  That's the best idea it's ever had.  She's now on date to be baptized April 19th :]

In other news:
ate them all.
Manson played us a recording of a song he wrote about the light of Christ.  We were in the studio shack and it was a country-ish song and it all felt like a movie.  We also brought a member of the ward with us.  So we don't have to go into the murder shack alone anymore.  Also, he's crazy enough to believe what we taught about the Plan of Salvation but won't come to church because he still thinks President Monson looks too much like Donald Trump.  We told him not to judge by the outward appearance, for God looketh on the heart and referred him to a conference talk.

We met this kid (our age) tracting, hair in dreds, bouncing a basketball down the street, who stopped to talk to us when we waved.  He later said, he thought we were a couple of teenage girls coming home from private school, and when we mentioned that we teach about Jesus Christ "it was like God put up a wall" that made him involuntarily stop and turn in our direction and he felt like he needed to talk to us.  We ended up teaching him and his younger bro in the driveway, and their three other siblings who came home from school stopped, sat down, and listened, five of them locked in on the message of the Restoration.  It was killer.

The investigator we set with a date last week dropped us, because she wanted to stick with her own church.  Obviously, "one true church of Jesus Christ restored in its fulness" didn't get through to her.  It's fine.  Cause we have Diddy now.

A potential investigator that also dropped us, told us she wasn't interested after all, texted a day later to ask if we could buy her a pregnancy test because she doesn't have a vehicle.  Some people take "let us know if we can do anything for ya!" a little too liberally.

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a adispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in bauthority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great cJehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?
Mini story: So we're driving home from interviews. Someone
punches "home" into the GPS. 20 min later we're in the town
of Utica. None of us have heard of it. Where are we going?
We realize that the GPS is Sister Creager's.
And her "home" is in Idaho.

In our recent studies, we've been looking a lot at priesthood authority, as it concerns the restoration and it's a primary difference between us and every other church.  It truly is a bold claim that we make, to say that we're the only ones with God's authority as established in ancient times and all throughout history, but here's the thing.  We know it's the truth.  We who have earnestly sought a testimony of the truth and then experienced the promised blessings know that we have something incredible.  We have every right to boldly proclaim it and invite all to find out for themselves.  After all, it's not exclusive.  Last night, a recent convert's family member who's never been to our church or even met with us missionaries, asked priesthood holders from the ward to give a blessing of healing before a surgery.  The Spirit was so strong.  It was awesome.  The blessings of the priesthood, and the restored gospel, are available to all who sincerely want to follow Christ.  The truth has been restored, friends.  Say it loud. Live it proud.  Tell your friends.

Sister Valdez

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