Sunday, June 19, 2016
Laughter in Thunderstorms
Well, the votes are in and...
Sister McCleery and I are still companions in the Friendswood II ward! And since last transfer had an extra week due to the 2 week to 3 week adjustment in the MTC, at the end of this transfer she'll have the record for the longest stretch of time that any missionary in the Texas Houston South Mission has spent in one area. She's really excited. So are many members in the ward.
This Tuesday I had to give a 7 minute talk/lesson on asking people for referrals. This left me repenting a lot because sister McCleery and I aren't very good at remembering to ask everyone we talk to for referrals. Specifically, we talked about asking the "who do you know who ... ?" questions (e.g. who do you know who recently had a baby? who do you know who recently lost a love one?). In the scriptures it's often stated that someone can't receive the Gospel until they have humbled themselves. These questions help us find those who have been recently humbled; they help us find those who are prepared to hear the message. What the questions have in common is they are all seeking people who have recently had life changing experience. A change in somebody's life is like a spiritual earthquake that leaves people on shaky ground looking for something solid. The Gospel and more specifically Christ is the Rock of our Salvation. He IS the solid ground of life. Members often won't refer someone to us because they think their friend isn't ready or isn't someone who can use the gospel. These questions help our members to see who may be more prepared then they think.
Wednesday we had another exchange with Baybrook. I took over the Friendswood area for the first time since I got here. It went really well. Most of our appointments fell through but what the sister from Baybrook really needed was help to see how easy it is to talk to everyone we see. So every time that an appointment fell through we'd just park the car and walk around the neighborhood. Then the very next day I went on an exchange to Galveston! It was SO MUCH FUN! I was with Hermana Flores who happened to be the person I sat next to on the flight into Houston. I met their investigator (who just got baptized this last Saturday). His name is Billy Sapp and he wanted to make sure I knew and that I'd tell everyone back home that I now knew the coolest guy in the US. He's very very hood and it's very very entertaining. The funnest part of that day however is that we were biking in buckets and buckets of rain. It was a crazy thunderstorm and we even got a tornado warning on our phone. Listening to the spirit is really important for a missionaries safety. When we got the tornado warning we discussed it and decided that we needed to continue working but an hour later we looked at the sky and the spirit yelled at us to go home. Oh man! On the way home the lightning kept getting closer and closer. When we were a mile away from the apartment we heard a particularly harsh crash of thunder that indicated that bold was only a mile away.
I felt that day that I had had the true missionary experience. We were absolutely soaked. My dress which had previously been green was so wet it looked black. One thing I can say for optimism. I've seen quite a few different people out on my mission. A lot of them face horrible trials and challenges. Some of them are murmurers. Like Laman and Lemuel they look at everything bitterly and ask "why?" and think "I don't want to" and "but it's hard" and like Laman and Lemuel this attitude only serves to make them more angry and bitter and as they fill their lives with those feelings they aren't open to the communications of God through the Holy Ghost. Others roll with the punches. When something isn't working right in their life they say alright, I'll try doing something else and you lead me as I go Heavenly Father. I'll follow you and I'll trust in your plan and your timing. Essentially it's about hope and faith in the Lord. Those who have that hope, faith, and trust (what some people might call optimism) look like everything is going right in their life simply because they find a way to always be happy. Others seem to have things going catastrophically wrong in their life all the time because they see life that way. As Hermana Flores as I pedaled furiously through that thunderstorm on Galveston, we were laughing. When we got back into the apartment and wrung out our wet clothes we were joking about the weight of them. I paused for a second and expressed to her how happy I was that where other people might have found misery in the situation, I had found joy and energy to continue.
There's a lot more I wish I had time to tell everyone this week but we went to the temple today and did two sessions (4 hours) so I'm short on time. I pray that each day as you face challenges that you have the strength to pause and look to find the joy in it.
I love you all and pray for your peace, happiness, and safety this week.