"And now it came to pass that after I, [Sister Gillespie] , had made an end of speaking to [Chuck], behold [he] said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear. And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked,according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified,and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day;wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Wood Roaches, Rats, and Young Women
That title describes my last Tuesday; it is not categorizing young woman with wood roaches and rats. Last Tuesday we helped a ward member clean out her garage for four hours. We started at 8 and it was already 85 degrees when we started. Her garage very desperately needed to be cleaned out. She had two specific reasons why she finally decided to get it done though: they're going out of town this week and they needed to make the lawn mower easily accessible to the young man who agreed to mow their lawn while they're gone, and they're garage door is broken so they needed to make room for someone to come and fix it. Her garage was INSANE! They moved to Texas 3 years ago and had been living in California for 4 years before that and were originally from Utah. Some of the boxes in her garage had been packed when they moved from Utah and never opened in between. Her mother and I tried to convince her that since she hadn't opened ANY of the boxes in AT LEAST 3 years that they could all be thrown out but she wouldn't have it. So we had to go through all the boxes. It was four very laborious hours filled with silverfish, wood roaches, and petrified rats (I'm not kidding; the rats were stiff and dry) but we worked miracles on that garage even though there are still about 20 unopened boxes. When they get back from vacation we'll finish the garage and they'll actually be able to park cars in there. What a novel concept! I found the hard labor quite enjoyable though; I just love purging and organizing.
Then that evening we went on splits with the Laurels in the ward. Sister McCleery saw Chuck with her two girls, and I and my two girls and they're leader saw Anna Maria another one of our investigators. She's also been struggling with the Word of Wisdom but we found out just yesterday that she made it through the whole weekend without drinking! It's AMAZING! She usually doesn't drink much during the week; it's the weekend that lots of family and friends come hang out at her place and drink and she struggles to say no. But she not only said no to them this weekend but also LEFT because they were drinking so they couldn't ask her another time and have her possibly cave. We told her how amazing and just gave her lots of encouragement because we know she can do this.
Sunday we had 4 investigators in church. Chuck, Anna Maria, Steven, and Rodrigo. It's really interesting. For the longest time we've been thinking of Chuck as our most progressing investigator because he wants us to come every day and he comes to church each Sunday. But Chuck is more converted to Sister McCleery and I than the message of the Gospel. He likes the message but hasn't truly been applying it in his life; he doesn't really want to allow the Gospel to change him. Which is entirely what the Gospel is about: Repentance which means to change and become closer to God. So whenever we call him out on something that he's been lying to us about because he wants to please us, I feel like Nephi talking to Laman and Lemuel in 1 Nephi 16: 1&2
Sister McCleery and I have been talking a lot about that last line this week. Because there's two ways that the guilty react. When we're told something we're guilty of it hits us and it seems hard but we can either recognize it and something that we therefore need to change or become angry at the speaker. So, for the past month we've been putting a lot of time and energy into Chuck thinking that he was progressing because he knew and understood more and wanted to see us more than our other investigators. But Anna Maria, and Steven, and Rodrigo hear the hard things and are truly trying to be better.
This gospel which starts with faith and repentance and is a continual repetition of faith and repentance is about hearing the hard things and working on it. So those who are hearing the hard things and progressing in that change (though it may be gradual) are the ones who are truly progressing in the gospel instead of someone who might just be progressing in the missionary lessons.
Yeah, it kind of hit us rather hard this week.
Hope everyone is doing well
Special shout out to Colin who is now in Utah and officially starting a new phase of life. And to Mom and Dad who have now officially become empty nesters.--