Monday, January 13, 2014

First Baptismal Date and Cheering for Team Jacob

The Dames Point Bridge.  The beautiful bridge I love so much.
The cables above.  Driving up this bridge you feel like you're going to just keep going into the sky.
Driving down the bridge. You won't see this in Utah!
A Mail Manatee

Monday, January 13, 2013  9:22 AM
First, I have to clarify the team Jacob thing.  We have been working with a less active YSA named Jacob. He is 29 and hasn't been to church for probably 7 years, at least.  Yet, he is still so sensitive to the spirit.  It really is a gift.  We started trying to track him down when we first got here, and were able to make a great connection.  He has worked on a golf course for several years, where Sunday is the busiest day and he has been scheduled every Sunday. We got the happiest text this week telling us he would be having Sundays off so he can come to church.  Sister Hale and I were literally screaming we were so excited for him.  We were driving at the time and had to pull over and call him.  He admitted he had known for a while he needed to make the change, and finally he got to the point where he was willing to quit his job.  Gratefully his manager let him change shifts instead.  Yesterday we saw him come to church with his mom for the first time in so long!  He said it was the best Sunday he'd had in a long time.  Then that evening he made it to the CES broadcast.  Speaking of which, the broadcast was wonderful!  It starts at 8:00 here so it was weird to realize it was already 9:00 when it was over.  Sister Hale and I are excited to be able to print out the talks and mark up all of the Bible scriptures for our Bible loving southern friends!

Backtracking in the week, Tuesday was our P-day because of transfers.  We went to Town Center with Sisters Houtz, Toledo, Fife, and McCleary.  It was fun to enjoy a lunch together of the best gluten free pizza I've ever had! We also got a little bit of shopping in.  

Wednesday night we had a miracle!  We set up with the Beach Boys Bachelor Pad (a house in the YSA ward with about four RMs living in it) to watch Prophet of the Restoration.  We invited several less actives and investigators.  Three less actives made it!  (ok, one of them lives in the house, but it was still great that he stayed for the movie!  One other tried less active YSA tried to come, but got a flat tire).  The spirit was very strong and it was a wonderful experience!  It was also great to let the less active members get to know some other ward members.  We were also very grateful one sister in the ward was able to come so we could go in and watch the movie!  In a couple weeks we're going to take advantage of the other "bachelor pad" in the branch and watch The Testaments.  We're so excited!

With the transfers the west stake YSA area has been closed.  The sisters there had been teaching a man named Aaron.  They told him he would be leaving and asked him to pray about which missionaries should continue teaching him.  He prayed and felt Sister Hale and I should.  He said when he prayed he remembered the first day we met him, and Sister Hale said she wanted to hear more of his story.  It reminds me of the quote, "No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care!"  We had our first lesson with him on Friday.  It was also my first time teaching the law of chastity!  It went really well!  He has been so prepared for the gospel!  He was a medic in the army and spent time in Iraq.  In the last year he received medical release so now he's going to school.  He has a baptismal date in February, and we are so excited for him!  We just have a couple more lessons, but he is definitely ready!!!  He has a testimony, and a desire that we see as we meet with him!  He is amazing!  He even made us some delicious gluten and dairy free ziti! 

Thursday we had district meeting and I gave my first training!  I got to play piano too which is so fun!  I love every chance I get to play!  Every district meeting Elder Dean asks two missionaries to give a training and then he will give one.  They are always amazing!  So Elder Dean calls Tuesday and asks me to give a training.  I agree and he says, "The topic is kind of broad," which makes me kind of worried, but interested to see what it will be.  He continues, "But I've prayed about it and I feel like you need to train about something positive."  As soon as he said it I felt it was the right topic, but I didn't exactly know where to go with it.  Being the self-critical perfectionist that I am I assumed I needed to talk about remaining positive with ourselves.  That's something I often need to remind myself of, both on and off of my mission.  However, when I started studying that wasn't going anywhere.  With a lot of prayer and last minute organizing I found out I needed to train on seeing the miracles in our lives every day.  I know that Heavenly Father's hand is in each and every one of our lives!  Ether 12:6 teaches us that when we are faithful we qualify to work miracles.  Sometimes we just need to take a step back and see all that he has done for us.  One thing I do to help myself recognize these blessings is by recording them in a separate journal.  Each night I write at least one tender mercy I saw that day.  Looking back I find pages of miracles in my life, and that reminds me of my Heavenly Fathers love for myself, for the people I am working with, and even those at home that I love.  I hope each of you will find a way to notice those miracles in your own lives.  I know they are there!!!  

Have a blessed day!
Watch for the miracles!

Love, Sister Alyson Murray