Monday, April 21, 2014

Broken Hearts and Broken Cars

Sister Murray at the beach. The mission ends where the sand starts.
Jacksonville Beach.
A Sail Boat
Florida Kisses-I know what happens when you kiss a frog...but what about a gator?
The Easter Bunny Comes to Missionaries too!!

Last Monday we picked up the Ft. Caroline Sisters (Houtz and Williams) and headed to the beach!  We planned to meet the Jax Beach Sisters (Joseph and Liao) at a little Italian Ice shop called Rita's.  As we are looking at the ice cream flavors we hear the door open.  Guess who walks in?  President and Sister Craig!!!  Straight from the beach!  Haha, their hair was all wind blown and they had definitely been in the sun.  Their daughter and son-in-law came to visit for a week before she ran the Boston Marathon.  It was so fun to see them, and we got a good laugh when President Craig talked about how nice it was to not be wearing a suit. After ice cream we drove to the beach and walked on the sidewalk that is as close to the beach as you can get without being on it.  We found a fun little gift shop with shells, alligator heads, postcards, t-shirts... all the fun stuff!  Do you want to guess who was there?  The Atlantic Beach Elders!  We were running into all sorts of people we knew! 

Tuesday morning we took our car into the shop for a repair.  Last transfer we had a slight adventure with the front right fender but we were all safe and the car wasn't damaged much either.  It was a tender mercy in a way though because we got to spend the entire day with the Ft. Caroline Sisters on Sister Houtz's birthday!  We went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch and they went to pick up something from a member and it turned into a whole surprise birthday party!  So that kind of took up the day and then we went to the Mandarin building to skype the twins for a lesson before institute. 

Still no car Wednesday.  We did some tracking with the Ft. Caroline Sisters before we got kicked out of the apartment complex.  The manager came right in the middle of a great lesson with this amazing YSA aged man!  He was a professional fighter and he just started meditating and looking into religions.  He was the first door Sister Hale and I knocked at so it was a blessing we started with his door before the manager came and got mad at as.  People don't understand the difference in soliciting and proselyting.  That apartment complex must be super elect for us to get kicked out that fast.  Satan doesn't want us there!  Haha, that won't keep persistent missionaries away for too long!  We have to go back and see the man we left a Book of Mormon with AND the Ft. Caroline sisters met a YSA aged girl we will go see too!
Wednesday night our ward mission leader, William, took us and the YSA Elders to dinner at Bono's BBQ.  He has so many funny stories from his mission in Paraguay!  We were laughing the whole time!  Our Elders are so funny too!!!  They always have good stories.
We finally got the car back Thursday evening!  We are so blessed to have a car, and now we really appreciate it!  Just a few hours after getting our car repaired we got our hearts crushed.  Kristen messaged us on Facebook and told us she couldn't get baptized on Sunday.  She's not ready and she wants to learn more about Catholicism because she's not sure she gave it a fair chance.  

Friday night we had a lesson with Caitlin and Kristen about the Book of Mormon and it was so powerful!  Kristen reassured us she is not done learning, she just wants more time to be sure this is right for her.  After the lesson Sister Hale and I agreed that we felt a great peace that she needed this time to gain her testimony.  We will need to be patient.  The hardest part is that both of them are going home for the summer this Friday.  We are planning on contacting the ward, and missionaries there.  We are going to miss these girls!

After the lesson Sister Hale and I went on a trade-off with the Sister Training Leaders.  Sister McCleary stayed in our area with Sister Hale and I went to Hendricks with Sister Heckel.  We visited a woman who is less active.  She is YSA age and has a son.  I was excited she might want to know more about the YSA activities.  Then she pretty much started bashing YSA's and the programs.  I am really not one that gets mad, but it took so much control not to get frustrated with her.  You do not mess with my YSA's!  I was able to tell her how much I love the YSA's and I told her about the upcoming CES broadcast, institute, and all of the other great activities. 

Saturday morning Hendricks Ave. ward had an Easter Breakfast.  It ended up being fruit and donuts.  It was weird being in a family ward, but it was so fun to watch the kids do the egg hunt.  After that we went to help a member moving into their ward.  Of course, she was moving into an apartment on the third floor and she had a ton of heavy furniture.  That was a really good work out!  Gratefully we have some strong Zone Leaders and several men from the ward made it out.  She was a sweetheart!  She even had fruit and donuts for us.  Haha, it was a sugary day....  Good thing donuts are not much of a temptation for me!  Now fruit on the other hand... yummy!  We went home for showers and lunch.  If we had waited a few hours we could have stood outside in the rainstorm and been clean!  It was pouring!!!!  I love the rain!  

That evening Sister Hale and I were happy to be together again.  We were able to go to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's performance of Handel's Messiah for about an hour.  It was beautiful!  I am not sure if I could listen to hours of opera, but an hour was perfect!  (It looked like we enjoyed it more than the Elders, haha!!)  The musicians are all so talented! 

Sunday was a wonderful day to reflect on our Savior's life and sacrifice.  It wasn't much different than other days work-wise, but there were two beautiful musical numbers in sacrament meeting and two wonderful speakers. I am truly grateful for all that my Savior does for me.  I love him and am grateful to know that with His help I can continue to repent and improve each day.  I've loved all of the BecauseofHim posts on Facebook.  If you haven't seen the video yet check it out Here:  Watch it and think about all of the things you can and will do/become because of Christ!

I Love ya'll!!!
Sister Murray