Monday, September 1, 2014

The Trial of Our Faith

Florida Storm
Look at these vines!
Plants everywhere
Preach to Every Creature
My Yummy Lunch Dessert!
This month I definitely learned that Ether 12:6 is true, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat  concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."   The work has been slow this month, but this last week we saw so many miracles!

Funny stories of the week:  we met a man named Mr. Mike (seriously, don't try to call him anything else).  He is a retired politician and he said he went to church once with Senator Hatch.  Crazy huh?  Well we talked to him, or rather HE talked, for about an hour and a half. It quickly became apparent that he is either a very brilliant and powerful man or he is just crazy. He has been through a lot, but he stays positive.

At one door this week a young women answered.  She listened to us then her friend poked her head around the corner, holding a birthday cake, and said, "Can you wait a minute? We need to go surprise our friend."  We were just going to give them our card and leave but they shut the door so we stood there and after a minute we could hear a bunch of girls scream "surprise" and music started playing. Then the girl came back to the door and took our card. She offered us cake too. It was probably the funniest door approach of the week!

We also came up with great ways to have some fun while tracting at night when no one is answering. We played name that tune with all of the obscure primary songs I happened to know (from the Sundays when both my parents were gone for church meetings/choir practice and I had nothing to do other than play straight through the primary songbook.) and we made up our own songs like ”sister missionaries sang as they knocked, and knocked, and knocked.”  (To the tune of pioneer children.)

We knocked and knocked into a man who looks just like Alex Boye!  Seriously!  He is a preacher and his name is Kenneth.  He let us in to meet his wife and he said they might come to church.  He kept telling me I looked really familiar (I'm telling you-best friends in the pre-mortal life!).

We had a lot of miracles this week too:  One day our lesson with Liz fell through, but because it did we were able to take Sister Janson with us to see a new referral.  Her name is Sheree.  She is very sweet and has had a really hard life.  She is looking for peace and we are so excited to help her find that finally!

Saturday we were tracting and the first woman we talked to sent us away. As we were leaving her husband jumped out of his car and said, "wait I want to talk to you.  Just let me finish this phone call." So  we awkwardly stood with his wife who had just turned us down until he got off the phone. His name is Antoine and we taught the restoration. He had so many questions! He even had a Book of Mormon! He doesn't know where he got it though. He went inside and came out with the Book of Mormon and his phone. He then read off the phone some crazy information he said he found about the church. He was looking up anti information right in front of us! How hard is Satan working? Come on! We quickly resolved the concern and told him to come to us or to

On Sunday President Craig called for a special mission fast. We need to step it up to reach our goal of 1,000 baptisms this year. Our mission has a goal for 70 baptisms in September. The great thing is that more than half of the yearly baptisms each year come from the last four months of the year.  Pray for us! We know we can reach this goal!

So on Sunday we called Liz. No answer. We went to her house. No answer. We drove by Sheree's and saw our note from the day before was still in her door. We called her and she said she couldn't come. So we stopped by Nikita's. She was still in her pajamas but said she could probably come to church still. Then she texted us and said she was too shy!  Boy does she have the right sisters to help her! We are both natural introverts and look what we do every day! So Nikita finally decided she would come- even early for a church tour. Sister Jepsen came with and was able to bear a sweet testimony. Nikita was only able to stay for Sacrament meeting, but she said she it was impossible to describe the feeling she had!

Saturday night we had called Brother Shepherd to see if they were coming to church and he didn't sound too sure. He is the less active member we met tracting. Pew taught his wife, Gloria, and 14 year old daughter, Tammy last Sunday. When we taught them Sister Rudd and 12 year old Emma Rudd came with. On a Sunday morning a Sister Rudd called to invite the Shepherds and.... Drumroll please... They came to church!!! The fellow shipping they received was superb! We hardly did anything but say hello before church and ask how they enjoyed their experience after church. The Rudds brought them to church and sat with them. Then Jordan Rudd (also 14) took Tammy to Sunday School. The young women took her to young women's where Sister Hostetler was ready to welcome her. It was so perfect! I have never seen such amazing fellowship! This week we are planning to teach the Shepherds in the Rudd's home where they can more easily feel the spirit.

Are you ready for this. Another miracle! On Sunday Thomas Janson came to church with his family. He is the less active member I worked with in Jax YSA. He came to see his little brother ordained an Elder  and it was so good to see him again, and especially to see him in church. He leaves for Spain today for a 10 month project to teach English and receive his Masters in Spanish. He said he will probably try going to church there, at least for the purpose of networking... It might be just what he needs to get back into activity!

Thank you for all of your prayers!
I love all y'all!!!

Sister Alyson Murray