Monday, March 30, 2015

Learning to Follow the Spirit

Sister Clemons painted this. Happy Easter!
Rainstorm anyone??  Sister Gillman and Murray
Just in case...
A day at the beach!!  I've been companions with each of these Sisters... Gillman, McCook, Kloepfer 
This week was even more of a blur than usual!  Monday we spent our Pday with the zone playing volleyball and painting Easter eggs. Right after p day we started our trade off with the Mandarin 2nd sisters. Sister Clemons came to Hendricks with Sister Gillman and I went to their area with my past companion, Sister Stitt. We had a lot of fun serving together again! We went to their ward FHE and Chirag was there! It was good to see him and to hear about how everyone was doing.

After trading back companions we taught our neighbor, Courtney. A couple Pdays ago we were taking out our trash and a man walked by towards his apartment carrying a table. Since we talk to everyone in our mission we wanted to give him a pass along card, but our hands were full of trash. He went into his apartment before we could get to a card. Sometimes we rely on cards too much I guess. Well, gratefully, he came back out to carry something else in and we were able to talk to him. Turns out he is a member who hasn't been to church for a long time and he wants us to teach his girlfriend and their daughter who is 12. On Tuesday we were able to teach them. They are great!

Wednesday we had a meeting with the Stake President, President Spackman. He was surprised to see me in the Hendricks ward. I've served in three wards in the Jax East Stake now--they just can't get rid of me! Then we started our trade off with Atlantic Beach. Sister Gillman went there with Sister Talbot and I stayed here with Sister Blatter. Both sisters are going home next Monday and their area is being closed. It was a bit different being on a trade off knowing that they were going home so soon, but it was good! All of our plans fell through that night, but I felt prompted to go see one of our investigators and that worked out well.

Thursday we taught a woman named SarahSue. Her father is a member in Arlington. She has 23 cats! There sure are a lot of them! After swapping back companions, Sister Gillman and I decided to knock a couple doors before dinner. As we got out of the car it was getting cloudy and right as we stepped on the first porch a torrential downpour began. Unfortunately, the lady wasn't interested so we ran across the street to knock one more. You could tell she looked sorry for us... but she said no too. We got back in the car looking like we had been in the shower. I was even wet through my coat! When we got to our dinner appointment it wasn't raining at all and the members were wondering why we were so wet!  We had another appointment fall through and thought to stop by and see Jenny. We showed her the new Because He Lives video and she was so happy! She said, "I was praying for a good message today." I was grateful we followed what we didn't even know was a prompting.

Friday we had a great weekly planning session before beginning our third trade off for the week. This time with Arlington! I was so excited to go back to Arlington with Sister Bowers! Sister Jones is in training and she came to Hendricks with Sister Gillman. Sister Bowers and I had a lot of fun! We taught the woman we found next to our unplanned permaculture gardening service project. Her kids were kind of crazy, but I was able to help them stay quiet at least for the first vision. She is doing well. We also saw Veronica. It was so fun to see her again! She is getting ready to go to the temple! Finally that night we went and saw Sister McNeal. She is doing well after her surgery but hasn't made it out to church yet. We had a good talk with her.

Saturday morning we got to do service for Pete! They were surprised to see me too! After getting back with Sister Gillman we went and taught another woman we met in our complex named Ana. She is from Columbia. And it just so happens that her son is dating a Mormon and started going to church with her. She had music playing in the background and as we started reading about Christ appearing in the Americas this super dramatic classical piece came on. It was perfect, but so perfect we could hardly read without cracking a smile. It was kind of funny.  We were able to teach SarahJane right before the women's session of conference., which, by the way, was incredible!!!  I love the focus on families! I really felt the spirit there. I am so grateful to be able to testify about and defend the family!

Oh, and while I was gone on Saturday, Aileen showed up at a lesson with Lana! I almost got to see her! And I just missed having her come to an appointment with us while I was in Mandarin this week. Oh well, I will hopefully see her soon!

On Sunday I learned a good lesson about following the spirit. After church we talked to Josh and Morgan and they said they would come to the tri stake fireside called "Why I Believe." At this fireside converts share their testimonies and their conversion stories. Sister Gillman and I really wanted to go, but we could only go if we had a gator with us. Lana said she couldn't go in the morning. As we were getting ready I had a thought to verify with Morgan, but I pushed it aside. The Winters picked us up and we went to the fireside. While there Morgan texted and said he actually couldn't come! Sister Gillman and I felt so bad that we had ignored the promoting to call and make sure he was coming. We weren't supposed to be there without a gator, but we couldn't just leave the fireside because Sister  Winter was involved in a musical number. So we stayed. It was a really good meeting, but what I learned the most was to not ignore a prompting. Gratefully we have a patient Heavenly Father and that night Sister Gillman and I renewed our determination to never ignore a prompting. I guess sometimes we really do learn the best through our mistakes! I am so grateful that through the Atonement we can continue to improve. No matter how minor or large our mistake we can change if we have that desire. I am honored to carry this message to the people in Jacksonville! I love being a missionary!

I love all y'all! Have a great week!
Sister Murray