Monday, May 13, 2013

Washington, Week 2

So, fun bit of information...Sister Redford got her driving privilege taken away for the month of May, so I get to drive everywhere.
Anyway, this week I've had some cool experiences. Still not many people investigating, but still had some great things happen.
On Wednesday we followed up with a referral we got from the Spanish-speaking sisters. They had talked to a guy while he was taking out the trash outside of what they thought was his house. When we knocked, a guy answered the door and told us that it was an adult group home. So later we called the Spanish sisters and asked them if the guy was skinny and Filipino. They said yes, so we knew it had to be the guy we talked to. Later that night when we were planning Sister Redford asked me who I thought we should go see at 2:00. The only name I could think of was Jerry (the Filipino guy). I tried to think of other names, but I couldn't come up with a single one. My mind was blank except for Jerry. So I told Sister Redford, and she said "But that would be weird because we just saw him today." I said "I know, but I really feel like we should go see him again." So she said, "Okay." When we went over there the next day, he let us in, and there was a lady sitting on the couch. She looked at us and said "Are you missionaries?" We told her that we were. And she told us that she had been praying for someone from the Church to come see her because she really wanted home teachers. She also told us that she had talked to her brother and he didn't know what ward she was in. Anyway, it was really awesome and I felt like I finally did something good. I am so thankful that I listened to the Spirit. We are going to visit her again this week, and hopefully teach Jerry too. :)

Also, Monday night we went over to see a non active lady in the ward. The bishop's wife told us that they had been going over to visit and give her blessings, etc. She told us that she knew this lady had been offended in the past and that now she wasn't answering them, so she was worried that she had done or said something. Anyway, we went over there, and we had to reach over the gate and undo a tricky latch (Shhh, don't tell!). Then we knocked on her door and she actually let us in. She seemed happy to talk to us. I'm pretty sure she's alone there. But she paints, so she and I talked a lot about that. We also found out that she had been through a lot of trials in her life and we figured out that because of these things, she has developed negative views of the Church. She is offended very easily and her heart has been hardened. It's very sad. But, as I was listening to her, I realized that the things she went through in her life, my mom has experienced very similar circumstances. The difference in how these two women faced these trials is astounding. Where one hardened her heart, the other showed great humility and turned to the Lord. This experience made me realize even more what a wonderful woman my mom is! I thank Heavenly Father every night that I was blessed with such a wonderful example in my life. We all have trials, and there are always people who may not treat us with kindness. But these are opportunities to grow closer to our Father in Heaven. We choose whether or not we will be offended. This morning I was reading about Moroni's epistle to Pahoran, rebuking him for not sending aid to his armies. And the way Pahoran responds to Moroni is just amazing. He tells him that he has rebuked him, but that it's okay because he knows how faithful Moroni is and that he is a strong man in God. I just think that is so amazing! So, everyone try a little harder for humility and charity in your lives. It makes things so much easier! And thank you Mom, for being an amazing example to me. I love you!

One more experience we had this week was not quite as enjoyable... ;) We went over to see a couple in our ward. They are from Ghana. Their native language is Twi, so it's hard to communicate with the wife because she doesn't speak much English. The husband does, but there's still a barrier, for sure. Our purpose in going over there was to start teaching the wife some English. But I guess they didn't fully understand that. Because she was busily cooking in the kitchen when we arrived. Their niece lives with them and after a lot of confusion, she communicated to us that they were cooking for us. We felt really bad because they don't have much money, and the husband told us that he got rice from the bishop to feed us...yeah, that made me feel really bad. Anyway, they didn't end up making rice for us, but they made this native Ghanaian dish for us....I can't even describe it. It was kind of like if you had cream of wheat and made it into a ball form (they said this was corn meal?) So, they put this ball in a bowl, and then poured this soup stuff over it. The "soup" had fish and who knows what else in it. The worst part is that it was slimy and gross. And they wanted us to eat with our hands because they don't eat with utensils. So, we had to get a piece of the corn ball and dip it in the soup, and then slurp it... For those of you who know how sensitive I am to textures...this was so hard for me! I was praying the whole time that I wouldn't throw up. And the taste was not bad, but watching everyone eat it made me so sick. Anyway, they seemed satisfied after I tried one bite (thank Heaven!) But Sister Redford felt guilty, so she wanted to make a dent in it. Anyway, she was sick all night and the next morning. It was so awful ;) They kept getting giant bites and slurping it up really loudly. I feel sick just thinking about it ;) But they were so kind and we didn't want to make them feel bad at all.
And the positive thing was that we ended up teaching their niece, who seemed very receptive to our message. We gave her a Book of Mormon and said that she would read it and pray about it. We even had her pray, and it was so good! So...wonderful experience and a new investigator out of something that wasn't so positive ;)

And one other great experience we had this week: On Friday we went to see a less active sister and we talked to her for a long time. She said she felt like she could trust us and that she liked us a lot. She also said she hadn't born her testimony since 2003. So we asked her what she would say if she bore her testimony, and she told us some good things. :) 

Yesterday she came to church and we sat by her. Sister Redford told her that if she went up, then she would go up with her. After a few minutes, she said she wanted to go up. She bore her testimony and talked about how we came to see her and she really liked that, and how we talked about this and that we kept looking at her during sacrament meeting ;) She said she hadn't born her testimony in 10 years, and she got emotional too. It was so nice to hear that. When she came and sat down again, I gave her a big hug and she told me that she was so scared and that she was shaking, but I was SO proud of her! :) It was really awesome to experience that.

So, our bishop challenged our ward members to pray for missionary opportunities,and I would just like to challenge you all to do this as well. Don't be afraid to bear your testimony. Declare truth with boldness. Share the message of the Book of Mormon. Follow the promptings of the Spirit, and MIRACLES will happen. I love you all SO much! Thank you for your support and love!!
Love, Sister Stanley
Washington Everett Mission

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