So I have quickly found that this area is very different from anywhere that I have been so far. Just about everyone is Baptist, and strong believers in Christ 🙂 Also I have NEVER had to ride a bike so far. Let me tell you a bit about how that goes.
At first I was prideful – “I’m going to look so stupid riding a bike in a skirt!”
Next I was vain – “The helmet is going to mess up my hair.”
Then I was embarrassed – “I am totally flashing everyone right now!”
After that I was humiliated – trucks full of rude teenage boys honking and shouting and me thinking “I wish I could find a hole to crawl in.”
Somewhere in there I was terrified – sidewalks really don’t exist in the south. “Is this road always this busy?”
Eventually I was sore – “Sister Griffeth, my butt is killing me!”
Last I was grateful – “It would have taken forever to walk everywhere that we went today. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving us our bikes and keeping us safe today.”
My faithful steed is named Maximus and he is very good at getting me from point A to point B safely 🙂 So far we only got into one power struggle and that was when he rudely got black all over the bottom of one of my favorite skirts. No worries though, Sister Griffeth had this magical stuff that saved my skirt and now it’s practically back to new 🙂 Last week I told you about the mother of three kids that we had tracted into and had a super fabulous lesson with. Well, when we went back to see her we found the Book of Mormon sitting in a chair on the front porch with a note that read something to the effect of, “I did some research and I’ve decided that I have my bible and I think I’m going to stick with that.” 😦 Thus goes the work of a missionary. Not always easy when people tell you they don’t want to meet with you anymore. It’s even harder when they are unwilling to tell you in person 😦
This week was full of adventures, but it was definitely a harder week in some regards. Thank goodness for a good companion 🙂 That truly makes all the difference 🙂 I have been very blessed on my mission to get to serve with some pretty fabulous people. Even when things are rough if both members in the team are willing to pull the load and help each other, trusting in God, then there is nothing that we cannot do 🙂 I know I’m not married, but I am quickly learning how crucial it is to communicate with one another and set similar goals so we can help one another progress and change as we do this work 🙂 Also, I have a testimony of the importance of companionship study. Getting in the scriptures together, and praying together are so important in being able to have the spirit with us throughout the day! I’m grateful that Heavenly Father is giving me this opportunity to learn these important truths while on my mission 🙂
So one cool experience from this past week –
We were walking down the road and knocking doors. We had been out doing this for about 2 hours and no one had let us in. Everyone was happily Baptist. They were mostly kind to us, but they were set in their ways. We had decided to head back and as we were going down the road Sister Griffeth said, “How about we knock on that door?” We had another appointment in about an hour and we had planned on just knocking the doors on the side of the street we were currently on for organization purposes. I asked her, “Was that a spiritual prompting or did you just randomly pick that door?” She replied, “I just liked their wreath. So we kept walking. We hadn’t gone more than 5 steps when Sister Griffeth decided, “Oh lets just go knock it.” So we turned right around and went and knocked. When the door opened a sweet little older lady was there in her wheelchair and she invited us right in! We came and sat down and she just started talking. Telling us all about her husband who had passed away a few months a ago and other things that were happening in her life. She just needed to talk and Heavenly father knew that she needed company. I completely believe that the Holy Ghost speaks to us in whatever way he needs to, to get us to listen. At that moment it was a wreath on a door that got the job done 🙂
Another thing I learned this week is that you can’t hear the whispering of the spirit if you don’t stop talking! It was about 7 at night and already pretty dark outside and we still had two more hours of work that we needed to fill. We headed out and I began to tell Sister Griffeth some random story from my life to pass the time as we went. I was still talking as we came into a very sketchy looking apartment complex. We were about a five minute walk away from our house. Sister Griffeth asked, “How do you feel?” and for the first time since we’d left the house I stopped talking. Immediately a feeling of uncomfortableness washed over me and I knew that we needed to get out of there. Just as this realization came, a door behind us creaked open and a large man came outside. Sister Griffeth started walking very quickly and with purpose towards a door she had knocked on before. She had only met the lady once but if she had to she was ready to knock on that door and ask for us to be let is. Just as we came towards the door we both turned around and could not see anyone outside anymore. We left that complex with pepper spray in hand and headed back to the house. We decided that there was other work that could be done from the safety of our home that night. I know that the spirit had been trying to talk with me that entire time, but I was too busy talking to listen. Sometimes we just need to close our mouths and listen!
One last story from the week. Last Sunday the second counselor in the bishopric asked me to speak the following Sunday. He asked in a very joking way so I thought he was kidding. Then on Wednesday night he thanked me for excepting the call to speak and again told me in a very joking way that I would be talking on Sunday. My companion told me that he was a big jokster so I shouldn’t worry about it, and I didn’t. Then on Saturday night it finally hit me that I might be talking in church the next morning. I was getting ready for bed and I just got pretty worried. When I give talks I spend a good amount of time compiling information and then I take all that and write out my talk word for word. I was a little afraid that I would not have the time I needed to prepare. I knelt down to pray and I asked Heavenly Father for help to know what I should talk about and where I should focus my attention. I didn’t have to sit there for long when suddenly my mind was flooded with scriptures, quotes and stories that I could share all based on the principle of Charity. I grabbed the closest piece of paper and started writing all the ideas down as they continued to pour in. Once I had written down a good sized list, my mind was completely blank and I felt as if my Heavenly Father told me, “Alright I gave you all that you will need in the morning, now get some rest.” And I was able to get to sleep without the worried feeling, like it had literally been lifted off from me. The next morning I gave the talk and about a quarter of the way through it I felt the spirit take control. I didn’t finish giving the talk, but the Holy Ghost did 🙂 It is always so wonderful when the Lord allows us to be part of His great work 🙂 I know that God loves me and that He carries me through the hardest challenges in my life. I know that this great work that I am apart of is His work. I am not just out here to let people know that there is a Jesus Christ, but to help them understand how to use the atonement in their lives. This isn’t on a “once saved always saved” basis. The Atonement is real and the matchless power of the atonement is meant to be used in our everyday lives! How blessed we are to have that knowledge 🙂 How sweet a gift it is 🙂 I am so grateful that I get to share my testimony with others about the strength the Father has to offer 🙂 Truly this work is full of miracles and I pray that the Lord will be able to continue using me as a tool in this marvelous work 🙂
I love you and the church is true!
Sister Mignonne Rogers 🙂