The challenges of serving in a ward that is 2 square miles in total with no investigators to start with is becoming easier. The initial challenge was trying to figure out how to stay busy. This past week we worked really hard and saw the benefits of that work. We met 3 special people this week who accepted our invitation to hear our message and one of them is preparing for baptism. Being assigned to one ward has been a huge blessing in many ways. Due to time I will share just one:
Our ability to help members with their missionary efforts:
A big challenge for a lot of our members is knowing what to do next. The next step is difficult for them to determine and often times social, family, and work related responsibilities takes priority over figuring out how to engage in missionary work. Elder Jolley and I make a lot of home visits to members to help them determine what their next step could be and help them set a date to accomplish it by. It's been fantastic to help remind our members to share the gospel and how to do it. In Ward Council last Sunday multiple members of the council testified to how great it's been for them because the things we've challenged them to do has given them the motivation and courage to have missionary experiences which is blessing their individual and family lives in a very special and personal way. I believe that missionary work is the most exciting and invigorating work to be engaged in. It's truly tremendous! And honestly I bet each of you reading this letter does more missionary work than you think you do. Just by living the gospel you are participating in missionary work! So if you're living the gospel you're already doing a great job! If you're not living the gospel than you need to repent and live the gospel! It's for your own best interest! As you live the gospel you will enjoy peace and prosperity and you will have the priceless privilege of being a positive influence on the people who are around you. Making someone else's life better because of your influence is one of the greatest experiences I've ever felt.
Spiritual/Funny story for the week:
There is a 70 year old lady in our ward who converted to our church from Judaism (Shout out to Grandpa and Grandma Janis who are hero's to our family for doing the same). Her husband relented to her joining after many many years. He is still a practicing Jew. Well we went by their home to see if he's had a change of heart over the years. The wife answered and let us in. Upon seeing us, the husband darted into the next room and closed the door. From behind the closed door he yelled at his wife to send us away because he wasn't interested in being "proselytized". The wife told him to shut up because she wasn't about to send us away. He raved for another minute or so and she finally relented and walked with us to the front porch where she proceeded to tell us her conversion story and her master plan to get her husband converted. It was such an immature demonstration by the husband and the way his wife was paying him back was so funny! I was trying to be serious about the whole situation but I couldn't help but laugh! After hearing her story we promised we'd stop by again. We didn't realize that we'd actually see her sooner than we thought! Later that night we got a call from her and her husband asking us to come over to help them move a couch. Very apprehensive we came into the home and tentatively shook hands with the husband. Our task was to lift a couch from their living room onto a truck to be taken to a struggling family on the reservation. The husband was A LOT nicer when we were doing service for him. In fact I would go as far as to say he was polite. Such nonsense! So I said this story was spiritual and it is! Had we not been inspired to go visit this family when we had, we wouldn't have been able to have the first positive experience this man has ever had with the church! Our timing for that visit was orchestrated by the Lord. Perhaps the Lord was in cahoots with this wonderful sister and her master plan!!
What a great week! What a great mission!! I'm so happy to be here!
Love Elder Janis