in this lovely garden state, it's crazy all that can happen in a year!
Sister Gattud is awesome, temple square missionaries know their stuff!
It has been fun teaching her how to do things they don't do at temple
square like knocking doors and working with members. She is always a
little nervous if someone actually lets us in because she instantly
assumes they are psycho and going to kill us! Her English is great,
but there are a lot of funny miscommunications because she doesn't
know how to pick up on sarcasm and sometimes misreads situations
because our culture is so different.
This week was definitely full of miracles! 3 days in a row of finding
some of the most prepared people I have taught on my mission.
Miracle#1: Friday we contacted a media referral, the problem was that
the guy didn't remember requesting anything so he was pretty
suspicious at first. But then surprisingly he let us in and asked us
message for him was. As we got talking he started getting excited
because just the night before he had been talking to his son about a
need he felt to get baptized. He had been thinking how strange it was
that he had been a Christian his whole life, but never baptized in any
church. So he asked us what it would take to get baptized in our
church! He was a little less enthusiastic when he realized that if he
gets baptized by us then he has to be a Mormon, but he was still
interested in learning more and asked if we could come back sometime
when his son could listen too.
Miracle #2: Saturday we were tracting in a trailer park in New Egypt.
We weren't having any luck even getting anyone to give us the time of
day and we had almost gone through the whole park. Finally I asked a
guy if he knew ANYONE around here that might be interested and he said
maybe the lady in that last white trailer. I wasn't super sure that he
wasn't just sicking us on a neighbor he doesn't like, but we figured
it was worth a shot! Turns out the lady in that trailer is one of the
absolute friendliest people I have ever met! And she was somewhat
familiar with the Church because her daughter dated a member. She was
thrilled to talk to us, excited about what we are trying to do,
determined to read as much of the Book of Mormon as she can before we
come back next week, and committed herself to come to church next
Sunday! She said she wasn't sure if her clunker car could make it, but
promised she would make it there whatever it took!
Miracle #3: Sunday after church we were finally able to meet with a
guy that has been coming to church with a family in the ward for 2
months but hadn't met with the missionaries yet. He even started
reading the Book of Mormon on his own and is in 2 Nephi even though he
doesn't like to read! He already knew a lot from attending church and
asking members questions, but as we went through the restoration
lesson it was amazing to see him connect the dots. He already has a
testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and even living
prophets. He watched general conference and said that as he listened
he could feel something powerful that he had never felt before. He was
prepared for receiving the gospel by some interesting circumstances
including overcoming an addiction to heroin and gaining a relationship
with God through the AA program. He even admitted that it needed to be
this time in his life that he was introduced to the gospel because it
had been any sooner he wouldn't have been able to feel the spirit
because of his addictions.
I read this poem yesterday and it really left an impression on me.
Where shall I work today?
Master, where shall I work today?
My love flowed warm and free.
He pointed out a tiny spot
And said "Tend that for Me."
I answered quickly--Oh no, not there,
Not anyone could see,
No matter how well my work was done;
Not that little spot for me.
When He spoke, He was not stern,
But He answered me tenderly,
"Little one, search that heart of thine;
Are you working for them or for me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee."
I am so grateful to be serving in this tiny spot on earth because I
know this is where the Lord wants me to be. And I am grateful for the
reminder of just who it is that I am working for. Another think that I
am very thankful for today is that I just found out that someone I
taught in my first area got baptized yesterday. God is so good and I'm
thankful to be a part of this great work.
Tomorrow we get to go to the temple for our biannual temple trip. I
can't wait! It has been far too long and my spirit needs it!
And Thursday we are doing a turkey bowl with the other missionaries in
the south part of the mission and it is going to be in the Princeton
football stadium! Followed by dinner with a wonderful couple in out
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! And happy birthday to my
dear mother! I love her with all my heart and am eternally grateful
for all that she has done for me and for her example. When people ask
me why I decided to serve a mission I usually just say that I've
wanted to since I was little, which is true, but now I'm realizing
that the reason I wanted to as a little kid was because my mom served
a mission and always made it clear to us what a blessing it was for
her. Thank you mom.