Monday, April 7, 2014

Four Weeks Down!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, y'all!
The wind is FIERCE today. My hair is not agreeing with me, but it's fine<--definite sarcasm. How was spring break? Only two and a half months until summer, right?!
First thing's first, word of the week! Backer: The missionary who stands behind the car while the driver reverses to "guide them out of parking spaces." They often get hit because no one cares or pays actual attention. 
     No worries y'all. I may be the one backing, but my companion actually pays attention...sometimes.
     This week has been QUITE a roller coaster, but it's been very spiritually uplifting. 
My companion and I have made a goal to put forth nothing but our best effort starting tomorrow. Playing has become dominant over work and it's caused us much grief and embarrassment when we reflect on our week and find that we've only taught...I don't even want to tell you how many lessons.
I've prayed so much for a change to occur in our companionship that would allow the desire to work to increase. Let me tell you, I've been praying for the same thing since the first week. It got worse and worse. But then Zone Conference happened and P-Can (President Cannon) passed out a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled, "Teach the Atonement" and he laid down the law---as always. Elder Holland emphasized the importance of the white handbook and work. He said, "When we send you home, we'll say, 'If you want to play, play." That really struck me. I am not here to play. I'm here to work. In addition, one of the missionary recitations came to mine. "Teaching of Ezra Taft Benson." President Benson says, "I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, [she] will get the spirit. If she gets the spirit, she will teach by the spirit, and if she teaches by the spirit, she will touch the hearts of the people, and she will be happy..." Sister Ketring and I have both been struggling to feel the spirit and I know it's because we haven't been giving our best efforts to the Lord and to our wards. Following Zone Conference, we had a really great talk with each other, and my companion realized that she needs to work. That was such a blessing. 
     So, given my intro to this email, this week hasn't been very productive. We tried to visit less actives and got through to some. In fact, we were sitting at McDonald's one day, and this lady comes up to us and starts talking to us about how she left the church and wants to come back and her daughter was walking her dog and found two sister missionaries.....come to find, it was her daughter Tiffany who we had met two weeks ago, and we tried to visit but no one was home and we didn't have a phone number. So we made an appointment for Sunday to go to her home and talk to her about the gospel. Well, during our 4th hour of church (2 wards, remember?), we get a voicemail from Diana. She had changed her mind about wanting to come to church and called to cancel. Nope. We still went over. She opened the door and talked to us despite the voicemail. She told us her concerns. She used to be a Jehovah's Witness so she has heard MANY things about our church. Her main concern was that if Satan can disguise himself as an angel, that Joseph Smith might now have actually seen God, the Father, and Jesus Christ and that the Book of Mormon is really of the devil. However, I bore witness that the Book of Mormon is good and there is nothing good save it come from God. The Book of Mormon talks about Christ as does the Bible. The Book of Mormon teaches all to come unto Christ. Then, Sister Ketring asked Diana, "What drew you to us in McDonald's the other day?" That question caused Diana to think---to really think. She responded, "I don't know. Something did." And that's when my awesome companion testified that it was the spirit that had lead her to talk to us on Wednesday. Diana realized that she is, and I quote, "in the midst of a spiritual war." It's so true. We are ALL in the midst of a spiritual war. The adversary will NOT claim a ceasefire. He wants to win more than anything, and he will not quit until he does. We always have to be on our guard. We always need to remain close to the Lord. I was so grateful that she acknowledged that. She also agreed to meet with us on Wednesday and to come to church with us next Sunday! Never give up!
     Also, on Saturday, we met a man outside some Elders' house (we were giving them a ride to lunch with the district) smoking, who turned out to be a less active. While we were waiting for the Elders, we approached the man and talked to him a little bit and then invited him to attend church. All it took was an invitation. Elder Fuller and Riley texted us and told us he was at church with them on Sunday. He may not have been a less active in our area and it may not have counted as anything for our companionship, but we still fulfilled our purpose by bringing SOMEONE unto Christ.
     It's amazing what can happen when we are in tune with the spirit. SO many blessings. 
     I miss you all! Have a fantastic week! 
Sister Tyler

PS. I'm sorry Texas doesn't have a Winger's Bar & Grill. It's heaven on Earth. That's all.


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