Monday Jan 20, 2014
What a day- happy and sad! Elder and Sister ______, one of the best senior missionary couples in the church went home from the OTM today. They came to the mission home and we had a farewell luncheon for them with the Senior Office Staff. They served in _____ AR for 23 months- the people there had parties for them and cried when they left. I know I keep saying this- but I wish every older couple in the church could have heard the testimonies they shared with us today. Sister _____ said she was so surprised that the people were so sad to see them go- Elder and Sister _____ had wondered if they’d done much good. Their influence will be felt for years, perhaps eternally, as families they helped to activate continue on their journey back to their Heavenly Father. I was so sad to see them go.
Today I was so excited! Our missionaries are amazing! After President Shumway presented his 5 “anchors” at our last broadcast, and we challenged them to climb the mountain, President Shumway said he needed “pace setters”. I think he knew what would happen! One of our Zone Leaders set a goal to have his zone teach 300 lessons this last week! That would have been amazing, but by the middle of the week he could see they were going to do better than that. They taught 536 lessons last week! They beat the last mission record (as far back as we can see) by over 200 lessons!! He told President Shumway that today for their preparation day, all the missionaries in his zone were too tired for a zone activity. They just needed to rest! It’s absolutely incredible how blessed they were. The Lord rewards desire and hard work. And they weren’t the only zone that did it! Other zones heard what they were doing and set out to see how many they could do.
It’s not all about the numbers- it’s about hundreds of investigators that we hope will progess toward baptism, temple covenants, and eternal life. We are so happy!
Tonight- President Shumway and I and Abby and Taylor went to visit a family. Their dear sweet daughter and sister died this week. She was 27 years old- a precious handicapped girl that could not communicate well, but sat by me in Sunday School and Relief Society and smiled and loved every minute of her time here. And now- she can sing!
More specific information about the car crash the sisters were in on Friday. This was my entry in the medical journal I have to turn in:
Friday Jan 17th- The two sisters became frightened at night as they were driving on a dark country lane. In their hurry to get out of that area, they were going a bit too fast and rolled their car into a ditch which had a 50 drop on the side. They were saved from falling down the cliff by a tree that caught their car and stopped it. The sisters had to climb out the windows and across the top of the car to safety. Then they walked down a dark country lane until they saw a house with lights on. Some very kind people allowed them to come in and make a phone call. Their cell phone had fallen down into their car and they were not able to locate it in all the confusion of the accident. Immediately, members began to come and help them and their zone leaders. Their Bishop took them to the ER where Sister _______ had 5 stitches in her hand- It hadn’t been cut on anything. Her hand literally tore between two of her fingers as she tried to turn the steering wheel. She’s going to have to go to a hand surgeon also. The Zone Leaders and another kind member got the things out of their car and found someone to get the car back on the road.
Everyday we pray for the missionaries safety. I KNOW they were protected. If they had gone off the road on either side of the tree they may have been killed.
TUESDAY JAN 21, 2014
Miracles today! I traveled to Pawhuska, OK early this morning to go out with the Sister Training Leaders there. I can’t say enough good about those two- fabulous missionaries! At every visit we made we felt the Spirit’s influence and saw miracles. We visited with a lady who has been less active for many years- so sad, because she had been endowed. We read the sacrament prayer to her and talked about what it means to “remember”. I asked her if she could remember the first day she spent in the temple and her eyes filled with tears. We all felt the peace that comes from the truths we were talking about. I don’t know if she’s ready to come back, but she is “remembering”.
Some months ago when I visited this same area, all our appointments had fallen through and we had prayed to be directed to someone who would listen. We drove up a hill past a woman on her porch and felt prompted to stop and talk with her. We actually drove past her house and parked around the corner and walked back so she wouldn’t be so uncomfortable with us. She came down off her porch, hung up with the person she was on the phone with and welcomed us to come up to the porch. We had a wonderful lesson with her and she told the sisters they could come back.
Today- the sisters told me they are still teaching her! Oh that made me so happy! Her teenage daughter is attending the Young Women’s activity night and this sister is reading the Book of Mormon with the Sisters. Today she accepted an invitation to be baptized, on the conditions that she can continue to study and feel comfortable with it. I know it will happen! The Lord sent us there and she is ready and prepared to hear the gospel and make covenants.
What a wonderful day for me! Every effort we make is rewarded by the Lord- He wants us to be successful as we serve Him and He makes everything possible.
Wednesday Jan 22, 2014
Traveled 3 and 1/2 hours to Ozark, MO, just south of Springfield to work with the two Sisters there. We had dinner at Lamberts, Home of the Throwed Rolls- it's right in their area! And the best thing about dinner was our waitress! She was darling and she would love the missionaries to visit her. She lives out of the Sister's area, but The Lord doesn't care about that.
Then we went out to work- our first appointment cancelled- of course! That's always an opportunity for a miracle, because you have to go looking for the someone The Lord wants you to talk to instead of the person that cancelled. It's usually a great adventure- and it was! We went to talk with a media referral. A woman came out on the porch first- she talked to us and smiled and went to get her husband , who is a less active member. He knew that the person who had referred him was his mother! But he smiled and joked about it, and thought maybe it was time he came back to church. He knew all the right "gospel" words so it was easy to see that he still has a testimony. Then he prayed with us. That always means something to me. If a person will pray with us, they have desire, even if it is just a speck, it is there.
Then we went to find a potential investigator that the sisters had met on the street some days earlier. They thought they knew where she lived, but we went to the wrong door, hoorah! Because a young man answered! And he showed some interest in what we were saying and thought he would like the missionaries to come and visit him. He didn't actually live there, he was visiting a friend. He lives in Springfield, so again, it will be other missionaries, but we were happy to have found him.
We walked across the street to visit an investigator that is making slow progress. The sisters didn't have an appointment with her, but she let us in and we talked with her and her husband and son. She has light in her eyes, in opposition to the darkness in her husband's. It will be a challenge, but she can do it!
Last- an appointment with a dear older woman - less active- and her sick husband. They have kids and grandkids living with them. The poor woman was exhausted and she yawned over and over and talked about how hard things were and how tired she was. The sisters taught a lesson about enduring to the end! And then we felt strongly that we should sing to her! We sang "I feel my Savior's love" and we saw the peace come into her face. She hummed along on the last line, and we ALL felt the Savior's love and His Spirit come into the room.
I'm sleeping in a hotel tonight without President Shumway- weird- here in Springfield and tomorrow I'll go out with the Sister Training Leaders. I'm tired- but I have loved my day!
Thursday- Jan 23, 2014 another day of miracles in Springfield, finding and teaching with the Sisters. We felt impresses to visit members and one of those members gave us a name that led us to a less active sister and her family. She told us her story- a difficult time- and cried as we bore out testimonies- she has one too!
Friday- Jan 24, 2014
This day has hurt my heart. We have several missionaries that are struggling with serious medical problems- some serious enough that they may have to return home. They don’t want to go, and we don’t want them to go, so we will pray for miracles. I spent some hours at my computer and on the phone dealing with those concerns. When I called to tell one mother about the serious medical problem her son has, she cried, and I cried. We just want this to be such a great experience for all of them. I have a great testimony of trusting the Lord and allowing Him to work it out. It will be right and it will be ok, however it is.
Saturday - Jan 25, 2014
President and I, Abby and Taylor had the wonderful privilege to attend the baptism of three young converts to the church- ages 14, 12 and 11. They were 2 sisters and their brother- so precious dressed in white. They listened carefully and quietly as the talks were given, they are serious about what they are doing. I was so impressed that there were 8 or 10 youth from their new ward there to support them, and many other ward members. One brother in the ward told us the missionaries are working with other members of that family. Miracles! I am so grateful the Lord allows our missionaries to find those who are ready and prepared.
Sunday – Jan 26, 2014
President Shumway and I were up at 5am and traveled 2 and ½ hours north to Pittsburg Kansas. What a wonderful ward! We love the dear saints in our mission! We spoke in their sacrament meeting, then spoke to their youth, then spoke to their Primary, then gave a presentation the 3rd hour. It was so much fun! Their Bishop- an outstanding leader- invited us to his home after the meetings for lunch with the young single adults of his ward. Four of those young people are new converts- baptized in the last year! This ward is very missionary minded and they have done great things. Those new converts gave us a short message- together. It was very touching. I’m so grateful to get to hear the touching stories of new converts. The Lord is absolutely directing them to find the gospel.
Traveled on to Joplin to pick up the sister missionary who cut her hand in the car accident. We are bringing her in to Tulsa. Tomorrow I will take her to a hand surgeon and we’ll see what can be done.
Another 2 hour drive- I drove while President slept and Sister __________ tried to keep me awake. I was so sleepy! Arrived home about 5 pm. A new Senior couple had already arrived. They went to church at the New Haven ward and followed Abby and Taylor back to the mission home. Abby and I had tried to get most of Sunday dinner prepared yesterday, so there just a few things to do, but Abby had done them all- bless her! So we sat down to dinner with our assistants, office staff, the new senior couple and Abby and Taylor. Enjoyable dinner and a lesson from the assistants afterwards.
Abby and Taylor went to bed and we gave Elder and Sister ______________ a little training before they went to bed. I’m off to bed myself- tomorrow starts transfer week and we have so much to do to get ready.