This week has been going well. We are learning many great and important things in this wonderful area. I am so happy! I love it here! We haven't seen the slightest decrease in miracles! Our commitment is still strong and we are ready to preach the gospel to all who will receive us!
We had terrifying experience this week that turned out to be really funny and not terrifying at all. We received word that a woman in our area had requested a Bible, so we drove out to her home and parked out on the street. There was a big 'keep out' sign on the fence, but she had ordered the book, and we were supposed to deliver it, so I just walked right on in. I took about two steps and then heard a loud bark and Sister Risenmay scream and yell her first name (Yeah, I don't know why that was the first thing on her tongue... Haha!) at the top of her lungs. There was a dog chained to the fence, and it had come running at us, growling and looking really mean. But the chain was only long enough for the dog to give us a good scare. We knocked on the door anyway, and we saw the woman look at us through the window and then heard her lock the door. It was actually pretty funny. I mean, we had a good laugh about it. Good thing we have a phone number! Haha!
There was another HQ referral who told us that she hadn't realized that she had ordered a Bible from "the Mormons" and refused to take it from us. We tried to explain to her that we were not offering her a Book of Mormon (although we had planned on doing so after she took the Bible) and that we had the King James Version Bible she had ordered, but she would have none of it! It was actually really sad. But we applied the theory of nearness and knocked on all the doors right around her house. And found the coolest family! I happened to be holding a copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand when the father answered the door and he said "Ah. The Book of Mormon. You must be Mormons," which absolutely terrified me, but I just said "Yes, sir! You've heard of us! What do you know?" and he told us that his best friend is LDS and they talk about it all the time! He brought up eternal families, and we took that and ran. He even asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon before we could offer it! He declined a return appointment, opting instead to talk to his friend about it, but he said that they would definitely come to church if the opportunity arose. It was so neat! We contacted his friend and made sure he knew that his friend was reading the Book of Mormon. And now... we wait. But only for about a week. Then we'll go back by. Haha! :)
I found out this morning that there is going to be a Sisters' Conference and Temple Trip in September and I am overjoyed!!!!! It's been so long since I've had the opportunity to attend the temple and I am excited to be able to do so!
You also may or may not have been expecting transfer news today... So were we! But we were told on Saturday that we will be receiving an email tomorrow evening to let us know if we will be staying or going, and that any other assignments (training or leadership) will be received at transfer meeting. I honestly like this new system. It's going to be a lot of fun! :)
There is one important principle that I've thought a lot about this week:
There are no breaks in the gospel.
This was reaffirmed to me this week after a visit with a less-active member. He had been active for most of his life, but when we asked why he had stopped coming to church, he proceeded to list off a myriad of excuses ranging from laziness to offense, none of which were valid in anyone's eyes but his own. He quoted scripture to us and said that he'd had an experience in the temple that confirmed the validity of his fall from the gospel, and that "Heavenly Father said it was alright." He said that he wasn't burning any bridges and that he could walk back anytime. So I asked him a simple question, already knowing the answer: "Are you still reading the Book of Mormon?" He guffawed and said "Of course not! Everyone asks that, like it's some kind of magical cure!" ... Which it is. The little things are what build a testimony. He's slowly burning the bridge! I wanted to quote Elder Bednar to him! He's letting people's actions-including his own- keep him away from the ordinance of the sacrament! When our door-step discussion came to a close, he said "I sure hope I didn't hurt anyone's testimony" to which I replied "Brother, if you did anything tonight, you strengthened my testimony. I will never stop doing the little things. There are no breaks in the gospel."
The scriptures back this up:
"... if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life..." (Mosiah 4:6)
"...ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." (2 Nephi 31:20)
"...we count them happy which endure..." (James 5:11)
We cannot expect to be able to take a break and be able to slip right back into the gospel. As we stop doing the little things, we stop building on the foundation of Christ, and, to paraphrase scripture, "...when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have [ALL] power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo..."
We have to be careful and ever watchful!
May you and I never take a break!