Monday, March 31, 2014

In The Bleak Midwinter, April Storms and Snows

Hmm. This week has been an interesting one. Not so much in odd experiences, but just a lot of time warp, I guess is the best way to describe it.

This week, my struggle was that I worked my very hardest this whole week. I was happy and bubbly. I was fearless. We went tracting every day and then did more tracting in the awkward 15 minute sections we had in between appointments. We talked to a lot of people, and I felt like we were being very successful. And we were. Just not according to numbers. This week, we got the lowest amount of lessons I've ever had on my mission and the area is a lot more established than when I first got here. But even considering that, I didn't get downhearted at all until Saturday night when we counted up our actuals for the week. And I understand that it's not about the numbers, but your commitment to the work. But I feel like this is the first week on my mission that I have really worked hard and yet I don't have anything to show for it. The life of a missionary is a hard one, rewarding, but hard. As long as I stay diligent and keep working hard, good things will come. And I understand that. But knowing and doing are two different things, haha. So this week is the week to keep doing.

Even though we only met with a very small number of people this week, we still did have some good experiences, especially with Karla. We met with Karla on Tuesday, and we were just discussing some things she has been reading in the Book of Mormon, when she paused and said," Sisters, you asked me a while ago to pray to know when I could be baptized. I feel good about being baptized in 2 or 3 weeks, after I can go to Church a few more times." I was shocked! We had given that to her 2 or 3 weeks previously, and hadn't wanted to push anything, so we just left it be. That very lesson, Sister Manning and I were planning on bringing it up again. The Spirit works! She is going to be baptized in April! It is so exciting. :) She also told us that she has a testimony of the Prophet, President Monson, and she believes the Book of Mormon is true. It is so cool to watch her testimony grow and develop! We also taught her about tithing, and she got so excited to give back to the Lord! It gave me new perspective on tithing, to see her so excited to pay 10% of her income to the Lord's Church. It truly is a blessing! She can't wait for Conference. :)

This week, because we were being more diligent and talking to more people, we had some great conversations with people that became potential investigators. The Spirit definitely leads us to those who are ready or who we can plant a seed in to start the process. It's cool how that works. 

The first Sunday Sister Manning was here, we spoke in Church. After Sacrament Meeting, we got a referral from a mother who was visiting her less-active son and non-member wife who are in our ward. We've tried a bunch of times this week to go over, but haven't been able to find them home. Yesterday, we went over again and just the mother was there, but she let us in and we talked. While we were there, her son and daughter-in-law came home and we were able to meet them! She is pregnant with twins, having them on April 7, so needless to say she is a bit miserable, but when new little babies join families is a great time to learn about the gospel because the parent's hearts are softened. So we will see what happens, but now we do have contact, which is the first step! 

There was a Pancake Breakfast for the community on Saturday that all the Minot missionaries volunteered at, serving the pancakes, pouring the milk and juice (some of us had to pour coffee once--THAT was awkward! Don't worry, though: I didn't (more rather, wouldn't) do it, and it was only because the staff who was doing the coffee was eating themselves. But yeah, talk about ironic?), and greeting them at the door. It was great because we got to talk to the staff a lot, or the other volunteers that were helping and develop some friendships with them. With some of them, we were even able to talk a little about what we believe. The lady in charge of it all was so grateful for our help and is sure to call us again. It never ceases to amaze me how serving others or the community, even if they are of other faiths (especially if they are of other faiths) brightens their day and yours and makes the Spirit even more apparent in your countenance. Moral of the story: get out and serve in your community! It is helpful; it is needed! You never know who you will meet while serving that is prepared to receive the message of the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The General Women's Meeting was AWESOME! I hope all of you women were able to watch it! If you weren't, here's the link so you can go watch it right now ( (Men, you could learn a lot from watching it, too!) It was so cool to see how they meshed all the ages together and all were uplifted. I love the video presentations and the inspired messages we received from our leaders. I cannot WAIT for General Conference this weekend! It literally is like my favorite thing ever. Not even kidding. So my invitation to you is to make General Conference a priority! Watch all 4 (or 5, depending on if you're a man) sessions with your family! Take notes! Write down questions you want to be answered, and I can promise you that your questions will be answered as you watch all the sessions of Conference. I have my questions ready to go, do you?

Yesterday, our ward did Fast and Testimony meeting due to Conference this weekend, and it was so cool because Jose got up and he bore his testimony! He talked about how before he joined the Church, he had everything and yet was not happy. He felt empty and didn't know what was missing. He said that he now is whole, that he knows this is the true Church because only the truth can make us whole. It was so inspiring! I was beaming from ear to ear. I t was so great to see him up there, a true member of the ward and a man of God. The Spirit was in his countenance. All of this work is worth it for one person! If I was to never get another baptism on my mission, I would still feel successful, because I helped bring one man and his future family into the joy of the Gospel. Living the standards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or God's standards, is the ONLY thing that brings a fullness of joy and peace! Don't let the adversary convince you otherwise! You are powerful children of a loving God! 

I love you all and am grateful for your prayers! I can't wait from this week and for all that I will learn in it!
sister leslie. 
We matched that day, already! And thus it begins. 
Friday: Snow? Again? Really?
This morning: And yet again! Happy spring? (Will it ever come??)
Currently, with windchill it is 0 degrees outside.
Better than -60 though, so it is getting warmer here!

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