Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Week of Faith

Guess what?! We reached our goal of 25 lessons as a companionship, and our zone beat the mission record of number of lessons taught in one week! The original number was 321 and our zone as a whole got 348!!! Ahhh! So exciting! It was such a neat feeling to be working together to reach such a great goal. I have learned so much about faith this week. 
Thank you so much for your prayers, I have felt them all week. This has been the best week on my mission so far and also the most exhausting. The first miracle of the week was that Sister Mathews and I were able to get on the same page and both have the faith and diligence to reach our goal. It makes such a difference when we both are wanting to work as hard as we possibly can and have the faith that we can! It makes it so one of us isn't holding the other up all week and we can build on each others' faith and both encourage each other as we work towards a specific goal. I am grateful that our zone leaders felt inspired to invite us to reach 25 lessons. We literally spent every free second doing missionary work, which is how it is supposed to be. We wanted to use our extra minutes to stop at random houses or try former investigators or less actives. It was so great to be on the same page.
Most of the lessons this week, were with members, but we taught about 10 of them to less-actives or non-members. But we have been promised that as we teach 20 lessons a week in this zone, to members, less-actives, or non-members, the work will grow and miracles will happen. I have seen that all week long. Even though most of the lessons were to members, we received 2 member referrals this week that we stopped by and they are interested and we have set appointments will them both tomorrow. Pray for those to go well! One is a family of 3, that the bishop referred us to, very nice and searching for truth, the other is a women, whose husband is pretty anti...but she wants to learn more. Another is the lady, M, who we found tracting, who we changed her heater filter, with her son who is a member and she is in her 80's. She claims to be fine with how she is in life but still lets us stop by and loves when we share spiritual lessons or do service for her. This week though, I have seen her heart start to soften. The spirit is working with her. She said that she has started to feel guilty with how her life is right now and feels like she could be doing more with it. HA! To me that means she is getting more ready to hear the gospel. We are planning on stopping by and trying to start the lessons with her this week. It might be a slow process but I see progression:).
So one way that we saw miracles this week, through our faith, would be at the end of the days in the last slot, from 8-9, which is sooo hard here in Berthoud because there are a bunch of farmers here who all go to bed so early and we don't want to make people mad. Ha. So we would have time and would want to get one more lesson so we would stop on the side of the road in our car and just say a faithful pray, letting Heavenly Father know that we wanted to get one more lesson and we knew that we could with His help. The first time, we felt like we should go to a member's house and we were able to get our final lesson. The second night that we prayed, we started driving and felt impressed to stop at a tiny house on a road. So we went to the door and a man answered, and we had some small talk and then told him a bit about our message, he stepped aside and said, "Come in." Ummmm that doesn't happen very often...haha. So we did and his wife was in the other room but he had us sit down and we found out more about him. Turns out that spanish is his first language and he wasn't very good with english. Where's Marty when you need him? haha. But we still were able to testify about the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of the church. He is searching right now for a church for him and his wife. It is amazing to see when people are truly prepared and searching for the truth. They really are out there! That was a testimony builder for me. So we got his name and address and told him that we had spanish sisters who could meet with him and he agreed. So we called the spanish sisters and gave them his information. So we will see where that goes:). Even though we don't get to teach him. 
We have also had little miracles with the less-actives here. Oh, just so you know...about 50% of the Berthoud ward is less-active, so we do tooons of work with the less-active members, because they are just as important. But we stopped by some houses and one family, the H family, was home. It's neat that so many people know about Green River around here. They all have passed through it, or gone fishing there, or have family there...etc. So we always have things to connect about from the first second. So with the H family, we talked to Bro. H, very nice, and his daughter and he said he would love us to come over and share a lesson with them. Which, has never happened in the past with the Elders who have tried. So that was a miracle. Then that same day, we stopped at an active member's house, Sister M, whose husband is either less-active or not a member. We got there, after knocking on a wrong door at first, (Let me tell you, finding houses in the country is sooo difficult!!! They are scattered all over the place. So grateful for the GPS Emily sent me.) Anyway...so we got there and her husband was just about to leave but he let us in to talk to her and we talked to him for a bit and then he said, "Why don't you all come over for dinner sometime." His wife looked shocked but said, "Yes, I'll sign up for dinner on the calendar." Then he left. She later told us that he had never wanted contact with the missionaries and that it was a miracle that we happened to stop by at the exact time that we had and that he had invited us to dinner. So neat. The Lord works in so many ways. 
Ha, funny story with that house though. We get there and the first question that her husband asks is, "We have a big white dog, is that a problem for you?" We, said no, because we are used to dogs now because literally everyone has dogs here, so I thought I had seen it all, but I was wrong....haha. We get into the house and this HUGE white dog runs at us. hahaha. Ok, you know in Harry Potter, Hagrid's dog Fang? Yeah...this dog was like that dog except white. He was jumping all over us and almost knocked my down. Then we sat down and he starts sniffing us. But not just sniffing us...slobbering and snotting all over our skirts, coats, bags. It was sooo gross. Hahaha, but I was just trying not to laugh because it was so comical at the same time. Then the owner apoligized and hurried to the kitchen to grab him a bone so he would stop bugging us. I hurried and pulled out a tissue and we wiped off the snot the best we could before she got back. It was so gross but it made me laugh. We also went to teach a lesson this week and the family was cooking curry but they burned something so the whole house filled with smoke. The family member that we were teaching couldn't concentrate so I said, "Do we want to go outside?" So we taught them on the front porch and our clothes smelt like smoke the rest of the day. Ha. Oh the little funny things. 
Also, random fact of the day, ever since I have come out to the field I have developed this weird eye twitch thing that happens to me. I hate it but I have no idea how to stop it. So...yeah. Also, people weren't lying when they said that everyone gives you dessert. I have felt so sick all week because I have been given more sugar than I can handle. My poor body can't take it. I don't know what to do. I might start refusing desserts even though I feel bad, just because I have felt so sick all week to my stomach.
This week, another fun thing that happened. The Colorado Fort Collins Mission had it's first ever Sister's Conference. There are about 65 sisters in the mission and we all got together in Loveland for a big meeting. It was so great! And you know what's weird, thanks to Emily, sooo many of the sister were like, "Are you sister Young? Oh my goodness, it's so nice to meet you, I have heard so much about you!!" Ha kinda funny. And also I met the best friend of my preschool best friend. So weird, but awesome. Also, a girl that I knew at BYU-Idaho who did tech work for the Poor of New York. Kinda crazy! And I got to see my lovely MTC sisters that I love so much. Well two of them. ha. 
Well, I better send this off. We are going to do some fun P-day stuff today. I am sending some pictures from last P-day. We spent the day in Berthoud instead of going to Loveland like we do most Mondays. We at the A&W in town, the oldest restaurant in town, then went to the park to take some pictures of little Berthoud. Ha. Today we are going to Loveland to play some sports with the rest of the Zone. Should be fun to be around everyone! I'll take some pics so you can know what the rest of the zone looks like. 
While reading my scriptures this week I found the verse Matthew 17:20 and didn't fully understand it all the way so I knew I wanted to learn more about it. Then, today as I was studying conference talks during my study time I came across one of my favorite talks by Elder Holland, "Lord, I Believe." and he answered my question perfectly and helped me to understand the verse more fully. “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” And then Elder Holland says, "The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know."

I have seen this principle all week. There were times when I wondered if we would be able to reach our goal of 25 lessons and actually see blessings come from it. But I exercised what little faith I do have to be able to accomplish it. It doesn't matter how small your faith is, or how much you know, it is what you do with the faith and knowledge that you have, that really matters. And as you exercise that faith, you will gain more faith and knowledge. My faith has grown so much this week and it has so much more room to grow but I know that as I act on the little faith that I do have, miracles can happen,
Moroni 7:  29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have aangels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that amiracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of bunbelief, and all is vain.

Miracles still do happen every day! They have not ceased! Keep working with what faith that you DO have and you will see miracles, such as that of moving mountains. I know that. Have a wonderful week!!
Sister Karissa Young
This is basically the picture that captures Teaching the gospel in Berthoud.:)

The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion! This is an arch from an old school building in Berthoud.

Went teachin in the snow!

Ready for our day in snow.

This is the certificate saying that Sister M is my trainer. HaHa

Sisters Conference

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