Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let Us All Press On! - April 7, 2014

So, like every week, there have been some adventures. First one happened last Monday after I e-mailed all of you. We went to the Loveland stake center to be with the rest of the missionaries, and I joined in with the Elders and a few sisters in playing Gator Ball. Yeah...it was like soccer, rugby, tag, all mixed into one. Anyway, I wasn't being super aggressive or anything but I jumped up to block someone and then I came down weird on my foot and heard a distinct pop...uh oh. So I automatically got upset at myself and went and sat down. Well...it started swelling up so we went home early so I could ice it. I wasn't really sure what I had done to it and I was just praying that it wasn't anything that would keep me from doing the work. I just dealt with the pain and continued on with our normal schedule, limping around everywhere. But let me illustrate what kind of people I live with and how much I am taken care of out here. That night, we asked Bro. E, the people we live with, if he had an ACE bandage wrap, because the tiny store we checked in Berthoud was out...ha. He said he didn't but he said, "I'll go get one at Walmart." Mind you, it was 10:00 at night and Walmart is about 20 minutes away, so same distance from Green River to Rock Springs. We tried to stop him, saying that I would be ok, but he hopped in his car right that second and drove to get my an ankle brace and some wrap. He is one of the most Christ-like people I know. That is only one illustration of the kind of people that are in Berthoud. Every day this week, we have been fed not only dinners, but lunches! People here really take care of us. The Lord makes sure we are watched over. 

But, the miracle was, I was still able to do all the work. Well, I mean...I probably should have stayed off of it but you know my personality. I'm not going to let a silly sprained foot get in the way of the Lord's work. But it has healed quite nicely and besides the huge bruises all over my foot, I can walk just fine now. But...no more Gator Ball for a while. Another thing I realized this week is how much Satan is trying to stop the work from progressing, but he CANNOT win. First with my foot, and then some crazy things happened on April Fool's day. They were so crazy that we truly thought that our Zone Leaders were just pulling our legs because it was April 1st. But, nope. First we had 2 elders get separated somehow so they sent a huge message out telling us to look for him. Then that night we get a text that our Zone Leader was in the hospital. What? Come to find out later that we had like 5 or 6 emergency transfers for a couple of random reasons, so we have a totally new zone. Ha. We also have a new Elder in Berthoud. But that night, I got really down. I just felt really helpless and I was worried about our ZL and about the Elder who was lost, and just all sorts of feelings. It was not fun. Satan is trying hard with the missionaries to stop the work, but things have gotten better since that crazy April Fool's Day. 

This week, Sister M and I have been focusing on getting to the root of people's concerns. We realized that we have been beating around the bush a bit with some individuals and it is time to get bold! And we have been lead and guided as we have set this goal. Most of our lessons this week were really great with getting to their concerns and trying to resolve them. One Less-Active member, S, we have been visiting and she has not come to church in a long time. We felt recently that it was because she didn't feel worthy to partake of the sacrament. I felt prompted to read to her a section in True to the Faith talking about how we don't need to be perfect to take the sacrament, we just need a contrite spirit and being striving to do our very best. It really hit her strongly and next Sunday she said she would be there. Pray for her!!

Another thing we learned this week, people are not willing to commit to a lifetime of trying to live like our Savior. One of people's biggest concerns is that when they join the church it will take up too much of their time. It does take up a lot of time because it is not just a religion but a change of heart and mind. It is changing our lives. But the Lord WILL give us the strength that we need to be able to do our very best.

This week we have also been faced with some pretty tricky people with questions and not softened hearts to listen to the answers. One was a lady who is less-active, but who, we found out, hasn't been since she was 12. We got in to talk to her and she had some questions about doctrine and things she had heard, misconceptions, all sorts of things. We did the best we could and testified, but she wasn't taking any of our answers to heart. Times like that are so tricky! We got out and as we were driving to our dinner, we just were so frustrated. Ha but it really strengthened my testimony to have things questioned. We had another similar situation like that last night too. Woah, being a missionary is tough! I am realizing that I want to become a better teacher. I want to teach with convincing power like the missionaries and prophets in the Book of Mormon. That is my goal. It just gets tricky and I don't feel like we do a very good job sometimes. Which is frustrating. But...it's a learning experience. I just wish I didn't have to learn while someone else's salvation is at stake...but the Lord knew what he was doing when he called missionaries out from ages 18 to whenever. 

This week we also taught M and gave her a tour of the church while we taught her the Doctrine of Christ. I also felt impressed to talk about Eternal Families while we were in the Primary room with pictures of the temple. Then when we got to the font, we invited her again to be baptized and asked how she was feeling about it. She said that she wanted to be baptized but she wanted her husband to learn with her so that they both can be baptized because she wants an eternal family like we talked about. It was so neat! So this week we are praying that we will get to start teaching her husband too! 

One thing that we have been emphasizing with the members lately is to search for service opportunities around Berthoud. To have the faith that they will come about and from those service opportunities, they will find those prepared to hear the gospel. We too have been striving for that same thing and have been getting better at searching for unplanned acts of service. This week we saw a couple trying to carry a king sized mattress into their house. So I turned around the car and we went back to ask if we could help. They were very grateful and we helped them carry in the rest. We got talking and then gave them our mormon.org card with our number and we are going to stop by again this week. They just moved to town and he just quit smoking recently. They seem very neat and were very open and friendly to us. Acts of service CAN help you find those who are ready. Have the faith that the Lord will put people in your path who are ready to hear the gospel. 

General Conference was wonderful. We watched the first two sessions in Loveland an in between there was a family who fed all the missionaries in our zone. So sweet of them! Then the next day we went to the Berthoud building and the H family was there, Ward Mission Leader's family. Then they invited us over for lunch with them. It was nice to have a family that reminds me of ours a bit, to be able to watch conference with and eat lunch with. Then we watched the final session. I loved the emphasis on love. Also, did you hear how many times they said the word Empathy? I'm so grateful that that word is not new to my vocabulary. Christ truly has perfect empathy. I also loved Elder Ballard's talk on Following Up and Missionary Work. A.) Because we have been working on following up more effectively B.) It' great to hear more how to help the members get involved with missionary work! I'd love to hear what you all are studying in Preach my Gospel and I will try to share more what I am studying each week too:) That would be fun!! The Lord truly is hastening His work! Catch the wave, find the joy that comes as you invite others to hear the gospel. 

The work in Berthoud is growing, little by little. It is going to take some time but as we were setting goals, we realized how many people are ready and could potential have baptismal dates in the future. There are many! It is a slow moving process but it IS moving:) 

Next week I get to go to the Denver temple on Tuesday!! My companion is at her halfway point and I guess I am allowed to go with her:) Because who knows where I will be at my halfway point. If I am in Wyoming or anywhere further away, I won't be able to go, so I am taking the opportunity now. I am so excited!! We are going with the bishop's wife, who I love dearly. But because of that, I will not be writing until Tuesday night. So don't be worried if you don't get an e-mail on Monday. I love you alll!!! Thanks for you letters, e-mails, pictures, support, and all you do to build the Kingdom of God!! Have a great week. 
Sister Young
Cool mural in Berthoud and an old ambulance!

A&W P-day!

This is a newspaper box literally in the middle of nowhere...

Bruised foot after a few days.

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