Sunday, September 7, 2014

Not Finished Yet

September 1, 2014

Hello All!!
Guess what?!! Miracles are happening all around I guess! This whole week we really felt like we were leaving, and we kept hearing from everyone that President had told the Stake Pres. and the bishops that Sisters were going to be leaving this transfer, so we really believed and felt like we were leaving Rawlins and that Elders were going to be put back in. The members were not too happy about it and we had soooo many people praying for the sisters to stay in Rawlins. (Even though we reminded them that the Lord knows best and whatever happened would be what needed to happen.)But we all just really felt like we were leaving. It was a bit tough not knowing but I felt at peace with leaving or staying. But transfer night came and we got the voicemail, and to our complete surprise, sisters are staying in Rawlins for one more transfer!!!!! We all really feel like President had decided to take us out and then at the last minute had a very strong prompting that sisters needed to stay at least one more transfer. It was amazing! I am so grateful to be here for another 6 weeks! I am pretty sure this is going to be my last 6 weeks here though. But the Lord needed us here for one more:) So we get to be here for the 3 baptisms and to see Sister Clyde's baby, and to teach this awesome family that we just found! So many good things. Plus I just love being a missionary here. I love being away from everyone, and truly learning to rely on the spirit. The work here is amazing and the ward is coming along quite nicely. This week our Ward Mission Leader has started officially making the Ward Mission Plan. Rawlins is a bit behind and a bit new at this sort of thing but very excited to get involved. So Bro. Moore's plan is to have each auxilery and quorum, designate a counselor for missionary work and then in each group they will come up with their individual mission plans and we will bring them all together. Bro. Moore is all about the process of making the plan, letting it evolve and take time in order for it to be effective and quality and what the Lord wants. It's neat to see that process begin and to see the ward really just getting excited. This week in Ward Council Bishop just said that for the past few months the ward and Rawlins just have a different feeling, a good feeling. The work is hastening and people here can feel it and want to get involved!
Well let me update you on our investigators this week.
Bonnie-We taught her the Word of Wisdom this week along with the Doctrine of Christ. She said that ever since we had even briefly mentioned coffee last week she had cut back to one cup a day compared to 2 pots a day. That is big! Then the member who she works with that we have the discussions at their house, he said, "Ok, if I give up Mountain Dew, you have to give up smoking." She said, "Ok!" He said, "Ok, I'm starting tomorrow!" She said, "Ok, I guess I am non-smoker now." She hasn't smoked since that day. So a whole week!!! We asked her to pray about the word of wisdom and she said, "We all already know that it's God's law!" haha. She is so great. I also found out this week that Bonnie is the lady that in our very first transfer here, we knocked on her door when in her window she has Just Married written there. We had talked to her and she said to come back but later her husband told us she wasn't interested so we stopped. But we talked to her before! Weird right? 
Galilea-Came to church again this week and this time her Dad came with her and he hasn't been to church in many many years. It was so neat to have him there with her. She is moving towards her date but her mom isn't too happy with it right now. We are praying for her heart to be softened. Hers will be September 13th. 
Kelly-The lady at the museum. This week we stopped by to teach her at the museum and then the night after we went to her home to watch the Joseph Smith movie. But instead of watching the movie, she ended up just asking us a ton of questions. She asked how each of us had come to know for ourselves that the gospel was true and if we have had any times of doubt or struggles. It was such a neat experience to share with her our experiences. The spirit was so strong  and she felt it for sure. 
Another neat thing that happened this week that involved Kelly. So there is a Pow-Wow here every year that the museum hosts. Where Native Americans come and dance and compete, etc. It is super neat. But we were there the day before setting up, doing some service and Kelly said, "So I have this instrumental recording of the national anthem, it took me forever to find one I liked. Unless one of you want to sing the national anthem." Sister Johnson pointed to me. Kelly said, "Ok! But you have to audition for me right now." She is super picky with her vocals and told us so. So I of course was fine with just impromptu auditioning right there. It's what I do. haha. So I audtioned and she got super excited and said she wanted me to sing the next day!! I was so excited to be able to share my talents as a missionary and wear my name tag for everyone to see who I represent. So the next day I came and they announced me as "Sister Young, serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Then I got to sing in front of a ton of people! I was so grateful for the opportunity to share my talents as a missionary. 
I don't have much time left but I will share a few other random experiences. One night this week we went to a Less-actives house and there is a boy staying there that is about 20. He has had a pretty rough upbringing and even though he was raised as a baptist, has trouble now believing that God is real. He knows that there is some sort of higher power, but he is more into the spirit of things and not that God is an actual being. Well, we came ready to teach the LA but when we got there I felt very strongly that he needed to be a main focus while we were there, even though he never participates while we are there. But we had a mormonmessage to share with the LA and I told the boy that he was welcome to sit in and watch with us and gave him a little background information on it. This is the video we shared. It was exactly what this boy had been going through. We asked him after what had stood out. Then he started telling us how he had stopped believing in God and wanted to know if he was real. His story was exactly like the man in this video. We asked if he had ever fasted before and he said not for spiritual purposes. He really opened up to us about some experiences he had had, and we invited him to try fasting and asking if God is really there. He really thought long and hard about everything that we said and the spirit was working with him. He agreed to try to fast. Then he stayed until the ended of our lesson and even joined us in prayer at the close. It was such a neat experience to feel guided so much by the spirit and have no reservations holding me back to follow the promptings I received. This video was so tailored right to him. The spirit was strong and I couldn't figure out why this event hit me so hard. Later while pondering, I realized that this was an experience that I had been waiting for. While working at the Residential Treatment Center I had always wanted to help the kids to feel the love of our Savior and the healing that  can come through the atonement. But I never could since it was at work. But now, as a missionary, I have the chance to help those with similar situations as the RTC kids, to help them to feel God's love in their lives. This is how I felt with this boy. This experience was a neat moment for me here. God's love is real. He does answer prayers. No matter how long it takes, he will answer. 
I always have too many amazing moments every week to write about. But I know I am in this place at this time for a reason. I know so many amazing people and learn from them and their struggles, their testimonies and their faith. Every person I have met on my mission has impacted me in some way. I learn so much by watching other people. I also learn so much by praying and taking my questions to the Lord. He truly does tutor and teach me every day. It is an amazing opportunity. I am so blessed. I love you all and thank you for all your support!!! 
Sister Karissa Young

Sister Johnson & I

With the Ward Mission Leader's cute daughter Stella

With Sis Gableson & Sis Green

With the Arnold & Green Family

Cleaning Horse Stalls

Cleaning Horse Stalls

This is our District.

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