Tuesday was my first full in-field day as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our ward has splits on Tuesdays. In each ward in the church there is a ward mission leader and then several ward missionaries. Splits is when the ward missionaries go out with the full-time missionaries to do visits to less-active members and investigators of the church. Generally a companionship of missionaries will "split-up" and go out with the ward ones. I was not forced to do so since it was my first day and I did not know anyone. THANK YOU. My companion and I and a young woman preparing to leave on her mission, all went to visit a woman in the ward who is inactive. We had a blast. Her kids were home, her son who is about 6 was absolutely hilarious and was making me so, so, so happy. He got dressed up in his Spiderman costume at dinnertime, but would NOT eat. His mom was getting so frustrated. He wouldn't eat his pizzas because "The peppayonies are too dawk." Hahaha he was SO very upset. We shared a message with her and we could feel the spirit very strong, she's going through a very rough time, but we are contacting her next week when she returns from her vaca. Right when the spirit was the strongest, her son started talking about the gold plates and how you read 'em, not eat on 'em. Nice little comic relief. Hahah and he knew all about the angel Moroni. I loved being there and can't wait to go back.
Wednesday we went to do some contacting of referrals we had received quite awhile ago. No one was home, so we just started driving around. My companion saw one of their past investigators sitting outside in his garage. We pulled over and went over and started chatting with him. I met my first Oregon Lumberjack today! He was awesome, I really loved him. He is very interested in scriptures and loves reading them. He is a Baptist, but really enjoys talking with us about doctrine. He was asking a lot about the trinity and was confused on how they could be three separate beings like we believe. When we finished discussing that he was so relieved and then started asking about where people go when they die, especially people who did not believe in God. Perfect set up for a lovely lesson on the Plan of Salvation! We set a return appointment for Friday to go and teach him about that. It was so exciting. It is very sweet and has been through SO much.
So far, my favorite part of the mission is meeting people and hearing their stories. There are so many people in this world and every single one of them has been through different things and has experienced drastically different situations. I love hearing their stories. LOVE IT.
Then we went and met a less-active member, his wife passed away about a year ago and he is super lonely, he is 90 years old. The bishop asked us to meet with him weekly just to keep him company and get him back to church, he is trying to go to the temple to be sealed to his wife. He is incredible and just kept going on and on about how much he loves us sister missionaries and appreciates us. And he could not stop commenting on how much my smile brightened his day. I loved him.
Once we left his home, his neighbor approached us. I wanted to give him my first Book of Mormon. So we went over to his front yard and talked for quite some time. He gave us a tour of his garden (everyone here has incredible gardens), fed us some of his vegetables and fruits (I ate a baby tomato for this guy, just so I could keep talking to him, that is incredible for me), and then began to express to us why he does not believe in God. I asked him if we could give him a Book of Mormon and come by again to discuss our beliefs with him. He said he had plenty of other books to read and he didn't need one. First shut down. Totally fine. Then I asked if we could come over and work on his garden with him instead. He said yes to that one, yay! We'll get him with kindness.
Thursday was training, ALL THE DAY LONG. We went back up to Portland and had a new missionary training day. It was actually quite wonderful because I got to see all of my MTC district. I miss them so much already, they quite literally became like family.
Oh, they fed us Tilamook ice cream, it's kind of a big deal out here. It was pretty dang good too.
Tonight, we had dinner at a members house. Oh my goodness, this was so much fun! They have like 6 kids, all under 10. 2 are adopted, they were such a blast and their parents are amazing. They were so laid back and let kids be kids. It was a great atmosphere. They were climbing all around the table, getting me pictures of when they were babies, showing me their eyeglasses and telling me all about why they don't like them, eating off of my plate. I loved it, they truly made me so happy.
Friday started off pretty crummy. We had a full day of appointments scheduled and all of them fell through. Including going to the 90 year old's neighbors house to work on his garden. I was so bummed. No one was home, or they had just forgotten about us.
We went to contact a referral for the third try that day, they weren't home again. As we were walking away there was a cute little boy sitting on the stairs with his Grandma. I started talking to them about just normal everyday things, then my companion came over too. We introduced ourselves and the church, asked if she had heard of us at all, and she had! She had actually attended a ward once down in Colorado. I asked her if she had a copy of the Book of Mormon and she said she didn't. I asked if she would like one, and she said YES. I gave her a copy of it, explained it to her and asked her if she would like to learn more. She said YES. And, she kept saying, "I can't wait to start reading this." We have a return appointment to begin teaching her. I was putting everything I have into not hyperventilating.
She is incredible. She was so prepared and so excited. Just think of all the people out there who are waiting, who have been waiting who just want someone to tell them about this gospel. They are there, I promise you! Our spirits are prepared, they are waiting and when we find those prepared spirits its like, "Where have you been, I've been waiting for you. I'm so excited to finally see you." At one point, we all were on the same page, we all yearned to return to our Father in Heaven. We just need to help others remember that.
We went back to the 90 year old's on Saturday to do some service for him with the elders. And when we got there, he gave us a note from his neighbor. He explained to us why he wasn't home when we went to help with his garden, apologized, and invited us back whenever we can. Yahooooooo, I felt a lot better!
Big brother dropping me off at the MTC
Sister Stone and I