Ah Congrats Courtney! I can't wait to hear about the wedding! And to see pictures! I am sure it was beautiful!
This week has been crazy! Lot's of things have happened that are things I've never done before. So... I will start with those stories.
So one day we were out in Columbia City walking around trying to find some less active members and some other people we had names and addresses for (which when the Elders write addresses... it could be a whole street so not good). Well we see this really pretty archway covered in ivy or something so we knock on the house but no answer so we decide to take a picture from the street. As I am getting a picture I notice the neighbor across the street spying out the window blinds! I really wanted to ignore that but.... couldn't! So we went and knocked on that house. Mr. Stevenson answered and as we talked the door was slowly closing but then Mrs. Stevenson came and we complimented her garden so much that she had to show us the backyard etc, etc, we ended up getting a full out house tour and staying for an hour and a half! I've never faced a spying neighbor and got a house tour from it:)
We did a 15 step stop smoking program with Steve. Well... we had HIGH hopes.we went and checked on him. He'd bought more cigarettes AND more coffee (which is one of the steps. NO coffee, alcohol or tea because it rings a bell for the need to smoke.) Well we told him to go grab his cigarettes "Okay now crush them" we watched until he had torn up all of them. After more talk we found out about the coffee so we told him to go get it and we took it away from him and threw it away later that night. I've never demanded someone destroy their cigarettes and hand over their coffee before. (I admit I walked away from that carrying the coffee thinking 'what in the world did I just do?')
Then yesterday we were going to see a guy named Dale who lives out in Deer Island. He seems to commonly flake out on appointments. Well before we knocked we said a prayer. The member going with us had also bailed so we planned to get his neighbor that we are also teaching (we have to have another woman with us to teach a man). So we knock and he isn't there. Well we went and visited with this other lady in the trailer park for like an hour and a half before we could escape from there! Then we pull out on the highway to come back and go to St. Helens and we see Dale. Right there talking to someone on the side of the highway. PERFECT! So we pull over and flip around and go track him down. Yep we caught him! So we met him back at his house with JoAnn his neighbor for the most amazing lesson! K I will tell you about this lesson! Dale and JoAnn were just talking and talking about their neighbors, the government, etc. The usual stuff that gets you upset. Well I put in a random comment that kind of tied it into the Plan of Salvation but not really. It almost immediately went back to the other topics in same force, but I noticed that the spirit had FLOODED the room. It was super strong! It's kind of strange that the spirit came just from a simple attempt and though the topic of conversation was not yet on the gospel the spirit was present and in full force! We then easily directed the conversation to the Plan of Salvation and that was one of the most unique but amazing lessons I've ever had! They were really attentive and the spirit was so strong! Even with Dales comments that sometimes make us uncomfortable. It was really amazing. I've never tracked someone down for a lesson on the highway:)
Well this week we lost several investigators. Like A LOT of people. I think the hardest one was Howard. He has been an investigator for years. And then he told us no more. I took it pretty hard because I'd been voting to be more persistent. Then we lost him. But the Lord doesn't let us get down on ourselves like that. That day was a great day besides that. Sister Major and I were totally healthy and strong just a little down. Well President Taylor called. And when we called him back he just asked us how we were "are you sick, are you well?" Then the zone leaders did the same thing. I know that it was a little memo to me from God. The Lord is so wonderful to me. He always sends just little things to remind me that he loves me. What a wonderful heavenly Father he is! I am so grateful and yet so undeserving. He is the master teacher though! There's no better way to show your love to someone then consistently believing in them more then they believe in themselves. And he always ALWAYS is there. He never fails me. He has a plan higher than I can dream of. My little dreams, my little wishes. Yes they may be important but God has forseen that there are thing more important than those for me. I feel like Elizabeth in the bible depicted in the play Savior of the World. I have not given up my hopes but my demands, yes. I'll give God forever to make me what I am, give up hopes, give up dreams, give up all other things. I trust him to make me to be the best person I can ever be.
So this week was Nancy Hollenders baptism! Can I tell you I have never been more joyful? This was amazing. I know that Nancy will stay strong FOREVER. She has been prepared her whole life and she will not get lost. Her daughter has been a member for a long time and her prayers have paid off. Nancy will stay strong. I know it. Sometimes I wonder why I have to push so much for baptisms that I can see will not help the person stay strong. I suppose some people need it for the support and others find the faith and support first. Well Nancy is amazing! And President Taylor came to her baptism too! (another just little show of Gods love!) It was so wonderful to be back in Oakhurst. I seriously felt like I was home! And the welcome was as such! You are right Mom! I will forever look to the Oakhurst ward and my experience there for everything. I learned so much. It was so wonderful to be back! And Brother Hawkins baptized Nancy! That was wonderful! And it was great to hear the update from the Elders about how everyone is doing! They are SUPER busy these days. Which I am grateful for. Right after Nancy was baptized Sister Lawler turns and looks at me and is like 'did I not tell you you are suppose to go help her? Sorry! Ya she asked for you!' So I jump up and run out to go help her and have a half second of "oh no! Sister Major!" but then ran off anyway. So that was crazy!
I am so grateful for the fact that this mission is small and that I can come back to her baptism. I love her so much! It is such a wonderful experience to see someone you have taught enter the waters of baptism. As representatives of Jesus Christ we get a portion of his spirit and I think a portion of his joy. If it was in full we wouldn't live through it I bet! But OH! What joy!
It was a little hard to come back to St. Helens. We are really trying to brainstorm how to help this ward. One thing that I am starting to feel strongly about is the 30 minutes before church. This ward had the missionary meeting (of all things!) scheduled then! Well that gives us no time to greet people or get to know the ward. We are changing. But can I extent a challenge? I know in Utah people don't arrive as early to church as else where. But BE at church 15 minutes before the meeting starts. And then go around and talk to people. Facilitating a feeling of welcome and home is more important that anything else you could be doing 15 minutes before church. Even if no one else is there it will help you and will help you set an example. Be to church early. At least 15 minutes. And talk to people. I'm not kidding. I feel really strongly about this. If it's not what MAKES a ward welcoming it is what SHOWS that the ward is welcoming. And I honestly think it does both. So there is my challenge! If you trust me then do it! No excuses! I don't want to hear them, so don't have them:)
Well one funny story and then I have to go. So after district meeting we see the Scappoose Elders doing a Chinese firedrill... with an unseen cop 2 cars behind them. We are hiding our faces pleading "oh those stupid Elders! Have pity on them!" but they got pulled over pretty soon after. Well... they came off with a warning. Sometimes. Sometimes!
Well for Preach My Gospel. I've been thinking about our life on earth. And also with my speed Book of Mormon reading this transfer I have been marking when it talks about God or one of his names. I have noticed that a HUGE amount of time that it talks about God it says something like keeping his commandments. I have never noticed how frequent that was before! What a huge part of our life on earth! What a MAIN part! If we want the blessing keep the commandments that are inseparably tied those commandments!
This week I will be studying the helps for Addictive Behavior in Chapter 10 pg. 188-189. Join me and give me input!
I love you all so much! I hope that you have a wonderful Memorial day! And that you all travel safely from Canada! (who went anyway? You've left me hanging!)
Well I love you so much! I pray for you! Keep working hard and keep getting excited for summer! Yay! It's going to be an awesome summer!
|A tree hug and a Companion! :)|
|Playing volley ball with the district minus Rainier Sisters last p-day!|
|Major Beard variations :) Our favorite|
|Us and our variations|
|Matching! Haha! Companion unity finally.|
|Me and Nancy Hollender!|
|Us with the Elders! Elder Porter and Elder McCuen|
|Sister Sonderegger, Nancy, and I|
|THis is the Stevensons. They gave us a tour of their house after we knocked on their door when they were spyin on us taking another picture!:)|
|Throwing away Steves coffee! haha!|