Monday, September 8, 2014


It feels like the difficulty level in this area has cranked up a notch, haha. But we have a good handful of people to teach now!

 shoot, I haven't named her...her name's Tanya, she's the one who said that whenever something happens, we show up. We were teaching her more about the Restoration of the Gospel, and she was basically a textbook lesson, the kind that you see happen in seminary videos and in roleplays in the MTC but you know actually aren't real. It was the coolest thing. She had read both the pamphlets and started on the BoM, and was really liking what she was reading. She said she's be willing to pray to know if it was true, and she even asked how she'd get her answer. It was really fun, talking about the Spirit with her. She talked about the day we knocked, how she was in tears and didn't want to deal with ANYONE that day and wouldn't have opened the door, but "something" told her to anyway. She talked about the times she knew Jesus Christ was real and that He was her Savior, and she even said, "Wow, I've recieved a lot of answers, and I've felt the Spirit a lot...I guess I just never realized what it was." It was super exciting. She wanted to get baptized.

...Then she went on the internet. :/ Suuuuch a tool for good, and then suuuuuch a tool for bad. We're hoping to go back sometime this week...she said she'd be at church, but never showed up. :c *shakes fist* All you can do is bring the Spirit in and testify of truth, and the rest is all up to their agency, their right to choose for themselves. 

 Speaking of Internet, have I ssaid anything about my Facebook adventures? They've been pretty awesome....our goals on Facebook are different, if they're interested in talking with us we try to get them to meet with the missionaries in their area. So, there was one intellectual kid who was asking about archeological evidence of the BoM....which got my fingers itchy, because I googled that obsessively for a little bit and I had good stuff to say. But all the "evidence" in teh world doesn't amount to a testimony. I learned it was true because I read it and asked God, and because my answer came from God, I know with an absolute assurity that I can trust that answer, and it is true. So he got real interested and said he'd be alright with missionaries coming over to give him a BoM and talk more about it. :) That's something that's really fun for me, watching certain people go from intellectually interested to spiritually interested. Way fun.

 Lizzy is still struggling...she feels very abandoned by God. :c She still doesn't understand why bad people can get away with their bad stuff and the good people get trampled under. She liked some of hte plan of salvation, but doesn't feel like it answered her questions. She was interested in the BoM, though, and agreed to read it. We're mobilizing the Relief Society to make her feel loved and make it clear she doesn't have to go through anything alone.

...the funniest thing is, she really doesn't like organized religion. Well, this is the purpose of organized religion--to help out struggling sheep. So many people we meet, and I'm just like, "you know what you need? Relief Society." I felt that way with Hapi, too. But Lizzy likes to hear about God and likes to feel the Spirit, she just....doesn't know why God seems to have left her all alone to suffer....dangit, I just want people to be happy. :c

And someone who's REALLY fun!!!! Her name is Sindy, and her boyfriend David. David is no stranger to missionaries; he was almost baptized three times several years ago. Sindy is new, though. She's a little strange...I don't know how to describe her. But teaching her is difficult because she always goes waaaaaay off topic and just says whatever's on her mind for however long she wants to say it. XD Makes Gospel Principles class really fun (any missionary knows that that second hour of church gets really stressful). She talks to the speakers at the pulpit while they're giving their talk, too. XD She's a blast. It's these kind of people that makes transfers really scary....I never want to leave these people. I grow to love them SO MUCH, and I worry that whoever replaces me or my companion won't love them the way I do. I just want to work with them forever, I've totally fallen in love with them.

 We taught them some of the Restoration but had to kinda migrate onto the Plan of Salvation since that was their concern (no one ever wonders if the Gospel was restored, they're more interested in why they're there and what God's plan for them is and where they're going and why tought things are happening and why they should care about what Christ did for them...we try to teach the Restoration first, to show the significance of what we're teaching, but lately we keep teaching the second lesson first because those are the questions they're asking). But they seemed to really liek what they were hearing and reading. We had Sindy give the closing prayer, and she was all geared up to ask God all these questions and give Him a piece of her mind....but as soon as she started, she just burst into tears and started thanking Him for everything, even though she was still unhappy about her situation. She just felt so good and so loved and grateful that God had still given her these tender mercies in her life. It was so, so amazing. She's strange, but when you work with these people, you can just feel how much God loves them, and she feels the Spirit so strongly. She drinks it up, she absolutely loves the Gospel. 

 I love teaching people!! missions are the coolest thing ever!! Sisters don't have an age limit....if I wanted to, I could essentially become a "Mormon nun" and just serve mission after mission my entire life....somedays it gets tempting. :p

 But then you eat dinner with a young family and you think, "oh...I want this...."

 And then you miss your friends and family.

 But there are some moments where it is tempting. XD Missions are AWESOME.

 The other day we got to help the Amary's plant fruit trees! Sister Amary twisted her ankle at a camping trip, and farm deadlines need to be met, so we helped out.

 I can't wait to be able to plant things again!!! I want a farm, guys. Haha. Another thing I can't do as a "Mormon nun"....ah, well.

 I think that's it for me...I love you guys so much!!! Thanks for the letters and for the prayers, I can very much feel them! There is a God in Isreal and Jesus Christ is our Savior!!! It's been the coolest experience to watch and feel the Atonement at work. Thanks for sharing it with me!!

 -Sister Stratford

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