Monday, August 11, 2014

nothing is ever the end of the world!

THEY GOT SEALED!! And their two-year-old got sealed to them! It was so amazing. And the little toddler was so cute. I did get pictures, and I shall send those along. We are going to print off one of them and frame it and give it to them as a congratulations. 

We have not been able to see the Tennessee family at all this week. Granted, we have been trying them a lot less. But we have been praying about them, and we feel good about stopping teaching them until Bro. Tennessee's culinary classes are over. It's just sad because we know they received so many witnesses of the truth and now they are choosing to deny and ignore it. We figure that we will allow the ward to see what they can do.

Good news though - we have been able to reconnect with the mother and daughter that we were previously teaching. There was about 3 weeks where we did not see or speak with her. She said she was just going through a whole bunch of doubts, but she ended up where she was originally - wanting the gospel for her kids and family. 

We laid out very simply what one must know (lessons) and what one must do (commitments&commandments) before baptism. That really helped her understand our purpose in helping. 

She is also going to try to get her husband to listen to the lessons. He does not want to become Mormon - he is worried about what others will think (according to her) - and he likes tattoos, etc.. But she wants to make sure he knows and has the opportunity to hear the gospel. 

Other great news about her - our ward mission leader is her neighbor. Score! And they really respect each other. The investigator sees and admires the family that the members' have, and the members respect the drive the investigator has to do the right for her family. And they have kids at about the right ages, and so they are setting up play dates.

We had a really great experience this weekend - Elder Russell M. Nelson came to Billings! I never got to see him in person. He was in a special stake conference on the West End that they broadcasted up to the Heights. So we got to see and hear him, at least! His message was so very simple. It was simply the message of the Restoration - as outlined in PMG, with a huge emphasis of teaching the Restoration to your children.

Afterwards we had a very productive meeting with our ward mission leader and bishopric. We are going to get this ward back into missionary-shape. Which will be such a relief on our part. We feel like we've been swimming upstream all alone.

But we had walked to the conference, and Sister Bateman and I had a very interesting discussion while walking back. Actually, we have interesting discussion quite frequently. She's a deep thinking and is very intelligent. Anyways, we were just noting how much rejection you get used to as a missionary. And I am not really even referring to tracting rejection.

We get so used to people cancelling lessons on us. Or not being home when we come to appointments. Almost everyone forgets to read their scriptures. So many will say they will be at church and then do not show up. And recently, we have people ready for baptism and they back out. 

And yet, life goes on. We find people more ready to commit. We help build people's faith so they feel like they can commit. And so nothing is ever the end of the world. Nothing should ever get you angry or down. 

Then we related it to Christ. He was the most rejected, the most despised. He too experienced having a large band of less-than-devoted that later dissipated as they later realized what following Christ meant and entailed. Even his most trusted, the apostles, struggled to have faith and comprehension. 

Christ really does know everything we have ever felt. 
And he was the perfect example of handling every situation.
It makes you want to think twice before losing your temper or letting yourself get discouraged.

Sister Bateman and I also spent some time reflecting on our time here in Lake Hills. This is the last week of the transfer, and we think that Sister Bateman will most likely leave - she has been here since December, and we have been companions since April. 

But when Sister Bateman showed up, the sisters largely did not do missionary work, with an inappropriate excuse of health. Sister Bateman quickly turned that around.

Then when I showed up, the teaching pool was draining. The only ones interested and willing to progress were the family that just went to the temple. We now have many families we teach and several potentials. We have done good work with less-actives. Coordination with the ward is working towards improvement.

It is a good feeling to know that even despite the many disappointments and struggles, we have done good work here. We have helped the area to be better than we found it. And who knows, maybe we will stay together for another transfer. But it is rewarding to know that we have done good.
(And look, dad, I actually used "good" in the correct way!)

Sister Griffin

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