Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Week Five: "I love you, handsome buffalo!"

This week was wonderful. We had Zone Conference (our Zone--half the missionaries in our stake--get with a few other zones and meet with our mission president). We had exchanges (missionary companionships switch for 24 hours). But, the most miraculous thing was that MICHELLE GOT BAPTIZED. Oh yes. It was incredible.

Zone Conference was also amazing. The missionaries were uplifted by President Toombs, his wife, and his assistants. (The only bad thing was that we had a car inspection and Sister Knowlton and I probably failed. The inside was clean...but the outside was horrendous). Sister Toombs taught us, "We are never lost until we begin to fear." How true is that! We aren't ever lost until we lose faith. We can't be faithful and fearful. We can only be one or the other. She also told us to be cautious about the things that we get stuck in--First, we forget who we are. We are children of God. Second, we forget why we are here. Why are we serving a mission? To help others to come unto Christ. Last, we get caught up in unresolved sins. We forget about the gift of the Atonement (we can be forgiven through Christ's suffering).
President Toombs added to her remarks and told us that soon the mission will be HALF SISTERS AND HALF ELDERS. (There are currently 66 sisters and wayyy more elders. Like more than one hundred). By the end of the year, we are looking at 125 sisters and 125 elders. Shoot dang. The field is white and already to harvest! The Lord's work is progressing.
Some counsel we were given was to continually think of a Peter Pan thought, or a happy thought. For me, my happy thought is why I chose to serve a mission. For you, not on missions, think of why you are here on this Earth--what is your purpose? Your happy thought can help you get through the hard times, like it has helped me.

After Zone Conference, we had exchanges. First, I was with Sister Mailau. She has been on her mission for eleven months and she is a boss. She really knows how to touch people. Seriously. I hope I can be like she is. She is originally from Tonga and she is hilarious. During the few lessons that we taught, she was so bold. The Savior was is with her.
Then, I was with Sister Grenfell (she and I were in the same British Literary History class last Fall. Pretty neat, huh?). Anyways, we have both been out for 5 weeks....So that was interesting. Neither of us knew what we were doing, but the Lord blessed us and we had a lot of fun. We knocked on this one man's door (his neighbor is a less active who never keeps his appointments).
Our conversation went a little something like this....
Knock. Knock.
Opens the door.
Man: What can I do for you ladies?
Me: Hi! We are representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and....
Man: Nope. Not interested!
Me: Well, we were just in the----
Man: You people stop by way too much! And I don't appreciate it.
Sister Grenfell and I got a laugh out of that. It was hilarious!! Missionaries must try to see his neighbor and when the neighbor isn't there, they knock on his door.

When exchanges were over, Sister Knowlton and I visited a less active and her son (who is not a member). We talked to them about the Word of Wisdom--they are both heavy smokers. AND, we asked them if they'd commit to live the Word of Wisdom and they said yes. The son even gave us his cigarettes. Wooot. When he handed his cigarettes to Sister Knowlton, she kind of was shocked (she has never held a box of cigarettes before) and she gave them to me. It was comical. We also wet down the cigarettes in the ashtray--to make sure they had nothing to smoke. That was awesome. We also told them to pray and read from the scriptures anytime they had the urge to smoke. Woooot. Can't wait to see how they are doing.

After that, weird things started happening. First, we locked our phone in the church library....yeah, we went a while without that. Oops. (It isn't too weird, but it gets weirder). While contacting (meeting random people on the street) before dinner, Sister Knowlton and I got hit on.
Man: You're the prettiest missionaries I've ever seen.
Man: Are you married?
Sister Knowlton: Nope. I'm 19, and she's 20.
Man: That's okay with me.
Hahahha!! That was really awkward. We're planning on letting the elders teach them.

Then later that night, we visited a family from our ward. They both had callings in a Laotian ward. We asked if they knew Lao and the sister says something in Lao which means, "I love you, handsome buffalo." I don't know if that is some expression, but it was interesting.

We also met with a woman who is Eastern Orthodox and that was interesting. She told us about her religion and it was enlightening. She prayed with us and they pray to the East (cool, huh?). She is truly an amazing woman and very intelligent.

Did I tell you that Michelle got baptized? MICHELLE GOT BAPTIZED. During the entire service, she was in tears. Sister Knowlton and I walked with her to the font and hugged her before and she wept. They even while in the water waiting to be baptized, she cried. The spirit was incredible. Her family came to support her and it was wonderful. Her entire immediate family came (except her one of her sisters) and all their children---most are not members of the church. How amazing! (Mom and Dad, I really want you to meet her and her family).

I love you all and I know that Jesus lives. I know that He loves us. He is counting on us to do the right things so that we can get back to Heavenly Father's presence. Know that I am praying for you!

Sister Hardy


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