Dear Family and Friends,
In Preach My Gospel there is a great analogy given by Dallin H. Oaks on page 152. It relates us as missionaries to fishers (wonder who's done that before :) and talks about how important it is to keep our line in the water if we're going to catch anything. So Sister King and I have really been trying to keep our line in the water--to talk to everyone, to be out and around people more to give us more opportunities to talk to and invite people to learn more. We've been eating lunch out at the park a lot, we've planned at the park, and we've just tried to put ourselves out there and trust that the Lord will put people in our path. It has brought so many opportunities and blessings. We've been able to talk to so many more people than before and we taught a whole lesson to a group of 6 high school students who came off the bus and walked over to where we were sitting. They were all from really hard backgrounds, but they actually listened and were interested in learning more. The missionaries who were over that area (the family ward, not just the YSAs) happened to walk by after about a half hour and they got talking to them as we headed out. Little things like that do a lot to build my testimony that God is involved in the details of our lives.
Sometimes it's hard to talk to everyone, but I'm trying to get better at it and I found something that really works. Extending a commitment to myself. That's right. The same principles we use on investigators work on us too. As we were getting ready to go talk to people at a park we prayed and I promised God that I would talk to every person that I saw. And we did! And it was great and invigorating and motivating. It makes it easier to keep doing it in the future.
So, in our efforts to talk to everyone we end up giving out a lot of referrals because we're over 3 stakes area wise, but just the YSAs as it pertains to people. So if they're not 18-30 years old and single we pass them off to other missionaries. This leads to talking to a lot of people and giving other missionaries opportunities to go follow up with them and just praying we get some opportunities returned to us. We haven't gotten any from the other missionaries yet, but we've gotten 2 texts from new random numbers asking if we're the missionaries and if they can meet with us and learn more. This doesn't just happen people!! This kind of thing never happens. It was an incredible blessing and a reminder to me that if we're doing our best to work our hardest and be obedient the Lord is going to take care of us.
As we're talking to everyone, we're finding that some ways are better than others and we're constantly brainstorming new ways to approach people. The holidays provide great opportunities, so we decided to utilize mother's day. I had heard of other missionaries in some part of the world using QR codes to talk to people so we decided to try that. The church has a beautiful video about mothers. If you haven't seen it go watch it on motherhood.mormon.org. We made a QR code link to that website and made little mother's day flyers. We ended up talking to 60+ people in an hour and a half and inviting them to go watch the video and to learn more about the church if we had more time to talk to them. It was a fantastic idea and makes me excited to keep trying new methods.
So that was Saturday afternoon; that morning a 14 year old girl was baptized that I got to meet on exchanges last week. She found the church on Wikipedia and then went to mormon.org and requested missionaries because she knew what she was reading was right. 2 days before her baptism she set a goal to finish the Book of Mormon (she was in 1Nephi) and she actually did it. She finished the entire BoM in a day and a half. What a miracle. She is such an incredible example of faith. She comes from a rough background, but her family is now learning too because of her example. How amazing.
Mother's Day was amazing. It was so nice to be able to talk to my family and hear all the good things they're doing. I've got a pretty great family, just sayin. Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful women out there and especially my own Mom. Thanks for all you've taught me and your wonderful examples.