February 13Th, 2012
Hello everyone, guess what, its Feb 13Th and it finally snowed.....for real snow too!!!!! Who knew winter would ever come?!? i was starting to wonder what was going on. The snow is super pretty, and i am so thankful that we have a 4 wheel drive truck, because no-one has plowed the roads, so they look awful! but no problem for us, we have a nice new truck! :) The mission even sent out a message this morning grounding us from leaving the houses/apartments until 11am. But we made it out, and all is well.
Well this week has been super interesting.....its been one of those weeks, that you just don't want to have happen again. Wednesday and Thursday were pretty rough. To sum it all up shortly, we got DITCHED by an investigators appointment, oh and caught them ditching us, which makes it even better, then we got dropped by 2 investigators, we solidified the fact that we are disliked by some of the members of our branch(not on purpose) We were shut down by lots who didn't want to hear from us. OH and lets not forget a return to the crazy bug covered house!! ICING ON THE CAKE! Let just say....its been one of those weeks!
We had interviews with President Keyes on Thursday, so that was a nice break, he was able to give me and my companion some love and advice....and help us to just keep going! Wednesday night we had a few tears to let it out, just because we weren't sure what to do, we felt like all of our efforts were useless, and no one was understanding what we are trying to do out here. But after feeling down in the dumps about it, we decided to move on, and to make a change, so we refocused our efforts on what we need to be doing. Which is making our branch stronger, and helping their testimonies grow, and helping them become fully converted. We realized that even if we spent all our effort finding and preparing people, once they got to the branch it would all fall apart, we need to help the branch grow personally, so they can help the branch grow physically, by sharing the gospel.
After a very exhausting Wednesday and Thursday, we had a GREAT Friday. We went and did service at the salvation army on Friday, which we will start doing every Friday now. The lady we work with has a great and sad life story, she was so open in sharing it with us, i am excited to continue to get to know her every Friday. We also had an appointment with a Part-Member family, they are so great, but seem to wonder why we are there, so we spent our time trying to get to know them, and help them know we are not going to shove the gospel down their throat, but we just want to know them, and help support them, and help them become better. I felt like after Friday they realized that, that was all we want to do. So it was a nice appointment. After that we met up with a member team up at another investigators house and taught him, it was so nice to have the member we had with us, they have their work place in common, and spent most of the time talking. But we finally started talking about church related things, and it was so great, this guy had so many good questions about the book of Mormon, you can tell he is really trying to learn from it and grow, and that is so cool. He is worried about coming to church right now, but we know he will get there, especially as he keeps reading the book of Mormon.
And then we went to the best appointment yet with Justin and Carissa, our member team up came to that also. This was our first appointment with them after Independence and Liberty Jail, Because that night didn't end on such a happy note we were nervous to find out what was going to happen, even more so after having a bad week, of getting dropped and ditched by lots. We got into that appointment and we could feel a difference in their home. The spirit was there the strongest it has ever been. We had such a good discussion with them. We talked a lot about Jesus' power to heal those, and how they saw that Joseph Smith had to have used that same power, because Jesus was the only person who did that. It was so excited to see them connect those dots, and after that Carissa told us how she could see how Joseph Smiths life of rejection and torture leading up to his death was so similar to Jesus'.............i wanted to jump off the couch with excitement when she said that. It was such an exciting appointment. We could just tell that they are starting to not just question everything, but to truly seek what the answers are, and what the truth is. I was so excited to see that happen. It was a good day!
Saturday was even better, we went with a member out to a little town where they had someone they wanted us to teach, and this girl is amazing, she has already started to make so many changes in her life, and the gospel came just when she needed it, she was super touched as we taught her, and you could tell what we were sharing really meant something to her. I mostly was distracting her son, so sister Larson could teach her, but that was even fun, i showed him pictures of Jesus, and showed him how to fold his arms to pray. He was super cute! Best part of that appointment, as we ended with a prayer, its quiet, the one person is praying, and you hear this little 3 year old boy say......'are you looking at my butt?!' i held in my laughter, but inside i was laughing SO HARD!! That little kid is hysterical!
Yesterday was a great day! After church we went with the AOA missionaries, elder and sister banks, and they took us to AOA. They fed us a late lunch, and then took us on a tour of AOA. It was so beautiful to be on that ground, that land is amazing! We even went to preachers rock....which for those of you who don't know what that is, because i didn't until i got out here, it is 'possibly' the place that Joseph preached to people. Which being there, it would make sense if that is where he preached to people, its a perfect place to preach. I got a picture of me standing on the rock, preaching with my book of Mormon in hand. hahaha, i couldn't help myself, i AM a missionary! That evening ended with a fireside that featured....yours truly.........me and sister Larson. We spoke about how we ended up coming on a mission, and what experiences we have had since being on a mission. It was such a great night, we also found out that these firesides that they use to do every Sunday, that this was their last one in a couple months, and that they wont be going fireside's weekly, but just as occasion permits. So we were their final fireside, so that was even more special. We also sang them a song at the end, that was fun too! It was a great day all around. We were super tired by the time we got home.
But i was glad that the Sperry's are facebook friends with my mom, because we were able to take a picture and wish my dad happy birthday on facebook. Since this week has for sure been one of those weeks, it leaves you with lots of spiritual questions going through your head, our dinner Friday night with our member was awesome, the wife in the family is a convert, and she is so strong. She asked us what has been the most changing thing that happened to you since being on your mission. It was hard and easy to choose one. There are many things that have changed since I've been on my mission, but i talked to her about the fact that my desire to LIVE the gospel has changed. Before i was totally content with not doing much, i was baptized, i don't make awful choices, I'm not really going to hell, i might not make it to heaven, but the middle is all right. Well THAT HAS CHANGED COMPLETELY!!! I now know and understand the importance of not just being in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but LIVING the gospel of Jesus Christ. My heart has changed, and i know that i will never.....ever....let myself be less than living the gospel 100%. This desire has really touched me, it makes me want to be better, it makes me want to strive for the best, and it has helped me realize, that even if we are sacrificing more, like bad TV shows, or music, or friends.....or just bad habits, to live the gospel that we truly are MORE BLESSED!!! I wouldn't have ever thought that, until i experienced it, and being away from those worldly distracting things and helped me know what living the gospel means. That doesn't mean I'm going to come home and swear off TV, or music, and become Amish or something crazy. But i will not let anything distract me from living the gospel. Obviously this is something personal, that has helped me change. Helped me become better, but it has also changed my desire for those i love, members of my family, friends, all those people that I'm close to, that are great, and are not going out there killing people, but also are not experiencing the happiness and peace that comes from living the gospel fully and daily. I know with all my heart that one day i WILL return to my father in heaven and it WILL be the best greeting EVER. And i know, i will be heartbroken if i don't have every single member of my family and friends beside me when that day comes. Being away from everyone makes you love everyone that much more, and i love you all so much. I want to be with all of you forever. I want you all to realize how special the gospel is. And how happy it has made me, and how much it has changed me, and how it can do the same for you. I hope you don't read this and think, oh man stop being so preachy, I just love you all so dearly. And i hope you all understand that this comes from the heart, i may be on the other side of the computer and in Missouri, but i tell you this like I'm standing in front of you. I love you, and want you to know that i KNOW this is true, and i KNOW the closer i am to Heavenly Father, the closer i am to being in his presence again one day. I hope you all feel that same way!
I love all of you!!!