Monday, February 13, 2012

So many less-actives at church!

Elder Day told us Elder Ballard come to Yorkshire to speak, and he stood at the pulpit and said, "I'm sure you're all wondering why us old fossils get up here and say the same things every six months. Well--(hits the pulpit with his fist)--when you start DOING it, we'll talk about something else!" When I heard that, I felt a lot of empathy for him. We've had that experience of speaking in church about missionary work and how important it is and how easy it is and how you retain a remission of your sins by doing missionary work, and you KNOW that it's just falling on deaf ears. That's a tough pill to swallow. That's Nephi2, Elijah, Samuel, and Jesus' story.

I'm so pleased to be serving in the rad Winchester ward. Bruna came to church yesterday with Bea, and Laura was saying how all the YW entered into a secret combination or something to be her best friends ever. It's working; first youth, now she's in the Road Show, and then she came to church.

The same thing happened with Karolina. She was baptized in June, and her mum almost stopped her (age 17). But Karolina's stalwart example led Aleks to take the lessons and be baptized in September. I hope Carla recognizes Bruna's testimony and how the church changes us for the better. Miracles, miracles.

I think being a missionary doesn't necessarily endow you with power to perform miracles all of a sudden--I think it only equips you with the ability to recognize them. Miracles happen all around us. I've come to expect them on a daily basis because of my experiences. It doesn't mean life is easy or ideal or suddenly full of roses, but when you're absolutely exhausted and disappointed and you stop to get some food for dinner at eight and the best frozen pizza in town is Buy One Get One Free, I consider that to be a miracle. Those little mercies help us keep going. All those potential investigators, Noreen asking us to do service in the form of baking cupcakes for the soup kitchen, and sun when it was supposed to snow. This week my favorite miracle was that Bishop saw the state of my boots (I was trying to make it through the winter, but I was making the Church and America look bad) and took me to get some brand new ones. Who does that? I'm pretty sure you get celestialized for buying a missionary shoes.

I'm so grateful to be here with Sister Sebald. She's such a good missionary and a great teacher. I'm trying to learn all I can with her, in case I take over this area. I'm secretly hoping that President will have me whitewash train, because I loved getting trained that way. Sister Housley is now a traveling training sister, which is the equivalent of a Sister AP, and her purpose is to go on exchanges with sisters across the mission. Zone Conference this week--I can go! Huzzah! There are so many people dying (leaving for home) this next moves, including our longstanding Assistant Elder Karjaleinen (from Finland). There will be like 60% turnover by the time we get to May, which is really weird. We're almost the oldest group in the mission! Weird.

Hope all is well at home...Howard's almost leaving! That's so exciting!

Love from,
Sister Willard

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