Monday, June 30, 2014

June 9, 2014 -- Learning a Lot!

With Brother Sheet's grandchildren on Memorial Day -- darling girls.
Hola familia!  

I love all your updates. I am excited that Abe will be coming home soon and looking forward to hearing about Afffrriiiccaaa :)

So this week has been good, and some parts hard, but mostly good.  It started out with another Leadership conference, which was great, but sadly President and Sister Irion's last! :(  A lot of what we talked about in that meeting was living, learning, leading with charity.  It's definetely something I have to continually pray for with all the energy of heart. It was so fitting because that's exactly the way President and sister Irion have been able to lead this mission, is through love.  It's also something my companion is really good at doing-truly loving others.  So I set goals to really focus on loving those we came in contact with this week.  That night we started exchanging with the Maryville sisters, and I got to go with Sister Jones which was great, because she was MY sister training leader my first couple of transfers.  We were able to have fun and work hard and I learned a lot from her, then in the middle of the next day, Hermana Malloy and Sister Benge called from Seymour, and Sister Benge was sick in bed! So we ended the exchange early and returned to our areas.  So it was definetely short & sweet!
Sister Malloy and I were able to do some good finding this week, and set a return teaching/dinner appointment with a Part-Member family that I am really excited about.  We also have been struggling a little bit with being involved with the members, so this week we really took it upon ourselves to invite as much as possible, and try just a little harder to bring members to our lessons and really taking accountability.  We set a goal with the sisters for this next week, and we're hoping we'll see improvement both in ourselves and in the zone as a whole.

Lisbeth, our investigator who is just hilarious.  
This is when the guy paid for our dinner (See June 2 post) -- it was great.
Another good part of this week was when we went to visit some less actives at a resting home with our ward mission leader, I had my violin and Brother Sheets insisted that I bring it in.  I played "How great thou art" and people just gathered, one lady's eyes tearing up.  I just love the sweet, sensitive spirits of the elderly!

So I want to tell y'all about Margaret.  She's a neighbor of some Recent Converts, and wanted to read the Book of Mormon.  After teaching the first lesson, she read it ALL in a week, and was calling us to ask if we could get her a copy of the Pearl of Great Price.  Haha it was incredible!  When we go to teach her she says she knows all of it is true, but believes that when she was baptized that it was sufficient - she says God has told her she doesnt need to be baptized again. BUT despite not committing to baptism, she still came with us to church on Sunday, and loved all three hours.  The members were warm to her which was also very good. 

We also got to teach sweet Nikki Singletary this week.  I just love her a whole lot, she is definetely a dry-mormon if I've ever met one.  She is so ready to be baptized, but really needs to come to church! But I just love her!

The hard part of this week was Raisa, the recent convert that the sisters baptized right before I got here.  We taught her, and she told us of how much she loves us, and described to us all the cool things she's done in her life, which are so many! So anyways, she's missed church about every other week for the last bit.  She expressed some concern that our church has more rules than she thought and that she is not really enjoying membership like she thought.  And it's clear, we can see that her membership is not rewarding her right now - and it's because we havent helped her seen the importance of doing her part- reading the book of mormon every day and secondly, the ward hasn't yet called her to a calling - and she needs to feel needed!

So we're just praying and praying for her.  

I have been so influenced by the examples of good, righteous families on my mission.  We ate on Sunday with one of the elderly couples in our ward and their son and his family, a great family of 3 boys and 1 girl just like mine and in our same order too, and it just made me so happy.  I know that families really are the basic unit of everything and are vital to our Heavenly Father's plan, and raising children in righteousness is really the way to go.

So we're training our Zone on Thursday about how to help others use the book of Mormon to lead to their lasting conversion, and studying this topic has really strengthened my testimony of it!  I know that the Book of Mormon is really our Liahona in this life (Alma 37:35-40ish) and that we really can liken it to our lives. I am learning how to truly 'drink deeply and often' from it. 

Love you!! MIss yall!!

 Hermana Madeleine Collier
Sevierville district.  I have served in Dalton with every one of these missionaries, isnt that hilarious!?  

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