Monday, February 16, 2015

72nd Email: Marvelous Work and A Wonder

I love being a missionary.

On Saturday we were out knocking on doors and passing out flyers for a family history workshop at the church. We picked a couple of streets that were close to the church and just started knocking away! Some people weren't home, some were politely disinterested, and others were not so politely disinterested... It was really cold, and the wind was blowing like crazy. Prime conditions for a discouraged heart? Perhaps. I tried to focus my mind on the importance of the work and the truthfulness of the gospel, which helped. Then, as we were walking up this one driveway, a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants came to my mind. The Lord says to the early missionaries of the church: "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up (D&C 84:88)." Right as the verse filled my thoughts, a strong gust of wind came from behind and blew towards the house we were approaching, almost as if it were urging us onward. I felt the wind surrounding me and moving forward with me, and I felt such a sense of peace and confidence, because I knew my Savior was right there with me. From that moment on the roar of the wind as it flustered the trees was a reminder to me of the power of God, and that this work is truly a marvelous work and a wonder--a stone cut out of the mountains without hands, that will roll forth until it covers the earth (Daniel 2:45). We didn't find anyone that was interested that day, but I know that the Lord was with us, and that we were where we needed to be. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and we are so privileged to labor alongside the Master in sharing it with the world.

Sunday was a day of changed plans. Sister Scarff and I arrived at the church building a few minutes before 8am for a meeting with the Ward Council, and the Elders were there...but no one else was. Okay, maybe they're just running a bit late. 20 minutes later...okay, probably not. The Elders called the Bishop only to find out that Ward Council AND all the other Church meetings had been canceled due to icy roads on the outskirts of town. NOOO!!!!!!! I was so looking forward to Sacrament Meeting and feeling the Spirit of church. Also, we didn't have a backup for three hours of church. Now what do we do? Never fear, my friends! We happen to be in one of the very few areas in the West Virginia Charleston Mission where there are two meeting houses within 10 miles of each other. We texted our District Leader, and he told us the wards in Buena Vista would still be meeting and we were more than welcome to attend there. YES! So we went to church, and it was so wonderful. Best three hours of the week. 

The Rockbridge Ward started later than the Lexington Ward starts, so after church we were a bit behind schedule. Thankfully, our plans for the day happened to be very flexible. We were going to try to contact a couple of referrals out in Natural Bridge and try some investigators in Glasgow (Glasgow is about 20 minutes away, and Natural Bridge is 5 minutes past Glasgow). As we looked at our plans to see what needed adjustments, Sister Scarff felt that we should try the referrals first. We needed a bit more information about the referrals, so we stopped by the B--'s house to learn more about their neighbors that they wanted us to go see. As we talked, Brother B-- mentioned T-- B--, a woman we had recently been teaching, but decided she needed some time to figure things out on her own. He said that she had been feeling down and could really use a visit. We had just stopped teaching T-- about three weeks ago, but we thought, why not! 

So we tried the referrals first, met this awesome girl named M--, which is a whole other awesome miracle story I don't have time to tell, and then we went to see T--. She was excited to see us and invited us right in. We ended up talking to her for quite a while, and long story short, she told us she has been thinking about the church a lot. She feels the spirit in our church more than in any other church, and she has noticed that members of the church live the gospel of Jesus Christ more than anyone else she knows. She has been investigating the church for years, and has just never been sure if she needs to be a part of any one specific church. She's been having this spiritual struggle with God for a long time, and she told us that she came to the realization that she needs to just let some things go and do what God wants her to do. Then I asked, "So T--, what do you think God wants you to do?" She paused, looked me straight in the eye, and said, "God wants me to become a member of your church." ____ (Insert emoticon that portrays complete and total dumbfoundedness).....What do you even say to that? The spirit was so strong as she bore testimony of what she has come to know about the truthfulness of the church.

If our plans had not been changed, we probably would not have gone to the B--'s, which means we would not have gone to see T--. God knows His children, and He is in charge of this work.

I know that this church is true. Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and the work of Salvation is His. The work is hastening, and no power can stop it. The only thing we can ask ourselves is will we keep the pace?

Sister Myers

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

71st Email: Unity

Normally you would think that exhaustion is a result of a large amount of physical exertion, but I have come to learn that this is not always the case. On Tuesday we had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) in Charleston, WV, which meant we had to get up at 3:00, drive for 5 hours, sit in an awesome, spirit-filled meeting for 5 or 6 hours, and then drive back for another 5 hours. By the end of the day, and for the next couple of days, I was so tired! I now know that it is indeed possible to exhaust yourself simply by sitting. All. Day. MLC really was great though. My favorite thing we talked about is unity. We are trying to be unified as a mission, and we talked about what it really means to be unified and how we can become unified. Something that hit me in my studies the other day is that the best way to be unified with each other (as a mission, companionship, couple, family) is to first unify ourselves with the Lord. In 4 Nephi, it talks about how the people were all converted unto the Lord, both Nephites and Lamanites, and because of that, there was no contention in the land. They unified themselves with the Lord, and thus were naturally unified with each other because they did things the Lord's way and treated one another as Christ would treat them. Why do we ever try to do things our own way? The Lord's way is always, always better.

We had a zone meeting in Buena Vista on Thursday and another zone meeting in Lynchburg on Friday, so with those meetings and MLC on Tuesday, we had a lot less time to proselyte this week. But guess what? Nothing can stop the work of the Lord. We were able to teach more lessons this week than last week, and after doing all we could to help our investigators come to church, four people came! E--, R--, G--, and D-- all made it to church. D-- came for the first time! He is doing so great! He's working towards getting baptized on March 15th. Speaking of baptism, there were two people baptized in Buena Vista this week, and we invited all of our investigators to come so they could see what it was like and especially so they could feel the spirit of the sacred ordinance. After inviting everyone, a few people said they would try to make it. D-- said he would come, but he didn't know where the church was, so we told him we would come to his house half an hour before the baptism and he could follow us there. Now, to preface what happened, it's important to note that while missionary work is the greatest thing ever that's full of excitement and miracles, there are a lot of moments of....disappointment. People not being home for lessons...or coming to church...yadda yadda yadda... So as we were walking up to D--'s door, there was this almost instinctive part of me that was like, "Ah, he's probably not home. He probably forgot." But that was just Satan trying to get me down! Get outa here, Satan! We knocked on the door which soon was opened to reveal.....D--! Well, of course it was D--. It was his house. But he was home! And he was wearing a suit!!! He remembered! Sister Scarff and I were as giddy as children on Christmas morning for the 15 minute drive to Buena Vista. Needless to say, D-- thoroughly enjoyed the baptism and is looking forward to the day when he can be baptized as well. 

Yesterday was a day of first-timers for me. It was the first time I have ever walked around on a February afternoon and seen people washing their car and having a barbecue because is was 75 degrees outside. No big deal. Also, before yesterday, I had never had a rat named Skunk urinate on my arm. Also not a big deal. I am grateful for all the experiences that I have had on my mission. 

Whelp! Time to go save the world! I hope your week is "a little bit better than fantastic!" (Said by some missionary whose name escapes me...) 

Love ya!
Sister Myers

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

70th Email: Hug, BOOM!...Waterworks

Sister Scarff is really good at making people cry. 

Yesterday after church we came home for a quick bathroom break before heading out to Glasgow, and I was feeling stressed about a lot of things. Just random, normal missionary stuff. I don't know why, but it had just kind of been an off day. I started to tell Sister Scarff how I was feeling, and my emotions got a bit too close to the surface and I could feel tears in the corners of my eyes. (Side note: I don't really cry. Like, almost never.) Sister Scarff, being the awesome companion she is, reached out and gave me a hug, and right as she hugged me, BOOM! Tears started flowing like the Nile! And the worst part is I don't even know why I was crying! (Don't worry, Mom, I'm completely fine. I'm pretty sure crying is just something that's required by every full time missionary. It's probably in the white handbook or something) So anyways, once all that was over, I felt a lot better. I guess sometimes when life stresses you out, you just gotta let the stress flow out your eyeballs.

Fast forward 30 minutes, we're in Glasgow. We go to visit an investigator who wasn't able to come to church, and it turns out she has been feeling super stressed too, except, the things stressing her out are way more serious than the things stressing me out. She starts talking to us about everything that's going on, gets a little emotional, Sister Scarff hugs her, and then BOOM! Instant replay, tears everywhere. 

Anyways...sorry for the doom and gloom. On a brighter note, we had an awesome week! We went on two exchanges to Buena Vista and Forest, Virginia, which was great fun. Sister Packard (serving in Forest) just got her tonsils out and has to rest for two weeks before getting back to work, so instead of doing a normal exchange, we just all had a party in Forest. Sister Scarff stayed inside with Sister Packard so Sister Maddox and I could go out and work in their area, since they haven't been able to do much lately. Then we all slept at their apartment, so it was like a great big sleepover! We stayed up late...watched movies...had a pillow fight...... Okay we didn't do any of those things, just normal missionary stuff, but it was still fun!

This next week is going to be a busy week! MLC (Mission Leadership Council) is tomorrow in Charleston, WV, then we have a zone meeting in Buena Vista on Thursday, a zone meeting in Lynchburg on Friday, and a bunch of great appointments in between! Should be good. :)

Love ya! Have a great week!

Sister Myers

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

69th Email: That's What's UP

Baaaahhh!!! This has been such a long, awesome week! There is so much going on in Lexington, I'm trying not to explode.

L-- and C-- came to church again and they LOVED it. Last time L-- came in pants, and she felt a little uncomfortable, but she didn't have any skirts to wear and couldn't afford to go buy one, so she MADE one. That's what's up. She and C-- just seemed so happy at church! I love it!

Have I talked about E-- before? Well E-- is basically amazing. When I got here, she basically knew everything and now, she still knows everything. Today we had a lesson so Sister Scarff could get to know her, and we decided to go through a teaching record with E-- just to double check her understanding. E-- looked at the teaching record, said it's all common sense, and then proceeded to teach all the lessons to us briefly and simply. She's basically ready to teach gospel principles! The only thing holding her back from getting baptized is the fact that she and her boyfriend need to get married because they're living together. And that should be happening soon because she's already picked out the ring. She's so great! She loves everything about the church. She's so excited to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, be able to ride in our car to go teach lessons with us, and have a calling in the church. I love her so much. She's so funny. We're going to be friends forever.

So there used to be three sets of missionaries in the Lexington Ward, but the number of missionaries in our mission is decreasing, which means some areas have to be closed down. The Lexington walking elders' area was one of those areas this transfer. Now it's just us and the Lexington North elders, so we'll be taking over the teaching of some of the walking elders' investigators. So that's exciting! Sister Scarff and I have just been running around all over the place. So much to do! There is so much potential in this area. Heavenly Father is hastening His work and preparing the hearts of His children to receive the gospel. Such a fun time to be a missionary! :)

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Go talk to someone you wouldn't normally talk to!

Sister Myers

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

68th Email: Fruit Flies

So you know how it usually takes some time for time to pass? For some reason missions think they don't have to follow that rule. Time just flies like fruit all over the place! I feel like I just got to Lexington a couple weeks ago, but all of a sudden the transfer (6 weeks) is over! Didn't we just have Christmas? And now we're halfway through January?? Oh, and to make matters worse, today is my 17 month mark. I have 6 weeks left in my mission. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?? I think we should all just go back to elementary school where a 15 minute recess seems like an hour and a 3 month summer vacation seems like a year. Deal?

Anyways, despite my dismay, it IS transfer week, and Sister Tobler is leaving, unfortunately. My new companion will be Sister Scarff, a real, live Canadian from Canadia! I've served around Sister Scarff a lot and gone on exchanges with her a couple of times, so I know her pretty well. She's great! She's left-handed like me, so we won't have to worry about bumping elbows at the dinner table. We'll definitely get along! I'm sad Sister Tobler is leaving, but I'm excited to serve with Sister Scarff. The usual transfer emotions... I told Sister Tobler we better be friends after our missions. Shouldn't be too hard considering we were friends before.

Bunches of wonderful things happened this week, and I wish I could tell you everything! Miracles literally happen every single day. Today's miracle is that it finally snowed in Lexington!!!! :D Such a beautiful sight. 

I went on exchanges this week with Sister Maddox, who was in my MTC District. I love her so much! She is a sweet heart. We had a really good day. Cold, but good. So...I've been a Sister Training Leader for a while, but sometimes (most of the time, actually) I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I basically feel like a lost puppy at the front of a dog sled in the middle of a snow storm. I've come to realize though, that Heavenly Father knows me perfectly, and he just wants me to keep running, trusting that he won't let me go the wrong way and fall off a cliff or something. Before the exchange, I had no idea what Sister Maddox needed, but I just did my best to lead and help her however I could. We had some really good conversations about how to be better missionaries, and we worked hard right up to the last minute of the day, which resulted in miracles. 

I know that Heavenly Father doesn't expect us to be perfect, and he will work with whatever efforts we give him, as long as it's our best. When the brother of Jared asked the Lord how they would have light in the barges as they traveled across the ocean, the Lord basically told him to figure it out. So, the brother of Jared selected 16 stones, brought them to the Lord, and asked the Lord to touch the stones with his fingers to give them light. Did the Lord say, "Now, that wasn't really the best idea..," or "You know, it would probably work better if the stones were a little bigger.."? Of course he didn't. The brother of Jared did his best, and Heavenly Father worked with it. And as long as we are doing our best, Heavenly Father can work with us.

Love ya, 
Sister Myers

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

67th Email: Best Day Ever

Happy 2015!! It's that time of year again... Time to self-reflect and beat ourselves up for everything we did or didn't do in 2014 and make resolutions for the new year that we're never going to accomplish, right? Wrong! Sometimes that's how I feel when I self-reflect, but that's not what Heavenly Father wants. Remember what Alma said to his son, Corianton? "And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance" (Alma 42:29). It's good to reflect and realize what needs to change, but only for that purpose: to change. And we have to be realistic with ourselves. We had a leadership meeting in Charleston, WV on Tuesday, and we basically talked about a billion things we can do to be better missionaries and leaders. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed because I have SO much room for improvement, and I pretty much felt like my head was going to explode! Thankfully, we had a nice long ride back to Lexington and I was able to relax my mind and work things out with Heavenly Father. I realized that I can't change everything at once (if I did, I'd be translated immediately), and I needed to take it not only a day at a time, but a task at a time. All of a sudden everything became a lot more simple! Heaven Father is so patient.

So...yesterday (Jan 4) was the best day ever. L-- and C-- told us they wanted to come to church, but that it would depend on how everyone was feeling (Everyone and their dog has been getting sick lately). Sacrament Meeting was getting started and they still weren't there. We stared and stared at the door but eventually gave up and redirected our attention to the meeting. All of a sudden, Brother Foster came up behind us and said, "I think your investigators are in the hall." We hopped up and walked briskly (but reverently) to the foyer....and there they were! We brought them over to sit with us, and then it seemed as if every testimony was directed right to them. Testimonies of the Book of Mormon, and God's love, and was perfect! Then this little boy got up and bore a beautiful, sweet testimony, and I heard L-- whisper to herself, "If he can do it, I could do it." A few minutes later she leaned over and asked, " you just go and sit up there?" I smiled and said, "Yeah, if you want.."  She sat quietly for several more minutes, listening intently to everything that was said, and she kept grabbing her Book of Mormon and flipping through the pages as if looking for a certain passage. Time was winding down, and there was only about five minutes left in the meeting, so I leaned over and asked L-- if she was going to go up, and she said, "Yeah, but I don't want to go by myself." And so, with Book of Mormon in hand, L-- and I walked up to the front of the chapel. After I bore my testimony, L-- got up, introduced herself, explained how she met me and Sister Tobler, and basically told the congregation that she felt like this is where she needs to be, especially to raise her daughter, and that she wants to become a part of the church. I was still sitting up on the stand, so I had to stay composed, but inside I was like !!!!! (I'm sure my emoticon of a happy dancing man won't show up on the blog. Oh well.) The rest of church was great. Once Sacrament Meeting ended, C-- and L-- were basically celebrities, surrounded constantly by people who wanted to meet them and thank L-- for her testimony. It was perfect. :) The Relief Society Lesson was exactly what she needed too: a message from the teachings of President Benson about the importance of prayer and reading the Book of Mormon. As we were walking out of the meetinghouse after church was over, L-- was like, "Are you still coming tomorrow at 5? And who's this Benson guy?" We're excited to go teach them today about modern prophets and revelation.

Well, this has turned into a novel! Better rest my hands before I get arthritis. The church is true, the book is blue, and L-- loves it all!

Have a great week! Go find someone who doesn't know about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and tell them about it!

Sister Myers