Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tennis shoes & turkey sandwiches

Dear Family,

My story for the week happened Tuesday night as we went to an appointment with Sister Jeppesen as our team-up. Before getting out of the car we always pray and it was my turn. I guess Sister Bleazard really wanted me to hurry up with the prayer because she saw a guy walking at the end of the road and wanted to talk to him before he disappeared. As soon as I said amen, she hopped out of the car and took off running after him. This is actually a fairly common thing for us because we are determined to talk to everyone we see. Our team-ups have even started joking about needing to wear tennis shoes when they come out with us because we run so much. Anyway, we caught this guy just before he went into his house. Sister Bleazard "GQ'd" him (asked him a golden question) and we started talking about having a modern prophet. It was pretty funny because we had to pause between sentences to catch our breath. He looked at us like we were a bit crazy but asked if we'd like to come in and warm up. Then his mom came to the door and told us she grew up in the reorganized church (now Community of Christ). She let us in and got out her copy of the Book of Mormon (one of those old paperback ones with angel Moroni on the front). She said she had never really read or understood it and wondered if we could explain it. Of course! So we had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and she really felt the spirit. She even agreed to work toward baptism! After leaving, our team-up, Sister Jeppesen, turns and says "You guys are amazing!" She was really sincere with that compliment and it felt really good to hear.

Sister Bleazard and I were also very pleased with how the lesson went; we felt very unified. At one point, Sister Bleazard came up with a great analogy for praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. And later, I built on that same analogy. It went something like this:

When I was little and wanted a snack I would ask my mom to make me something to eat. She was very happy to help, so she would ask what I wanted. "I dunno" was my usual reply. Then she would list off some options:
"Cheese and crackers?"
To every suggestion I would say no and, naturally, mom would get frustrated. But, if I had been specific and asked for a turkey sandwich, mom would have made it for me without complaint. It is the same way with prayer. When we ask Heavenly Father specific questions, He is able to give specific answers.

Now, imagine that mom made me the turkey sandwich that I asked for, but I change my mind and decide that I'm not hungry any more. Wouldn't that be aggravating? Yes. Would mom be as likely to answer my requests in the future? No. Why would she go to all the trouble if I'm not even going to eat it? Again, it is similar with prayer. If we aren't willing to act on the answers God gives, why would he answer our prayers at all. We need to show Heavenly Father our willingness to act. Joseph Smith didn't just ask which church was right, he asked which he should join, showing that he would follow through on the guidance God gave.

Pretty good analogy huh?!? And we just came up with it on the spot! I really enjoy teaching the gospel. It is such a privilege and blessing to be a missionary and serve the Lord full time. I get to share the things that I know and hold dear with everyone I see and help them find the same joy and happiness that I have found in living the gospel. I know Heavenly Father loves us. He is our Father and wants us to become like Him and receive all the blessings and joy that He has. If we will just obey we can live with Him forever in eternal happiness.

I love you all so very much. Have a wonderful week!
Sister Bailey Mortensen

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