Monday, April 19, 2010
Saturday was probably one of the best days of my mission. It was sunny as could be and tons of people were outside doing yard work. Sister Meryhew and I walked around and had a good time talking to all of them. Most weren't interested, but they were friendly. A few said we could come back. Then we went to Michelle's baptism. It was so happy. Her whole family was there: immediate and extended, active and inactive and non-members as well. There were also several members of the branch there to support her. She wasn't even nervous about it, just excited and confident (exactly like we had been praying she would be). She looked so happy as her uncle pulled her up out of the water. I just couldn't be more happy for her. What a wonderful experience for her to be clean and then to receive the Holy Ghost. She is such a good example of faith and dedication. She has worked hard to make it this far and is determined to endure to the end. What a great example she is to her family. I know her baptism will bless them as well. After the baptism we had dinner with the Willetts and took pictures in their field. I sure do love the Willetts. Then we went to Ashland (a small, far away town) to check on a few people. We met Desiree and had a powerful conversation about the sacrament. She said she'd never thought of it as a way to remember Christ. She also said she wants to come to church and learn more. We walked away from that thinking "Wow! It worked! Teach the doctrine of the sacrament and they will want to come to church!" Then we stopped another lady outside her garage. Her name was Leanne and she didn't seem too interested at first, but then we told her about having a prophet today and that intrigued her. She said she would come to the Trail Center on Tuesday so that we can teach her more. And last but not least, we visited a family in the Branch and they gave us two referrals. It was an amazing day!
Elder Perry's counsel to the mission was truly inspired! So far the Gretna Branch has invited 5 families to be taught by us and all 5 have accepted. We recently started teaching Beth, the wife of Rex who was baptized a year ago and just barely received his endowment. She seemed really closed off, but Rex reassured us at church the yesterday that "She really is investigating" but she doesn't like when we ask her questions. He said that they both appreciate our visits each week. Hopefully she will feel more comfortable with us as we continue to meet and won't mind so much when we ask her questions. The other part member family that we started teaching is super cute. Kyle, the dad, is not a member but he has been going to church with his family for years. Our lesson with their family last night was amazing! We taught the gospel very simply and he really appreciated it. He is already like a perfect Mormon dad: helping his kids read scriptures, making sure they are listening, answering our questions, and even telling his oldest daughter that he expects her to serve a mission. Why he isn't baptized already we don't know. I guess he has felt pressured in the past and wants it to be his decision. Anyway, they are coming to the Trail Center next Saturday so we will try and talk to him then. Plus, the Trail Center is a great place for emphasizing eternal families.
The Trail Center is getting busier now that summer is approaching so there are generally two companionships and a senior couple there. We go up there about two days a week and it takes about half an hour to get there. It's open from 9 to 9, but some days we only do half the day (9 to 3 or 3 to 9). Maybe I will have to take some pictures and "give you a tour" sort of like the tours I give to people who come in. When no visitors come we get time to study, update the area book, give each other tours, make phone calls, practice the piano, or do other productive things. It's a nice change of routine from normal proselyting. I like the fact that people come to us rather than us having to find them. The whole hope is that people will leave us with referrals of friends they know, or even themselves, that would like to learn more about the gospel (I'm sure you remember those cards from all the visitors centers we went to). It fits right in with our missionary purpose to "Invite other to come unto Christ ..."
Well family, I love you. I really, really do. I hope you have a great week!
Sister Bailey Mortensen