Things here have been much warmer than usual, which is very nice for missionaries. Walking outside and talking to people is one of our favorite things to do, so a taste of spring was very welcome.
I'd say a big highlight this past week was teaching a 70 year old man named Jim. Sisters Kusnerik and Lasalosi found him back in December just a few months after his wife passed away. He's very lonely at times without her. After I came to Millard, we stopped teaching him because he was never willing to keep commitments. He just didn't see the need to read the scriptures or come to church or do anything that we asked him to do. Well, the other night, we were praying to open our nightly planning session and Sister Monson kept having the name "Jim" come to her mind. So she asked "Is there a Jim that you know of?" I told her about Jim and we put him in our plans for the next day. When we went by he was very friendly. We shared a brief scripture and set up an appointment on Presidents Day. Thankfully, Sister Minino didn't have to work that day and was able to come with us. She was the perfect team up. Jim had actually read some of the Book of Mormon that morning and he still had our phone number posted on his wall. He told about how he was struggling with the passing of his wife and we were able to offer comfort as we discussed and read scriptures about the resurrection and the Holy Ghost. He seemed to feel, as we did, that his wife is okay and that he will reunite with her after this life. We invited Jim to pray and read Alma chapter 7. He said he would and expressed a sincere interest to learn about the gospel and the plan of salvation. It was a big change from the Jim I knew before. I think that part of the change came simply because we followed the spirit in addressing Jim's needs. We taught him instead of teaching a lesson. Sister Minino also followed the spirit in sharing her testimony and her experiences of finding peace through the scriptures and prayer. It was a powerful lesson.
Another fun thing this week was going on exchanges. I got to go back to Ralston with Sister VanderDoes. She is a great missionary and I learned from her that I need to testify more. She also has a very calming demeanor which seemed to help people feel comfortable. I really enjoyed that. It was also quite a treat to go back to my first area and be reminded of so many memories. It kind of helped me to see how much I've changed in the past 16 months. I've definitely grown as a missionary and a person.
I hope you all know how much I love you. I pray for you often and wish I could do more for you. Please tell me if there is anything I can do.
Sister Bailey Mortensen