Wednesday, January 29, 2014

EPIC Member Missionaries in Page

Lots of miracles even though both Sister Askren and I got sick which slowed us down to say the least. It was a week full of miracles thanks to the members though. They are really working hard to share the gospel. We have seem just a few of the fruit of their efforts in this past week alone, but I know that there is so much more good that they are doing that will bring tons of fruit in the future! It is just a fun time to be a missionary to be see this work hasten!
Just a few of the awesome member missionary experiences that we saw this week: 

--We got a member referral from Brother Chidester. We are over at his house a lot because we are teaching his daughter Audra. He told us that his housekeeper wants to take the lessons. She knows a few Mormons and hated the Catholic Church so she decided to come to church this week with her two daughters. Tina came to Gospel Principles and Relief Society with us and we had some great lessons. She cried in the lesson about trials where we covered President Monson's talk "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." It was a powerful lesson and the sisters in Relief Society had a great discussion about using each other for support. They are so close and I could tell that these women have been there for each other through so many things. I felt the Spirit strongly and I was glad that Tina could be there for that. I am grateful that members like Brother Chidester extended invitations to her so she could be there on Sunday. 

--Sister Askren and I started a few events to try to find more investigators and to strengthen the members and the less-active members. We started a Book of Mormon study class which we hold every Friday night and then we started firesides on the last Sunday of every month. We really wanted these to be times where we could all come together to feel of the Spirit, and we wanted to help the members have opportunities to do missionary work. We are excited for them even though the attendance for these has been small. The miracle of last night's fireside was that a potential investigator, Dagmar, came! Her story: she is a manager at one of the dollar stores in town and a member, Sister McCallister (the Stake President's wife), became friends with her there at her store. Dagmar always showed her the good deals and they became really good friends. One night, Sister McCallister invited Dagmar to help her feed the missionaries dinner. Dagmar agreed and we all ate dinner together and had a good time. Well we got Dagmar's phone number because she wanted us to meet her dogs sometime. We didn't think much of it, but sometimes we send her texts and invite her to things. I was inviting people to the fireside yesterday and I felt prompted to invite our potential investigators and former investigators via text. I must have invited over 40 or so people and I asked them to support us as we spoke that night, but Sister Askren and I figured that this fireside would probably be small because all of our Book of Mormon study classes have been less than 5 people.
Well we got to the church a little early and Dagmar was walking around the church! It was awesome. We had no idea that she was coming. I really do think that she came because the text kind of sounded like we really needed support (which we do because our events haven't been too successful numbers wise). I felt very strongly that people want to feel like they are needed and that their service means something. The fireside went well and we talked about how the Book of Mormon strengthens families. We talked about Lehi's family and the things that they went through and sacrificed for. We made it short but we could feel the Spirit. It was a great experience and perfect, even though it was only Bishop Bunting, Brother Skaggs (who is in the high council over missionary work), Brother Prall (one of our ward mission leaders), Dagmar, and us. I know that that fireside did a lot of good even though it was small. I know that through small and simple things, greats things are brought to pass. I love this work. God is so merciful.
We also had an awesome lesson with a former investigator who just got married. She could never get baptized before because she needed to live the Law of Chastity and marry her boyfriend. They got married in December and dropped us at that time because they got so busy. We had our first lesson in a while on Tuesday and she was really happy to see us. We just read the Book of Mormon with her and she was really enjoying our discussion. There is so much power in that book. I feel the Spirit so strongly whenever I read it with anyone and we talk about what we learn from it and how it applies to us right now. Throughout the lesson we weaved in the promised blessings of living the gospel (especially the blessings of reading the Book of Mormon and making goals). We gave her a baptismal calendar so she could track her reading and prayers and church attendance, and by the end we were all so happy. She closed with a prayer and in the prayer she mentioned that she wanted to have many more nights like this and that she wants to get baptized sooner rather than later. We hadn't mentioned either of those things but the Spirit told her what she needed to do to progress. We set up a return appointment and asked her when she wanted to get baptized. She said March 1st. We were so happy for her. We promised her that if she came to the ward that she lives in instead of the Navajo ward where she likes to go, then she would be blessed. She hasn't come to our ward yet but I have hope that she will. I was so grateful for that lesson because I could see how happy she was to feel of the Spirit again and her desire to come closer to Christ. I love being a missionary! 

Well I love you!
Sister Bledsoe

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