IM SO EXCITED ABOUT ALEX AND BJS SECOND CHILD!! She told me last week, and told me not to tell anyone. I still told a few people, but its not like they can tell anyone because they don't know my family. My companion and I have been talking about it, because her sister also just had a baby and when she goes home in a few months she will get to meet them. Its all pretty exciting.
This last week has been insane. We went to the stake center 4 days in a row for different meetings we had. My Zone Training Meeting was first, my Zone Conference was the next day, and then we had Stake Conference. CRAZY! Anyway, because of it, I learned a lot about the principle of Faith. Here's what I told my mission president.
This week really has been a lesson in diligence, faith, and keeping commitments. Last week we set lower goals than we might have otherwise set, because for four days in a row, we had to go to Macon for different meetings. It really cut away from our time and planning. We did however set a higher goal than we might have otherwise done but did it with a prayer to Heavenly Father that we would be able to teach enough people to reach it. A few days later, the Zone Leaders called and asked us to commit to getting a member out every single day. We said yes of course, but we began to frantically plan when we could invite members out and who would benefit from having them out, while still being able to achieve our goals. We didn't make the member present goal as high as we might have otherwise done because our other lessons and our RC/LA lessons were high. We had talked about possibly having a day or two where we wouldn't have members come out with us, because we still needed to meet investigators without members as well. After we decided this, it didn't sit very well with me, because we had committed to get a member out with us every day. It even penetrated my dreams, and my dreams were focused around the commitment we had made. I realized that as important as it was to reach the goals, it was more important to do our best to keep the commitment just because it was inconvenient. After all, if we didn't, how can we then expect our investigators to do the same? We had prayerfully considered the goals we had set, and we knew we would need to rely on the Lord anyways, and what was this but just a test of that faith? The next morning, Sister Applegate and I talked about it, and we came up with a plan that would fulfill both goals. We prayed everyday that our appointments would work out, so that we would be able to teach and share this beautiful gospel and Spirit with everyone who needed it. The results are astounding. Up until Saturday, every single lesson we had planned worked out, or else the 1st backup did. We had nearly every single goal hit, and we had managed to invite members to come out with us every single day as well. It came to the point that our member lessons nearly tripled our goal, and we were still able to reach all of our goals. The very last one occurred on Sunday night at 8:15, and that one was special because the Sister we went to go see has a baptism date for July 11th, and the spirit was so strong as we sat there, and she bore her testimony to us of her belief.
That sister that we saw last night we have been worried about since before I got here. We haven't been able to really tell whether or not she is prepared for baptism, and we didn't want her to get baptized until we felt she was completely ready. We have been trying to figure out how to get her to share her testimony and to get her to keep her commitments, and it has been hard. Last night when she bore her testimony, it made us all cry, and now we know that she is basically ready for her baptism, we just have to teach her the rest of lesson 4 and lesson 5. IM SO EXCITED!! July is going to be awesome. We currently have 11 people on date for the month of July and the beginning of August. 5 of whom I am pretty certain will be baptized on their current date. Its going to be so awesome. I can't wait:)
One thing I did want to share with all of you was the topic of most of the talks from stake conference. It was about member missionary work. It was also the topic of some of the lessons at the missionary meetings I went to before, so it is being stressed a lot recently. President Cottle showed us some stats in our Zone Conference about two different missions with different success rates. The main difference was member lessons and church attendance. Most of the other things were actually less for the mission with more baptisms, but to me it really showed the importance of members at lessons. This goes for all of you as well, because it isn't something that just applies to the Macon Mission. It is hard sometimes to go with missionaries to lessons. I understand that, but the effect it has on the investigators is amazing. It is so important to help them understand that it isn't just the missionaries who love and care for them, but the people in the ward as well, and as we focus on their needs, both members and missionaries, the work will increase. I invite all of you to go out with the missionaries at least once a month. I can tell you that they would certainly appreciate it. Also understand that the missionaries are the ones who know about these investigators, and receive inspiration on how to approach them. If the Spirit prompts you to say or do something, do it, but understand that sometimes members can be over bold in their eagerness to share the gospel. When you do go out with the missionaries, try to find out all you can about the person before seeing them, so that you can better know what to expect when you meet them.
Love you all!! <3
-Sister Monica Walker
PS This guy who was 84 was watching me type up this email just now, and made me jump because he started talking to me about why I was emailing this really long letter. I told him I was serving a mission for my church and that I was from Modesto CA. Turns out he went to MJC for half a semester back in the 50s. Haha. I thought this would be a good missionary opportunity, so we talked for a little bit. Also turns out he dated a Mormon back in high school. What are the odds! He said he was too old to be taught, but we said he wasn't, we gave him a card, and asked if we could come visit him sometime, and then he told us he was already a member, but went back to his other church years ago. He was super nice, and we asked if we could move his records over here, but his wife told him it was time to go so he left. He didn't tell us no, but he also didn't tell us yes. We didn't get his name though, or his address which stinks. I don't know if anything will come of it, but he does have a card, which has our number on it, and I'm glad he has fond memories of us. Maybe he will call us for a visit:)