Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Church in the Dark and Mormon (May 29, 2017)

Backwards is good. My brain is fresher that way.

       Sunday was SO awesome. Our English ward starts at 8 in the morning and we walked to the church cuz it was beautiful outside and why not. That morning at about 7:15 or so the power went out in our apartment. And since we're pretty close to the church, we were a little concerned about what was going to happen with church. Well, let me tell you, the lights were out in the church. We walk in and the most beautiful sight met my eyes - well, after they adjusted.
Everyone was just sitting down, on the pews, in the dark, just like any other Sunday! It was seriously awesome. The mic didn't work, and Brother Law was using his phone as a flashlight to conduct the meeting, there was the pianist and a flashlight holder, etc, until our WML Brother Coulston and Brother Christensen brought a truck with a generator and we used construction lights to light the front and the back of the building. Sister Center, Peter and I performed "Savior, Redeemer" and I have to tell you, it was dark yes, but the Spirit was one of complete peace and calm. We got dismissed after Sacrament meeting though.
       On the in-between we went home to grab some food and study for a bit when we get a message. "si pueden". It was from one of the Relief Society Teachers. That's it. "If you can." I respond "Claro, cual leccion?" "Of course, what lesson?" So an hour before church starts I quick make up a lesson for Relief Society. It ended up going really well, and Hna Petersen's talk also went great. It was a wonderful day for church. After we hung out with a couple of kids whose mom randomly asked us to take them to church. We found Ramon trying to contact a referral that wouldn't open the door - side note, do you think if we just kept knocking they would open the door? It's obvious that they are home so if you just don't go away I mean really, what can they do other than open the door? I'll let you know how it goes. Then we dropped off a missionary planner for an RM of 2 weeks who is going into planner withdrawals - it's a real thing I'm sure. It's seriously my brain. Then we had dinner, and talked to a couple of semi-drunk Hispanics.
      Highlight of the night! I organized a missionary panel where we combined the 1st and 3rd ward youth. The Central Spanish elders came along with us and 3rd elders, that way there was a good selection - only Spanish, only English, and then sisters that do both. I'm not going to lie, I was really worried that it wasn't going to go well, that no one would show up or that it would be awkward. But it went AMAZING! We had 4 rows of like 10 chairs and the majority were filled. They asked awesome questions and the Spirit was so incredibly strong. At the end we told them about the opportunity to serve a mini-mission with us in August and our recent convert Nichole ran up and said "I want to go where do I get the paper?" We handed out 3 packets and the 3rd ward handed out a couple to their youth as well.

        Saturday was a small disaster because Moses Lake suddenly had a Spring Fest! I think we knocked for like 4 hours that day. Traffic was crazy, roads were blocked, our dinner ended up being an hour of just meditating in the stake center field. That was actually pretty funny because we had called the zone leaders slightly freaking out because it was so hard to get any missionary work done! and then we go chill in the park and they find us doing nothing after telling us to do what we think would be the most productive #that'sawkward #ipromisethisisnotwhatitlookslike

      Friday we planned, practiced for Sunday, had an awesome dinner with some amazing rice pudding, the Book of Mormon class kind of got trumped by a birthday party behind the church for the 2nd counselor in the presidency but it was okay because Oso got stuck on the roof and then us hermanas destroyed in World Cup. Then we went and got a little Bible bashed but got to share Alma 32 and he started to actually listen.

     Thursday we had District Council, a lesson with Claudia, with our cancelled dinner I texted over 100 people in the phone asking if they were still interested in learning more about the church. Results? 1 said no, 1 said yes and then never texted back and the other 98 said nothing *sigh*. We had an amazing lesson with Nancy that night - she lives WAY the heck out in Mae valley on this little Mexican rancho and we got stuck at the gate with a bunch of ducks and chickens. But we taught the Restoration and she has an incredible understanding of everything! Then, she asked how can she STUDY the Book of Mormon. She told us, "I mean I can read it, but I won't get anything from it. How can I study it?" So then we taught her all about cross references and how to use the Bible to understand more, we dissected 1 Nefi 1:1 and she got so excited! Then we knocked a street where no one was interested but everyone was super nice. There was an atheist, two Catholics - one with the cutest dog I have ever seen, and the other one who gave us water. And THEN a lady who was the first stand-offish one we found. She didn't seem too fond of us Mormons. And then I complimented her flowers. And suddenly we were in her backyard talking about gardens, art, crafts, she showed us her pictures and collages, jewelry that she makes, everything. Distraction and love. It will literally get you in with anyone. Then we went to a semi active member and just got to talk with her and get really excited about the gospel which is something I think she really needed because her girls are 11 and 13 and are being pretty typical 11 and 13 year olds.

       Wednesday we did service at the food bank. The next noteworthy thing was visiting Bunny and reading the Bible with her. I used to get really frustrated when we went to her house because I didn't see the purpose but we've started expounding the scriptures and we all love it - me because I get to share all of my Bible knowledge in ways I never get to, and Bunny cuz she's learning and not just reading any longer. And Hna Petersen because she's been working on the Bible and she gets a kickstart with it. We had a lesson with the Huits that night and a Vivint guy approached us. He did it poorly and I felt so bad for him. I will never again judge a door to door salesmen because I'm pretty sure I've had worse door approaches than they do. Then we contacted a referral given to us and although it started out well it ended in a whole lot of being bashed on with the Bible. Mah.

I've made it a goal to finish the Book of Mormon in English this transfer so that I can finish the Spanish one in my last two transfers before I go home. Everyone is really familiar with the first part of the Book of Mormon but 3 Nephi 11 and onward has some of the most powerful passages of scripture I have ever read. I love the way that Mormon writes and honestly my testimony of Christ and His divinity and power has been strengthened and reaffirmed as I have read of His ministry in the Americas and then of the Apostasy that follows. Mormon at age 16 is called to lead armies, at 15 Jesus Christ shows Himself to Mormon, at 11 he is told where to find the plates and by the time he is 24 he has led the Nephites in battle against the Lamanites for 9 years and finally "utterly refuses" to lead them any longer due to their wickedness and is commanded of the Lord to sit back and watch, and take note. There is an incredibly powerful chapter where he directly addresses the Gentiles and the Israelites. Go read it! I know that Christ lives and I can promise you that if you are struggling in any way that if you read 3 Nephi 11 - 4 Nephi you will grow closer to Him than ever before.

Love you all!
Hna Baird


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