Hello Family, Friends, and Followers!
This is Sister Fox! Writing another email after another eventful week. I am filled with so much excitement and nervousness I think I may just pass out.
If any of you were wondering, I did not pass out last week. Though after the success we had, I came pretty darn close.
I! . . . Don't even know where to start. Actually, I'll answer Dad's question. Because it ties in to one of my favorite stories from this week. Dad asked me if Janette knows Suellen, the investigator who dropped us. It just so happens that she does! They are neighbors. Coincidence? I think not. Oh. My heavens. Janette is so solid! The answer she received at church last week was so powerful, she wants to tell the world. The only thing we taught her was Alma 32. But after she came home from church that day, she started teaching all her neighbors. All of them. She's rounding people up! Quite a few of her neighbors had approached her with rumors. "I hear they worship Joseph Smith." She totally held her ground. "No, they honor and revere Joseph Smith as a prophet, but they worship Jesus Christ. They're called the Church of *Jesus Christ* of Latter-Day Saints." She even talked to Suellen! Suellen did not feel comfortable with the doctrine of the Spirit World. Even though we hadn't taught Janette the Plan of Salvation yet, she helped clarify the doctrine. Now Suellen feels better about it! Janette said she wants to try to get Suellen to church along with a couple other neighbors. There is also a less-active family in that neighborhood with whom she associates, and she wants to get them to church too! We hadn't even taught her the first lesson and she's already trying to re-activate less-actives! She. Is. Amazing. When we called her for our appointment Wednesday morning, she told us about all the encounters that she had and how desperately she wants everyone to know about her experiences with the Mormon church. AH! The Church is true!
Wednesday we had a fantastic meeting with Janette. A member family in our ward, the Millers, reached out to her and they became fast friends. We had dinner together at the Millers' house Wednesday night and taught Janette the Restoration. The Spirit was so strong, and everyone in the room bore a powerful testimony about their experiences with the Book of Mormon and answered prayers. Right before we invited Janette to be baptized, the Bishop walked through the door (he was taking the Millers' kids home from mutual). So he was there to see it! We invited Janette to be baptized on and she just started sobbing. She said nothing would stop her. She. Is. Amazing.
Janette came to church with us ! She woke up feeling really sick. Her voice was gone. But she loved church so much last week, she decided to come again. She is so dedicated. I am so proud of her and how far she has come already! I love her story. Missionary work is the best thing ever.
Mattie came to church too! She is really shy and quiet, but she had a good time. She is really open to learning more about the Gospel. We're excited to work with her! She's solid too. She accepted a baptismal date the first lesson, and every time we teach her new doctrine she welcomes it with open arms. She has changed the way she prays and she feels closer to God. Missionary work is the best thing ever.
I have to tell y'all about Pete! Pete is awesome. He was one of the 19 investigators we found last week. He had actually ordered a Book of Mormon off of television once and had read a little bit. We taught him the Restoration and invited him to read. He has been reading a lot in between lessons! He really likes it too. We had a really neat experience just a couple lessons ago. He said he had written and published a poem a couple decades ago that he wanted us to read. He wanted us to tell him whether or not he was crazy. As I read the poem, I was completely stunned. At the time he had written the poem, he had never heard of the LDS church and was not familiar with the doctrine at all. Yet in the poem he beautifully describes the deeper doctrines of the church regarding the nature of man, the nature of heaven, and man's potential. Missionary work is the best thing ever. As we taught him about the Holy Spirit, he said he could feel it in the past as he wrote poetry. No surprise there. It was the neatest thing. He is so receptive. We haven't been able to get him to church yet due to some complications, but we're hoping to soon!
We got to see Leslie again this week! We have been re-teaching the lessons to her to help spark her memory and feel the Spirit. I love teaching her the lessons because she has so many incredible insights. It took two days just to re-teach the Restoration. She is coming back so strong! She has thanked us over and over for being an answer to her prayers and helping her feel the Spirit again. Missionary work is the best thing ever.
Oh! I have a fun story about answered prayers. A few nights ago we were out proselyting when Sister Walker realized she didn't have her name tag on. Poor thing was devastated. She had put a lot of stickers on the back that had a lot of sentimental value and she was desperate to find it again. We said a prayer as a companionship and began our search. We began retracing the steps we had taken for the previous couple hours. We were prompted to search the area we had parked for our dinner appointment. So we went back to our dinner appointment and started searching the grass outside. And there it was! Sitting in the grass. Sister Walker was so excited. It strengthened all our testimonies that God cares about us enough to answer our prayers, even about something as trivial as a name tag. If it's important to us, it is important to the Lord.
We had really good meetings at Church yesterday. I wanted to share a few insights. In Sacrament meeting someone gave a powerful talk on the importance of receiving temple ordinances. My heart longed for the temple like nothing else. So. All of you reading this email, will y'all do something for me? Go to the temple at least once this week. I promise you have time, even if you think you don't. There are no blessings like the blessings of a temple. We are so blessed to have so many surrounding us. So go and let me know how it goes. Please and thank you!
We had a fantastic lesson in Relief Society about watching our words and conduct toward our family, friends, and neighbors. It is so important to provide those around us with positive feedback. A human development professor at BYU had done a demonstration with his students about positive feedback. He had two students leave the room and the rest of the class hid an object. When the first student came in, the rest of the class gave her nothing but positive feedback: "Yes! It's that way! Great job, you're doing great!" The first student always finds the object in seconds. When the second student came in, she received nothing but negative feedback. "Are you sure you want to go that way? Okay, if that's what you think is best . . . I hope you know what you're doing . . . no, don't go that way, that's ridiculous." Usually, the second student doesn't even find the object. Sometimes she just wants to give up, sit down, and cry. It's just like raising children. They are motivated by positive feedback. I find most people are that way. A very wise person sent me an email a while back talking about how our perfect Heavenly Father puts all His confidence in us. Getting doubtful or negative feedback from Him would be so destructive. I'm gonna quote her email: "Can you imagine Him sending you into a difficult trial and getting the prompting, 'I'm not sure whether you can do this. . . I guess maybe. . . It's just that I'm not sure you're quite there yet.' Even when we may not deserve it, He always expresses confidence. You can change. You can do good things. You can overcome. Through His Son, He promises we can do anything. In this way His confidence is such a mercy, and an expression of love. And if He knows we're going to make mistakes, and still has this confidence in us, it behooves us to have confidence in others. People benefit much more by our confidence than by our fear."
I love that! It is so important to express our confidence in others. As we build others up with positive feedback, they feel so much more confident. Can you imagine how hard it would be to reach your potential if people were questioning your capabilities all the time? I see this a lot as a missionary. I live off of the confidence others have in me. I can see that with the missionaries I work with as well. So watch your words. Express your confidence in others. Good things come from it. :)
Speaking of confidence, I'm trying to gather as much of it as possible for this upcoming transfer. Transfer calls totally threw me. I was positive I would stay in West Hills and finish training Sister Walker. But that was not God's will. It's ironic that once you finally start feeling comfortable in an area you are asked to leave it. I spent 12 weeks trying to pick up this area. Well. At least it picked up! I still feel right about it though. I feel like my work here is done, and there are more lives to bless. When I heard my name called as a trainer I wasn't too surprised. I think my heart skipped a couple beats when they called me as a new Sister Training Leader. They're starting to make Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders into trainers, so I will go train with another Sister Training Leader in a trio. I'm really nervous, but I am also so excited for this calling! Basically a Sister Training Leader is a Zone Leader for the sisters. Except they don't do nearly as much. We go on exchanges with every companionship in our zone and we give trainings at zone meetings and whatnot. I'm excited for this opportunity to get to know the sisters and serve them! I'm nervous to find out where I'll be going, but I know it's where God wants me to go. Wherever I go, I know that missionary work will still be the best thing ever.
Well friends and family, my time is running short, so I'm going to make like a tree and get outta here. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all the confidence and prayers you send in my direction. I know this is where God wants me to be, and I am so grateful for all the things that I have been learning. This really is the best thing I have ever done, and something I will never regret. Love y'all lots! Until next week!