Monday, October 28, 2013

The MIT

Hello Family and Friends and other Fantastic people!

This week was much better than last, and I'm excited to talk about it. So I'm going to get right to the good stuff. Firstly, funny story/quotes.

So Sister Bedke talks in her sleep too. It was absolutely hilarious; just a few nights ago she got up in the middle of the night, sat up in her bed, and said the Mission Prayer. We say that prayer every morning at 7:30. We call it the Mission Vision; we pray that every companionship will be able to baptize every month (That's our mission vision) and that every missionary will become a Preach My Gospel Missionary. I was surprised at how coherent the prayer was. She didn't remember a thing the next morning. It was so funny! I was dying of laughter as I recounted the story the next day.

Funny quote of the week:
Me: I don't know if this toothpaste actually works (Crest 3D Whitening).
Sister Roundy: Whoooa!!! Your teeth are three-dimensional!!!!!
I love that girl a lot.

Last Monday was good. I sat on the stage and wrote letters as the other missionaries participated in some very violent and dangerous sports (okay so they weren't that bad, but I still can't open my mouth all the way due to the bruise that's still on the side of my head). Today I'm going to pass out on a couch outside the gym because I have a cold and the last thing I want to do is play sports. But that's okay because naps are the next best thing!

Monday night was excellent. After a rough week it was nice to have a family home evening with the bishop's family. We actually had dropped by to just drop off a hose (we used it to wash the car) but Sister Carter invited us in for PMG study and treats. It was just like being home again. A great evening to start out a great week! I love that family a lot.

Tuesday was fantastic!!! I got to meet Elder Corbridge!! And hear him speak for 6 hours!!! Family and friends, it doesn't get much better than that. I've said it over and over, but that man changed my life. He was doing a mission tour this last week, so we got to hear him on Tuesday. And I got to play the piano for it! It was perfectly terrifying, but perfectly awesome all the same! He said it was good. That's so validating. That man is my hero. More on what he talked about at the end of this email. I got to see Sister Stone there! We combined with 3 other zones and she was there! She's going home in 3 weeks. Weird, much? I feel so old! My mom is going home! I just love her so much there are no words to describe it. I would tell y'all to go to her homecoming but she's from Idaho and it's kind of far away. Maybe if she's ever in Utah I'll tell her to come visit y'all.

On the way home from Elder Corbridge's conference we made voice recordings with the Zone Leaders. My favorite was when we sang "When you Believe" from Prince of Egypt chipmunk style. Yes, this is how missionaries entertain themselves when they have to drive for several hours in the car.
Wednesday was pretty good. I went on Exchanges with Johnson City, so I spent the day in Johnson City with Sister Clove. She is so cute, I love her a lot. She works with Chelise a lot, so it was pretty cool to hear about all the missionary things Chelise is doing. So proud! *tear*. I almost met Cynthia, one of the investigators Chelise is working closely with. I'm so sad I didn't get to meet her though! She wasn't home. Maybe someday. It may have been weird for her to meet Chelise's little sister anyway. Who knows? Overall it was a good exchange though. Johnson City is doing some great things right now! And has some perfectly fantastic people in its ward, if I might add.

Friday we had the ward Halloween party and that was pretty fantastic. There were a lot of nonmembers there, and we're about to get a new investigator out of it! Woohoo!! I'm so excited! There were a lot of clever costumes too. I saw a kid who was dressed up like David Tennant. My only regret was that I didn't get a picture with said kid. It was also sad that my companions didn't recognize the costume. One day I will be able to spread the love that is Doctor Who to my companions. One day.

After the Halloween party we had exchanges with Abingdon. I got to work with Sister Avery for the day in Kingsport. It was a good exchange! It started out with a visit to Alicia and her boyfriend, Dee. Alicia is a less-active member, but she wants to get back into church. Dee isn't a member, but he is really friendly and open to learning more. We invited him to take the lessons and he accepted! Woohoo!! They also were going to come to church but couldn't make it. Story of every Sunday. But, one day, we'll have an investigator at Church. I'm just excited we got another investigator to work with! Our investigators kind of dropped off the face of the planet. Every single one of them. But at least we have been doing a lot of good less-active work. That has been productive. Just praying that our investigators will prioritize. Oy.

Saturday we had a little miracle. Sister Lane from our ward ran into a friend at the grocery store a few weeks ago. Her name is Julie, and she has been a member of the church for years, but we don't have her on our records. She found out her address and we were able to go see herSaturday morning. We showed up at the perfect time. She has been going through a lot of tough times with her family, and she had another death in the family this past Tuesday. Poor thing. She wants to get back into Church and she welcomed us with open arms. We were able to say a prayer for her and leave her with an uplifting message. I'm excited to start working with her. Working with less actives has been a newfound joy of mine. It's so great helping people keep the vital covenants they made at baptism. It's just as important as finding new people to teach. I just know that God sent us to her house at the perfect time, and it strengthens my testimony that He always knows our needs.

Saturday afternoon we met with Debbie again, and that was a fantastic lesson, as always. We tried to meet with Pam, but she didn't want to talk to us. She's kind of taken a step backwards in the last few days. Sometimes the work is frustrating. But, it teaches you patience. And heaven knows everybody needs a little patience in their character. We're trying to meet with her tonight, so we'll see how it goes!

Sunday was the Primary Program! I love those!! I haven't seen one in years. There are a ton of kids in this ward, and they are all perfectly adorable. We invited a ton of less actives and investigators to come and watch, but nobody showed up. Sad day. The elders had an investigator there though! They are on fire; they have 5 baptisms lined up right now. Even though our area is kind of slowing down, I'm glad the elders are still adding people to the ward. They certainly deserve it; they are some of the most faithful and hardworking missionaries I've met. And this ward is simply fantastic, they deserve lots of new members!

So, now on to what Elder Corbridge taught us on Tuesday. He had us brainstorm what the most important part of our message is. What is our purpose as missionaries? What is the message? Why should people want to join the church? What is the most important part of the message we bring? We all came up with good things, but nobody hit it. The Most Important Thing is that we can be forgiven of our sins and endowed with power to qualify us for eternal life. We call it the MIT. Everything we teach falls under this statement. This is the purpose of life. We are here to qualify for eternal life. The message we bring to others is that they can be forgiven of their sins. Through priesthood ordinances and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, people can be forgiven of their sins and endowed with power to qualify for eternal life. This is huge! As we teach people, we need to help them come up with that conclusion. Once they've concluded that the MIT is true, they would move heaven and earth to follow God's plan! Just take a look at King Lamoni's father, who was led to ask, "what shall I do that I may inherit this eternal life?" and was willing to give up all of his sins on top of his entire kingdom.Or the 3,000 people in the book of Acts who were led to ask the same question as they were taught about God's eternal plan. If people truly understood the MIT, they would give anything to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This changed my perspective on missionary work entirely. Of course I knew our purpose as missionaries was to help others come unto Christ and partake of salvation, but sometimes as we get too deep into doctrine that focus is blurred. We're here to help people qualify for eternal life. Be it members, nonmembers, or less actives. As I come in contact with anyone, I ask myself, "How can I help this person qualify for eternal life?"

It changed my perspective on life as well. I was thinking about this as we were talking with one of the members this week. She served a mission as well, and she talked about the day she came home from her mission. She woke up in the morning and thought, "Wow. I have nothing of eternal significance to do today." That thought was perfectly daunting to me. But then I realized it doesn't have to be like that. Life gets crazy and we cannot dedicate all our time and attention to building the kingdom, but surely we can do something of eternal significance every day. We should live each day with the MIT in mind. What can we do to qualify ourselves for eternal life today? What treasures are we going to lay up in heaven for ourselves today? What are we going to do today to help someone else prepare to meet God? There is something we can do every day, be it simple or complicated. So when you wake up in the morning ask yourself, "What can I do today that will be eternally significant?" The most important thing to keep in mind each day is the very purpose why we are here. We are here to become like God and help others do the same. Each day is precious. Embrace it!

Well family, that is all for now. It's crazy how quickly that 90 minutes flies. I love you all! Thank you all so much for your prayers and your love!! It means a lot! Until next week!

-Sister Fox

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