Yes, the rumors are true! I will now and forever stay in my beloved Apollo Beach!! :D I will be here for almost 11 months at the end of this transfer- It is so great here, I don't wanna leave! And I am excited to have a new companion! I have 3 options(from what I know from the conference call- but who really knows, president likes to keep it fresh) and they are awesome sisters so I know this next transfer will be a great one!!
This week was super awesome!!! And insanely long! hahaBUT!WE HAD 31 LESSONS! what? yeah. I know. Its incredible. :)
Here is the low down:Monday- we had Family Home Evening with the Gainers, they live out on a farm and we got to feed an adorable calf that we named Fawn! She had really long eyelashes and was very sweet!
Tuesday- in all its amazing-ness. are you ready for this? Cause it was miracle-filled and WONDERFUL! I woke up still not feeling 100%, actually I felt exhausted and sick. but I am stubborn and I was already frustrated that I had already been out for days and we were missing opportunities and people that are prepared! Sometimes I get fed up with circumstances- usually when they are out of my control.. not very healthy, I know. But it is those moments of frustration and discouragement that I can truly appreciate my Saviour and the love He has for me. Even in those moments- He increases my faith and answers my pleas.I told Him that I only had 13% I could give Him that day. I knew I couldn't ask Sister J. to give that 87% on top of her 100%.. I was praying, pleading more like it, with Heavenly Father. I wanted to work hard, I really did. But I was lacking the capacity.BUT... if there is anything I have learnt on my mission, it is this.. GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS. I promised to give Him 100% of that 13% I had, but I told Him, He had to make up the difference... and He did. More incredibly than I could have done on my own, I am positive! We taught TEN lessons!! And they were all SOLID appointments with investigators, not just something quick in street contacting. Heavenly Father really reached out- the whole day was almost completely without breaks, but I didn't feel flustered or unfocused. God really guided our steps- when a lesson went long, the appointment we would have been late to wanted us to come later anyway. And when someone cancelled, we needed to see someone else. The timing of the day was crazy perfect, just lesson after lesson. We got soooo unified and by the end of the day the awesome things just kept rolling in. Our last 2 lessons were miraculous and we were so in sync- the spirit was palpable! The Lord gave me more energy than I could have imagined. I quite literally worked harder than I ever have, and I collapsed from exhaustion on my bed when 10:30 came around.. but I could not wipe the smile off my face and ever grateful heart! I love my Eternal Father, and I know that He is so aware of us and our prayers- not only was my frustrated plea answered- but countless others were shown His love because He strengthened me and blessed me with the capacity necessary to accomplish His beautiful will! :)
Sister J. wrote about our lesson later in the week with Brother R, who I have told you about- My commentary to add is that it was amazing and I LOVE the Spirit.
We were meeting with a part-member, part-active family. We started
teaching and the Spirit just was not there, to the point where I knew
if it didn't come soon that we needed to go because we cannot teach
without the Spirit, it simply does not work. I was praying so hard for
what he needed (and I know Sister Ormsby was as well). The thought
came to my mind to turn course and to go to the picture of Joseph
Smith receiving the Priesthood. The Spirit started returning.... the
person we were teaching started breaking down his wall. I was prompted
to speak about how awesome (as in, huge) of a responsibility it is to
have the Priesthood. I then asked him what he wanted to do because of
that responsibility. He said, that he couldn't live up it to. I asked
what it would take for him to come back. This is a question that we
have thought about many times and had in our plan to ask. His wife was
crying, because this is something that she wanted so desperately to
know. He said he didn't know. Sister Ormsby then was able to come in
and knew exactly what to say from the Spirit. And pointed out that I
didn't ask about what he needed to do, but what he wanted to do, what
he desired. In the scriptures it says, "what desirest thou?" She
explained how we will be judged partly on the desires of our hearts.
Desires are important to God. She then asked "what desirest thou?" He
was able to share questions that he had for God, "Does He love me? Is
this true?"etc. Near the end of the lesson the Spirit was so
incredibly strong. He was able to commit to praying to God and other
commitments, such as family prayer and scripture, and then he said the
closing prayer. His wife and daughter again cried. This is the first
time they have heard him say a prayer in maybe 10 years. It is amazing
that a lesson can turn from one of someone being closed, to him saying
a prayer and his family being in tears. That is the power of teaching
with the Spirit. We were so blessed. None of it was from us.
This is also Sister J's. perspective on a story from this week;-ohh, the context is Sister J. is fluent in ASL and she is legit!
At FHE with a couple of families we heard about a deaf lady that used to
take lessons from the missionaries and came to church every Sunday. We
met her this week. She came to church. I interpreted even though I
was only able to help her for a little bit, it was a huge blessing. I
just pray that another missionary will come through that knows ASL.
But the even cooler part of the experience is next. So, it has been a
loooong time since I have interpreted. I did a little in Seffner, but
not very much. The night before church I woke up at 3:30 AM and
couldn't go back to sleep, so I was exhausted. Plus, I didn't drink
much water that morning so I was also pretty dehydrated. But I knew
that Sister Ormsby was praying for me, and I felt the power from it.
Signing was unusually easier that it should have been. It was a huge
blessing. I remembered so many signs. And then during the Sacrament,
my mind came fully at peace and I knew exactly what to say for the
rest of the first meeting. I was then blessed to have the energy and
capability to sign for the rest of the meetings. I think it was pretty
good because our investigator smiled a lot and complimented me. It was
not me. Now, here is the even cooler part of the story. I talked to
Sister Ormsby afterwards. She said that she was praying non-stop for
me the entire time. The member who gave our investigator a ride to
church even made a comment to Sister Ormsby during the service and
Sister Ormsby mentioned she was praying for me. The member started as
well, right when the Sacrament started. Yes, God answers prayers. I
can guarantee you that God was moving my hands and that I was
experiencing the gift on tongues thanks to Sister Ormsby and a
faithful member who joined her in prayer. The Spanish missionaries
were translating as well (so Sister Ormsby was praying for them too).
She said, I may not have the gift of tongues, but I have the gift of
prayer. I know that she does because I have learned to pray more
earnestly because of her. She certainly has the gift of prayer.
This week was the best week of my mission. If we are ever discouraged, if we are frustrated, if we are scared or unprepared, or even full of courage and strength- "Ask of God, that giveth to ALL MEN LIBERALLY and upbraideth not"
I LOVE YOU LOTSSS! See you in a week,Sister Ormsby
PS. We got a new shoe guideline!!! I AM SO EXCITED TO WEAR SANDALS!!! :)