What a crazy week it's been! i am still LOVING Iowa. man. i love serving with these people and feel so blessed to be where i am.
It breaks my heart to hear about what is going on "in the world" right now... honestly i feel like i am on a different planet! ah. but i am so grateful for the assurance we can have that if we continue to press forward with faith, and trust in God, we will be protected from the corruption and wickedness around us. I will be praying more earnestly for this nation. man alive.
The Johns Family (Js and Chrissy!) Thank you SO much for your sweet notes/package! i love you all and know that it made my week to hear from your family!
Thank you all for your prayers! it is amazing to me how right when i am about to have those moments when i just want to sit down on the curb and cry because no one wants to listen to us haha, i am instantly strengthened and given the courage to keep my chin up. i know it is through your prayers, so thank you!
This week has been an interesting one. It is hard being a missionary! i think it hit me this week that what we are doing is kind of hard! haha. BUT. it is so rewarding as well. We had a lot of "persecution" this week which was kind of fun: definitely gets your blood pumping! here are some stories:
- we were going to visit a woman who is marked less active on our ward list, but ended up talking to her husband instead. He was really friendly at first, and started talking to us about the church. i was talking about the book of mormon and then he stops me mid sentence by him laughing saying that Joseph Smith was so and so and our religion was a cult. ha. awesome. So, i listened to what he was shouting, and then calmly but powerfully bore testimony of the restoration and the book of mormon. it silenced him. such a cool moment. And it re-taught me that no one can argue with a pure testimony. although he definitely wasnt converted, haha it strengthened my testimony and am grateful for it.
- there is one little store "in town" (side note: everything in Tabor is referenced off of town. for example: "oh , he just lives three blocks north/south of town" or "im going in town to grab some supper") where sister Palmer and i get our groceries. The woman who checked us out started talking to us about the church, and her first question was how we paid for everything. we told her that we had each funded our missions, so we paid to be here. I offered her a mormon.org card before we left by saying "hey, here is a card to our online website called mormon.org. it answers any sort of question you may have about the church!" harmless, right? well. She refused the card and told us that she would never even look at such a website that was revolved around a cult. ha. it was awesome. Once again, we bore testimony about the restoration. she was silent. she then said that her church was talking about other religions on sunday and that we should come and teach about the LDS religion! so. this experience definitely taught me that 1. again. pure testimony is unarguable. and 2. even through the bad, the Lord still provides! how AWESOME is it going to be to be able to teach a whole congregation of people about the gospel?!? ah. the Lord is so good!
Anyway. enough of the fun missionary moments. haha. here are the highlights of the week:
1. We did a TON of service this week, one of which was helping a woman in our ward pit her cherries! i literally think i pitted over 1,000 cherries in the past week. we made cherry cobbler and used Ms. Jean's ice cream maker and had a blast. so fun/summery!
2. This weekend was the "Tabor Merchant/Farmer Picnic". They have a carnival in tabor every summer, where a carnival comes with rides and food and everyone in town comes to it. it was a lot of fun to see everyone gathered together, and a great opportunity to talk to people! Ms. Jean couldnt believe that we hadnt had a "maid rite" before, so she took us down there for supper. She bought us a maid rite and when we got it we laughed because it is just a sloppy joe! haha she gets so excited about the little things. i love her.
3. Sister Tillman - i think i told you about her last email, but this week was AWESOME! ahh. she is doing incredible. she opened up to us about being offended at church and that she really wants to come back. she told us that she has been praying for a sign or some way that would lead her back to church, and she knew that we were the answer to her prayer. it was so powerful and she is reading the book of mormon! so cool. that book changes people. i love it.
4. Tom (Bro. Brammer) - ah this is so cool. so we go to the Brammer's house, a less active woman in our ward, and we saw that her husband, tom was outside. We have been praying for someone to teach since we dont have any investigators. We talked to him and come to find out he is not a member. I asked him why he wasnt, and he said he just didnt think he could believe in Joseph Smith. i asked him if he had read the book of mormon, and when he said no, i testified that the only way he could know if joseph smith was a prophet was if he read the book of mormon. he said that he would, and we are going to teach him again this week! he is so awesome and sister palmer and i left his house knowing that he is going to get baptized. so cool. i cant wait to see what happens!
The church is true. i love my savior. I am so thankful to have the knowledge i do. a woman in my old ward used to say " if you knew what i do, you would be a mormon too! ". i feel the same way, and am so grateful to "know what i do!"
i love you all. i am so grateful to be serving the Lord. I know He lives.