It's super rainy, for one thing. Sister Harrison and I were totally shocked yesterday when it rained constantly for a solid 24 hours. One of the ward members said a hurricane hit (hurricane Patricia?) and we were getting the excess rain and wind. It's so weird hearing that, like we should have totally known about it! We had no clue! So, it's very rainy all across the mission. Sister Harrison and I are being safe, and all is well in Flowood, so no worries!
This week was transfer week! I mentioned that in my last e-mail, I think! We now know our new elders: Elder Cole, Elder Smith, Elder Bledsoe, and Elder Call! Elder Cole is now a Zone Leader with Elder Beckstrom. He's super great! Elders Smith and Bledsoe are whitewashing Pearl! They're a pretty great pair, and it's rather comical to see them standing next to each other. Bledsoe is 6'7" and Smith is 5'6", so seeing them next to one another always makes everyone smile. We also now have a brand new missionary! I'm not the greenest greenie anymore! That baton has now been passed to Elder Call, who comes to us from Payson, Utah. So if his mom finds this, hello. :) He and Elder Gilbert seem like they're doing a great job in Forest! I can't wait to see what these new elders will accomplish!!
This week, Siser Harrison and I have really discovered how truly kind the ward members are. A lot of them go above and beyond for the missionaries. Sometimes when appointments fall through and it's too dark to tract, we end up dropping in on a member's house. Given, we text or call them first, but they're always so kind and let us teach their family a lesson!
We also had a member named Sister Traxler who we'd asked a few weeks ago if we could simply practice teaching her a missionary lesson in her home. She said she may as well feed us dinner, which we hadn't expected. We went over, and she'd made chicken enchiladas, tacos with all kinds of toppings (or "fixins" as all we talk to call it here), brownies with chocolate chips and fall-colored M&Ms, and lemon squares. She even put them all in disposable baking pans so we could pack them up and take them with us when we were done. What a sweet woman!
We've also had ward members bake bread for us, send us home with bags of candy (since it's Halloween time), and send us with most of their pantry, we're sure. I can't believe how selfless these people are.
I'm always amazed by the hospitality here. A lot of people aren't too keen on us Mormons knocking on their doorstep, but a lot of them are also very kind and very enthusiastic about us doing the Lord's work.
We met this woman tracting the other day. She told us she was moving, so she apologized for the state of her house. We told her it was fine and asked if we could help her move. She laughed and thought we were kidding or that we were just being polite, but we're never kidding when we offer to help! That softened her a little, and she looked so touched! She invited us in and gave us some water. She then asked if we'd eaten. "We ate lunch today," I'd said. Without missing a beat, she replied, "Yes. And it's almost four o'clock." We paused and weren't sure how to respond to that, so she went and grabbed us something to eat and asked us about our missions and what we were doing.
I want to bear testimony on service. There's always an opportunity to serve someone. I've learned that asking, "Is there anything we can do for you?" is always followed up with a, "No. I'm fine." So, we've been doing our best to ask, "What can we do for you?"
I've realized that people always need help. There's always yard work to be done, something to be cleaned, a message to be shared, a hand to be extended; everyone is in need of some assistance, and if you're reading this and saying you aren't, reevaluate and try again. God has placed us amongst our brothers and sisters so we can support one another. We are not here to travel the road along the straight and narrow path alone; we are here to help one another follow Jesus Christ and His example -- and He would help everyone.
My challenge to you this week is to find someone to serve. Send them a card; bake them some cookies; pay them a compliment; take their groceries inside -- someone needs your help this week, so pray to have the eyes to see them.
In serving others, Sister Harrison and I have seen the Spirit touch them and soften their hearts. Service blesses others in ways you couldn't even imagine! For example, we were teaching a less-active woman that we see every Friday. She can't come to church much because of her health problems (of which she has many, but she's a trooper); she gets around on a walker and is mostly dependent upon oxygen. While we were visiting, one of the women from the Relief Society walked in and held up something that looked like a carrying pouch. She smiled and said, "Hi! Sorry to interrupt. I made this for you after seeing you at church today. I saw you putting things on your walker, and that didn't seem like a very good way to carry things. So here, this just drapes over the front and ties to the legs, and it has pouches so you can put stuff in it!"
The woman we were visiting was astonished. She thanked the member, and said, "What on earth compelled you to do that?" The ward member just smiled and said, "I felt like you might need it."
That touched me so deeply, and it touched the woman we were visiting, too. That is the kind of selflessness I think we should all have; the want to take time out of our day to do something nice for someone else. If Christ could do it all His life, we can do it for a little while.
There's one more experience I want to recount before I head off. Sister Harrison and I were participating in Harvest Day this past Thursday. We usually park our car at the library and bike down to the neighborhoods and houses along the road. We parked our car as usual, and after we got the bikes down from the rack, we said a prayer to open up our tracting time. When we said amen, we hopped onto our bikes and were about to pedal off when a man -- who had been sitting in his car with his windows down, smoking -- called out to us and commented on how we took the time to pray before we went away on our bikes.
We went over and talked to him and just shared with him our purpose and what we do. We asked him about church, and suddenly the Spirit began to push on Sister Harrison and I. I felt the need to bear my testimony of the Savior and the Atonement, and so I did. I saw something in him change, like a flicker of an emotion I couldn't identify. Sister Harrison gave him a pamphlet about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he gave us his address so we could come by and teach him and his wife. His wife was kind, too, when we got to meet her. She came up to the car and introduced herself and said it was alright that we could come by.
One thing I've noticed is that I speak more clearly when the Spirit is working through me. That moment right there is a testament to me that we are instruments in the Lord's hands. I can't take credit for any of the work that I do; the talents and the motivation that I have come from the Lord, and He knows what we need to do in order to hasten the work. I know He put us in that parking lot at that exact time for a reason, and I know that reason was to meet this man and his wife.
I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father and all He does for me. I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters, and for those who the Lord has chosen to place around me so that I may know how to become a better missionary. I know I am doing the Lord's work, and I know this Church is true. It is the true Church; that I can promise.
- Sister Rose
|WE FOUND THE CITY OF FLOWOOD SIGN|
|I try to capture all the photos of the fall colored trees I can :)|
|I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT WE RODE A HOVERBOARD THIS WEEK. One of the ward members is a physics professor at Hinds, so he had his students build a hoverboard :)|